Twitter. It shares its popularity with Marmite: you either love it or loathe it. Celebrities love it, Facebook fans despise it. And writers? Well, writers LOVE twitter. It has a lot to do with being able to show fellow scribes how creative and witty you can be, with only 140 characters at your disposal – including punctuation marks. #DivergentThinking
I love Twitter. As a writer I enjoy meeting (virtually) lots of other writers, poets, those who work in the publishing industry, journalists and some really funny people. I now belong to an eclectic online community that would not exist were it not for Twitter. #ItsAWonderfulPlace
Or is it? For every writer who wants to engage and be part of a community there are countless others who view Twitter as just a promotional tool. Some writers – and I am sorry to say it is usually those who are self-published (see my other blogs for my views on that) – tweet constantly about their latest books, complete with amazon links and reviews. Others are more reticent and will only post their promotional tweets on a weekly basis. None of these are popular with the writing community.
So, how do you traverse the line between plaguing fellow tweets, and promoting your work?
I believe that in order to promote your work successful, you need to be supportive towards fellow writers. #ThinkCourtlyLove
I have applied this to my own activity on Twitter. I have found that the more I retweet my fellow tweeter’s tweets (that’s a difficult thing to write!) and/or comment on their blogs, the more followers I gain and my fellow writers return the favour and retweet my posts. It’s a give-give community.
Overt self-publicity is frowned upon on Twitter. A writer will lose followers if they do not engage with their community. Regardless of how successful they are as a writer. If the only tweets a writer is going to post are about how wonderful their books are selling, then fellow writers will go elsewhere and follow somebody who tweets about educational reform, publishing vs self-publishing, and, cake. You can never have too many tweets about cake.
You can follow me on @LisaShipman2 #ShamelessPlug