Social Media for Writers: How to use Twitter to promote your books

March 05, 2017
Twitter is a great place to promote your books and your writing - but how?! In this post, I talk about all the ways you can use Twitter to promote your books.

This post isn’t going to be about how to use Twitter. (I mean, if you’d like a post on that, then maybe message me and let me know?) But I’m going to assume that you guys know a bit more about how it works, how to Tweet people, etc.

This post isn’t going to be about how to use Twitter. It’s going to be about how to use it to promote your books and promote yourself as a writer.

The most important thing I always see people not doing?


If you’re Tweeting about how your book is currently only £1.99 on iBooks, or that you read a great review someone wrote about it, or that you just uploaded a new chapter where you’re posting it online, that’s great. But you have to post a link alongside it. People will click through and maybe then they’ll buy or read what you want them to. But if they have to search for it themselves, you won’t get as many people following up on it.

(It might sound obvious, but when I was first published and went to events with people in the industry, they all commented on how great it was that I added links to things, because so few writers did that. So forgive me if this sounds like common sense to you – and if it does, I guess you’ve already got a head start!)

On that note: what can you share links to?

If your book is online, share a link to the first chapter, to the latest upload, to your profile. If your book is published, share links to directly where people can buy it online. If it’s on offer – again, share a link. You can also link to other social media profiles you have that you want people to follow you on.

Hashtags are important, but use them sparingly on Twitter. 

#People don’t like to #read #tweets that are #completely #written #likethis. 

But something like ‘Ugh remind me why I like this whole writing thing? #amediting’ can work wonders.

On that note: a couple of great hashtags to use on Twitter are #amwriting, #amediting, #authorlife, #wip and #onelinewednesday.

Twitter chats are a great way to get involved with the bookish community and spread the word about your book. (One really great one is #ukyachat, which is run by blogger Lucy Powrie, and another is the #wattpad4 chat run by a group of awesome writers who are active on Wattpad. 

Giveaways and contests always do well. 

‘Follow and RT to win a copy of my book’ is a GREAT way to build your audience. I’ve run a couple and always noted a huge spike in my followers – up to a couple of hundred. You don’t always keep all of those new followers, but you should keep most of them. People follow more than they unfollow.

People also love the whole ‘behind the scenes’ thing. 

Talk about your writing. Maybe you want to share a funny story about how you came up with that character’s name. Maybe you have a writing playlist you want to share. You can share samples of your writing and excerpts from your writing or work in progress.

If you’re trying to promote your book, you don’t want to be just ‘hey buy my book’. I mean, you do, but you don’t want to be that blunt about it. There’s nothing wrong with saying, ‘Have you read TITLE OF MY BOOK yet? Grab a copy here! [LINK]’ but sometimes it’s nice to mix it up a bit.

So use teasers. 

Something like, ‘How would you deal with finding out you’re a witch? Find out how CHARACTER NAME handles it in TITLE OF MY BOOK!’ will hook potential readers.

Another fun thing to do is Twitter chats, and Q&As. 

You don’t have to make it a regular thing. It can be a one off. But give people notice, and tell them it’s going on, don’t just spring it on them one day. You could try something quirky, like a Twitter chat with your characters, or just a straightforward Q&A about your writing.

That leads me on to talking to people. Interact. It’s crazy important that you interact. 
Yes, you need to talk about your books, and promote yourself as a writer, but if you only ever Tweet links to where people can buy your book, they won’t be so interested. Ask questions (what are people reading? You’ve just started watching a new show on Netflix – is anyone else totally hooked right now?). Respond to people – whether that’s people who Tweeted you specifically, or whether you want to reply to someone about something they said. Maybe they had a bitch of a train journey and you just want to send them a GIF reaction. As long as you’re talking to people, it matters. It helps.

This is also where I talk about direct messages on Twitter. 

Honestly, I mostly keep this for sharing Tweets with my family/friends, but feel free to make more use of them to interact with readers if you want!

You can also set up automated DMs that will thank someone for following you. Again, not something I do, and use with caution, but you can do this if you want to.

I think that more or less covers the main ideas of how to promote your book on Twitter. I’m going to end with just a couple of really important points to remember…

Tweets with images get more responses than those without. 

Share images of your word count, your book cover, your book on Amazon. (I’ll talk more in later posts about creating images, and I’m talking separately about Instagram, but you get the idea.)

And don’t forget about pinned Tweets. 

This is a great function that basically sticks a particular Tweet to the top of your profile. It’s the first of your Tweets people will see when they visit your profile. Make it a good one. Whether that’s an announcement of your publishing deal, or a link to your latest chapter upload, or your book on Kindle. Just make it something people can respond to. 

Okay. And I think that does cover everything! 

I know it’s a lot of points to take in and think about, and I know I didn’t go massively in-depth on any one particular thing. I have got some post planned more around things like image creation, running Twitter competitions, and so on, but if there’s something you’d like to know more about, let me know!

Next time: How to promote your books on Facebook!

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