Twitter For Authors – Retweet Do’s And Don’ts

indie author handbook

Indie Author Handbook

I’ve done a number of Twitter For Authors posts, and there’s apparently something I haven’t covered, or at least not in enough detail, and that’s the retweet.  When I first started using Twitter, I had no idea what kinds of things people were doing, and I’m seeing lots of folks that I connect with now who don’t understand how to properly retweet.  So let’s cover that now :).

Twitter For Authors – What Is A Retweet?

Twitter’s definition of a retweet is:

A retweet is a re-posting of someone else’s Tweet. Twitter’s retweet feature helps you and others quickly share that Tweet with all of your followers.

 Okay, big deal, but how do you write a tweet that you want someone to retweet you?

Twitter For Authors – How Not To Write A Retweet

Before we get into what to do, let’s talk about what not to do.  It drives me crazy when twitter for authorssomeone asks me to retweet for them and then they expect me to write the tweet for them.  Here’s what I mean…I get a tweet from someone asking for my help (will I retweet something for them).  Sure, absolutely.  I’m happy to.  And I ask them to send me a tweet so I can retweet it.  Then I’ll get something like this:

my book is called How To Retweet, you can find it on Amazon, it’s got tips for authors

Let’s see if I understand this right – you want me to look up your book, shorten the link (fyi – you should be using a link shortener like bitly so you can track how many times your link is being clicked), write the tweet and then send it out.  I don’t think so.

Side Note: the other scenario is that you want me to just retweet what you sent me without links or your name or any pertinent information – why?  What good will this possibly do in terms of marketing?  And I get tweets that have even less information than this…

Twitter For Authors – Why Was That Wrong?

There are a number of reasons why you don’t want to ask someone else to write your tweet for you:

  • people won’t have time to look up your book so they just won’t retweet for you
  • they say what they think your book is about, not what you would say about your book
  • they might not include links
  • they might misspell things
  • they won’t use hashtags so others can find the tweet based on keywords
  • they might make the tweet too long

Remember, this is your career so make it important.

Twitter For Authors – How To Write A Retweet

You want to fashion a tweet in such a way that the person you’re asking to retweet it for you has to do nothing more than click the retweet link in Twitter.  So here’s what you should include:

  • the twitter handle of the person you’re asking to retweet for you (@reneepawlish) – this makes sure the tweet goes into my connect stream so I see it
  • the name of your book (I like to use caps so it stands out, but this is personal preference)
  • your name (so people know who you are)
  • the link to your book
  • some hashtags to help people find the book (#Free, #mystery, #romance, etc.)
  • a thank you is nice
  • a pls RT at the beginning or the end of your tweet

Obviously this isn’t set in stone, but it sure makes it easier for someone to retweet you.

Twitter For Authors – What This Tweet Looks Like

Here’s an example that I might send to someone for my book This Doesn’t Happen In The Movies:

#mystery by Renee Pawlish THIS DOESN’T HAPPEN IN THE MOVIES great #crime #fiction for yr #Kindle pls RT

Try to keep your tweet to under 120 characters so that everything shows up (since Twitter will add who sent the tweet).  Then you send this to the person you want to have retweet it:

@joe_author #mystery by Renee Pawlish THIS DOESN’T HAPPEN IN THE MOVIES great #crime #fiction for yr #Kindle pls RT thx

This tweet might be a little long but you get the idea.  If someone sends me something like this, it’s easy for me to just hit retweet and send it along to all my followers.

This is what works for me and it will get me (and others) to retweet you.  However, it’s not the only way to do a retweet – what works for you?

About Renée Pawlish

Award-winning author Renée Pawlish writes the bestselling horror book, Nephilim Genesis of Evil, the Reed Ferguson mystery series, short stories and non-fiction ghost stories.
This entry was posted in Indie Author Handbook, Promoting Your Books and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Twitter For Authors – Retweet Do’s And Don’ts

  1. Caleb Pirtle says:

    Twitter is the great enigma. Does it work? Can that many people be right or wrong? Do tweets sell books? Do tweets even successfully market books? I have no idea. I just keep hoping and tweeting.

    • Renée Pawlish says:

      I hear you – I know it’s worked some for me and the connections with other authors have been valuable, but successful like a John Locke, Amanda Hocking or others? I think too many people have jumped on the Twitter bandwagon for it to be that successful again…but who knows? Thanks for your comment.

  2. Gerhi Feuren says:

    Why? Do you work in their marketing department? Do you want them to scratch your back?

    You retweet what you find interesting and what you think worthy to pass on. For me, if you want a retweet then send me copy of your book, make sure it is worthy of a read and even then the only way you will ensure there is a tweet is to pay me. And it will start with “I have been paid to retweet…”

  3. Maria says:

    The genre tags are REALLY important. I’ve bought several books for $2.99 or less (if it’s a 99 cent book I don’t typically even check the summary) simply through tweets bc the genre tags were right for me. I won’t leave them all 5 star reviews, but it’s a small investment, and I’m happy to discover new authors that way! Twitter is definitely worth including in your Master Plan. :)

    I followed a RT here bc I’ve deleted a few people for doing *nothing* but RTs, and I was curious if that was covered in your advice, too. :)

  4. Thanks for another great post. That was really good advice. Now, let me go make some proper tweets, lol.

  5. Hi, Renée, that’s an excellent summing up and it sure makes it easy to retweet. I notice in the comments that people feel you ought to know the book you’re promoting with your RT, that I think is quite true. I understand where that’s coming from, and I wouldn’t have thought it was an important point because I’m totally convinced nobody buys books on the basis of Tweets …only to be proved wrong by another one of your commentators! My oh my! So people DO buy books thanks to Twitter! I’m astounded! But if that’s the case, indeed one doesn’t want to retweet unless one knows exactly what one is retweeting. I’ve done some RTs for authors for books I hadn’t read, but I knew the authors and was pretty sure that these would be good reads that wouldn’t let anyone down…
    Upshot of all this? Just that one needs to be careful about RTs…

    • Renée Pawlish says:

      You make a great point about taking caution with what you tweet; I guess I took that for granted and didn’t touch on it. As people are commenting on this issue, I am wrong to assume people would know this point :). Thanks for your input into this and as always, best to you with your writing.

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