How to Survive Twitter – part two

Twitter tips for the published/agented author:

  1. Feel free to interact with agents – they might even follow you back.
  2. Encourage other writers.
  3. Remember the peons because you used to be one.
  4. Congratulate book deals and beautiful covers.
  5. Let other authors know you loved their book.
  6. #FF is great but don’t clog Twitter with 20 tweets filled with them.
  7. Don’t be obnoxious and talk about your published stuff all the time.
  8. The more famous you are, the stranger you can be and the more random stuff you can share and readers will still be interested (usually).
  9. Get too strange and random and you might lose readers.
  10. Participate in kidlitchat and yalitchat because potential readers are lurking.
  11. Follow the peons back – they’re your audience.
  12. Talk about “sekrit” projects (and you must spell it this way).
  13. It’s not about how many followers you have, but how you connect with your followers.
  14. Talk about eating chocolate even if you don’t.

Twitter tips for the aspiring writer:

  1. Readers aren’t really interested in the mundane things of your life (but you can share them if you want to).
  2. Don’t try to break into the inner circle (and if you don’t know what I’m talking about then you haven’t been on Twitter or blogging long enough).
  3. Encourage other writers.
  4. Congratulate book deals and beautiful covers.
  5. Let authors know you loved their book (if it’s true).
  6. Communicating with agents all the time looks like you’re trying too hard.
  7. Don’t talk about “sekrit” projects – no one cares.
  8. At some point you should start interacting with other writers. Start with fellow bloggers and comment on their blogs.
  9. #FF is great but don’t clog Twitter with 20 posts.
  10. Link to blog posts that are helpful or funny.
  11. Treat others the way you want to be treated.
  12. Social media is not middle school. Do we really want to go back? Just write your best and be yourself.
  13. It’s not about how many followers you have but how you connect with your followers.
  14. Talk about eating chocolate even if you don’t.

I’m sure there are lots of other tips. Help me out here in the comments!

22 Responses to How to Survive Twitter – part two

  1. Christine Glover November 17, 2010 at 1:02 pm #

    Great post! Love it. And I will do my best to follow your advice for tweeting as an unpublished writer.

    And guess what? You won Amy Atwell’s book, Lying Eyes! Congratulations.

    Email me with your info and I’ll forward it to Amy Atwell:


  2. Lois Moss November 17, 2010 at 1:16 pm #

    These are actually great tips–even though told in jest. If only everyone would follow them.

  3. Creepy Query Girl November 17, 2010 at 1:27 pm #

    Really great tips. I have not mastered twitter, my writing facebook, or goodreads. At. All. I’m having a hard enough time just keeping up with my blog so I need all the help I can get!:) Thanks laura!

  4. Stina Lindenblatt November 17, 2010 at 1:48 pm #

    Great advice. I still get lost on the YALitChat chats, and I haven’t tweeted lately like I used to.

    I rarely tweet to an agent. I feel like I’m brown nosing if I do. Heck, I only follow a few of them to begin with. And I know what you mean about the “inner circle.”

  5. shelley November 17, 2010 at 2:16 pm #

    I love “It’s not middle school….do you really want to go back?”


    But I do not do the whole Twitter thing. Mostly because of the time-suck. I am a teacher and when I am at school, I have to give 100% of myself to the job, so that when I am free from work, I can write.

    There is no time for Twitter……

    But I have really enjoyed your take on it.


    • Laura November 17, 2010 at 2:42 pm #

      Thanks everyone! And some of those tips are clearly in jest. And some are more serious. I’m sure you can tell the difference. They’re mostly my observations. And, when I know you, I don’t mind if you tell me you’re going running or even twiddling your thumbs! 🙂 So some people are listening.

      Shelley – I understand. Thankfully, I don’t let it be a time suck for me. That’s why days go by without a tweet from me.
      Stina – I feel that way about tweeting an agent – unless I know I’ll never query them because they don’t rep what I write. 🙂
      Katie – I think we’re all still figuring the whole social media thing out.
      Lois – Writers don’t have to talk about eating chocolate – I just notice that a lot of them do. I wonder if they really do eat as much as they make it out. I couldn’t eat that much chocolate, for sure.
      Christine – Woo hoo! I’ll send you my address! Thanks!

  6. Angela Felsted November 17, 2010 at 2:38 pm #

    I think I need to eat more chocolate.

  7. Sherrie Petersen November 17, 2010 at 2:40 pm #

    Well the chocolate thing seems to be consistent whether or not you’re published. That must be what I’m doing wrong. I’m not a big fan of chocolate 🙂

  8. Kelly Polark November 17, 2010 at 3:12 pm #

    What in the world does #FF mean? When I join Twitter, I’m going to totally screw up the #hashtags and some of this stuff. But I can at least honestly talk about how much I love chocolate!

  9. Karen Strong November 17, 2010 at 4:08 pm #

    Great tips Laura, especially the eating chocolate one. I need to do that! LOL.

    And Kelly, #FF means Follow Friday where you mention other people on Twitter to follow.

    Hashtags can be confusing! There so many of them! 🙂

    And yeah, middle school? So do NOT want to go back there. Nope.

  10. TK Richardson November 17, 2010 at 4:10 pm #

    Love your lists! I have to be careful with Twitter it can take a lot of time away from writing. 🙂

  11. Emy Shin November 17, 2010 at 4:56 pm #

    These are such great tips! I have a lot of troubles keeping up when I first joined Twitter.

  12. Susan R. Mills November 17, 2010 at 6:20 pm #

    Love the list. I will keep this in mind as I continue to learn more about Twitter.

  13. Kristy Leigh Logan November 17, 2010 at 6:25 pm #

    Another fantastic list! I have so much to learn. I installed Tweetdeck yesterday. Not as straightforward as the original Twitter platform, but I can see the benefits of having a separate column for @ mentions. I am having issues reading the smaller font though (guess my age is getting the better of me on that one!) I’ll just have to sit closer!

    • Laura November 17, 2010 at 7:22 pm #

      Thanks everyone. I still have a lot to learn. I definitely don’t use hashtags in the capacity that they should be used. But I spend only so much time on Twitter. I think as aspiring writers or as published authors that it’s important to understand the power behind Twitter and how it can help with marketing. And that doesn’t happen overnight. But then again, neither does publishing! 🙂

  14. Jennifer Shirk November 17, 2010 at 8:36 pm #

    That’s a fantastic list that I agree with wholeheartedly. 🙂

  15. Jackee November 17, 2010 at 10:30 pm #

    SUCH great tips! Thank, Laura! When I ever bite the bullet and join Twitter, I’m going to revisit your list.

    Have a great day!

  16. MG Higgins November 18, 2010 at 3:56 pm #

    Just to let you know how out of the Twitterverse I am, I thought ALL of your advice was serious . . . even the chocolate! Sheesh.

  17. Tina Lee November 18, 2010 at 5:06 pm #

    Yep, like Jackee, if I ever decide to commit myself to Twitter for real, I’m using this list.

  18. SP Sipal November 20, 2010 at 12:25 pm #

    Loved both lists. I lurked a long time on Twitter before I finally took the plunge. I’m still learning and reading insight like this helps. Took me a long time to understand hashtags.


  19. Rachael Harrie November 24, 2010 at 12:33 pm #

    Great tips Laura. Humorous AND completely accurate 🙂



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