A Sidekick for your Social Media

Thinking up tweets and scheduling them can be time consuming, but what if other authors tweeted about your books on a regular basis?Thinking up tweets and scheduling them can be time consuming, but what if other authors tweeted about your books on a regular basis? As an author no doubt you’re accustomed to spending just as much time and energy on marketing as writing, to make sure your book gets to the largest audience possible. Getting your name out as a writer and publicising your work depends on you making the most of promotional tools. Have you ever wished another writer could do some of your Twitter work for you?

To help promote your book, the team at Author Platform Sidekick offers a service whereby you collaborate simply and easily with other authors in your genre on Twitter. The service is called Team Up, and it helps authors work together to cross-promote their books.

For the last two months, SilverWood has been trialing Team Up with our own Twitter account @SilverWoodBooks, so that we can tell you how it works.

Key Points
  1. Once you’ve subscribed to Team Up, you can upload up to fourteen promotional tweets, with images and links, depending on the subscription package you choose: Basic, Plus or Pro.
  2. Then, you choose your genre and Sidekick teams you up with authors in the same genre. This way, when you promote each other’s books, you get access to their followers, who might be interested in your book.
  3. The Sidekick team performs quality control checks so that the tweets sent out are informative and not overly salesy. A big part of Twitter is the social aspect and making connections.
  4. You can set-and-forget. Sidekick automatically posts each tweet you’ve uploaded via another randomly selected author’s twitter account. Depending on your subscription, you provide them with two, seven or fourteen variations. This means you get to write engaging promotional content, with images and links. You can update your tweet variations at any time.
  5. In return, your Twitter account will post tweets on behalf of other authors in the same genre as you. It’s a random selection: Sidekick will post another Sidekick author’s tweet, and there’s no further action for you to take. 
Automated online promotion can work well for authors with full schedules. You add value to your followers by not just self-promoting, which can be taxing for followers, but actively engaging with your market by promoting someone else’s work. Other Sidekick authors, in return, promote your work to their followers, who are likely to be interested in your book. With the Sidekick model, no one is 'selling’, just informing others about the latest books in their genre.

Ian Sutherland, founder of Author Platform Sidekick and bestselling author, puts it like this: "If one new Twitter user sees a tweet about your book posted by someone else and clicks...well that might just be one more new reader for you. One you might never have found in any other way."

Sidekick’s website features lots of example Team Up author tweets, so you can get an idea of the kinds of tweets you might write or have posted from your account. Twitter is all about being sociable and connecting with others - people are much more likely to engage with you and look into buying your books if you present an interesting and friendly personality, and not a purely self-interested, promotional and salesy exterior. Your followers will get information on other books they might like. For instance, if you’ve written a historical crime book, your account could tweet information about a new publication in Historical Fiction every day or so.

Put simply, this system helps you find new readers without having to do anything. In addition to Sidekick’s automated tweets, you have complete control over your Twitter account so you can still carry on marketing your books and interacting as normal. Sidekick simply provides additional content.

Here’s Children’s Fiction Author Emma Warner-Reed’s experience of Sidekick:

"Author Platform Sidekick has grown my Twitter following massively - by 7,000 followers at the time of writing - which is pretty impressive! But the automation has also saved me a huge amount of time and effort. And it's clever - the hashtag retweets and tweeting of new posts to my chosen RSS feeds is really great. I did all that manually before (and consequently tweeted a lot less)."

As a starter, SilverWood recommends trying Team Up Basic, as it’s a free taster option. It’s a good way of seeing how Sidekick works and what it can do for you before deciding to spend money on it. If you decide that this model will help your book promotion, the paid options give more value and benefits - for example, with the Pro option you can have up to fourteen tweet variations and have your books promoted by other authors every day.

Want to know more...?

The more authors taking part, the better the service becomes for everyone. If you’d like to find out more or sign up, please click this link. Becoming part of Team Up, even on the free Basic plan, will help you and other independent authors with book promotion.

And don’t forget to follow @SilverWoodBooks, and tag us if you’d like us to see and retweet your posts.

UPDATE: We've negotiated a 15% discount for SilverWood authors (valid until the end of May 2018), so you'll make a saving if you opt for one of the paid plans, which start at only US$ 4.49/month. Use our code here.

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Nicholas King