Why Book Publishers Should Be on Twitter

When I speak to publishers about the benefits of Twitter, I get one of two reactions. They either respond enthusiastically, or they declare that Twitter is a complete waste of time.

It's true that Twitter is both incredibly simple and insanely difficult to understand at the same time. Why would anyone be interested in what you're doing right now? Why would you be interested in what they're doing? The simple fact is that, for the most part, you're not and they're not.

The usefulness of Twitter comes because users go far beyond that by "tweeting" about interesting articles, asking and answering questions, and offering as-it-happens commentary at conferences and events.

For those who are not yet convinced, here are five reasons publishers should be on Twitter:

1) To connect with others in the industry. There are quite a few authors and publishers already using Twitter, and the list is growing all the time. Being able to quickly bounce ideas of these people is invaluable. It can be like a never-ending conference and trade show, with all the benefits of networking and none of the tired feet.

2) To get to know book bloggers and reviewers. The book blog community is very well represented on Twitter. Following them will let you know about their preferences, their pet peeves, and other valuable information to help you find suitable reviewers online.

3) To keep up to date with industry news. Twitter works faster than any news outlet can. Keeping track of trends in the book industry, and in your particular niche, is easy to do with the various search tools for Twitter.

4) To find out what people are saying about your books. If you've just sent out a ton of ARCs , keeping a search open for your title and author is a good way to gauge initial reactions. Making sure you keep an eye on anything said about your company and your authors will help you avoid any PR disasters.

5) To get more exposure for your events, your books, and your authors. Tweet your following about new releases, book signings, and author events. Holding contests for free copies of books always seems to go over well, and encourages word of mouth advertising.

These are just a few of the many ways publishers are finding Twitter useful. Sign up and experiment for a few days, and you'll probably be able to come up with a list of your own.

Wendy Woudstra

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