I awoke the other day to find myself with over 30,000 Twitter followers. Cool. I’ve made new friends, met lots of interesting people and a few kindred spirits, while mastering the structure of entertaining and communicating within 140 characters. Not as formalistic as a haiku, but like a haiku, the tweet forces one to be be creative within a fixed structure, a sort of virtual minimalism.
I began tweeting to further my ebook sales, there being much faith Out There in a direct correlation between the two. Maybe—but if so, I’ve seen no evidence of it. Indeed, my own small set of data indicates there is none.
From March of 2011 my Twitter followers grew almost logarithmically, as did my ebook sales. As I increased my presence on Twitter into the tens of thousands, my sales climbed. Cool: Twitter, #RoadtoRiches
Then came last August-September: as my Twitter followers continued to soar, my ebook sales fell by half; royalties plummeted from enough to buy several hogsheads of wine per month to almost enough for a few bottles of a decent domestic cabernet—about where I’d been twelve months before. “Your sales would’ve fallen more if you hadn’t been on Twitter,” I heard. Perhaps—but there’s no evidence of that; what evidence there is says otherwise.
My sales to date have since recovered and gone past their old high watermark. This I attribute to fully fielding my rewritten backlist, the occasional freebee techno-thriller via Kindle Select and the forever-FREE! loss-leader of the first book in my space opera quartet. This will of course change: there’s increasing evidence that sales upswings following KDP-S giveaways are subject to an unwritten law of diminishing returns, what with there being a finite number of readers, Amazon’s grip on the ebook market slipping as viable competition continues to emerge and, dare I say? sales of Kindles apparently slackening. Nor are my Kindle Owners Lending Library loan figures compelling enough for me to continue making any of my books exclusive to Amazon, a decision J.A. Konrath recently arrived at and oddly, without first consulting me.
I’ll keep tweeting because it’s fun—heck, it’s social media! But there’s no magic to it.
And back to were all publishing success begins: writing a new book. But first to tweet about our county’s proposal to allow the uneasy confluence of dogs, feral pigs and nocturnal hunters, the latter armed only with knives and the love of a fresh pork chop:
Stickin' with chicken, thanks: Knives and hogs and dogs/All in the night and the fog. http://bit.ly/NBaKO4