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Maze Runner
01-07-2016, 09:22 PM
Are you on it? What do you think of the rumor that it might up the min # of characters to 10K?

I've just got on, as of a few days ago. I've done it to just try to get the word out on a book.

I think it's fun, but it's kind of so big I don't know what to make of it yet.

Maze Runner
01-07-2016, 11:08 PM
Jesus, how do you keep up with it? Turn your head for a minute and come back to a hundred new posts. For that reason, maybe the proposed 10K character thing might be an improvement. I think the speed of the place is good, but I wouldn't mind it slowing down just a little bit. I don't know, 1000 characters? 2?

ElaineA
01-07-2016, 11:19 PM
I keep up with it by severely limiting my feed. I am picky about who I follow, and I don't follow-back just anyone. But that's because I'm easily overwhelmed. Others will say the best way to go about Twitter is maximum contacts. Either way, I think Twitter works best when you actually engage rather than just lurk and follow.

Maze Runner
01-07-2016, 11:32 PM
Yeah, I am engaging. And I am following a lot of people, about three times more than follow me, mostly because I don't know who's gonna make my day a little better or worse. I do hate the self promotion thing. I do hate talking about my book or trying to hustle people. I follow a ton of writers, really just because I'm interested in what they have to say, not just about the pub business, but about everything. They're usually smart and compassionate people. I'm also following publishing houses and just anybody who says something I like or think is interesting. I'm following politicians and reporters, and musicians I dig. I read the thread on here that suggested how to use social media and I'm trying to follow it. This is from someone who has never used social media except for AW. But I got a facebook for the book, an author's page on Amazon, registered with Goodreads and Library Thing, thought I haven't touched them yet.

cmhbob
01-07-2016, 11:41 PM
Two great tips for managing Twitter:


Make Lists. When you follow someone, there's a gear right next to the Follow button. Click that, and you can add that person to a list of your own creation. I've got over a dozen lists now. One for Media accounts (journalists, etc.). One for Public Safety accounts. Booktrope & Gravity people. Michigan football. Saints football. It makes it much easier to see what's going on. My public Lists: https://twitter.com/bobmueller/lists. I also have 3 or 4 private Lists.

Lists can be fluid, too. I just created one called Thrillers, for all the thriller writers I follow. But right now it's only got one person on it. I need to spend some time managing my lists to get that a little more organized.

People can be on multiple Lists, as well. I've got one called "OCONUS" where I put anyone who's not in the States. But everyone on that list is on another list that corresponds to the original reason I followed them.

Use a client like Hootsuite. It makes it SO much easier to slow the tempo. You can set up multiple tabs within the client, and use on tab for each List, for example. I have 11 tabs set up: the Main tab; DMs; Me (for self-searches); Writing; Non-Writing; Sports; Syndicator (Google alerts and such); trafficking; Innocence; Media (last 3 are lists).

This combo turns the floodgate of Twitter down to a fast garden hose, and makes it much more useful. I currently follow over 600 people, and there's no way I could do that without these two tricks.

blacbird
01-07-2016, 11:44 PM
I never tweet. I

caw

Shadowflame
01-07-2016, 11:53 PM
Two great tips for managing Twitter:


Make Lists. When you follow someone, there's a gear right next to the Follow button. Click that, and you can add that person to a list of your own creation. I've got over a dozen lists now. One for Media accounts (journalists, etc.). One for Public Safety accounts. Booktrope & Gravity people. Michigan football. Saints football. It makes it much easier to see what's going on. My public Lists: https://twitter.com/bobmueller/lists. I also have 3 or 4 private Lists.

Lists can be fluid, too. I just created one called Thrillers, for all the thriller writers I follow. But right now it's only got one person on it. I need to spend some time managing my lists to get that a little more organized.

People can be on multiple Lists, as well. I've got one called "OCONUS" where I put anyone who's not in the States. But everyone on that list is on another list that corresponds to the original reason I followed them.
Use a client like Hootsuite. It makes it SO much easier to slow the tempo. You can set up multiple tabs within the client, and use on tab for each List, for example. I have 11 tabs set up: the Main tab; DMs; Me (for self-searches); Writing; Non-Writing; Sports; Syndicator (Google alerts and such); trafficking; Innocence; Media (last 3 are lists).

This combo turns the floodgate of Twitter down to a fast garden hose, and makes it much more useful. I currently follow over 600 people, and there's no way I could do that without these two tricks.


Good advice here.

Also, be you on your account. Don't just spam the heck out of your work. Respond to people. Have conversations. ReTweet things you like. It's just like any other social media platform. The best way to have people follow you and buy your stuff is to be a real person.

tiakall
01-08-2016, 12:02 AM
There's a crapton of writers on Twitter - it's sort of to writers what tumblr is to fandom. Lots of agents and small presses too, which helps you to get to know them (good or bad) prior to submitting anything to them (or just follow them for tips/because they're interesting). I follow a number of agents that have things on their #MSWL (manuscript wishlist) that corresponds to some of my WIPs or what I write in general. I've also bought author books based on them talking about them on Twitter (i.e., "here's what the book is about" vs. "BUY MY BOOK").

