Creating a Live Twitter Event

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Ever consider doing a live Twitter chat? It’s a great way for your fans to connect with you. If you don’t yet have fans, it’s a great way to get some!

If you have a large following, you can probably do a one-hour Twitter chat all by yourself. Most of us are not so lucky and need to enlist the help of our author friends.

SETTING IT UP

Ask four or five author friends to join you.

Choose a day that is not a holiday or a sporting event day.

Choose an hour to do the chat. When promoting, always include the time zone (example: 4-5pm Eastern).

Choose an appropriate hashtag for the event. Hint: If including the live chat with a book tour, perhaps use the name of your book. If you’re considering doing a monthly or weekly chat, use something that you’ll be chatting about. If your monthly topic is about you and your friends who are all indie authors, maybe something like #indieswrite would work. Make it short and specifically on topic.

Choose a name for your chat. “Indies Go Global” “You Too Can Write” “Thrillers for Chickens” “Cute Boys who Write” Your choice!

Now, go to Tweetchat.com and register your time, day, name, and hashtag. It sometimes takes them two weeks to register your chat and put it on their calendar, so plan in advance. If you’re doing a recurring chat, they will put that on the calendar also.

Tweetchat.com is a live Twitter feed that only shows the hashtag you are following at that moment. You won’t have to wade through a million posts to follow the conversation. Tweetchat also automatically includes your hashtag in your comments, so you don’t have to remember to do so with each comment.

images (2)PUTTING IT TOGETHER

Keep in mind, Twitter only allows 140-character comments, so you should plan your comments in advance.

Pre-write a welcome to your guests in Word, so you can simply copy and paste.

Offer your author friends a chance to introduce themselves, their genres, their titles. Even if the chat is about your book, guests still like to see that you have a lot of cool author friends. Ask each other questions about books or writing process. You can also plan these in advance.

At the end of the chat, offer your author friends a chance to post where guests can find more information about them.

The most important part is: Plan specific questions for you and your author friends. Email them to your author friends and give them ample time to create 140-character answers. After everyone answers a question at the chat, discuss the topic among yourselves. Your guests will start chiming in. Leave your answers open-ended. “Don’t you think a hatchet is scarier than an ax?”

Include your guests in the conversation.

Don’t be afraid to re-tweet comments. This will bring in other guests from Twitter who didn’t know the event was happening. If everyone tweets enough, you may even “trend” on the front page of Twitter and attract an even larger audience. Cool!

If none of your guests enter the conversation, that’s okay. They’re still watching, so keep it lively for them.

twitbirdPROMOTING

Promote the event on Twitter, your blog, your website, Facebook, everywhere.

Create an event on Facebook and invite all your friends. (On the left side of your Facebook newsfeed is a button that says “Create Event.” Use it. On the top of the pop-up box, you can change the event from Private to Public. )

Tell people the day, time (with time zone), hashtag, and topic. Invite them to join you on Tweetchat.com. Create a link. Don’t make them go looking for it. Explain that Tweetchat is a live Twitter feed that only includes the hashtag you’re currently following.

If you’re using the chat as part of a book tour, do the chat toward the end of the tour. That gives you plenty of time to promote that hashtag at every stop!

 

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Lori Crane is a bestselling and award-winning author of historical fiction and the occasional thriller. Her books have climbed to the Kindle Top 100 lists many times, including “Elly Hays” which debuted at #1 in Native American stories. She has also enjoyed a place among her peers in the Top 100 historical fiction authors on Amazon, climbing to #23. She resides in greater Nashville and is a professional musician by night – an indie author by day.

Amazon Paperback Giveaways and Growing Twitter

Hi authors! I’m not dressing up this post with pictures and frills. This is business! If you’ve been trying to grow your Twitter following, this post is for you.

Amazon has a new program for authors of paperbacks. Scroll to the bottom of your Amazon paperback page, underneath your reviews. You’ll see “Set up an Amazon Giveaway.”

Here’s how it works:

You can offer as many books as you’d like, keeping in mind you have to pay retail price + shipping + applicable tax. You can set up the giveaway in two ways. 1) first come, first serve. Don’t pick that one. Or 2) offering your book to a lucky number (entrant). You can require your entrants follow you on Twitter. If you choose option 2, click “lucky number” and the button to connect to your Twitter account, select the winning entrant from 2-50,000, enter the number of books you’re giving away. The giveaway will run for one week. You cannot change the dates.

