Twitter provides the ability for its users to create public and private lists that can be used to group followers. These Twitter lists are a heavily underused function, which if used rightly, can kickstart your book sales. 

The writers that are using lists often do it in a way that is detrimental to themselves and their brand and can even harm book sales. 
In this article, you'll learn three simple ways to use Twitter lists correctly to engage with agents, readers and relevant sources. 

How to Create a Twitter List 

So first things first, how to create a Twitter list.

The image below (Figure One) is found on your Twitter page when accessing it via a web browser. You can see the 'list' button. 

Figure One

From this, click the top right button (Figure Two) on the list menu. This is how you create a Twitter list. 

Figure Two

From this menu (Figure 3) you can create lists. Name them, add a description. 
You can make lists either public or private. Publish lists will show up to anyone looking at your Twitter profile. Also, people you have included in the list will be informed. Private lists will not be seen by people visiting your profile, nor will members of the list be informed. 
Notice the tick box at the bottom of the menu ‘Make Private’, this is important. 

Figure Three


The first way you can increase book sales is by creating a list of agents. This could be private, only you see it. This way you can quickly access posts from relevant people. You can also use it to your advantage to keep an eagle eye on the actions within the industry. Track what they are retweeting, liking, following, these are all things relevant to you and making your book a success.

You could make this list public. This way agents will know they have been added to your list and it gives you a chance to stand out from the crowd. Consider varying what you call the list and how you describe it. Make sure to flatter the agents, make them feel special. Simply calling them ‘Publishing Influencers’ instead of 'Agents' could make a massive difference in terms of growing your career. 

I understand some writers aren’t interested in agents or the formal publishing industry. If this applies to you, then create a private list of influencers. By influencer, I mean verified accounts or those with a big following. You can also include successful writers on this list. However, they must all be relevant to you, your identity and your writing. 

This is important. 

This way you ensure that as you are scrolling through the list you are only seeing the most recent post from the members, you are only seeing RELEVANT information. 

Twitter’s fast-changing interface and constant activities mean posts easily get lost in the noise. If you don’t create a defined list of only super-relative sources then you risk losing posts that would be perfect for you to retweet, like and comment on. 

Doesn’t sound like that big of a deal? 

Every loss of interaction you have with potential readers on Twitter or influencers that could promote your work is ultimately a loss of revenue. Treat this as a business. I don’t mean getting all formal on their ass and start pulling out waivers and contracts. See every loss of interaction as loss of business, loss of connection, loss of opportunity. 


If you create quality, genuine writing past readers will buy your work again. If this is the case for you, then create a private list for any past readers. Search through your messages. You could even ask on your Twitter for people to comment if they have read your book. Go out of your way to find readers.
Once you have created the list start adding readers to this list as they become known to you.

The next step is to slowly, but surely, start interacting with readers. Scroll through the list and start commenting on any questions your past readers are asking, perhaps they are asking for recommendations or advice on their writing. If you see a past reader trying to promote something, retweet it. Like any posts that match your own online identity.

It sounds like common sense. That’s because it is. But so many writers aren’t taking advantage of this function. 
Constantly evolve this list and keep an eye out for people reviewing your books or talking about them. Use the search feature on Twitter to search for your book titles, see if they are being discussed. 

Over a few months of interaction, your readers will feel completely engaged in your 'community'. They will feel connected to you and your work. They will be shocked that you are offering so much interaction. This will make you stand out from other writers. They will remember this connection the next time you publish a book.  

Relevant Sources

What do I mean by a source? Creating constant content to post throughout the day is tough and it is hard to stay motivated. You need to be able to quickly access relevant posts for you to retweet (adding a comment if you wish). Think of the topics your writing covers. What genres and themes. What locations. Create a private list of accounts that regularly create content about these. 

Think what message you are trying to create, what values and goals you have. Find accounts that post content relating to these, create a list and save time and effort scrolling through Twitter trying to find something relatable. 

Not only this but over time you will gain connections with people in your lists, even if they are private. Continuously retweeting and supporting people’s profiles can lead to strong connections and help when you decide to promote your book. 

Final Thoughts

Due to Twitter’s unique interface and structure, constant information is being uploaded to the platform. Lists are highly underutilized which is why they can be so powerful when it comes to boosting book sales. 

Use them to make you stand out as well as encourage engagement and build long-lasting connections. 

Be careful with public lists, especially when it comes to naming and describing them. Be selective with who you put into lists, overcrowding them can quickly become counterproductive.

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