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Twitter Useful-ness
B Harrison
Posted: Sunday, July 17, 2011 5:05 PM
Joined: 7/17/2011
Posts: 3

I still don't understand the use for writers.
I have a friend who swears by it and he's put me on a 60day program/bet for twitter. so we'll see.
But I don't get how publishers or agents will publish you from your twitter.
We have to sell ourselves yes but it seems backwards for me to more or less create my own internet reality show via social networks in order to get published. That I have to have 6 outlets for my personality to come through, to sell the book...so it makes it sound like the book and the writing is irrelevant.
Any thoughts?
Posted: Sunday, July 17, 2011 9:51 PM
Joined: 3/11/2011
Posts: 157

With any tool, you have to learn the best way to use it. With twitter I've

- landed an editing position with a publisher
- found out about submission calls with publishers
- found out about Book Country because I was following Colleen
- made friends with fellow writers and authors
- and yes, promoted my book.

For book promotion, you really can't rely just on twitter but you can use twitter to announce new release, blog events, prize drawings, etc. As you build up a group of friends, they'll RT (retweet) your tweets so you reach a larger audience.

Today is #sixsunday day over on Twitter where writers are invited to share six sentences from a book or WIP (published or not). Then we all blog hop and promote visiting other #sixsunday writers. It started with a group of erotica authors and helped newer authors introduce their work to fans of more established authors. It now pulls in over 100 writers each week. I know I see small bumps in sales when I post a published work.
Posted: Tuesday, July 19, 2011 11:32 PM
Joined: 5/12/2011
Posts: 241

Twitter very quickly taught me the ropes of commercial publishing.

I think the first bookish person I followed was our own Colleen Lindsay. Then I looked at who she was following and tagged along on the ones who were book industry professionals--mostly agents and editors, particularly ones who focused on the kind of writing I do.

That alone led me to article and blog links, being a fly-on-the-wall for shop-talk conversations, hashtag discussions (both scheduled and unscheduled) and friendly chit-chat with bookish people (who, let's face it--are nice, fun, interesting people anyway) All this has taught me what I need to know to revise my writing, to query agents and to generally think about future projects in ways that are more professional.

I also follow writers who are just a step or two ahead of me on the path I hope to be on. Whatever path that is for you, I recommend that approach, too.

Twitter has been profoundly useful for me. If you follow the right people, you can learn a lot very rapidly. No, you won't be "discovered" on Twitter. You really, really won't. But you will learn what you need to do if you want to make the

Posted: Friday, July 29, 2011 12:41 AM
Joined: 3/14/2011
Posts: 46

This is a great question, B Harrison. Does a writer need to utilize multiple social media in order to be successful? Of course not. My suggestion is to have a blog or website (which you don't have to worry about until your actively pursuing publishing) and one or two other means of networking and socializing (with an emphasis, but not sole focus, on marketing).

People like to be have access to artists, writers, and experts. Writers just need to figure out how to manage their social media so that they aren't distracted by it.

I like twitter in particular because it's fluid. If something important comes up while I'm offline for a day, I can trust that it will be retweeted or referenced again when I'm back on. Otherwise, I don't have to worry about the tweets that have gone by. More will be along soon to replace them.

Like Marie, I've personally had a few "successes" on twitter:
-I've found critque partners
-I've heard about submission calls in my genre
-I've met and networked with other writers that I will likely be collaborating with in the future
-I've received warnings about scams/predatory practices before they became common knowledge

And I get to follow entertaining and informative writers whom I admire.
Posted: Monday, August 1, 2011 11:28 AM
Joined: 5/4/2011
Posts: 20

I have a love/hate with the tweets. It's amazing for promoting your work, but easy to abuse. It's a fine line between building a fan base and being boring and self-indulgent. It's all part of the sale and most writers I know are terrible at self-promotion. Honestly, if you've tried it and hate it, I wouldn't tweet just because some publicity hack tells you to. However, I would suggest giving it a try before judging.

Posted: Monday, August 1, 2011 11:34 PM
Joined: 5/12/2011
Posts: 241

See, I don't really think about Twitter as self-promotion. I think of it as education from others who tweet. Now, it's true that my blog hits go up for a minute after the update posts to Twitter and once I have a book to sell, I will certainly tell Twitter, but it will be a matter of telling people I developed relationships with BEFORE I had something to sell.

That's the key thing, to me, about social media. It should be social first, promotional second. My friends, "friends" followers and blog readers will want to know when and where they can buy my book, because they like me as a person already. I don't think you can come along to a social media outlet and just use it as free advertising. That will annoy the real users pretty quickly.
M Tucker
Posted: Wednesday, August 10, 2011 10:25 PM
Joined: 8/9/2011
Posts: 13

I have been a member of Twitter since its induction but honestly I never learned how to use it. I'm trying now though! Mainly because many people I know are suggesting/demanding I utilize it more often so they know what I am up to. This hashtag thing boggles me - it's just a very odd format for an old-school geek girl like me.

However, back to the question... any way you can be visible to a larger portion of a potential audience is golden. In this world you never know who knows who or who reads who's retweets, in this case. I don't think you have to "actively promote" your virtual identity so much as leave a good solid trail of breadcrumbs for interested parties to find you.

My lazy solution so far? I link my blog posts to my twitter and my facebook so that I don't have to work so hard. (it auto tweets/posts!)
Colleen Lindsay
Posted: Thursday, August 18, 2011 1:50 AM
Joined: 2/27/2011
Posts: 356

Well, one great example of how Twitter can be used successfully are the regular bi-monthly Twitter chats that Book Country has been hosting to educate writers. We get one well-known writer, and one publishing professional to talk about a specific writer-focused topic. Last week we talked about writing chemistry between characters. The one before that was focused on author blogs and websites.

You should really try to join one! Our next one is Thursday, August 25th at 9 PM EDT and features New York Times bestselling crime writer Lawrence Block. We'll be talking about how writers can connect with readers. A wonderful opportunity for Book Country members (and anyone else on Twitter). Use the hashtag #bookcountry to follow along. We'd love to see you there.


Posted: Thursday, August 18, 2011 3:21 AM
Joined: 3/13/2011
Posts: 245

Twitter is awesome. Shameless plug here, but I actually did put up a thread on twitter basics for writers here in the BC forums. (Hashtags included.) There's also a list of hashtags for writers in the forums here.

Twitter has been an amazing resource. I've cultivated friendships that I wouldn't otherwise get to have and I've learned things that would probably have petrified me if I (figuratively speaking here, no agent or deal yet) hadn't known them going into this whole process.
AKA Dedlly
Posted: Sunday, August 28, 2011 10:03 PM
Joined: 8/4/2011
Posts: 13

Twitter is an incredibly useful tool. By following other authors and publishers I have increased my knowledge of this publishing world we all want to be a part of exponentially. I've been following this discussion for a while, and thought of it when I came across this tidbit on, you guessed it, Twitter. I think you'll find it useful.


I think the scary bit for writers comes at the part where he talks about Twitter being part of the process now and that there's an expectation to have acquired a certain amount of followers. This may seem counterintuitive to the writer who is used to being a solitary beast. But that's silly because we are all seeking community. That is why we are here having this discussion.

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