MATH: I know what you’re thinking – if I give away 5 books, 1 to every 20th entrant, I’ll get at least 100 new Twitter followers. No, no, no, think bigger. That’s what I did the first time and the 5 books were gone in less than a half hour. Yes, I got just shy of 200 Twitter followers, but the giveaway was over before I even told my Facebook people to enter. Set it up for a BIGGER number. If you give a book away to every 1000th follower, you would get 5000 Twitter followers! FIVE THOUSAND. It’s taken me two years to get to eight thousand. Maybe even go bigger if you’ve got the guts! You need to fill out three short blurbs, one to announce the giveaway, one for the people who didn’t win, and one to congratulate the winners. The contest is instantaneous. The entrant learns if they’ve won or not at that moment, so they’re not going to put off buying your book because they want to wait and see if they’ve won. I filled out the forms like so: Enter to win one of five paperbacks of XYZ. – Sorry, you didn’t win this time, but stay tuned for future giveaways. – Congratulations, you’re the winner! Enjoy XYZ and please check out all my books.

WORK: The cool thing is that Amazon does all the work. They contact the winners. They ship the books. You do nothing! It costs more than hosting a giveaway yourself, but when’s the last time you got 5000 Twitter followers from your giveaway?

MONEY: My paperback sells for $9.99, so my total cost for 5 books with shipping and my Tennessee tax was about $82. I got $13 back in royalties from CreateSpace AND I got credit for the sales in my Amazon rankings.

THE PIS DE RESISTANCE: If you don’t give away all your books in the allotted week, Amazon will return your unused money.

If you try it, let me know your outcome. We’re all in this together. 🙂

 

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Lori Crane is a bestselling and award-winning author of historical fiction and the occasional thriller. Her books have climbed to the Kindle Top 100 lists many times, including “Elly Hays” which debuted at #1 in Native American stories. She has also enjoyed a place among her peers in the Top 100 historical fiction authors on Amazon, climbing to #23. She resides in greater Nashville and is a professional musician by night – an indie author by day.

Build Your Twitter Following in 6 Easy Steps

twitter-birdsBuilding your Twitter following is easy as pie, but it does take consistency.

So, you’ve started a Twitter account and wonder what to do next? How do you make friends, grow your audience, build your following? Sometimes Twitter feels like being in a room with everyone screaming at the same time, but you can wade through the chaos with a few simple steps.

1. Decide what your interest is. I imagine it’s writing or you wouldn’t be on this blog reading this. So, in the search box, type in something specific, say “indie authors” or “civil war” or “sparkley vampires.” This will pull up only people and comments that contain that specific phrase.

2. Click on the names of the people who interest you. If they have about the same number of followers as following, they are likely to follow you back. If you want to grow your followers, those are the people to follow. People who have 50k followers but only follow 18 people are not likely to follow you back. If you are interested in their Tweets, follow away, but if you’re trying to grow your following, don’t waste your time or your finite following limit (more on this below).

3. Do this 10 minutes per day. Click on people you’re interested in for all the topics you put in the search box. Do it religiously. Set your alarm. 10 minutes is all it takes. You’ll be amazed at how quickly your following grows after a few weeks.

4. Use advertising finesse! Only advertise your product every so often, maybe one-out-of-every-ten-Tweets. Use the other 9 Tweets to make friends, share information, build a rapport. After all, it is SOCIAL media.

5. Put yourself on a schedule. Cultivate your followers for 10 minutes per day. Tweet twice per day. Respond or comment on other Tweets twice per day. Re-Tweet other’s Tweets twice per day. If you’re doing the math, that’s 6 Tweets. That means tomorrow, you’ll hit your one-out-of-ten-Tweets advertising point and  you can post a link to your book or your review. Don’t forget to add hashtags so it gets retweeted. Click HERE for a big list of hashtags for writers.

6. Connect your Twitter account to your blog. When you post a blog, this will automatically Tweet for you and that’s one less Tweet you have to do today.

Check out CrowdFire. It holds all the magic buttons to see who is following you back and who is not.

Pre-schedule your tweets at Twuffer! If you’re busy or out of town, this can keep your account active for you.

