Tell me about Twitter

I don’t Twitter.  I’ve been thinking about it, but before I take the plunge I’d like to know about your experiences with Twitter. How often do you tweet each day? Keeping in mind I have no idea how Twitter works, do you go to a site like Facebook to get your Twitter feed? And if you’re off it for a while, how do you find out what you missed?

To you readers: Do you actually find new authors whose books you want to read on Twitter? Does it feel like one big advertisement? What do you tweet about?

To you writers: Do you actually connect with fans on Twitter? And do people get turned off or unfriend you if you put out discreet promo info.?  

I appreciate any Twitter info. you’re willing to share, most importantly, do you find it’s a worthwhile endeavor or just one more drain on your time?

As far as my writing, I’m still waiting to hear back from my editor regarding book 2. While I’ve been waiting, I’ve gotten some work done on my nonfiction project about motherhood. On Tuesday (March 8th) until the following Tuesday I’ll be blogging over at http://www.4badmommies.com about the Discipline Dilemma. I hope you’ll stop by for a chat.

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44 Comments

  • Nas
    Posted March 6, 2011 at 4:36 PM | Permalink

    Hi Wendy,

    Twitter is awesome. You get to connect with authors, readers and aspiring writers.

    I have Lisa Hendrix visiting and she says Twitter is like the water cooler, where you love to hang around!

    And yes, we get to know of new release books as well as which book has been #1 at which sellers.

    I have some people’s tweets coming to my mobile(its a free service!) and that way I don’t miss much.
    But it’s all in balance, how much time you give.


  • Posted March 6, 2011 at 9:42 PM | Permalink

    Hi Nas!
    You are so well-networked! Once you make your first sale you are good to go!!!

    Thanks for the info. I just visited Twitter.com but didn’t sign up. I think I’ll read Kristen Lamb’s book on social networking first, so I don’t screw up like I did when I rushed to create my Facebook fan page!


  • Posted March 7, 2011 at 2:40 AM | Permalink

    I’m following this blog post with interest – as I’m currently weighing up Twitter, too :) I love it for following world events, but am struggling a little to understand how it work for me as a writer.

    Also – this is my first visit to your new site, Wendy – it’s lovely!


  • Posted March 7, 2011 at 3:35 AM | Permalink

    So you want to become a Twit huh? ;-)

    I haven’t signed up with Twitter. How’s that for completely and utterly unhelpful?

    However, I do follow Twitter accounts. I have them bookmarked on my computer. As a reader I always love to know when a new book is coming out in anyway shape or form and have no problem with seeing them on Twitter feeds :-)


  • Joanne Coles
    Posted March 7, 2011 at 7:42 AM | Permalink

    I totally *heart* Twitter. Think of it as Lisa Hendrix says–somewhere to gather and have a girly gossip in the middle of the work day. Only it’s worldwide so it doesn’t matter if it’s 7am or 11pm, there’s always someone around for a natter.

    You can connect with whoever you like and of course it’s great to let folks know when your book will be released.

    If there’s something you want to know/research, there’s almost always someone who can answer your query or someone who knows someone who does.

    I follow authors, aspiring authors, football teams/players, news reports … all sorts really.

    You can look back through your Twitter feed to see what people have been saying but you’ll never miss what they are saying to you as there’s a column for tweets directed at you :-)

    I’ll be quiet now, but yes, I’m a fan. Can you tell?


  • Posted March 7, 2011 at 11:22 AM | Permalink

    Hi Leah! And Welcome! And congrats on your sale! Maybe we can try out Twitter together?!

    I visit the feed on my agent’s website but find it confusing. Probably because I’m only seeing one side of the conversation!


  • Posted March 7, 2011 at 11:25 AM | Permalink

    Hi Lacey!
    I don’t think I know how to bookmark. Is that the same as marking something a favorite? I didn’t know you could follow Twitter without joining.

    And HA HA on the twit comment!


  • Posted March 7, 2011 at 11:29 AM | Permalink

    Hi Joanne!
    And where is your twitter feed? Do you have to go to the Twitter website to access it? I’m not as savvy as Nas. I still have a flip cellphone with no Internet connection. (And don’t tell anyone but I don’t text either.) Well, I do text, but from my computer. My daughter set it up.

    Also, can you only see the feeds of people you follow? I can easily see myself becoming addicted to Twitter which is why I’ve held off as long as I have.


