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I may be the only person in the world who doesn't see the value of Twitter for authors and publishers. It's not as though I haven't tried to understand. I've read or listened to industry experts who say that Twitter builds an author's platform or adds credibility. I get that part.

What I don't understand is cost/value trade-off. To make a mark, an author or publisher has to tweet or re-tweet multiple times per day. Sure, tweets are only 140 characters, but it's the frequency that concerns me. I'm not sure I have that much to say to warrant multiple tweets a day.

What's more, to make Twitter work, it requires you have many people following you and that you reciprocate by following many other people. Who has the time to follow all those tweets? Let alone the time to respond or re-tweet all those tweets.

How does all the Twitter effort pay off for an author or publisher? How does one monetize the effort? It seems to be a lot of work for very little payoff.

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Comment by J. Steve Miller on July 17, 2009 at 6:10am
I've done a good bit of thinking about this recently, and blogged about it under the title: "Is twitter and blogging worth an author's time?" http://freelancewriterblog.blogspot.com/2009/06/is-twitter-and-blogging-worth-authors.html . I tweet and I blog, but don't believe that if my main reason were to sell book, that it would be worth my time.
Comment by Joseph J. Breunig 3rd on June 30, 2009 at 10:14am
Perhaps Tweeter is effective when it's just a part of your established marketing plan. --Joe
Comment by John Kremer on June 8, 2009 at 11:33am
It isn't the number of people you are following or who are following you that matter. 100 to 2,000 is a fine number. What matters are the relationships you create -- which can result in interviews, joint venture opportunities, speaking opportunities, media opportunities. All of those have come to me via Twitter.

I spend 15 to 20 minutes per day on Twitter. As a result, I've created a lot of good relationships, connected with people more often (enhanced existing relationships), been able to reach people that were hard to reach in other ways, etc. Plus, of course, increased traffic to my website (Alexa ranking for BookMarket.com went from 169,000 to 81,000 in 3.5 months. That means a lot more traffic.

Definitely worth the time.

Read the article in the current Business Week where Jack Welch talks about his experience in using Twitter. He likes it. (Back page of Business Week).

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