Discussion: Twitter and Book Sales

Posted by on March 12, 2012 in Discussion Questions | 16 comments

Some authors continually pitch their books on Twitter, while others rarely mention them. The question is:

Have you ever bought a book after hearing about it in a Tweet, without having already established a relationship with the author? Have you ever not bought a book because it was being pitched too much?

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  • Natasha

    I’ve purchased books pitched on Twitter if the author made me laugh with a great sales pitch, or we’ve spent a few hours chatting it up on Twitter. I try to be understanding because I know that authors have to self-promote so I’m not one of those “posting your links is annoying,” types. I have, however, ignored excessive book link sharing.

    • http://www.rainyofthedark.com/ Rainy

      Oh, so true, a GOOD pitch can go a long ways.

  • http://www.ManOfLaBook.com Man of la Book

    I have bought a book pitched on Twitter and have looked at some others but I don’t think it’s the end all for book sales.

    I also have not bought a book that was pitched to roughly.


    • http://www.rainyofthedark.com/ Rainy

      I try to warn the author first that they’re being overboard. If I’m met with an attitude, I will lose interest in the book and un-follow them. It’s one thing to be excited, but another to disrespect your followers, IMO.

  • http://avajae.blogspot.com Ava Jae

    So I’m going to break the trend here because I haven’t done either–I’ve taken a look at books mentioned on Twitter, but I haven’t ever bought one pitched there (or decided not to buy one because of too much pitching). I tend to choose what to read based more off reviews, word of mouth and recommendations.

    • http://www.rainyofthedark.com/ Rainy

      Those three factors are so much more important than random tweets, which is why I can’t see the point of the continual shameless self promotion.

  • http://www.lisabuiecollard.com Lisa Buie-Collard

    I have bought an ebook pitched on twitter. I’m also an author and do randomly tweet about my novel. Mostly I tweet about whatever I find interesting, I promote other sites I might or might not be a member of, I promote other authors books and/or blogs. I have my twitter and FB accounts linked so I don’t have to double post. I sincerely DO NOT like people who automatically tweet the same thing over and over. I don’t mind someone promoting their books, but not excessively or exclusively. I prefer to get to know them too, as Natasha wrote before me. I will buy more books on Twitter, and hope that what I tweet finds new readers to add to those already interested in my tweets and my novel, of course!

    • http://www.rainyofthedark.com/ Rainy

      Good points. I much prefer if the author talks about the book instead of pitches it. If it’s part of their life, and they treat it that way, it’s much less annoying than “buy me!” Tweets.

  • http://www.amberrisme.com Amberr Meadows

    Promo is fine, but too much of it is stupid and annoying. If someone directly tweets me wanting me to buy their book and I don’t know them very well, I won’t buy and I will unfollow them immediately. Plus, what are they doing to help me or my efforts? Nothing. They are too busy shamelessly self-promoting to care about helping others.

    • http://www.rainyofthedark.com/ Rainy

      Ugh, I hate those direct tweets with purchase links!

  • Sunday S. Smith

    I don’t look at a book that promos every hour and will unfollow someone who does nothing but promo their work. I have, though, picked up a book from something that I found on Twitter, though not usually through the promo tweet. I love finding new and different books anywhere I can find them but like commercials on TV, once I decide against something I don’t want to hear about it every fifteen minutes.

    • http://www.rainyofthedark.com/ Rainy

      Great answer, and something that is important to point out: no is no. I might still like the author, but if their book doesn’t interest me, then I don’t want to hear about it constantly.

  • http://bloodymunchkin.blogspot.com Tyliag

    Don’t over-saturated my twitter feed with positive reviews or redundant tweets just to drum up followers/excitement. Be as witty on twitter as you are in your books and you’ll have me. Pamela Ribon is a perfect example of how to use twitter in way that gets me hooked. I could name names on the wrong way to use twitter that would keep me from your books, but I better not…..

    • http://www.rainyofthedark.com/ Rainy

      You’re right–if you connect as people, then it’s likely you’ll connect via your book too. That’s one reason it’s important to keep social media mostly “on topic” when using it to find readers. 

  • http://www.graemeing.com Graeme Ing

    I’ve never NOT bought a book because of twitter activity, and some authors push the promotion close to the edge, but I’ve never unfollowed anyone because of it, usually because their tweetstream is still interesting to me.

    I’ve both checked out and bought books due to twitter, but that’s not surprising since if I am following someone, I already have a vested interest and likely to be interested in their work.

    I think it’s ok to promote your book on twitter – you have to use all social media – but within reason.

    • http://www.rainyofthedark.com/ Rainy

      Yeah, it’s really that “within reason” thing some tend to over look.