The Truth About Writers on Twitter
If you want any sort of job that relies on engaging the public then you need to utilize Twitter (and all social media platforms) to engage the public. Anyone with something to sell should listen up. Writers, this is you.
It’s endlessly valuable. The other professionals you interact with, the advice, the know how from seasoned veterans simply can not be found en masse on any other social networking site.
So, have you made your Twitter account? Go ahead, I’ll wait…
There now. You’re all signed up. Maybe you searched for a few writers, editors and agents to follow in order to glean any tidbits of insider info like a squirrel hoarding nuts before Winter. I certainly did.
Interaction is key. A dormant account is counterproductive, so get tweeting and more importantly get interacting. This is crucial. The more you are “out there” the more you are seen. Favorite, Retweet, ask questions, etc. Soon you’ll have people wanting to follow you (yes, you!) and if you don’t, then you are not tweeting enough.
As I mentioned before, Twitter really is invaluable to this market but there was a strange twist I didn’t expect. We’re all looking to break into a market that relies on… marketing.
This is the truth about Twitter. Out of your five hundred new writer friends, four hundred of them are selling something – hard. You’ll get free ebooks (which are awesome), you’ll be given snippets of dialogue or a teasing logline with a link to buy! Now before you get all judgey, remember that odds are you’ll be selling something, too. You’ll click the link, maybe read the description and you might buy a few. I did.
Then I noticed an ugly sort of creature, lurking in the shadows of Tweets until the numbers of people I follow went up and the sheer volume brought the creature out into the light of day. Repetition. A beast you can try and tame but will ultimately rear it’s ugly head, wild and unstoppable.
To get the word out about your book, your baby, your masterpiece, you need to advertise it. Whether you are self pubbed or traditionally published, you *must* interact and market. Your book and a link to it should be in your bio somewhere at all times. You may even be tempted to wave a red flag to entice the beast. I advise you to get creative about how you sell. Give a snippet from the book, give the logline and include the link! Go ahead. But then take a break and advertise your wares on a different social media site for a while.
Why take a break? To give your followers a break! Between your own advertisements and retweeting every single good review for your book that you can drum up these people are inundated with numerous advertisements for the same book in every pass of their Twitter feed.
The eye picks out keywords. The mind says “I’ve seen this post before”. It’s glanced over. The next twenty five are glanced over. Is this upsetting? They are reading your hundred tweets along with hundreds from every other writer with words to sell. It’s overwhelming. You have become white noise.
And let’s not forget possibly more importantly – it’s annoying. Imagine sitting down to watch your favorite show only to find out it’s not airing tonight and in it’s place will be constant commercials. Would you watch? No. This is an “on demand”, instant gratification, “The commercials have been limited for your viewing” type of world. Get on board.
If people follow you because they like you then they want to hear from you. If people follow you because they like your books then they want to hear from you. If people follow you because you are a writer and they want to be a writer, then they want to hear from you. They don’t want a constant commercial. They want to know what gets your writing magic flowing in the morning. They want to laugh that your cat tries to sit on your laptop the minute you get on a roll. They want you to be a real person, with real thoughts and a real life, like they are.
Interact with other writers and more importantly readers. If they follow you on twitter, yes, they want snippets of your upcoming masterpiece, but don’t forget to tell them that funny thing that fluffy did the other day. Maybe add a picture. This is my biggest peeve about Twitter. No one appreciates a selling robot. It’s an ineffective strategy. Be a real person. People tend to like them better.