Why I don’t retweet other authors

I’m a big fan of helping indie authors – I don’t think anyone can call me selfish with my time or resources (I give away a lot of both, freely). But I also don’t retweet other authors very often. In fact, I actively purge my feed of book promotions or spam. And I unfollow authors who share them.

Twitter is not a place to market your books.

Twitter is a place to build relationships with other authors.

YES – retweeting other author’s stuff is a good way to build social karma and currently.

Retweeting a LOT of promotional stuff will get you lots of followers.

But I don’t think any of that stuff reaches readers or sells books.

And it’s annoying.

If I see a particularly well done cover or promotion, I’ll like it and comment on it.

When I see an ugly cover – and there are many – I’ll unfollow anybody sharing it.

Indie authors need support, yes, but it’s nobody’s responsibility to help them promote their book, especially if they screwed up and got an ugly design. It’s nice of you to try to help them out anyway.

But I’m not going to do it.

Because I’m building a platform of readers, not other authors.

And I don’t want them to get annoyed, or associate me with low quality books or spam. I also don’t want to encourage poor behavior, which leads to confusion – authors see what everybody else is doing and figure it must work. It doesn’t.

But don’t worry, there are far better ways to reach your readers than getting someone to retweet your Twitter promotions.

I’ve been liberal about sharing all the stuff I’m doing to market my books. So far, everything I’ve done has gone pretty smoothly. I have almost 100 reviews on the book I launched a month ago, and an email list of 10,000 readers I just started building.

I appreciate that authors are doing the best they can, but jumping on Twitter with spammy promotions, getting other authors to like your author page, or spamming Facebook groups with your free or 99cent promo are not good strategies.

If you’re using them, you probably haven’t read Book Marketing is Dead yet. I published that 3 years ago but it’s still a good primer.

I understand asking people to retweet and share your promotions seems easier than building your own platform of readers.

It isn’t. You just need a plan and some research to do it right, and do it well.

Luckily, few authors are going to bother, and there’s SO MUCH ROOM at the top.

PS) How to get around my ban on spammy, promotional tweets? Just post amazing, interesting content! Focus on adding value to your genre or niche, not just promoting your own product!

About Derek Murphy

I help authors and artists turn their passions into full-time businesses, make a bigger impact, and blaze a luminous trail of creative independence. Right now I'm in Taiwan finishing a PHD in Literature, writing several books, and managing a handful of online businesses. Find me

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