Twitter “Doesn’t Sell Books” – But it Kind of, Sort of Does.

Stack of different colored books on white tabletop — Photo by VadimVasenin. Downloaded from Depositphotos.

I’ve seen it multiple times how “Twitter doesn’t sell books.” There’s multiple articles, vlogs and other content that state the same thing, Twitter doesn’t sell books, and then they explain the technical details of why they failed. This article from one Twitter author, Miles Etherton, goes into detail, on way his attempt to sell his book, and while his data does show that posting buy links, along with images failed, I still disagree with the statement, Twitter doesn’t sell books.

While Twitter itself, physically (or virtually) doesn’t have the ability to sell the book, it gives authors, reviewers, and book lovers to chat up their favourite read, retweet other people’s thoughts on their favourite read and get the book title out there, which does lead to people purchasing the book. The person may have not clicked on the buy link, but they may have gone and further investigated that book.

Designed by Murphy Rae Designs. The Worst Guy by Kate Canterbury. Self Published. 2021.

Earlier this year I stumbled upon a thread about a book, The Worst Guy by Kate Canterbury. The thread was gushing over just how amazing this enemies-to-lovers romance was. A lot of my mutuals, fellow authors, and authors from my writing group jumped in to say just how great the book it was. Well, I found the book on Amazon, and then one-clicked it (for those who don’t know, one-click refers to instantly buying the item). It arrived the next day. The book was as amazing as they said it was – okay it was better than I thought. But I wouldn’t have known the book existed if it weren’t for Twitter. Twitter, and its users convinced me to buy the book. I can’t find the original thread, but here’s a link to the search results from the following term “The Worst Guy by Kate Canterbury”. These results are months after I stumbled upon it, and it’s still generating interest.

It takes more than throwing up buy links with your books cover image in a Tweet and then re-tweeting it multiple times a day. Here’s an article with tips on how Authors can engage with their readers and book lovers – which is key into selling the book. You can’t just post the buy links and hope for the best, you need to drive up hype and engage. One of my favourite ways to promote books is #FridayKiss.

#FridayKiss is a writing prompt, where a word is provided that must be included in a brief passage from the author’s book. Buy links are not allowed. This weekly hashtag gives readers a little teaser of a book, which in some cases, can lead to readers wanting to learn more about the book. (I’ve investigated a few books from the prompt, and awaited books that haven’t been published yet)

Screenshot taken by me of a Tweet by @YourFridayKiss.

Engagement with other authors, readers and the community are key in using Twitter to sell your books, but it does work – you just need to do more than throw out the buy links and hope for the best.

Have you ever bought a book (or any product for that matter) because you saw it on Twitter?
Was that purchase through a direct advertisement, or because other people were talking it up?

Facebooks: Does Twitter Sell Books? Most will say it doesn’t – but I Disagree. Here’s why.

Twitter: Twitter Doesn’t Sell Books! Except, it does. #Authors #amwriting


Etherton, Miles (2021 May 13) Twitter Won’t Sell Your Books — I Tried! Medium.

Haines, Derek (2020 August 21) If You Use Twitter Marketing Can It Help You Sell More Ebooks? Just Publishing Advice

Your Friday Kiss (@YourFridayKiss)

Hansen, Julia (2019, May 1) Twitter for Authors: How to Connect with Readers & Writers BookBub.

6 thoughts on “Twitter “Doesn’t Sell Books” – But it Kind of, Sort of Does.

  1. Nice Blog and you are dead on about how you strategically Twitter, Facebook, and other social media vehicles can be used create a “buzz”, or interest in a product. By the way, this blog itself has further created an interest in me to go check “The Worst Guy” by Kate Canterbary out online. You certainly proved your point. Well done!

  2. Being new to twitter, I’m finding it to be an amazing resource to connect with my favourite authors while getting to know them more on a personal level. I enjoy Twitters ability to give the author a platform to promote a new book I may be interested in (and other social media platforms).

    I have purchased books because of a tweet I came across on twitter! And I hope it continues to promote others books I may be interested in.

    Well written!

  3. Hi Julie,
    Your blog is fantastic. You can feel how passionate you are about books and the usefulness of Twitter. I think that this is a very interesting topic because it is so true. Awareness is at the top of the sales funnel and just because Twitter is not the place that the link was click and the book was purchased it has a very important part in getting to that purchase phase.
    People are interested in what others think about books, TV shows and products in general. Getting a conversation started about the item that is being sold is key, but it is only a part of the funnel to getting them to purchase. People will likely need to see something more then once before they purchase, they will look for reviews and other sources to help them decide on purchases.
    This is a great blog and I enjoyed reading it. Thanks

  4. Such an amazing insight on how Twitter works to market books! I have never bought a novel book through Twitter but I have looks at various art books by small artists with having seen content of their work on their profile and inspired to support their work with buying their amazing art. With the right wording and hook, Twitter for sure is an amazing place to market anything for sale, especially for small businesses, authors and artists.

  5. What an article I really enoyed reading your post. Sadly no I am not a reader and my algorithm for my social media does not advertise books to me to buy. I can say other ads popping up on my for you page or news feed etc as totally led me to buying products I didn’t really need.

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