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Authors and Social Networking: Part 1 (Twitter)

It's difficult enough for an author to come up with ideas for a plot, to outline a new book, and then to write it, edit it, design a cover, and publish it. Whether done by the author alone, or with assistance from outside contractors, this process takes time and significant effort to "do it right", and end-up with a fully-edited, professional-looking published book.

As I and most other authors have learned, creating a book is only the first step in 'publishing' a book: Marketing the book, so that people know about it, and are interested in purchasing it, is another entire project. Again, it would be nice if we all could use publicists, or other help, in marketing our works. Unfortunately, many of us cannot afford to enlist the help of a professional marketer, and are 'stuck' with learning this aspect of the business, as well.

Part of the marketing effort for an eBook is promoting it on social networking websites (as well as on blogs and other direct marketing approaches).

Prior to my 'coming out' as a published author, I had very little knowledge of social networking: I didn't even have a Twitter or Facebook account! However, over the past few months, I've learned much more than I ever wanted to know about this aspect of publishing. And, I've learned some things that every author should know.

Setting up Twitter was relatively easy. I have used my Twitter feed to point readers to where they can buy my books; to announce new releases, contests, and promotions; to ask questions of other authors and people in the industry; and to share quotes from recent reviews of each of my books. I am now approaching 1,000 Twitter "followers".

When I first started with Twitter, I found that by following other people, they would often return the favor and follow me. I began to follow many other authors, publishers, literary agents, editors, and other publishing industry vendors; using the Twitter recommendations, I 'clicked' to follow a multitude of people ... until I was following 2,000 others, and Twitter informed me that I had reached the limit of who I could follow - until the ratio of people following me to those I follow were more equalized.

Over the past couple of weeks, my Twitter following has increased organically, but - unless I "unfollow" people, I am prevented from following any more people. I am not too concerned by this, but hope that my Twitter following will continue to grow, even if I cannot follow additional Twitterers.

While most of my Tweets are 'promotional' - i.e., sharing quotes from reviews, and pointing to where my books can be purchased - I have tried to add interesting Tweets, that are relevant to the subject of my books (i.e., erotica and erotic romance, BDSM, etc.). For example, I have Tweeted:

"Who is Simone Freier, anyway?"

"What will YOUR fantasy be, tonight?"

"Don't forget your safeword tonight!"

Hopefully, my Twitter followers enjoy these whimsical Tweets, and are not bothered by my promotional Tweets. I try to Tweet every hour or two, resulting in about a dozen Tweets per day. I am open to your feedback on whether this is "too much", and whether the content of my Tweets is interesting to readers.

Let me know what you think, in the comments, below!

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