Michaeline: Twittering Tropes for New Book Promotion

There’s a new Twitter marketing strategy that caught my eye recently. List a bunch of tropes that describe your book, and then add the links for purchase or preorder.

Jackie Lau's Ice Cream Lover offers: 1) opposites attract, 2) paint-your-own unicorn party, 3) unicorn onesie, 4) dumplings, 5) foodie six-year-old and 6) grandmother who discovers texting.

Jackie Lau caught my attention with the ice cream, and the foodie six-year-old was a joy, and not just a plot moppet.

I haven’t seen this before, but then again, I don’t get around much, so maybe it’s a thing. Maybe everyone is doing it, and I just haven’t seen it before. But . . . it looks like a really good idea, and I’m going to pretend that you are as in the dark as I was.

I first noticed when Jackie Lau did it for Ice Cream Lover. Jackie just showed up suddenly on my phone Twitter feed, and I was in the mood for ice cream and romance . . . and that’s how I ended up following her. She had me at ice cream; add in an #AsianRomCom, and I bought her book. And boy, it was good! Ice cream, sexy scenes of the like I’ve never seen in romance before (do note: I don’t get around much), a bi-cultural heroine and
just plain good writing.

Mimi Grace's Along for the Ride out July 16, 2019 is a sexy romcom with 1) (truck) an unavoidable road trip, 2) (tooth) an uptight dentist, 3) (black girl reading) a heroine doing her best, 4) (anger emoji) they definitely hate each other.

Mimi Grace’s contemporary romcom has a great cover, and this list prompted me to look further — I liked the sample she posted on her blog, so, now “July 17” is on my calendar to check Kindle Japan. (If I get any updates on the Kindle situation, I’ll post in the comments.)

As a result of following Jackie, the Twitter algorithm sent me nearly identical tweets. Mimi Grace writes contemporary romcom like Jackie, although her first book, Along for the Ride, doesn’t come out until July. I like road trips, and I’ve seen some wonderful things done with “they hate each other” (I’m thinking His Girl Friday with Rosalind Russell and Cary Grant). And the sample pretty much sealed the deal – I’m putting the release date of Along for the Ride on my calendar.

(I would have pre-ordered from Amazon.co.jp, but much weirdness is happening there. These days, when I put an English title into the search box, it translates it into Japanese and can’t find anything. Then, I have to press the “undo” button, and voila! But in this case, voila turns into WTF? “Along for the Ride Mimi Grace” turns into “sling for the ride mini grace” . . . and of course, there are no results for that. YOU folks in North America can probably pre-order the ebook with no problems. It’s probably a pre-order thing.)

Three times is the charm, and I saw that Joanna Shupe also used the same technique, but with a different genre, namely

Joanna Shupe's historical romance features (with double heart emojis as bullet points) 1) enemies-to-lovers, 2) ladies who gamble, 3) a rogue with a talented tongue, 4) a lady who is no one's fool and 5) sexy times on a pool table.

Joanna Shupe’s The Rogue of Fifth Avenue packs a whole lot of good information in the title — historical, a cad and a bounder headed for redemption, and New York City — I’m guessing during the Gilded Age, but definitely 19th century judging by the cover. The list promises smart characters: ladies who gamble have to be people smart and know how to calculate a percentage, while a talented tongue probably means both a wit and someone who is fun to go to bed with.

historical romance. What I like about this book is in the title: The Rogue of Fifth Avenue. Rogues are my jam, and I love New York (is there any other Fifth Avenue in Romancelandia? Perhaps there is, but I think I’m on the money here, despite not getting around much). But in addition to the title, the list o’ features offers some pertinent information that helps my buying decisions. (Pool table sexy times? Yay!)

So, what do you think about this marketing idea? It looks deceptively easier than a blurb: lists are easy, right? (LOL, well, no.) And I like the colorful emojis Mimi and Joanna used. It’s very well suited to Twitter, as well.

