Twitter for Authors: Engaging Your Audience

Now that I’ve explored some best practices for authors on how they can format their tweets effectively, the next logical question is: what should I be posting? Taking a step back, a main goal with creating content on Twitter for every author should be engaging your readers. Active followers are happy followers, and growing engagement means they are staying engaged with you and your books. So when creating content, each author must ask themselves what will engage their readers? This will be different for everyone, but there are some guidelines that can be followed as jumping off points for every author.

Add Value

Of the social networks, Twitter is definitely where people seem to post the most, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be paying attention to this golden rule of marketing: add value. If someone is following you it’s safe to say that they want to see content about your books. Now I’m not just talking about promotions, I’m talking about writing updates, posting about your characters, little extras that they could only get from following you. Tying back to your overall brand is another way to add value because if your followers are interested in your books they are also interested in topics of your books. Just remember, before you post on Twitter (retweeting or otherwise) ask yourself one question: am I adding value to my follower’s Twitter feed?

Be Aware of Your Branding

I touched on this in my post about how Indie authors can think like a marketer, but it’s worth reiterating here. On Twitter especially, many authors may find themselves losing sight of their branding in their posting, most often in their retweeting. Ideally, even elements that you are reposting from other people on Twitter should tie back in some way to your brand as an author. You can use this to your advantage engaging your target audience. Do you write about science? Retweet some new developments in your field. Do you write cook-books? Share pictures of some of your cooking adventures. You can repost blog posts related to your field, cross-promote other authors in your genre, the options are endless!

Don’t be Spammy

Spam is the nemesis of engagement. Even the most well-intentioned author can fall victim to spamming, but it should be avoided at all costs. What does look like? It most often looks like posting the same tweet over and over again without mixing up the content. While volume of tweets, in theory, gets you more eyes, you’re shooting yourself in the foot by alienating the followers you’ve accrued. The more you spam the less engagement you’ll get, which in turn means there will actually be fewer total eyes on your posts.

Build Relationships with Your Readers

Twitter can be an excellent tool for building one-on-one relationships with your readers. It’s also a great way to spread word-of-mouth positive reviews! If a reader is saying nice things about your books, retweet-retweet-retweet! People can hear all day from you about how they should read your books, but if they’re seeing another person’s endorsement that’s pure gold in terms of book promotion. It can be scary interacting with readers (take for example, the dreaded Goodreads review section) but building a community that you can talk directly with, and they can talk to each other on your threads, is what it’s all about!

Next in the final installment of my Twitter for authors series, I’ll be exploring ways that authors can grow their Twitter presence. Make sure to follow along on Twitter or LinkedIn to keep up to date with my latest posts. If you’re an author who’s ready to take the next step in your social media journey, email me at and we can talk!

How Indie Authors Can Promote Their Books Like a Marketer

As a marketing consultant, I hear many indie authors say that they simply don’t think like a marketer. They try: they read articles (like this one) and books, attend webinars, and hire people like me to advise them. And educating yourself is the perfect first step! But despite what some may lead you to believe, book marketing isn’t a science. There are best practices, but no hard and fast rules that work for everyone. That’s why you need people who think like marketers to evaluate your specific situation to develop a plan to market your books in the best way possible. And one of these people can be you!

Here are some tips that I give my authors to get in the mindset they need to market their books just like a book marketer would:

You are your brand

When you are an author, this is the number one thing you should remember. In most cases, there is not a clear line where your books end and you begin. People following your social media presences are following you! This means that they don’t just want to hear about your books, but they want to feel connected to you (author you, that is). Think about the elements of yourself that complement your books. If you write books geared towards parents, try sharing your own experiences as a parent. If you write about space, geek out about space-related news with your audience. Find genuine elements of yourself that fit your “brand” and run with it!

You may not be your target market

I’ll summarize basically every marketing 101 course (and save you the $4000): you may not be your target market. This means when you’re crafting content, you have to think about what your target market will like. This isn’t necessarily what you like. If you write YA, the best way to reach your readers may be through Instagram instead of Facebook. Even if you are your target market, you have to think holistically when posting. Take politics, for example. I’ve run target market reports on authors and found that even though they are liberal, 50% of their audience is politically conservative. This means you may want to steer clear of the political posts on your author pages so as not to alienate any portion of your audience. Save that for your personal pages.

