Does Twitter Sell Books? Our Quasi-Scientific Study

In this week’s paper, Felix Gillette profiled Columbia J-school’s Sree Sreenivasan, whose four-part, $495 class promises to teach even the most disheartened of dead-tree vets how to embrace social media. Former Parade editor Lee Kravitz signed up for the class, as Gillette reported, “in hopes of harnessing social media to promote his new book, called Unfinished Business, which Bloomsbury is publishing in May.” So…does Twitter actually help move books? Let’s take a look at the numbers, culled from the most recent Times best-seller list.

Hardcover Fiction

1. Changes, by Jim Butcher (@longshotauthor); 19 following, 7593 followers, 762 listed, 527 tweets
2. The Help, by Kathryn Stockett. No Twitter account!
3. Caught, by Harlan Coben (@HarlanCoben); 240 following, 8215 followers, 463 listed, 984 tweets
4. The Walk, by Richard Paul Evans (@richardpaulevan); 2 following, 101 followers, 6 listed, 155 Tweets
5. A River in the Sky, by Elizabeth Peters. No Twitter account!

Hardcover Nonfiction

1. The Big Short, by Michael Lewis. No Twitter account!
2. Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang, by Chelsea Handler (@chelsealately); 17 following, 42766 followers, 654 listed, 27 tweets
3. The Bridge, by David Remnick. No Twitter account!
4. This Time Together, by Carol Burnett. No Twitter account!
5. The Pacific, by Hugh Ambrose. No Twitter account!

Conclusion: It’s tough to say that Twitter moves copies, although being a best-selling author sure seems to help one attract followers.

Does Twitter Sell Books? Our Quasi-Scientific Study