Have you seen these lists in the wild, and have they been effective in persuading you to check an author out further? Do they also appear on Facebook? I wish I knew a little more about the history of how this technique came about, and how it’s spreading. Tell me more in the comments!

7 thoughts on “Michaeline: Twittering Tropes for New Book Promotion

  1. I haven’t seen this marketing idea, either, but although I do have a Twitter account, I almost never go there. So I also am not up on all the latest.

    One element of these three efforts that I was interested in was the go-to links. Jackie Lau had separate links for Amazon and B&N, like that, while the other two used a service (probably?) called books2read. I wonder what that is? I might just wander over there and find out.

    But speaking of marketing on the various platforms, I have a painter friend who has a whole separate Instagram account for her artwork. I think it works really well for her, because Instagram is all about the images, not about the words. Which is less the case for Twitter, and maybe why Twitter works better for writers.

    • I dug a tiny bit while I was researching this piece, and I don’t know all their marketing strategies, but it seems like the blog is not a central part of their marketing. Mimi Grace has a blog, but there wasn’t a direct link to it from her website (that I could easily see on the front page). I think Joanna Shupe has at least two blogs — a group blog, and you could count “book news” on her website as a blog. But they aren’t really up-to-date with her work. They all have newsletters, though, and want people to sign up to those for news.

      Personally, I’m not a big newletter fan. I’ve only signed up for ones from the Ladies, I think, and even those don’t seem to come through properly . . . it might be the spam catcher, since I’m outside the U.S.

      I wanted to do more research into books2read, as well, but ran out of time (and also, I’m a little paranoid, although I’ve now seen three Twitter authors with books2read links).

      I don’t use Facebook, so I don’t know how things are going over on that front.

  2. I love those. I think if I was on Twitter, promotions like that would definitely catch my attention and get me to give the book in question a closer look.

  3. This is something I’ll keep in mind for the future, another tool to put in the marketing toolbox!

    Marketing/advertising is an interesting (and elusive and frustrating) beast. I like seeing and – when it seems applicable for me – trying new things, but you can’t just throw the spaghetti against the marketing wall. You actually have to track it to get usable data, or you won’t know what works for you specifically. And you can spend a LOT of money (and time) really quickly doing things that don’t work for you as an individual, or for your brand, or for your genre…You get the idea.

    I suspect something like books2read, like bookfunnel (which I use for some things, but not yet for tracking sales page traffic) tracks the clicks on the links so the writers know whether and at what rate those who see the ads are engaging. There are mixed opinions about whether it’s better to send interested clickers directly to sales pages, which know but WILL NOT tell you from whence visitors come to your book page, but make an impulse buy more likely; or to a ‘middleman’ that will track clicks, which gives you data and (theoretically) a way to know where you should spend your advertising budget, but might discourage a one-click impulse buy.

    Can you tell I spend way too much time thinking about all of this?

    • I think Lois McMaster Bujold said that somebody said that only 10 percent of marketing actually works . . . but nobody knows what 10 percent that is, so people have to try it all. All I can say is that this style of marketing worked on me (it hit my niche buttons!), and it seems like a relatively low-cost, medium-effort way to advertise a book. (-: But just like a blurb or synopsis, sometimes it’s hard for us to see our own books, and pick out the “cherries” that will attract Our Niche Readers.

      Books2read doesn’t work on me, because I’m reluctant to click on “suspicious” sites . . . having seen it three places, I think I would click through if I were really interested. But, my first thought was that it was an e-publishing group, and I felt weird buying from something like that. I would much rather buy directly from Amazon (because I’ve got the Kindle app on my computer).

      But then again, I’m in a niche of readers who are very paranoid; it’s probably little, and they are probably cheap and picky, LOL. Don’t market to them, unless you are selling conspiracies!! (hee-hee)

  4. Pingback: Michaeline: Book Review: Mimi Grace’s Along for the Ride – Eight Ladies Writing

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