Let the computer re-tweet for you at RoundTeam. You can choose up to three hashtags to retweet.

One note about the number of followers you can have. Twitter has a magic 2000 following limit at the beginning. When you try to follow #2001, you’ll get a pop-up from Twitter telling you that you’ve reached the maximum number of people you can follow. It’s a percentage thing. Once you reach 1819 followers, that 2000 number will begin to increase. As a matter of fact, the number over 2000 you can follow is 10% of your followers. So if you have 1900 followers, you get an increase of 190, so you can follow 2190 people.

Take your time. Work at it a little every day. When you Tweet about your new book and it gets re-Tweeted by 28 people to 800,000 people, it’s worth it. Happy Tweeting!

 

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Lori Crane is a bestselling and award-winning author of historical fiction and the occasional thriller. Her books have climbed to the Kindle Top 100 lists many times, including “Elly Hays” which debuted at #1 in Native American stories. She has also enjoyed a place among her peers in the Top 100 historical fiction authors on Amazon, climbing to #23. She resides in greater Nashville and is a professional musician by night – an indie author by day.

ELLY HAYS book tour – Last Stops: Reviews and Twitter Chat!

elly cover_webThe last stops of the ELLY HAYS book tour are for reviews.

One is on the other side of the pond at author Christoph Fischer’s and the other is right here in the U.S. at author PC Zick’s. They are both amazing and talented authors, and I’m thrilled they both liked Elly. I respect their opinions greatly and feel a huge sense of humility and thankfulness for their kind reviews. Pop over and tell them both Hi. Check out their books while you’re there.

 

 

 

 

 

twitter-chat-tree-11The very last stop of the tour will be tomorrow (Saturday, Nov 16, 4-5pm Eastern) for a LIVE Twitter chat. If you’ve ever thought about putting your own stories out into the world, come chat with us and we’ll be happy to point you in the direction. I’ll be joined by authors PC Zick, Anna Belfrage, Pat Fitzhugh, Beem Weeks, and book cover designer/formatting genius/video trailer producer/swag guru Rob Hess from Elite Book Design. Come asks us questions and hang out.

Join us through www.Tweetchat.com and use hashtag #ellyhays. If you’re not familiar with Tweetchat, it is a live, single-conversation Twitter feed, so you don’t have to surf through other Tweets. Also, you only have to put in the hashtag to join the conversation and don’t have to add it with every Tweet – Tweetchat will automatically do it for you. Gotta love technology!

See you tomorrow!!! ♥

 

Call for Indie Authors!!

INDIE AUTHORS UNTIE…I mean…UNITE

twitter-chat-tree-11This blog is for my Indie Author friends….

I am releasing a new book ELLY HAYS on Nov 4 and doing an online book tour. The last day of the tour, Saturday Nov 16, I am hosting a Twitter Chat called “From Concept to Published!” As I’m sure you do also, I have tons of family and friends who always ask me how to go about publishing a book. Instead of spending hours telling them, I figured we’d just Twitter about the basics.

I’ve invited my book designer to join us and would love it if any of you would also join. I’m already promoting the event and will continue to do so through Nov 16th!

I’m going to ask basic writing/publishing questions like:

“Let’s start with concept: Where do your book ideas come from?”

“How long does it take you to write a book? Concept to published.”

“Do you use outside help? Beta readers? Editor? Cover designer?”

I’ll also ask at the beginning for all authors to tell us their titles and genres. And at the end, ask all authors to post a link where our guest can find them.

If you would like to join me, please email me at LoriCraneAuthor@gmail.com and I’ll email you all the questions, so you’ll be able to figure out answers using “140 spaces or less.” Of course, as our guests ask questions too, ours may be thrown out the window. Wing it!

The Twitter Chat is Saturday Nov 16, 4-5pm Eastern. I suggest using http://tweetchat.com/ which is real-time Twitter that you don’t need to repeatedly put in the hashtag with every comment. The hashtag I’m using is the name of my new book – #ellyhays.

I’m going to limit participating authors to six, as we only have an hour, and it will be too crazy if thirty authors are answering questions. Be one of the first six to email me and lock in your spot! Of course, everyone is welcome to attend the event.

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PLEASE JOIN ME! IT’LL BE FUN! (and it’ll be FREE book promotion, which is one of our favorite things.)