Promote, promote, promote!

It can be easy to either post too much or too little about your books. A very fixable problem that a good chunk of authors face is they don’t post about their books enough. You’ve written them, they’re great, you’ve got to promote them! Of course, you should do that in a way that’s engaging for your audience (don’t spam them), but don’t be shy about talking about your books. People who like your author page know what they’re getting into. They want to hear about your books. Think of any other brand that’s selling a product; it would be silly if they barely ever talked about their product. I totally get that tooting your own horn may feel awkward, but it’s necessary to make sure that as many people as possible know about your books.


I firmly believe that every author has the ability to think like a marketer. You already have the creative and story-telling chops, all you need is some confidence and to start thinking about promoting your books like a marketer would. If you’re looking for someone to help you get started, we should talk: email me at

The Good and Bad of Author Facebook Groups

Authors have grown frustrated with the changing nature of Facebook Pages, mostly driven by changes in the algorithm and are looking for a better option for engaging their readers. Enter: the Facebook Group—a platform that seemingly side-steps the Facebook Page’s downfalls. It’s true: some authors have massive success creating reader groups that engage their readers in conversations. But is the Facebook Group the messiah in a time of social media book marketing strife? Should all authors abandon their Facebook Pages and join the mass exodus to Groups? Don’t jump ship so fast; I’ll be reviewing both the good and the bad of Facebook Groups in terms of book marketing.

The Good

Automatic Notifications

The number one gripe with Facebook Pages is that only a small percentage of people who “like” the page end up seeing the posts. Though it is an option to turn on notifications for a Page (and I highly suggest you encourage your followers to do so) it is not the default. Facebook Group’s default is that if you join a Group that you’re notified every time a post is made. This immediately gets more eyes on your content and ensures that the people who have chosen to follow you are actually seeing your posts.

Inter-Member Communication

A stark difference I see on your average author Facebook Page vs your average author reader Group—and I look at these all day long— is that with an author Facebook Page there tends to be mainly one-way communication from the author to the reader. The best Pages create a conversation between the reader and the author, but they almost never foster reader-to-reader communication. In a Facebook Group, any member can post on the page, and anybody can respond to this post. Groups can serve as a platform for readers to forge bonds with each other, growing community engagement and providing the backbone for many authors’ book sales.

The Bad

No Ads or Promoted Posts

The biggest downfall of Facebook Groups is they are not optimized for marketing or sales. Facebook Pages give you the ability to promote your posts and run Facebook Ads, but Facebook Groups were not created as a tool for business. To quote Facebook itself “While Pages were designed to be the official profiles for entities, such as celebrities, brands or businesses, Facebook Groups are the place for small group communication and for people to share their common interests and express their opinion.” Authors are in a unique position because they are selling a product that also serves as a common interest, which is why they can find success in both platforms. But by itself, the Facebook Group is weak as a business platform.

No Analytics Information

As a social media strategist, this is my biggest issue with Facebook Groups. Facebook Pages offer a host of information on how you’re posts are performing, your page growth, your audience’s demographics, basically anything an analyst needs to know. Facebook Groups provide none of that. When I go through and analyze a Facebook Group, I have to do so manually and even then I get a fraction of the information that I would if I was analyzing a page. This makes it harder to determine what posts are performing best so it is more difficult to form a fully informed social marketing strategy.

Too Much Posting Freedom

The downfall of members being able to make their own posts in the group is it in part leaves your brand in the hands of your readers. People posting in a reader group have their own motives for posting, outside of promoting your books. This means that you have to be very intentional about fostering the type of productive community that you want when making a reader group. I suggest you post often yourself to set the tone of the types of posts in the Group. Another thing I’ve seen is authors that create different reader groups for different purposes. For example, one author that I know has both a “reader group” and a “book discussion group”. The reader group is a place for readers to talk to each other about the daily happenings of their life, mainly non-book related, while the book discussion group is only for discussing the author’s books. When creating your groups, be clear about what the group is for in the description so your readers know the norms of the group.


Recognizing the strengths and weaknesses of both the Facebook Group and the Facebook Page is the first step in creating a strategy that uses both to grow your online reader community. In most ways, their strengths complement each other, so if an author can find a place for both platforms in their social media strategy, they are able to harness the strengths of each.