Retweet = Sales?

89% work and worry over work, struggle against lunacy 10%, and friends 1%

Tennessee Williams, with the breakdown of his life : John Laht, Light Fantastic (1996)

The things I thought I knew, and more importantly understood about being a published author has been turned upside down. The reality of being published isn’t the same as dreaming of it. Added to this is the inconvenience of the virus, which has thrown a spanner into all my plans for a book launch. Now I’ve been looking about for other original ideas for marketing my books.

I’ve been slutting around on Twitter. The thing I’ve noticed most is how impersonal Twitter is. Facebook allows you to develop relationships, to get to know your followers on a more personal level. Marketing is about selling a dream and to do this you need to know your customers. The more they know about you the more likely they are to buy your next book (product)

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In the click and share world of Twitter and Facebook, Twitter is the easiest to share, but this leaves me with a nagging question. How productive is clicking and sharing Tweets? And what about Followers? Does having a large number of followers equal more sales?

For my brief hustle on Twitter, I just clicked and shared quite a few random tweets as well as book related tweets. Yes, I increased my followers, but I wouldn’t say I found new friendships. Many were people I already knew through Facebook. I realise the numbers just don’t add up. Please stay with me. I’m not trying to burst your bubble. If it’s working for you, and you’re enjoying swimming with the pack, then please carry on. Hunting in numbers works. Swimming with the crowds means you’re less likely to be picked off, but here’s my problem. The simple fact is my product.i.e my novel is lost among a sea of books. Everyone on Twitter who has a book (or product) for sale is huddled among the masses. Being caught in the dragnet of data flowing from one retweet to another. This doesn’t allow my book to stand head and shoulders above the rest.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

Another question that concerns me is the reasoning behind why everyone retweeting? Of course, I understand that much. Okay, let me reword my question. Yes, you might like the tweet, it’s your friend’s tweet, its an interesting question, it’s funny, worth sharing etc, but… Yes, I know you knew a but was coming. Do people retweet in hope that someone will want to check out your name and buy your book (product). You see, I’m more likely to buy someone’s book, if I’ve engaged in a tweet with them, or chatted on a more personal level. For me, a Facebook groups are a great place to get to know other writers, to engage in chats about all sort of writing related things. This allows you to ‘Get-to-Know’ someone much better as they chat not just with you but other members to, about common problems as we all struggle to become published.

I’ve noticed a common theme about tweets, people ask a question. I guess it’s a great way to get a response from others, but does it lead to sales. Another is to share five things about yourself and then to share five friends’ links in your tweet. Does this generate sales, more friendships or just followers?

I’m at a bit of a lost. I don’t wish to waste valuable writing time retweeting stuff if all it does is generate more followers who all wish for sales too. Networking is great, but if all I’m doing is drag-netting useless detritus from the data flow, I’m not improving my sales, and just wasting valuable writing time.

Right, I’m now off to do some writing. Please comment in the box, if you have generated sales from retweeting. Thank you.

9 thoughts on “Retweet = Sales?

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  1. I’m guessing the sales would depend on who does the retweeting. If it’s someone influential, like Stephen King, who retweets one of your tweets, and says how much he loved Stone Angels and what an awesome book it is, then I suspect you’d see a sharp increase in orders. On the other hand, a retweet from an unknown person with no accompanying comment will carry less value. I go through ups and downs with Twitter. Sometimes it can be great, other times it’s quite depressing

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s just my point, Brian you need something more than just a retweet. To engage with the person who’s tweeting in the first place. Just sharing tweets all day is ‘cupboard love’ it has no real value. Totally agree, if you can find someone influential with a real passion for your work.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for leaving a comment. I won’t give up writing, I’m not sure about the marketing. I feel as though I’m out of my depth with it.


  2. All social media sucks up valuable writing time, Paula. I think the thing is to ration the amount of time you spend on it. For me, I’ve found that Twitter works best. I don’t go in for following blindly and don’t do writerslifts. It is possible to connect with people there if you follow those who you genuinely find interesting – I follow lots of historians, both amateur enthusiasts and academics, and my follower numbers have grown organically. Yes, I tweet about my books, but I also share my blog posts there too, or any interesting little historical facts or images. I’m only just getting used to FB. I do find it clunky to use. Sometimes when I post on FB I get a lot of responses and other times it’s as if my post has just disappeared into the ether.
    I think the main thing about retweeting is that it gets you exposure -I’m fairly certain it doesn’t guarantee sales.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You can never really tell whether your social media presence results in sales. Even if people click through from your blog to a purchase point, do they buy the book? You can’t be sure. I use Twitter because I enjoy it – but you have to find your tribe. And it’s not about only engaging with other writers (although they’re often very good at giving support) it’s about engaging with readers. Following book bloggers is a good option and chatting with them. This might lead to invitations to review your book and guest appearances on their blogs where there is a wider readership. But again, you never can tell. I am always delighted to get feedback from readers I have no connection – they found me somehow! Also Twitter chats are great. Try the one on Thursday using #womenwritersnet from 6pm where the discussion is women writing about themselves. (I’ll be there!)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Paula!! I don’t have a twitter acount and don’t plan on getting one even when my book comes out. I barely have time for my Facebook groups!!! To me the personal connection is hugely important. I know this will limit my ability to sell books but I dont care.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m the same as you Jim about joining other online media to market my books. I spend too many hours as it is online checking, sorting and uploading. It’s too easy to watch the hours tick away and feel totally exhausted by the end of the day and feel you have achieved nothing. I try to convince myself that I must do this because it will generate book sales, but l’m not convinced. I chatted with a lady on Twitter and she had over 3k follower and felt that it made no difference to her sales. I feel it is the same has having a 1k friends on FB yet you only received comments from the same 20 people. Numbers don’t relate comments. Again just clicking ‘like’ is easier than leaving a comment. I do understand we are all busy in this rushing world. This is why I always take my time to reply to comments. Thank you for your time, Jim. ❤️


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