Tweet Tweet Goes the Twitter

In keeping in theme with my online platform series today’s topic will be on Twitter. If done right any author can make this social media work for them. As mentioned in my post on online presence it was discussed how I started on Twitter. One little @ in a Writer’s Digest issue was all it took

One can either use their real name, pen name or something that describes themselves. For me it is @NewEngland_Muse. As long a I have been online my handle if it is not taken has been Muse.

The bio in Twitter does not give you much space to tell the world who you are. However it is a good lesson in learning how to be concise, to the point without unnecessary words. Something we will have to do when we write our synopsis for our books or our tag line.

My bio on Twitter is:

A writer who is tuning her 2nd/3rd book. A sports loving, photo taking gal who loves to sing/dance to her own enjoyment. She love to laugh even at herself.

Now that you have an account with a name that says you with a bio what next?

Tips I have learned along the way.

Hashtags are a good way to help yourself out. The symbol is # with the key word after it. This is used to mark words or topics when using Twitter. For example when I started to use Twitter where my book was concern I would use #JasperAmazonParrot or different variations of that. If I am looking for help from other writers I sometimes use #writers #authors #advice and again other variations are incorporated.

Try to not use to many hashtags per tweet, use the ones that are pertinent to what you are writing about. Two great programs Hoot Suite and Tweet Deck are programs where you can follow multiple hash tags at one time.

Users who place the # with the keyword in the search engine of this media will get hits from people who are using similar topics. It is a good way to meet people with similar interest. By doing so I have come across publishers, authors, bloggers and editors to name just a few.

When writing someone in Twitter using their DM , Twitter’s form of email, again you are restricted to a character count. It’s another good way for us as writers to write what we want to say in as few words as possible but getting our points across.

What is considered a nice following? According to people in this media anywhere from 2000-3000 is a good start. But that is really up to you. At the moment I have 3812 followers. But from that number I can say 90 percent are from people who are in the writing industry in one form or another. So to me that is a nice following.

How did I get to this number? Most users I have found will follow back, especially if they have similar interest to you. Using hash tags is one way or doing searches on the topics you are interested in is another. It took some time to get to where my number is at, and for me that works just fine.

From your followers you can place them in different groups. For example I have a group of people I know, writers from NC, publishers and editors and so on.  How often I tweet varies. If I am helping a user out by helping promoting them then my count goes a little higher. I try not to flood my users with too much information that might turn them off. Remember you are trying to build a platform that looks positive on you.  Twitter is a great social media that can be one of your best friends as a writer if you let it. It is never to soon to start getting yourself out there.

 

What I have covered is the very basic format of Twitter. If you have any questions just holler.

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My Online Platform

Writer’s Digest is a magazine I inhale. About a year and a half ago I was reading this article where the writer in her following credits listed her twitter name. The article was on online platform and how one can use it to further one’s works. That one little name got me started on establishing my presence.

A lot of people have told me well I don’t have a book out we should wait. That is the opposite of what you should do. No matter what magazine you read that is on writing or webinar you have seen the topic of online platform is bound to be talked about.

This is a tool that indie writers use to promote their works. But it is not just for indie writers, traditional houses are now following suit.

When you are a new author you need all the help you can get in promoting your works. This is done in a variety of ways from Twitter, FB, Goodreads and other forms of publicity.

In March of 2011 I made the move to getting my name out there. What I had to my credit was a number of complete books, short stories and my soon to be 2011 NaNo book but nothing in print. But that was okay. You want to start ahead before you release a book. You want people to know who you are and what you are about.

Doing it when you have a book out and then shouting, “ Hey hey look at me! I wrote a book come check it out” will get you some looks but not as much if you had planned ahead and started working on your platform.

By doing this in advance I have gotten a lot of positive feed back. One major woohoo was a small indie publishing company wanting to include two of my short stories in their anthology e-book. Something I am still pretty proud of for now I can say I been published. From that I met my current editor who is a dream and worth her weight in gold. It continues to meeting a publisher who helped me with my query letter that got my MS to being read by a few publishing houses. This all done before I had one single book out in print or in e-book format.

Pretty cool right? By doing all this people are starting to know me and what kind of stuff I write about. When I have up and down days they are there to help me with encouragement, suggestions and tips to help me along the way. I have a circle of publishers, editors, authors and bloggers to turn to in time of need. To say they are incredible is a gross understatement. These are people who are well established but take the time to help me out. Why? Because they know me from the various mediums we belong too. People who are making it in the business that I am attempting to break into. They are there for me because they have come to known me. I am no longer the new kid on the block. That is something that I can not put a price on.

Because of the people I have met my book is getting a second look at by a publisher. Something I can not say would have happened if I had done this alone. It would be a lonely walk if I had waited until my first book came out whether it was self publish or in print.  If the publisher decides to publish my book it would partly due to the people I have met through my online platform. And that would be freaken amazing.  Over the next few weeks I will dedicate one post a week to the various social medias I use in hopes of passing along to others what I have learned over the last year and a half.