Tweeting Your Way Onto the Bestseller List

Can social media really turn your book into a bestseller? Well, first and foremost, it has to be a good book. If it’s not, even the best marketing tactics won’t make you sell hundreds of thousands of copies. But using social media to your benefit can make the difference between a good book that doesn’t sell and a good book that goes viral.

Take Tyrese Gibson. He used Twitter to gain followers …. and ultimately, readers.  Tyrese wrote his first book, a self-help memoir, entitled How to Get Out of Your Own Way. It’s now on the bestseller lists. According to this Publisher’s Weekly article, he’s gathered more than 1.8 million Twitter followers (@Tyrese). Since then:

  • The book is in its tenth printing, with 61,000 copies in print, only three months after its release.
  • As of June 1st, there were 5,991 e-book sales of the title.
  • On July 24, How to Get Out of Your Own Way was #6 on the New York Times Bestseller list.

So how does Tyrese use Twitter to build a following? Well, he does have a built-in advantage, in that he’s a TV and movie actor with a few fans to begin with.

But that doesn’t mean that he hasn’t used Twitter for all it’s worth. And just about any writer can do the same.

According to Linda Duggins, director of multicultural publicity at Hachette Book Group, “Every time he went out to do publicity for the movie, he mentioned the book.” Also,“other People–like Oprah and P. Diddy–were tweeting about him too. So it was a viral thing.”
And what does Tyrese have to say about his Twitter success?
“[People are] following you for a reason–they want to know about your life, your thoughts, your feelings, the things inspiring you. So whenever I’m doing a video, or a new song, I think of them as my audience. I tend to tweet about things that will catch their attention. My followers are spoiled–they’re just there waiting!”
And, of course, those followers translate into potential sales.
“I don’t think there’s anybody who follows me on Twitter who is not aware of the book,” Gibson adds.

He’s already started Tweeting about his next book: Manology, which he’s currently co-writing with Rev Run (aka Joseph Simmons, MTV star and founding member of hip hop’s Run-DMC). Yes, they’re already talking about a book that hasn’t even been written yet.

Authors: take a lesson from this guy. Tweet about what people are interested in. Build a following. And talk about your book as much as possible. You could end up on the bestseller list, too.