  • Jen FitzGerald
    Posted March 7, 2011 at 12:10 PM | Permalink

    Hi Wendy–

    Unlike everyone else, I find Twitter *not* for me. I’m not a chatter-er and so the constant (apologies) useless tweets would drive me insane. Personally, I have things I much prefer to do than follow/tweet. Some people manage it and of course if it’s something they enjoy, more power to them. But there’s not a whole lot of proof at this point that all this social networking really sells books. How is it that you choose to buy a book? Word of mouth? (which I suppose twitter can be), or do you read reviews? Or do you pick things up in the book store ’cause you like the look of the cover or the back cover blurb intrigues you.

    I’ve also heard that social networking has hit it’s peak, so keep that in mind as well.

    Here’s a link to a fairly recent post on the GenReality blog about the phenomenon:
    http://www.genreality.net/promotional-cargo-cults

    Jen


  • Posted March 7, 2011 at 2:08 PM | Permalink

    Hi Jen!
    I’ve read so many conflicting articles on social networking I don’t know who to believe. I agree, we have to do what works for each of us. But as writers we need to be wary of all the things that keep us from writing. I am very easily distracted and can picture myself using Twitter as just another excuse not to write. And I agree, I have no interest in what people are eating for lunch or where they’re going out to dinner. But I have been forwarded some very interesting tweets about editors taking pitches for an hour or editors blogging in certain places giving advice to newbies. This is valuable info. that must be received timely. There must be a way to weed out the junk.


  • Joanne Coles
    Posted March 7, 2011 at 2:35 PM | Permalink

    On ‘your’ Twitter page, you see the feeds of everone you follow. But you can search for other people and look at their personal feeds, too. Of course, as you’ve found out, sometimes you need to look at several other people’s feeds to see all sides of the conversation :-)

    I’m not really sure how many books anyone will sell by being on Twitter but it’s a great way to connect with readers. As an avid reader myself, I love the ability to *chat* to my fave authors.

    I guess its timesuckiness depends on how often you click the button to read your feed ;-)

    I dip in when on a break from running around after the kids, it’s fun to see what others are doing and doesn’t take up tons of time. Unless you click aimlessly from link to link and end up reading about babies shoved in overhead compartments on airlines *for a joke* like I did yesterday …


  • Posted March 7, 2011 at 3:21 PM | Permalink

    Thanks, Joanne! (Our resident Twitter expert!) And yikes about the baby in the overhead compartment. Nothing funny about that.

    I like the way you wrote you ‘dip in’. I’m a big dipper inner when my writing snags and need a bit of a break. The problem would start when I follow the feeds to get all the sides of the conversations! Was it a REAL baby?


  • Joanne Coles
    Posted March 7, 2011 at 3:28 PM | Permalink

    Yes, a real baby! The air hostess was playing hide and seek with the baby and baby’s dad and thought the overhead compartment would be a good place to hide baby!! Virgin blue flight, I think. I’m sure if you google it you’ll find it … ;-)


  • Nas
    Posted March 7, 2011 at 3:57 PM | Permalink

    Wendy, check what Lisa says…she also said “it’s fun to hang out—but it’s absolutely necessary if you want a career.


  • Nas
    Posted March 7, 2011 at 4:30 PM | Permalink

    Wendy,

    It doesn’t matter about how good I’m at networking but the book has to be good to MATTER! Anyway I enjoy networking.

    Hey check out HM&B Medical Author Lynne Marshall’s post on R&R ..

    http://lynnemarshall.com/blog


  • Posted March 7, 2011 at 5:06 PM | Permalink

    Joanne – I just don’t know what some people are thinking!


  • Posted March 7, 2011 at 5:09 PM | Permalink

    Thanks, Nas!
    I’ve heard that Twitter is necessary from other industry insiders, also. In fact I just discussed it with my agent this morning and she recommended I get on. So I guess there you have it. Can’t say how active I’ll be but I’ve just added Learn Twitter to my list of things to do.
    And I will definitely check out Lynne’s blog. I love her! She always has great bits of info. to share.


  • Posted March 8, 2011 at 6:41 AM | Permalink

    Oooh, good luck with your new twitter account Wendy!

    I reckon I need to get my web site sorted first, then will consider twitter :)

    Thanks for recommending Kristen Lamb’s book – I bought the eBook and am enjoying it so far.


  • Posted March 8, 2011 at 8:19 AM | Permalink

    Hi Leah!
    I bought the actual book a while back and forgot I had it. When I set up my Facebook fan page I rushed and screwed it up. I put out a call for help on a loop I’m on and someone suggested Kristan’s book. I was like, darn it (G rated version!) I have that book. Now I plan to read through the pages on Twitter before I get started!!! Good luck with Twitter. Look for me and I’ll look for you. (However you do that!) And good luck with your website. If you need someone to do your website or even if you’re considering doing it yourself check out my web designer’s site. (Link below.) She has do-it-yourself guide. (She’s great!) Lots to do when you first sign. You’ll get through it! Good luck!


