What Makes Me Buy a Book

How to get me to, sign up for your newsletter, buy your book (hint: it’s not by blasting me with, “BUY MY BOOK!!!”), and review it, a short blog

So I joined Twitter back in March of 2018 as a means to reach out and connect with other writers. For the longest time, I wrote in a sort of bubble. I would fill notebooks with my writing and after a while, discard them. Believe it or not, this made me incredibly happy. I wrote for my own mental health reasons, and it was highly entertaining and enjoyable. If I wasn’t writing, I was reading, and vice versa. A few years back, after reading a few particularly poorly written novels I had picked up at the airport by “Big Name, Best-Sellers,” I got to thinking, I can do better than this. Why don’t I at least try to get what I write published. I write because it makes me happy, but why don’t I want to share it?

So I set out, learning everything I could about getting my work published. I was a little leery of social media in general, and Twitter in particular (isn’t this just another time-suck?), but I decided to give it a go. I’m really happy that I did. It has enabled me to connect with a whole world of authors, editors, bloggers and just people that I never realized existed. It has been a fun time.

Me out in Chicken taking a break with Jane Friedman’s the Business of Being a Writer

Meanwhile, I see a lot of people out there shot gunning everyone with their ads for buying their book. I can’t speak for everyone, but I am going to let you in on what makes me hit the buy button, or even drives me to follow a person, then go to their website and stalk…I mean sign up for their newsletter, and then buy their book. It’s two things really:

CONTENT

INTERACTION

I typically follow people for the two reasons I mentioned above. If I see lots of tweets and content that intrigue me, I will follow a person, even if they don’t follow me back, even if it is a genre I don’t usually read. If someone is following me, commenting on what I post and interacting on a regular basis, I will follow. I will also follow based on recommendations from other writers that I follow whose work I admire. At the same time, if I follow for a while and get no interaction in return, I eventually pull the plug. I really do want to connect with writers whose works I want to read, not just people out to boost their following or sell books.

The FOLLOW/UNFOLLOW Crowd

Ah, you clever, clever folk. I do try to follow those who follow me and interact. But yes, I do go back and check for these people. You are not as smart or clever as you think. And yes, if I realize you only followed me to boost your numbers then quickly unfollowed me, I will totally unfollow. In the most egregious cases, I will even block.

Sign behind bar

**I do realize that some people unfollowed me because they just didn’t like what I had to say. I can handle that as well. I think that is completely fair.

PURCHASE

What gets me to sign up for a newsletter or purchase a book? Once again, content. Yes, I know it is discouraging to tweet and no one likes it, or even just a few people like it. Look at it as laying your foundation. I know I want to see a solid basis of content. This helps me get an idea of what I am getting into when it comes to someone’s writing. It starts with tweets. Once they get me hooked, I investigate their website. If I like what I see, I sign up for their blog. If I really like that, I start stalking their book release.

REVIEWS

I will never, ever write a bad review. I care too much about the people I follow. If I just can’t bring myself to write a review because I disliked the book that much, I will reach out to the author (assuming we have a close relationship) and give them my thoughts privately. If anyone has ever read one of my reviews, you’ll know that I put a lot of time and effort into it. Why? I am a writer myself, I understand the time and effort it takes to write something, good or bad. I don’t like reading reviews that just say, “This book was nice.” (I hate the word nice, but that is another blog topic all together) I also don’t believe in doing something by half measures, but that is my own nature.

Yes, that is a rubber chicken on the outhouse. I’ll explain some other blog.

So there you have it, my Twitter writing friends. Obviously, these are my thoughts and mine alone. But this is exactly how you get me to but your book. Not an ad, not a DM spam. Good luck with your writing, and I’ll be stalking…I mean checking out your Tweets and websites.

One Reply to “What Makes Me Buy a Book”

  1. I like your style and – guess what? – I’m going to follow you on Twitter!
    I don’t really care if you “buy” one of my books, but if you’re interested enough to check me out and like what you see, I’ll send you your book(s) of choice.( Hopefully, you’ll accept PDF.)

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