Two weeks ago I helped my followers understand how Twitter is a sort of Internet index of the most popular topics found on the web with my blog post, “What is Twitter Used For?” Then last week I talked about how authors should use Twitter to promote their books, by following folks who share their same hobbies (not just writing, but hobbies that connect with your book’s topic in a fun way, like pottery, cooking, restoring old cars, or making candles) in the post entitled, “How Authors Should Use Twitter.”
Today I’m going to blend these concepts with the idea of joining online and real-life groups. First of all, let me explain which groups I mean.
Most people have a Facebook page, right? A lot of authors think the best way to promote their book is to join author groups on Facebook. That’s not a bad idea, but if you’re not well-known, and you join a group of other “nobody” authors (people who manage to sell less than 50 copies of their books on Amazon), well… let’s face it. Who, in that group of nobodies, really cares about your book? Nobody. That’s who. Some folks do the same thing on Goodreads, with similar results.
So think outside the box again. Think about your hobbies outside of writing. Do you like to cook? Paint? Sew? Make ceramics? Restore old cars? Join one of those groups on Facebook. Those people will share your passion more fervently than the folks in the nobody-authors group, especially if you also post your DIY projects, recipes, and tutorials on Facebook for everyone to enjoy.
But Facebook isn’t the only place where you can join groups of people with similar hobbies to your own. Search your Flickr or Pinterest account for groups that deal with your hobbies; join an online forum that shares your hobby; your local library is bound to host groups as well. These are great ways to build a Twitter following. And remember, I’m not talking about writer groups here. That’s what every writer does. Be different! Be unique! Join groups that match your personal hobbies outside of writing.
And once you do, be careful not to rush things. Participate quietly in the group for a while. Groups often have no-ad rules. Learn these rules and follow them. A month or two down the road, when everyone in the group has become familiar with your name and the projects you are associated with, that’s when you start asking folks, “Hey, do you have a Twitter account? Can I follow you?” And often, when you follow someone who considers you a friend or acquaintance, they will also follow you back.
Then every time you publish a new post on candle making or Model T restoration — or whatever your hobby is — they’ll help promote your blog and your Twitter presence by re-tweeting your tweets. Once your book gets published, promotion of your book is one click away! And in the mean time, you’ll make new friends and learn a lot more about your hobby than you ever could have imagined.