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Friday, January 25, 2013

A possible new service designed to help Indie authors. Your thoughts?


I COME UP with way too many ideas, but if I can ever figure out a system to organize the entire group, I'd be one powerful source for Indie authors, especially those that must rely on their own marketing budgets. Even for those that are represented by an Indie publishing house. With so much competition—so many other books being published simultaneously—it takes special effort to get ahead, to be noticed.

But that's not exactly what this post is about.


A New Twitter Management Service?


I've been toying around with the idea of offering a Twitter management service, specifically designed for Indie authors.

The idea germ


Here's the idea: writers and authors on Twitter should be actively expanding their networking opportunities as well as reaching out to more readers. Of course, this goes hand in hand with having a blog, since marketing tweets only do so much good (and that's when you do them correctly).

Who do you follow?


One of my advertising authors told me that increasing the number of Twitter followers who identify themselves as readers was important to him, and for good reason: he wants to sell more books. However, it isn't that simple...for two reasons.

1. Readers are difficult to find on Twitter (more about that later).

2. By focusing on readers, writers are missing out on an obvious networking opportunity.

Writers should be following other writers.


By following fellow writers, an author is actually hitting two birds with one stone. He (or she) is expanding his networking opportunities and increasing the size of his readership. Writers, especially Indies, are extremely helpful to one another. They retweet more often than the general public. They are interested in guest posting and other types of joint blog ventures. In many cases they gladly promote one another, if for no other reason than the fact that this allows them to expand the reach of their own novels.

But that's just the first point (networking). Writers are also readers. And despite Amazon's misconception, most writers are very helpful to one another as readers, especially in the form of book reviews. I would guess most writers read more books in a year than they write. Thus, with thousands upon thousands of authors on Twitter willing to follow one another, the chances of increasing readership is very positive.

But there's a hitch.

Most writers are strapped for time as it is, so they don't have time to manage a system to increase their follower count. Twitter has rules and limits to abide by, so many are stuck without the ability to follow more writers (and hopefully increase their own follower count).

Writers are stuck for various reasons. They may have hit Twitter's follow limit. You can follow 2,000 people on Twitter. After that you can only follow 10% more than follow you back. So, someone with 3,000 followers can follow 3,300 total.

In conjunction with this, many are stuck because they follow a bunch of people who either don't follow back or provide little value in return. And you can't just go and unfollow everyone who doesn't follow you back, because you may have just recently started following them. Do this too much, and Twitter gets angry ... and you won't like Twitter when he's angry (sorry, couldn't resist).

That's where I come in.


I've learned a lot about Twitter and marketing on that particular social media platform, so I can help out in several areas. As I learn more, what I'll be able to do for authors will increase.

I've devised a system to follow people on Twitter. The follow back ratio is as high as 70% (though it can be as low as 20%). I've helped a few people on Twitter gain hundreds of followers, freeing up time for them to work on other things.

I'd like to offer this as an official service. Would you be interested? Here's how it might work.

For $25 I'd follow 2,000 different writers over a period of 4 to 6 weeks. With an average follow back rate of 50%, most clients could expect at least 1,000 new followers. (Keeping them will be your job for the most part, at least for now.)

The service would also include unfollowing those that don't follow you back or don't bring value to your presense online. Also, I would remain within Twitter's limits.

Sound like a good idea?

Here's a few people you can ask for references.

Diantha Jones
Carrie, the Mad Reviewer
F.C. Etier


I'll blog about the actual process in an upcoming post (including why it's difficult to find readers on Twitter), but for now I'd like to get your opinion.

Is this a service you would be interested in? Why or why not?



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