  • Posted March 8, 2011 at 8:26 AM | Permalink

    Twitter = Readers, reviewers, writers, editors, agents, publishers.

    Do it.

    It is invaluable.


  • Posted March 8, 2011 at 8:32 AM | Permalink

    Thanks, Taryn!


  • Posted March 8, 2011 at 11:36 AM | Permalink

    I’m late to the game, but I have to say I love Twitter. I do have to take time off every once in a while because it can be a distraction.

    But, I connect with writers, authors, celebs and nurses. There are some great nurses who use Twitter.

    And I connect with the Sassy Sisters, of course. :-)


  • Posted March 8, 2011 at 12:41 PM | Permalink

    Hi Abbi!
    I’m going to do it! Just got my revisions for book 2 so I may not get to it right away, but I will definitely figure out how to friend you…or whatever it’s called on Twitter!


  • Posted March 8, 2011 at 2:54 PM | Permalink

    HI Wendy, Thanks for this awesome post – as you know, I do not twitter yet but feel pushed to do so, and your call for help as been helpful for me! We will struggle through it together and “tweet” each other!


  • Posted March 8, 2011 at 3:39 PM | Permalink

    Hi Jen!
    Do you have Kristan Lamb’s book, We Are Not Alone, about social networking for writers? It has pages and pages on Twitter. I’m going to get up and running in the next week or so…depending on how my revisions go. Can’t wait to tweet with you!!


  • Posted March 8, 2011 at 6:50 PM | Permalink

    I haven’t read all the comments yet, but I just recently signed up for Twitter and so far, I don’t get it. It’s almost identical to facebook, it’s just got it’s own tweaks. You “tweet” instead of update, you follow people instead of add them as friends, and they have something called hastags, where you put # before something, and you can click on it and search for everybody whose tweeted with that hashtag. I’ve heard they’ve done editor chats that way, something like, #askeditor and #askagent. But otherwise, so far as I can see, it’s just like facebook, and I have no idea how to connect the two so that I can update both at the same time, rather than one at a time. So I honestly don’t bother much with Twitter. I guess I just don’t get it yet.

    Looking forward to reading through your comments to see what everyone else has said!


  • Posted March 8, 2011 at 7:13 PM | Permalink

    Hi Joanne!
    Check out Kristan Lamb’s book, We Are Not Alone. It’s a guide to social medial for writers. It has pages and pages on Twitter that should help!

    My take is with Twitter things are more immediate, although I would have to log on just like I do for Facebook since I don’t have a cell phone with Internet capability. But I’ll give it a try. I’ll look for you when I do!!


  • Posted March 8, 2011 at 7:22 PM | Permalink

    Ahh, Wendy, I shall be learning along with you. My biggest fear? As time goes I fell more and more as if I have acquired ADHD. I suspect the Twitter monster machine will only make it worse. I guess I’ll just have to manage!


  • Posted March 8, 2011 at 7:41 PM | Permalink

    Thanks for the book recommendation. Will check it out. I’m @JMStewartWriter

    on twitter. Am trying to be more active. lol


  • Posted March 9, 2011 at 8:02 AM | Permalink

    Hi Aimee!
    I know what you mean. I’m constantly hopping on both my e-mail accounts, Facebook, 4badmommies, Amazon (to see if they loaded on my book covers yet), the networks on eharlequin and Mills and Boon to see whats going on….and now Twitter? It takes me a good hour each morning to catch up on what I missed overnight. And I don’t even track the time I spending hopping on and off the Internet during the day. But if my agent suggests I get onto Twitter, that’s what I’ll do.


  • Posted March 9, 2011 at 8:03 AM | Permalink

    Thanks, Joanne!
    When I sign up for Twitter, you’ll be my first friend or maybe I guess I’ll be your follower. Whatever. I’ll look you up!!


  • Posted March 9, 2011 at 10:25 AM | Permalink

    I love Twitter. You just go to the website, like Facebook, and follow people’s Tweets (the Twitter version of status updates) there. I use something called a TweetDeck, which is free software for your computer, to organize all the people I follow.

    I follow everyone back as long as they’re not a spammer or a robot, and I now have 459 followers!

    I tweet several times a day, and I also follow other people’s Tweets and respond to them (called an @ reply). I’d suggest start off on Twitter slowly, maybe just by following some friends, and learn how to use it. You’ll get the hang of it after a few days and you’ll love it.

