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Using Twitter to sell books

Twitter-logoWill tweeting help me sell my nonfiction travel book, “If Your Dream Doesn’t Scare You, It Isn’t Big Enough: A Solo Journey Around the World?”

To find out, I signed up for a two-day tweet campaign for $56 from Book Tweeting Services. I opted not to include an image of the book cover with this initial campaign because it would reduce the 140-character limit. If this pilot campaign proved worthy, I would do a second campaign with the book cover.

For the first 10 days in September, my book was averaging 5.6 Amazon.com Kindle sales per day, so I expected to sell 11 book sales during the two days. That meant that I needed to sell 39 Kindle books to financially break even on the two-day campaign.

Writing the tweets

Book Tweeting Services wrote the tweets based on this information that I provided:

In honor of her 40th birthday, Kristine K. Stevens sold her house, quit her job and traveled solo around the world.

Carrying a backpack and the naïve belief that the trip was nothing more than a six-month-long vacation, she hit the road. She braved a monsoon in Zanzibar, a safari in Kenya, trekking in Nepal, kayaking in Thailand, caves in Laos, red plaid fish and lava in Hawaii, and grizzly bears in Alaska.

Little did Kristine know that she was completing a pilgrimage that would change her life forever.

Told with wonder, humor and suspense, with historical facts woven into the tale, “If Your Dream Doesn’t Scare You, It Isn’t Big Enough” captures the twisted, unpredictable nature of global travel.

When and how the tweets were distributed

Tweets were posted by the following Twitter handles between these hours approximately: 8 a.m. EST – midnight EST ( 5 a.m. PST – 9 p.m. PST / 1 p.m. GMT – 5 a.m. GMT)

  • @ukeditor – 15,798 followers
  • @AuthorPromo – 5,188 followers
  • @PukkaEpub – 7,328 followers
  • @WriteIntoPrint – 22,277 followers
  • @The Book Buzzers – 2,893 followers
  • @TweetYourBooks – 23, 516 followers

That equals 77,000 tweets about my book every hour, plus some retweets to my 875+ followers. Impressive, but will it be effective in generating sales?

Progress of campaign

Note: In the previous six weeks before this campaign, more than 80 percent of my books were sold between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.

Sept. 11 and 12, 2013
Total Amazon.co.uk link clicks
Total Amazon.com link clicks
Amazon.com Kindle sales (monthly total, starting with 57)
Amazon.co.uk Kindle sales (started with 0)
8 a.m.-6 p.m.
14
27
4 (61)
0
6-7 p.m.
16
32
0
0
7-8:25 p.m.
17
33
0
0
8:25-10:30 p.m.
19
34
1 (62)
0
10:30 p.m.-8:45 a.m.
27
45
4 (66)
0
8:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
28
53
0
0
12:15-3 p.m.
31
57
2 (68)
0
3 p.m.-4:15 p.m.
33
61
3 (71)
0
4:15-7 p.m.
38
68
1 (72)
0
7-9:15 p.m.
41
74
2 (74)
0
9:15-11 p.m.
41
76
1 (75)
0
11 p.m.-7 a.m.*
45
81
4 (79)
0
TOTAL
22
0

*Tweeting had stopped at midnight, but I included all night sales in case readers read the tweets much later after they were sent.

Number of autographed print books sold via Amazon.com during this time period: 0
Number of Nook copies sold during this period: 0
Number of readers who added the book to their shelves on Goodreads.com during this timeframe: 2

Results of the Twitter campaign

I expected 11 Kindle sales during the campaign period and needed a total 39 sales to break even. At 22 sales, this $56 promotional effort did not provide the bang for the buck.

 

About Kristine K. Stevens

Book Cover200Kristine is the author of "If Your Dream Doesn't Scare You, It Isn't Big Enough: A Solo Journey Around the World." This nonfiction book tells the story of how she sold her house, quit her job and traveled around the world.

Kirkus Book Review: "... Stevens makes a friendly, relatable narrator ... plenty of colorful stories to make this an enjoyable, inspiring read... An often sweet memoir about finding oneself in many different places."


Next travel book to spotlight Iceland

25817249396_f6c787ef9f_z Kristine broke free from a desk job once again, and this time ended up volunteering in the far corners of Iceland!

Details about the release of this book will be posted on Facebook.