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Does Twitter really drive book sales?

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A question authors often ask is whether Twitter is useful for them as a way to drive book sales. Many authors put links to their books on the popular social media network and wonder if they are going to see an increase in sales by doing that. They try different combinations of hashtags and words within the 140 character limit, as well as sharing the Tweets at different times of the day.

Do they see an increase in book sales? Unfortunately, the Twitter promotion of the book does not always equate a direct increase in sales. Although, being a celebrity or having a large number of connections at the online platform can certainly increase the odds for writers. Instead, the bigger picture is something for authors to focus on, which is not an immediate sale but instead a longer process to get that point.

The bigger promotional picture: Books and Twitter

Twitter, for example, is useful for connecting with potential readers. If a person writes children’s books, then he or she might connect with Twitter users who are parents or teachers (as read in their Twitter profiles). A great technique then is to build relationships with these users and show expertise in writing by offering Tweets about writing and children’s topics.

This Twitter method can grow the confidence of network users in the content the author shares online. In addition, these active online connections may begin to follow that person’s website. As they enjoy the content at the site, then they are likely to check out the book, which is advertised on that site, and even purchase it.

So, in turn, Twitter does in a roundabout way drive book sales as it helps the author to build online connections which become readers of his or her content. Unfortunately, it is a tough sell to market a book in 140 characters or less within a Tweet to prompt someone to buy it immediately.

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