Poor Twitter Growth Is Bad News For Self Published Authors

Active user growth on Twitter has stalled dramatically

Twitter is and has been the ‘go-to’ platform for self-published authors, who are trying to promote their books, and gain book sales.

Until about a year ago, this was a viable strategy, but a slowdown, bordering on a complete stall in the number of new active users on Twitter is causing a very real problem.

The four graphs below, from a variety of sources, start to tell the sad story better than words can. Twitter is clearly losing it’s appeal to new users.

Active user growth on Twitter has stalled 1

Active user growth on Twitter has stalled 2

Active user growth on Twitter has stalled 3

Active user growth on Twitter has stalled 4

However, with data from my own Twitter accounts, I can see that new user growth has remained strong for my accounts that are writer and author related, such as the Twitter account for this blog. A year ago the @justpublishing Twitter account attracted around 160 new followers per pay. Currently, it is attracting about 150 per day, so not much change.

But tellingly, my Twitter accounts that are directed more at readers, have plummeted from around 120 new followers per day a year ago, to struggling to attract 20 to 40 now. The same applies to my general interest and ESL teaching Twitter accounts.

Where are the new book readers on Twitter?

What this means is that new self-published authors are still clearly flocking to Twitter, to talk to each other, but that general interest users and potential readers are not. While this can be blamed directly on Twitter failing to attract new active users, it could also be a signal that the supply side of the ebook market is now outweighing demand.

By whichever conclusion, one thing is very clear – Twitter is not, and will not in the near future, deliver new potential ebook buyers in enough numbers to soak up the increase in the number of new authors and new ebooks. The combination of an oversupplied ebook market, and the failure of Twitter to attract new users, who could become potential ebook buyers, is not good news at all for self-published authors.

The obvious answer is of course to use other social media platforms, which have far better new active user growth. Yet, perhaps the real problem here is not new user growth, but more to do with ‘ad blindness’ to ebooks, and a market that is over-supplied.

It is perhaps time for a new logic and a new approach to ebook marketing. Time to put the ebook marketing thinking caps on?

This page was last updated on March 10th, 2017

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One thought on “Poor Twitter Growth Is Bad News For Self Published Authors

  • December 15, 2016 at 7:17 pm
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    Personally I really enjoy reading Twitter as a peer to peer platform. I do wish it would encourage deeper discussion of topics raised by allowing comments not just direct replies.. We should all try and persuade everyone to use Twitter as it would be a waste to lose such a valuable potential resource. ,

    Reply

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