Are Writer’s lifts worth it?

It’s a polarising subject amongst many writer folks over on the Tweet machine but are the various lifts and self promo posts worth it? Are you going to jump on board the follow train or are you a soloist? That’s what this entry looks to explore so let’s get into it….

What exactly is a writers lift?

Well, in simple terms, a writer/creator will put up a post on Twitter asking other writers and those in the community to share their links or profiles to accumulate more followers with a view to generally boost their presence on the platform. Using the right hashtags might get a huge number of engagements and I suppose this is what the whole deal is about – getting more follows or engagement or even both. Some follow trains can grow semi out of control with a deluge of fellow wordsmiths looking for follows and numbers as opposed to actual engagement so is the concept of a lift just an empty attempt to gain?

And most importantly (for some) does it work?

Many writers and twitter users straight up refuse to take part in lifts and self promo tweets as they believe it just results in empty follows and temporary engagement. To them it appears to be a waste of time and lets face it, procrastination is the demon that comes in many forms. They also tend to clog up feeds and some folks just get sick and tired of seeing them time after time. Me; I’ve put that hashtag on mute a few times just to see more variety in my feed.

The big questions…

What’s the point in just having only writers in my following?

How am I going to sell to people outside that circle if there is nobody other than writers following me?

They are both great and logical questions but my response is simply those who refute lifts and self promo tweets just haven’t used them in the right way to get the right engagement. The ‘right engagement’ is what makes the whole social media success thing tick. Good engagement is also a wholesome nice feeling. Good and right engagement will eventually drive book sales – why? Because the that type of engagement has resulted in plenty of other authors getting those sales including me. Let’s break that down with a worked example.

Worked example – the centrifugal author force carousel analogy!

An author on Twitter who regularly does the self promo Saturday post has a book coming out soon. Their following has increased because of regular lifts but not everyday – this author uses moderation and knows their following/audience. This person always return follows and so therefore have retained most of them.

They decide to put that new book on pre order, it’s stand alone and the genre has a broad appeal.

Because this author does regular promo posts and also engages with fellow authors, they become well known in the community as a supporter of fellow authors. Their renown is what will sell above anything. People choose to invest in a person long before their book.

Some authors agree to help that author or pay them back by pre ordering the new release.

The centrifuge begins to turn – that being authors hopping on the carousel of support for one another , this carousel begins to spin faster accumulating more authors who jump on also and pre order the book. Everyone at this point who is engaging right will be getting more followers. The whole deal starts to gather speed and follows.

By the time the book is released, the pre order numbers help it climb the amazon charts where it could hit ‘best seller’ status where a host of non writer people see it and eventually buy it, hence jumping on the carousel also. This centrifugal force started with lifts and promos from an author, then got fuelled by authors with the final resultant being non authors buying a book.

Of course this analogy uses the concept of centrifugal force which is something that is designed to separate things, so eventually the authors who pre ordered separate from the non writer buyers who may possibly come back to buy another title. Fellow writers have played their part and helped another in need. The concept kind of relies on all of us helping one another for it to work… those who refute lifts are just looking at it from just their own benefit…

The big picture is here that if authors work together at the initial stage of a book release that work will eventually break a book past the stratosphere and out into the depths of space where many a meteorite lurk (regular readers). All of this big picture beginning with lifts.

My own case study…

You can probably gauge that I’m in favour of lifts and promo post on twitter but let’s back that up with some actual truth. Back in 2018 I really didn’t have much of a clue about engagement until I stumbled into putting a post up on twitter asking the wider community for book recommendations – this was just when I had started to review indie books on here and I needed books to read. The response was in the thousands… That night I re installed the twitter app on my phone and got to work adding books to my list. In 2019 I reviewed 40 books from that tweet I put out. The numbers for my blog alone rocketed which you can see below… those results came from a lift post! There are authors from that post whom I still connect with today and regularly engage with. They make my social media experience just about bearable sometimes…

The sceptics or yet to do it properly types…

Those who are sceptical and straight up dismissive of lifts and promo tweets probably haven’t used them in the right way. They most probably see this through the eyes of ‘how can this help me’. It can help you but only if you first help others, give it a go and remember the big picture. The only way to find any success as an author on social media is to engage and not be an island. This isn’t just all about the individual getting sales, I mean I didn’t think many of us were in this for the money or sales but instead we’re in this to get better and connect. The word social in social media is there for a reason, go be social and share your links, engage in lifts, follow back, retweet others’ pinned tweets and even do your own lifts. Lean into it and you will be rewarded. Authors together are one hell of a force. Since early August I have gained nearly 600 followers on twitter by doing self promo Saturdays.

But how?

