Archives: Twitter

In theory, writers should take easily to Twitter—by very definition, a medium of words and a form of publishing. Yet, for many authors accustomed to producing tomes of literature agonized over in a state of aloneness, to publicly document inner ephemeral dialogue is a change of pace. To say the least.

So we’ve created a short weekend blog post to let you know you’re not alone…and perhaps to make you laugh or smile in appreciation.  Some may even guide you to find your own voices on Twitter.

The Cozy Weekend Tweet

The Disparaging-Twitter-While-Tweeting Tweet

The Disparaging-Writing-While-Tweeting Tweet

The Musing-On-the-World Tweet

The Musing-On-Writing Tweet (1)

The Musing-On-Writing Tweet (2)

The Musing-On-Writing Tweet (3)

The Endearingly Self-Deprecating Tweet

 The Sardonic Writerly Tweet

The Brilliant Writerly Tweet

The Movie Tie-In Tweet

The Subtly Self-Promotional Tweet

The Hardy-Har Tweet

The Touchy-Feely Tweet

The Author Crush Tweet

The Just Plain Honest Tweet

The Atmospheric Tweet

Trying to publicize a book, particularly by way of newspapers and magazines, can be so challenging for already published or just publishing titles that authors in this position are often turned down by publicity firms. Finding the right publicist has become a bit like finding an agent.

There is enormous value to be had in the months until publication, and when consulting with writers, this has become the starting point of any conversation. Carving out ample lead time to promote or think about promotion can make the difference between a book published proactively and a book published reactively. With 3-6 or even 8 months to plan what you want your publication to look like, the reading world is your oyster. You can begin to craft a marketing strategy including those blue sky ideas that, when you’re publicizing a book retroactively, will be near impossible to achieve. With 3-8 months ahead, you can do a lot by way of networking, social or otherwise, and have a much better shot at mainstream publicity.

But for lack of knowledge or budget, or for relying too heavily on their publishers, many authors find themselves in the retroactive position. Instead of tossing in the towel come what may, I think there are avenues to market or publicize your book in a way that builds an audience perhaps slowly, but also more meaningfully and permanently. Before you begin, it’s crucial to shift your objective from ‘buy my book!’ to ‘learn about my book and see if you like it.’ Don’t fall prey to algorithms and popularity contests. What good are those thousands of followers and friends, those form letters to no one in particular, if these are not people who would realistically enjoy your book?

Here are a few ways to use free social platforms available to everyone to genuinely connect with readers at an individual level:
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Whether you’re a blogger or writer looking to get an idea out there, seek representation, or find a like-minded community; or an author looking to reach rock star bestsellerdom (or simply more readers), using Twitter has become non-negotiably important—at least that’s what your agent, editor, or publicist has told you. Twitter, despite popular misconception, is not about what you ate for breakfast this morning. It’s about finding news, defined loosely as any cultural phenomena or trend, and talking about that news, in real time.

Book news makes no exception—media and readers want to be in the know about new books, and Twitter is increasingly the forum where everyone from serious journalists to your mother’s book club friends go to learn about and share views on what’s happening.

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What makes for a memorable book? Sometimes it’s a story; sometimes it’s just one line.

I resisted Tim Ferriss’ 4-Hour Work Week for years for the same reason I generally and to a fault resist anything that feels over-hyped, like Coldplay or Downton Abby. But when I finally did succumb, there were sections I found compulsively readable and relateable. And one rule of thumb I’ve tried to live by since: Check your email as little as possible, and no more than 4 times a day. Read more »

Before the telephone, there was the telegram. Before electronic mail, there was the facsimile. And then there was Twitter.

As “electronic mail” and “facsimile” are terms that we’re now hard-pressed to remember, so, too, will the word “tweet” sound indecipherable to our grandchildren. But what Tumblr did for blogging, so Twitter seems now to have done for email: reduced our communication to the byte-size essentials. And in a content-saturated world, this has both importance and value. Media editors and journalists are more likely to respond, and quickly, when I DM them a book pitch in a line, since we already follow each other and it isn’t coming cold, or worse, long. We’re all trying to obliterate the email issue. We’re all trying to define who we are, what we want, why it matters, in a line.

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Suddenly, publishing seems like one big popularity contest. Who was it who said that everything I learned, I learned in high school?

The business of the arts suggests it’s true. When I worked briefly as a music manager, there was one thing that really got me: in a business that was increasingly about touring and media because that was where any money could be made, I started to wonder if being a musician actually meant being a model. Unlike musicians today, writers, fortunately, need not worry too much about superficial appearances, unless a selling point of your book proposal includes being “mediagenic.” Instead, writers benefit because:

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Online and offline, on Twitter and in conversations with publishers, it’s clear that Amazon is in the hot seat. Granted, where publishing institutions like Random House and brick-and-mortar bookshops are concerned, there’s been heat with Amazon for some time. Increasingly, the publishing industry is making bolder statements, as Scott Turow, head of the Authors Guild did in an op-ed for Bloomberg News last week, calling Amazon “the Darth Vader of the literary world.”

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Books are made on word-of-mouth.
At least those books that receive critical acclaim or top the bestseller charts. Think The Help or The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, and countless others.

This is more than publicity. This is the unquantifiable magic of human capital. No matter how much you spend, it can’t really be predicted.

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Do you hate newsletters? I do, too. Often.
Do you read some over others? I’d love to know why.

I’ve been known to encourage authors to send mass emails and newsletters. (Bansky’s going to oppose me on this one: even if all of Bansky is a form of lobbying for something.) And so, in my “year of walking in an author’s shoes,” to better understand the whole experience of social networking that’s now non-negotiable in author promoting, I’ve decided on my stance where newsletters are concerned. I believe there is value in getting your books on the radar
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I just did a post on a blog I love called Girl Who Reads (yes, great name), about some ways bloggers can get on the mailing list for the books they love, and prove that their reviews mean something. Turns out your traffic numbers may not matter as much as you think.
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