Posts Tagged ‘Twitter’

How Authors Lose Book Sales by Distracting and Annoying Potential Book Buyers

By Laurie Winslow Sargent:

CLICK HERE . . . NO, HERE . . . NO, HERE . . .

Do you really want me to buy your book, or are you just teasing me?

If someone asked you as an author, “Do you want book sales?” you would answer, “Of course!”

Yet many authors these days lead potential book buyers down multiple rabbit trails . . . to the point that readers finally become annoyed or distracted from buying that book that originally caught their attention.

At least that’s the case for one voracious reader: me.

Last year I actually purchased more books (including Kindle books) than I have in years past. But this is how it usually works for me:

I see on Twitter a book title–with a clear topic–linked directly to the Amazon (or other bookseller’s page) where it is sold. Or within the text of an article I see a hyperlinked book title or cover image I can click.

Click 1 and I’m to Amazon. Click 2 and I’ve bought your book. Maybe a bit impulsively, but if priced well, I’ve rarely regretted that.

Sometimes I do take time to read reviews, or even open another browser tab to visit the author’s website. But at this point the Amazon sales page is already open for me to make a decision on — one way or another.

Sadly, there are too many other great-looking books I ALMOST bought. Was so very close to buying. And never did.

Did you ask me to click from Twitter, to Pinterest? Then to your website to find out more about you? Then make me hunt on your website for your book tab? Then make me hunt within that book webpage full of lovely images and text about your book for an actual link to buy it?

Sorry, but I am WAY too easily distracted to hop from social media to blogs or websites without losing track of my original goal — to possibly buy that one book. Please remember, I’m a reader. I love to read. That means if you keep giving me new things to read, and click, and read, and click,  I will forget what I was doing in the first place.

Call me flaky, but I end up thinking: Oh, my, what an interesting author! And this article is fascinating. (Read through article.) Wait . . . why am I here?

Oh yeah. Her book. What was that title again? (Hunt on the blog or website for the Books link.) Ahah. Here it is. Oh, look at all her interesting titles! Hmm. Maybe I want that one instead.

Suddenly I’m temporarily distracted by new mail in my Outlook folder, so I stop to check that. An hour later I realize I still have the author’s website page open on my desktop, with all her books.

Hmm. She looks so interesting, but I can’t decide which book I want. I’ll bookmark this site, check it out later…  I fully intend to, but never do.

Authors, I’m begging you . . . although Pinterest itself may be great for book sales, please don’t lead me from one teaser to another. A teaser on Twitter to a teaser on Pinterest. With a click to a teaser on Facebook.  Call me impatient, but at that point I often think, Good grief, I don’t feel like logging into Facebook right now.  If I do log on, but am led at that point to a blurb about your book on Facebook with no link to where to buy it, I’m just frustrated.

Even when potential readers want your book, they don’t necessarily have time to explore all your sites. Value their time. Get them to your book sales page with 1-2 simple mouse clicks.

Many authors who are timid about book marketing fear pushing what they think is a hard sell. Other authors use so much automation, connecting their social networks, that it just creates a maze of confusion.

Are book sales your goal? It’s OK to be honest about that. Readers know it anyway, and if they’ve clicked at least one link they are already interested.


New Twitter Page for Christian Writers @Tips4C_Writers

This year I’ve enjoyed using Twitter as @LaurieSargent and have an interesting assortment of followers, from parenting experts to writers. However, since I always seem to be bursting with news and tips specifically for Christian writers, I now have a second  Twitter page, 4 Christian Writers at @Tips4C_Writers (You can see  my current Twitter feed in the Sell Your Nonfiction navigation bar on the right.)

I’ve been connected with people in the Christian writing industry for two decades now, and blessed by many writers, editors, agents and publishers.  Nearly every day some great new writing resource comes to me in an RSS feed, a blog subscription, or directly from one of hundreds of authors I know.

By nature, I’m a “connector”. I feel compelled to share great things that cross my path. I’ve put many on Facebook at  Laurie Winslow Sargent: Tips for Readers, Writers, & the Eternally Curious  and will continue to do so, but think Twitter may be handier for writers to access for quick tips and links.

Q. “How will @Tips4C_Writers benefit me as a writer?”

A: Two ways. You will find: 1. great companies, organizations and people who help writers (in the list of those I Follow, not necessarily those who follow me) and 2. helpful resources and links, in my tweets.

I hope to help writers find information from and about:

  • highly reputable agents
  • book publishers (mostly traditional, royalty publishers within the Christian Booksellers Association: CBA)
  • Christian magazines in print and online
  • a few marketing resources, specifically for writers
  • writing industry publications
  • Christian writing organizations, and
  • authors who teach other writers.


  • writing tips
  • dates/locations for writing events (conferences & workshops)
  • tech tips helpful to writers
  • publisher news
  • anything else I think will benefit writers. I expect my followers to be aspiring, intermediate and advanced writers, or folks who share my love for encouraging writers.

Q. “Will you follow me back if I am an author?”

I will most likely follow you back at @Tips4C_Writers  if you yourself provide valuable help for other writers. (However, I don’t often follow back self-publishing companies, especially ones I’m unfamiliar with.)

However, at my other Twitter page @LaurieSargent, I DO follow back most authors, bloggers, and organizations who help me grow as a person or benefit my followers.  @LaurieSargent is also connected with my parenting blog, and there I follow parenting organizations, child advocacy groups, Christian ministries, educational resources, Christian authors with family-friendly books, some general parenting authors, and family oriented blogs/websites.

I hope you’ll visit @Tips4C_Writers and click on my Lists to see people and companies in the Christian publishing industry and follow my writing-related tweets!


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