I don’t know anyone who grew up wanting to be a host on an infomercial but Twitter has turned many authors into a mutation of the Sham-WOW guy.
That’s right. Sham-WOW.
There’s a fine line between promoting your work and selling your brand (okay, and your soul) to sell a few books. As a general rule, and perhaps it was Mari Smith who taught me this, but there is a 80/20 magic metric that should be followed.
Be about others 80% of the time and yourself the rest.
If you just use Twitter to sell your product, pretty soon, no one will listen.
I recently came across Pam Moore’s piece 100 Things to Tweet About on Twitter Besides Yourself. I cannot recommend it highly enough. The bottom line is to be human. Twitter isn’t the time and place to be your own reality show. Invest in others.
I came up with 100 things for authors to tweet about. Some of them are strictly about others and quite a few of them allow you to get people excited about your books…without it always being about you.
This list is by no means comprehensive. My goal is to just get your creative juices flowing and hopefully, give you an “aha!” moment when it comes to tweeting.
Let me know what you think.
General for Every Author
- Inspirational quotes.
- Retweets of other people’s tweets.
- Breaking news.
- Thank you’s (I do this when I receive stellar customer service. Most recently, when I got help within 5 minutes of tweeting 8Bit about a website problem.).
- Twitter chat with main characters.
- Articles you’ve commented on.
- Articles you’ve read (and liked).
- Ask for book recommendations.
- Ask for movie recommendations.
- Ask for music recommendations.
- Post photos of book launch parties (Promote other authors!).
- Post photos of meet and greets.
- Talk about the people who inspire you.
- Alternate endings to your favorite books.
- Ask readers how books should have ended.
- News about your city.
- News about where your books are set.
- Announcements about social causes you support.
- Kickstarters that need support (or you are supporting).
- After-work adventures.
- Photos from adventures – bonus if you pair them with an inspirational quote.
- Start a conversation by posting a link or comment and saying, “What do you think?”
- Ask readers what they want to see in the next book.
- Ask readers what they want to see on your blog. This is great if you don’t know what your readers want.
- Encourage people to sign up for your newsletter.
- Find a trending hashtag and add a few witty tweets to the conversation.
- Create a funny hashtag and ask followers to share their witty tweets.
- Tweet notes during a conference so you share the knowledge. Use the hashtag and connect with other attendees at the same time.
- Send welcome tweets to new followers.
- Connect followers with similar passions/interests.
- Freely praise others in your industry.
- Randomly select followers to give a shout-out to.
- Post photos and videos (Use Vine!) of industry conferences.
- Ask followers who you should connect with.
- Give away someone else’s book with a RT contest (“7th person to retweet gets a copy of _______.”)
- Going to a new town? Ask your followers for restaurant recommendations.
- Holiday cheer! There’s always a reason to celebrate!
- Political commentary – post sparingly unless you are a professional political analyst.
- Job opportunities.
- Thanks to @AuthorMedia, I now know what to tweet about. – Click to tweet.
- My days of Twitterblock are over. @AuthorMedia gave me 100 ideas. – Click to tweet.
- [email protected] gave 100 examples of things authors could tweet about. What are they missing? – Click to tweet.
- 100 Things for Authors To Tweet About. – Click to tweet.
- Love this! 100 Things for Authors to Tweet About via @AuthorMedia. – Click to tweet.
- No more excuses, I guess. “100 Things for Authors to Tweet About” via @AuthorMedia. – Click to tweet.
- Tweeting just got easier. – Click to tweet.
- YES! Tweeting for authors made easy. – Click to tweet.
- I needed this. / 100 Things for Authors to Tweet About via @AuthorMedia. – Click to tweet.
- YA books you read.
- News about your favorite YA series (The Hunger Games, anyone? The next movie is coming soon…).
- Links to interviews with other YA authors.
- “Ask a YA Author” twitter chat.
- Start a book club with your fans. Talk about other books, not just yours!
- Links to fan art.
- Video interviews and reviews!
- Links to the inspiration behind your world.
- Snarky comments about YA trends.
- Post photos of fans dressed up like characters from your book.
- Romance industry news.
- Romance articles.
- Favorite romance movie suggestions.
- Photos of your favorite book covers.
- Books you wished were made into movies.
- Romance blogs you are reading.
- Twitter chat with Romance writers and readers.
- Ask followers for a love story in 140 characters or less.
- Ask followers to help you name the next hero.
- Ask followers to help you name the next heroine.
- Debunk myths about the era you are writing about.
- Ask followers for questions about the era you are writing about.
- Post links to articles about the world your characters lived in.
- Chat about the era your characters lived in.
- Suggest alternate eras for classic stories (What would a modern Tale of Two Cities look like?).
- Host chats with experts about that era.
- Post favorite movies in that era.
- Post a link to your Goodreads list of favorite books set in the era.
- Give a shout-out to a store that sells era replications.
- Give a shout-out to vacation spots that create experience that mimic the era.
- Tweet a story exclusively for twitter. 140 characters at a time.
- Mimic horror movie trailers. Hint at what’s in your book.
- Ask your readers for plot twist suggestions.
- Tweet from the villain’s POV.
- Recommend other thrillers (Not just the song).
- Host a twitter chat with another author.
- Ask followers what scares them the most when they are reading.
- Invite followers to help you write an exclusive short-story.
- Share quotes that are less than inspirational.
- Ask readers who their favorite villain is.
- Share your fan art of other fantasy novels. If you can’t draw, own it and let people guess who you are trying to portray.
- Post photos of you dressed up as a character.
- Host a costume contest for your readers.
- Invite readers to send in their alternate endings to your book.
- Host a fanfic contest.
- Poll your readers to find out if they are Trekkies, Whovians, or Star Wars geeks.
- Ask followers to suggest fantasy graphic novels for you to review on your site.
- Ask followers which fantasy fanfic author you should interview.
- Create a wiki for you book. Ask readers to help you populate it.
- Ask followers what they DON’T want to see in your next book.
- Amish traditions.
- Amish laws.
- Photos of Amish land.
- Q+A chat with former Amish.
- Links to Amish/Quaker/Mennonite songs.
- Links to Amish/Quaker/Mennonite poems.
- Photos and links to Amish recipes.
- Interview Amish-crossover fiction writers (Leslie Gould writes Amish + Shakespeare. Bet you didn’t know that combination existed!)
- Your favorite NON-Amish books.
- Your favorite NON-Amish movies.
What would you add to the list?