The whole lifts and promo tweet thing is just one slice of the cake. Following through will lead to the right engagement. Take someone’s book that appeals to you from a lift and buy it. Write a review and blog about it. Not only have you read a book, but you have material to blog with and an opportunity to connect further with an author who will appreciate your genuine engagement. You might even make a friend and then repeat the process. That’s what I’ve done over the years to moderate success. As mostly small time authors we are in the business of trying to get anything over zero and lifts might just lead to those book sales even if it is one or two.

It’s an opportunty to vent…

Constantly sharing the link to your books on your own feed doesn’t work. It might take you a while to realise that but as a rule these days I don’t generally share the link to my books on social media on my own feed. Writers lifts and promo posts are a great way to do that instead, so let that urge to share build up and vent it on those lifts!

External intruders

More recently the twitter beginner who may not even be an author or blogger has realised these lifts are a great way of getting engagement. They will normally and emptily tweet ‘any book recommendations’ knowing desperate authors will share their link hoping it drives sales – it normally doesn’t and these intruders are trying to take advantage of that to boost followers. Not only does this put genuine folks into disrepute but it cheapens the whole deal. Luckily you can see them from a mile off and my advice, don’t engage, save the lifts for the real writers.

Concluding thoughts

I used to be a writers lifts sceptic until I tried it and now most Saturdays I will run one. The detail is key in any post, I normally include a promise to follow folks back and RT pinned tweets. Offering an engagement incentive is a great way to get some results along with the right hashtags. Here’s my most recent one as an example.

And here are the results after 24 hours…

Final final thoughts…

Lifts and promo posts are worth it, but moderation is key along follow up engagement. At the end of the day it’s all about what your intentions are? Genuine engagement will win the day! This may have appeared to be an investigation post on the surface but it sides with doing lifts because they can be very beneficial.

What are your thoughts on writers lifts?

The Simpsons Guy, a Review and I changed my name, sort of

Hello and welcome back to Lee’s Hall of information. I spent much time this week pondering as to what I was going to put into my blog this week. A wet, rainy and wild Monday morning hit me with a cold slap in the face with the realisation that winter was on the doorstep. But something else hit me.

When I first opened the Hall, back when the temperatures were hotter and the sky was somewhat brighter, so were my prospects of becoming self-published.  But Monday something hit me, with reference to the whole L A Hall author thing. Who the fu** is L A Hall? My name is Lee Hall and I don’t really give a flying frig who else is named the same, that’s me and that’s who I am. (I then marched upon Facebook, twitter and wordpress and changed my name accordingly to what it’s supposed to be!)

Clark Thorn and the Warrior Project is written by Lee Hall and Lee Hall only! Ah Lee Hall, nice guy (likes the sound of his own name and voice though)

Since coming back from my holiday and the start of this series I haven’t been involved in any writing. One of the key ways of surviving as a writer is to take a step back every now and then. The brain is also a muscle and many of us like to go to the gym and work on our muscles. But in order for them to grow a little rest is needed.

Soon it will be time to shortlist a group of agencies for submission. Of course a brand new synopisis will feature and I shall share that with you good people.

As I do send off my work, a week to week report will feature on the blog, tracking my progress, if any.

Please check out my resources section.

 

The Simpsons Guy

Television crossovers are a very rare and fragile thing. When I heard the news that Family Guy would cross with the Simpsons I was immediately intrigued as to how they would achieve such a thing.

the simpsons guy

 

For 24 years Matt Groening has delivered an animated television show that in my terms can only be described as undisputed. From politically loaded satire, to guest voices all the way to spoofing everything including itself. The Simpsons has achieved everything, even managing a box office smash film and then proceeding to recover and carry on.

How in the world is anything supposed to stand next to what the show has achieved? That’s what I asked myself, then an already cancelled once animation show came along. In many ways it echoed the Simpsons but Family guy is somewhat different. The themes are consistently adult and yes the spoofing and political satire is there. Throughout the late 00’s family guy began to snowball into something of a large following.

So I looked for what would make such a TV event work. To me it was what the two shows shared and what they had in differences ultimately made this wonderful viewing.

homer vs peter

Both families differ in so many ways, that when their scenes together were happening it was simply magic to me. It slotted together ever so well. I found myself enjoying what was unfolding on screen. A longer than usual running time, but this was needed because both families to me are larger than life. This was the moment when Family guy finally stood shoulder to shoulder with the Simpsons. And what I like the most about it is, the Simpsons can live with that.

I think only a certain age demographic will appreciate the Simpsons guy, but I recommend it to all that have seen either shows, just for the fact that it’s a massive writing undertaking and a great achievement by all involved. I look forward to the Simpsons Futurama crossover.