Hype, Engagement, and Twitter

Yes, I know any hype you can get for your book is better than no hype at all. But lets be real, not all hype is created equal.

I’ve seen this (de-identified) Tweet many times for books, “Amazing Book (link) @soandso.”

How nice of @soandso to say that about your book. You see these blurbs all the time don’t you? Notice, none of these posts have any likes or re-tweets AT ALL. Why? It’s positive, it has a book link, the poster has followers. So why is this post getting zero engagement? Here’s why and how to fix it:

  1. It’s common. Everyone says awesome/great/wonderful book. No book title, no genre, nothing to give context. The reader will scroll on past the post.
    1. “Amazing Adventure Book” This is better as now we have a genre and know more about the book.
  2. It’s ambiguous. What’s so great about the book? Just adding “Amazing ending/characters/place/whatever” is going to go so much farther to engaging with people.
    1. “Amazing adventure book set in remote Alabama” Getting interesting now, not many books set in Alabama, sounds cool.
  3. It’s not relatable. I have a friend who loves anchovies, “Amazing pizza,” she says. However, our tastes don’t match so I don’t relate. It’s her opinion, and unless we have the exact same tastes I’m not going to go for it.
    1. Amazing YA adventure book in remote Alabama” Almost there, we have an audience of YA which gives further clarity for the reader.
  4. It’s not interesting. It still doesn’t have a special sauce to it.
    1. “Amazing YA adventure book in remote Alabama with alligators” Alligators are fun, what kinds of adventures with alligators can there be? The reader is getting curious.
  5. It sounds like hype. Is this the author saying it, a friend, or an actual reader? I want to know if this is a promotion or an honest opinion by a reader.
    1. “Thanks for the amazing book club read, YA Adventure in remote Alabama with alligators!” Now we have something! This shows the context, gives details, and establishes the basics.
  6. It’s not Twitter friendly. Here’s the final piece, hashtag to give the post better reach to potential readers.
    1. “Thanks for the amazing book club #read, #YA Adventure in remote #Alabama with alligators!”

Now as a reader I know what the book is generally about, no spoilers, and I’m engaged. I’d like to read that book- click. Consider making a few of these blurbs readers can use to promote with and post them on your website as a “tweet this” option.

This is what we should be going for with hype. Writers and readers need to help each other out with avoiding the ambiguous lackluster plugs. Take a couple of extra minutes and write out a thoughtful post and together we will connect with the books we want to read.

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