Saturday, September 6, 2014

Maximizing Twitter

By Chicki Brown

Copyright © 2013 Chicki Brown

I’ve heard a lot of authors admit that they don’t use Twitter or, even if they have ventured into the Twitterverse, they don’t tweet on a regular basis. Big mistake, in my opinion. 

I know. You’re already overwhelmed with social networking and you don’t even want to think about adding another chore to your to-do list. But if you need to eliminate or avoid something, it shouldn’t be Twitter. Why do I say this? Because the literary community on Twitter is different from every other social network. The authors and readers are supportive and committed. In the year or so that I’ve been active on Twitter, I’ve discovered several things that make the difference when marketing your books.

The secret of Twitter is reciprocation.  If you follow other authors, bloggers, reviewers and readers and RT (retweet) for them, they will do the same for you. This means that your tweets will go to all of their followers. 

The next most important thing about Twitter is the use of hashtags, those words preceded by a # sign. When you send a tweet without hashtags, it only goes to your followers. When you add tags, they serve to attach your tweet to a specific following – people with an interest in a certain category like #romance, #mystery, #newrelease, etc., and these tags are followed by multiple thousands of people. Here’s my personal list of popular tags for authors and books. I’ve separated them by category. It’s best to mix and match the tags that apply to your book and not use more than three. Remember, the tags will take up some of your 140 characters unless you’re using a Twitter management tool like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite, which I’ll explain in a minute.

#authorRT #Tweets4Authors @Writerlytweets @WritersRT @WritersRetweets 

 #BYNR @promoteyourboo1 @free_book_promo @BookTweetTeam  @digitalbookend

@indtwt  @IHB6  @IndBk  @VoiceOfIndie @IndieBookTweet @IndieAuthorNews  @indiebookpromos  @IndieWriterSupp

@BooksandAuthor @A_Book_Shelf  @Writers_Cafe @Readers_Realm @AvidReadersCafe @GoodBooksBlog1 #lovetoread #bookworm #bookspotlight #WritersKaboodle 

@romanticpicks @ROMANCEONLY @ReadingRomance @RomanceinColor  @storiesoromance @allromance @JUSTConRom  @RmTwts

@bnbuzz @nookbn @nookboards 

@Kindle_India  @kindle_ch  @GoodKindles @kindle_promo @KindlePromotion @IndieKindle  @MadKindlePromos  @AmazonBookPromo

@IndieAuthorLand @IndAuthorSucess @IndieExchange @IndieAuthorAnon @IndieWriteNet @indiepubnews @IndiesUnite

@CEBTAuthors  @Christian_Reads

The other secrets of Twitter are the way you format your tweets and the frequency at which you post a tweet and the time of day. Formatting is simple. You want to get your point across using the least amount of characters possible. Always put your book title in all CAPS so it doesn’t get lost among the other characters. Abbreviate whenever possible, but never abbreviate words in the book’s title. You want people to be able to look up the book online without a problem. It’s not necessary to shorten the buy link to your book, because Tweetdeck or Hootsuite will automatically do it for you. Here’s an example of three tweets I might post in a day for my new release:

Love is the greatest healer. A WOMAN’S WORTH @JUSTConRom @RmTwts @digitalbookend #BYNR @indtwt @IHB6  

Marc is helping Gianne to heal her body. Why won’t she let him heal her soul? A WOMAN’S WORTH @IndBk @MadKindlePromos  

Why would Gianne Marvray move to Vegas 2 B with a man she barely knows? A WOMAN’S WORTH @bnbuzz @nookbn @nookboards 

As far as frequency and time, it’s most effective to tweet three times a day. The optimum times are: mornings between 8 and 9 AM (after people get to work and get settled in front of their computers. LOL!) Midday between 12 Noon and 2 PM and evening between 5 and 8 PM). 

That might sound like a lot, but there are ways you can type all of your tweets at once and schedule them to run hours, days, weeks or even months in advance. This is done by using one of the Twitter management tools like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite. They are both free to download, and they will make tweeting a whole lot easier. I never use anymore. It doesn’t do everything you need it to do.

My last suggestion to maximize your Twitter reach, if you have a blog, is to join and sign up to be part of one or more tribes. Triberr was created solely as a way to increase your reach on social networks. The main tribe I belong to has a reach of 151,000 (the combined Twitter following of all the tribemates.) Every time you post a new entry, the link goes directly to Triberr and all of your tribemates will retweet it for you. Retweeting on Triberr requires no typing. You merely click. It takes twenty minutes tops.

I hope this wasn’t too confusing. I encourage you to take use of Twitter to promote your books. It’s fantastic!

About Chicki Brown: Shades of Romance Magazine 2011 Author of the Year, Chicki Brown has published six novels and one novella, all of which have made different Kindle bestseller lists. 

A voracious reader since she was a child, Chicki grew up in New Jersey reading everything she could get her hands on. Now she concentrates on romance, women’s fiction and suspense.

Mother of two and grandmother of five, Brown was born and raised in New Jersey and now calls suburban Atlanta, Georgia home.
She can be found at any of the following sites:

A Woman's Worth (The Stafford Brothers Series)
Gianne Marvray has been through the worst two years of her life physically and emotionally. After a battle with cancer and all it entails, she is finally ready to start living her life again. She wants to see new places, meet new people and experience new things, but she isn’t ready for the rollercoaster ride she’s about to embark on when she meets Las Vegas personal trainer and raw vegan foods advocate, Marc Stafford. 

After a four year absence, Marc comes home to Atlanta to attend a family celebration in one of his brother’s honor. He’s not thrilled about seeing his father, but he has promised his mother that he won’t throw off the family balance by being the only one of their six sons absent. All Marc wants to do is make an appearance at the event and spend a little time with his brothers. Little does he know that this is the night he will meet the woman who will forever change his life. 

BONUS MATERIAL INCLUDED: 1st chapter of Chicki Brown’s next novel, TILL YOU COME BACK TO ME, coming Winter 2013.


  1. It also helps to think about times for other parts of the world. One Twitter client I am really finding useful is Buffer. (Probably because it's easy enough for me to understand!)

  2. I'm not familiar with Buffer. I'll check it out. I am a grudging Twitterer, though I know many people find it very useful.