    The best part about Twitter is you can follow anyone, even if they don’t know you or want to follow back. I follow agents, editors, publishers, celebrities, etc in addition to other authors and of course my readers.

    I found a beta-reader on Twitter and I’ve connected with readers who followed me after reading one of my books. I follow back and respond to @ replies :)

    I rarely do straight promo (although release days are a different story, LOL)

    You can check out my Twitter profile here: http://twitter.com/#!/ShoshannaEvers


  • Posted March 9, 2011 at 11:24 AM | Permalink

    Hi Shoshanna!
    Thanks for all that great info.! I will check you out for sure! Congrats on your release of Hollywood Spank…Ellora’s Cave, for anyone interested!!!


  • Posted March 11, 2011 at 7:58 PM | Permalink

    Hey, thanks! :)


  • Wendy S. Marcus
    Posted March 11, 2011 at 8:06 PM | Permalink

    You’re very welcome!


  • Posted March 12, 2011 at 1:06 PM | Permalink

    I did it. I set up my Twitter account. I’m at WendySMarcus. I sent 2 tweets but not sure if anyone is going to see them because it told me I can’t tweet to people who are not following me. I am reading We ARe Not Alone by Kristen Lamb to try to figure it out. Now one more thing to obscess about…#of followers on Twitter. Presently: NONE!


  • Posted March 12, 2011 at 5:44 PM | Permalink

    I’m on twitter but alas do not like it.


  • Posted March 12, 2011 at 11:09 PM | Permalink

    Hi Liz!
    I’ve spent a good part of my day on Twitter. Just figured out Tweetdeck…kind of. Tomorrow I MUST revise. No social networking until Monday. Right. See if I can stop myself!


  • Posted March 13, 2011 at 1:31 PM | Permalink

    I was very against social media for a long time, but then decided that I needed to start building my platform for my nonfiction book.
    I chose Twitter, ‘coz there are so many things I don’t like about Facebook (e.g. privacy issues). I was surprise to discover that I quite like Twitter. I find a lot of very useful info, e.g. writing, publishing and promotion advice, access to editors and agents (see chats), info on contests and giveaways. and LOADS, loads more.
    There is a lot of spam, too and yes, Twitter can consume time.
    I don’t promote my book as yet and I don’t ‘connect with my fans’ simply ‘coz I don;t ahve any ‘fans’, but I’m working towards it.
    I had to limit my time on Twitter so I have a strategy now to check it only twice a day for max 15 minutes to reply to DM and mentions, chat with some writers I like to chat with, and check what is happening. I write updates and pre-schedule them 3x a week.


  • Posted March 13, 2011 at 6:28 PM | Permalink

    Hi Kate!
    I’m a fan! Connect with me! I just followed you on Twitter. Good thing you had you’re e-mail address in your profile because there were quite a few Kate Kyles.

    I can see I’ll need to limit my Twitter time, too…starting tomorrow!

    I’m still trying to figure out hashtags and RT and keep harassing poor Nas with questions! (Sorry, Nas!) I’ve got Tweetdeck to work but now some people are popping up in multiple columns. There is still work to be done!…after my revisions.


  • Posted March 14, 2011 at 2:49 AM | Permalink

    connected, Wendy and welcome to Twitterland :)
    I’m happy to answer any of your questions if I know the answer.
    I like Twitterdeck because it looks neat and pretty, but I’ve been using Hootsuite lately as it allows you to monitor clicks on your links and some other stuff as well.

    It helps if you group people and can put groups in separate columns, so you can e.g. separate ppl you like to chat with from ppl who post valuable links, from ppl who chat a little too much for your liking. it helps to feel you can actually benefit from Twitter.

    I’m still struggling with # and it took me a long time to figure out what all these ‘daily.li’ (e.g. writing daily) were, but once I got my head around it I became a big fan and suscribe to a few.

    Ah, and thanks for welcoming me so warmly to RWA heartbeat group :) Soo good to see you over there :)) I need to pop over there and say hello and thank you to everyone and one special one to you :)


  • Posted March 14, 2011 at 7:53 AM | Permalink

    Hi Kate!
    Someone else mentioned Hootsuite. I’ll have to check it out.

    Heartbeat is a nice group. Small but helpful. Make sure to get on the class loop. Diane is doing a class this month. Only 2 lessons so far. Probably in archive.

    Off to do revisions!!!


  • Posted September 6, 2012 at 1:38 PM | Permalink

    I still didn’t get my question answered.What is twitter and how do you join?


  • Posted September 6, 2012 at 2:31 PM | Permalink

    Sorry DawnMarie. I have no record of you asking the question. Check out Twitter here: http://Twitter.com.


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