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This Thing Called Thunderclap Helped Me Reach 1 Million People About My Book (Not Really, But Kind Of)

by Josh Spilker author of the just-released novel Taco Jehovah

For my recent book, I had a big book launch plan that quickly shattered like a glass snail used for batting practice. You know: a real job, a new job, kids, family, Trump. All the typical excuses.

But four days before the book launch, I had one small piece that I thought I could pull off: Thunderclap.

And it’s how I kinda, sorta, no-not-really-at-all reached 1 million people even though it says I did. Thunderclap posts a single social media message all at once across Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr accounts for anyone who signs up. It’s the same message sent by multiple people at the same time.

The way I reached 1 million people is that one person that signed up has over 1 million followers. The rest of my friends had like 1000 or less, which is typical. I’m not that influential and neither are they.

What I was missing was that sweet spot in the middle, where a few people with 25k or 50k or 75k followers would have made a huge difference.

With Thunderclap, you need at least 100 supporters to make it happen. So it’s like a Kickstarter campaign but for a tweet (?). Sounds silly, but still.

To entice people off of my email list to sign up, I offered them a free digital copy of the book. In retrospect, this was probably a mistake because these people may have bought the book anyway (more than likely they would have, I think).

But I cajoled enough people to do it and then the message—“taco jehovah seems pretty good”—was sent out.

I think I did sell a few copies from it (I mean I’ve only sold a few copies anyway), but what I realized is that it increased the connection between me and those 100 people.

It wasn’t really about reaching 1 million people, it was about reaching those 100. They know I have a book out, they may actually read it one day and tell someone about it.

They may even buy a copy themselves just because they liked it or felt bad for me, or both.

Should you use Thunderclap? Yes, I think it can work because it makes people more aware. I was in a time crunch (which was silly…I had plenty of time to make it happen), so I wouldn’t recommend giving your book away, especially if it’s reasonably priced.

A few direct messages on Facebook will probably make it happen for you just the same.

I’m very interested in book marketing, even though I’m not that good at it, so drop me a line if you have any questions. Here’s my bio:

Josh Spilker is a writer and author that lives in Nashville, TN. His most recent book is Taco Jehovah. He blogs regularly on Medium.

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