If you are a writer and you aren’t on Twitter, you’re missing the party.
I’m not alone in this belief. Check it out. Google any living, still writing, published author you know and I dare you to find who doesn’t have a Twitter handle. Twitter is obviously a valuable place for writers to spend time.
Having said all that, your Twitter expectations must be realistic. You probably won’t sell buckets of books just because you tweet the Amazon address of your latest title.
So, what will Twitter do for you?
In her Twitter Guide for Authors and Illustrators, children’s book author and illustrator Debbie Ridpath Ohi offers these pointers:
- You can follow VIPs in the publishing industry and find out what they’re talking about.
- You can stay up to date on workshops, conferences and other events.
- You can make connections that may help your career.
- You can drive traffic to your blog and other social media sites.
- You will learn to express yourself succinctly (140 characters).
- You can market your brand.
- You might just find a reader or two.
Now that you’re convinced that Twitter is for you, how do you set up your account?
Online marketing expert Alicia Cowan lays out a simple, easy-to-follow plan in 7 Steps to Setting Up Your Twitter Account, but these are the basics:
- Go to and click on “create an account.”
- If you are an author, use your pen name for your profile name.
- Add your author photo. Don’t use a silly picture of your cat or your book jacket. This is a social site and people want to make a personal connection.
- Add a header picture that says something about you. I have a vineyard in the background of mine and my book is titled The Wine and Chocolate Workout. You could use your book jacket here.
- Write your bio. Don’t be too clever. Say who you are and what you write clearly and succinctly. I can’t tell you how many people I haven’t followed simply because I had no idea what they were doing on Twitter.
- Add important links, your web address, your Facebook page, etc.
- Find some people to follow. You can follow @LitCentralOC, @OCWritersGroup, and @gretaboris for starters. Look to see who we’re following and follow them.
Once you have an account, I suggest learning one new thing about Twitter each week. That way you won’t get overwhelmed. And if you run into any trouble, Twitter’s help desk is just a click away. And be sure to visit Getting Started with Twitter — there are tons of tips and tools mentioned there.
Finally, click around and have fun. Take your time stalking other people’s twitter accounts and watching what they do. Don’t worry too much about sounding silly, no one will read your tweets until you get a following anyway.
See you in the Twitter-sphere!
The original article, Why Writers Should be on Twitter and How to Get There by