A New Way to Promote: Pay With A Tweet

There are good arguments for both sides of the issue on eBook pricing. A lower price may devalue your work, but it may also drive sales. There’s also the option of giving it away for free.

Henry’s recent experiment with giving his novel away for free got me thinking about doing the same with mine. I have a sequel due out later next year, and giving the first book away for free might be a good way to drive sales of the next one. Still, there’s that sticking point of giving it away without anything in return. I’ve been gun-shy about giving my book away for free because of this.

Well, I think I’ve found a way around that. Better yet, I created a contest around it.

I’m using a site called Pay With A Tweet. It was created for the explicit purpose of promoting your work, offering it for the “price” of a single tweet about said work. Anyone who clicks the Pay With A Tweet button on my site will be able to download a zip file containing the PRC and EPUB versions of my novel. In exchange, a tweet is sent from a user’s account, linking back to the post.

To set up a button of your own, you’ll need to provide a link to the file you want to offer for download, as well as a shortened URL to wherever you want to direct users. You can determine what the tweet says, but users are allowed to modify it before they send it (note: they can’t change the URL). The site gives you several button options (including a QR barcode). After that, all you need to do is copy the html into your site, and you’re done.

As a way to entice users to click the button, I added a specific hashtag to my tweet for tracking purposes. From now until the end of November, anyone who tweets about my book will be entered into a drawing for a prize package full of goodies which includes, among other things, a signed hardcover and a $30 Amazon gift card.

Time will tell if this is an effective method of promoting, but I can already confirm I’ve had a number of Kindle sales since I started the contest.

If you’re on Twitter and use it to promote your book, you should consider trying Pay With A Tweet. So far, it’s proving to be a useful promotional tool.


  • Hi TK,

    I have a question. If each person is paying with a Tweet, then who is actually paying cold hard cash for the Kindle version?

    • Your guess is as good as mine. The sales were a pleasant side effect. My goal was to spread the word and maximize exposure of my novel. That’s worth more to me than a few Kindle sales–but if people feel compelled to pay for something even if it’s offered for free, I won’t stop them.

  • Interesting concept for creating a buzz, I’ll check it out too.

  • great idea. i like it!

  • Todd, as I understand it, you’re selling your book for free publicity. Very clever. I hope it works for you, Lisa, Tom, Jim, and everybody else who tries it.

  • This is definitely something I am going to do for my works. Thanks for the great info.
    AM Burns