Maze Runner
01-08-2016, 12:06 AM
Yes, thanks cmhbob, I'll try to figure out how to do all that. I'm kind of a knuckledragger with this stuff.

Yeah, shadow, I know what you mean. I do follow a lot of writers, a lot of beginners like myself, and several have dmed me immediately to try to sell me their book. Not bugged, I understand. Yeah, easy for me to be me on there because I don't really want to be on there telling people to buy my book. So I talk about politics, whatever.

Do we think that the 10k characters is a good thing? Wonder how many words that averages out to.

to da bird: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-kBmh-mqUY

Maze Runner
01-08-2016, 12:07 AM
There's a crapton of writers on Twitter - it's sort of to writers what tumblr is to fandom. Lots of agents and small presses too, which helps you to get to know them (good or bad) prior to submitting anything to them (or just follow them for tips/because they're interesting). I follow a number of agents that have things on their #MSWL (manuscript wishlist) that corresponds to some of my WIPs or what I write in general. I've also bought author books based on them talking about them on Twitter (i.e., "here's what the book is about" vs. "BUY MY BOOK").

Thanks, tia. Gonna follow you. I'll link my twitter here too.

Toothpaste
01-08-2016, 02:13 AM
Some tips I've found useful (some that have already been mentioned):

1. (mentioned above) Create lists. And then interact with the people on the list. If there are agents or reviewers or book store owners you like, reply to their posts, even a simple click on the heart (now a "like" used to be a "favourite"), notifies them of your existence.

2. Authors are great fun to follow, and I highly recommend it simply for expanding your community and support system. That being said, for self promotion purposes they aren't that helpful (unless a really famous one retweets you) so make sure you also follow librarians and book store peeps. As well as bloggers and reviewers.

3. Hashtags are a great way of reaching people not following you. Of entering conversations that are larger than just your Twitter world.

4. Do not, I repeat, do not spam about your work all the time. Seriously. Don't do that. Be yourself. Post funny observations. Retweet other people. Support others. No one trusts an author who only talks about writing and their books.

5. It's wise to attempt to get your follower/following balance so that your followers well exceed the number of people you are following. If it's one to one it looks like you are just trying to get followers by following every single person. That you are indiscriminate. I mean look at someone like Neil_Gaiman: he has 2.6 million followers but only follows 868 people. So that's a bit extreme, but the point is, people will judge based on the ratio. You said above you are following way more people than you have following you. See what you can do to even that out and then bring up your followers. Check and see if you really do need to follow all the people you are following. I bet there are some you could unfollow.

6. Manage the number of people you are following by using a site like this: http://untweeps.com/ (https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Funtweeps.com%2F&h=IAQGiOJpL) This tells you how often the people you follow are actually using Twitter and how large their outreach is. I started ages ago on Twitter and so a lot of the accounts I followed have since been abandoned by their owners. It's a really fast easy way to check up once and while.

7. You asked how one keeps up with everything posted. Well one doesn't. You simply cannot go back through your feed and make sure you've read everything. That's not how Twitter works. You see what you see in the moment you are on Twitter. You miss a lot of stuff. That's the nature of the beast. Don't attempt to comment on every single tweet made by others or read every single tweet. That way madness lies.


But above and beyond everything remember that Twitter is a community. You are there to promote but you are also there to interact, get to know people, have fun. Share tweets by others, support others, celebrate others. And yes, you can absolutely post about your stuff too once in a while, but if you make your focus more on community building, it'll serve you better in the long run. And you also won't feel quite so icky about the self promotion aspect.

Maze Runner
01-08-2016, 02:43 AM
Toothpaste, what can I say? That is an unbelievably generous of you. But it strikes me that that's who you are. So nice of you, words cannot say. Much of what you said I had no idea about, so I will refer back to this post many times in the future. I'm shaking my head here, at the kind of a person you are. Just beautiful. Thank you.

brainstorm77
01-08-2016, 02:59 AM
It depends if you can get followers who are interested in what you are tweeting. I do promo on there, but I also tweet about a lot of other things interacting with my followers.

I enjoy Twitter, but I admit to ignoring most of the tweets by people who only post nonstop promo.

Toothpaste
01-08-2016, 03:01 AM
Oh my goodness, I'm blushing! I just like helping out where I can (and I figure come the apocalypse I'm going to have so few useful skills that I need to rack up as many karma points now as I can ;) ). I've learned so much in the almost decade or so I've been doing this author thing (like seriously 2017 it'll have been a DECADE since I published my first book. Blows. My. Mind.) and I love to share everything I've learned whenever possible. And especially since my learning curve with Twitter was very slow, took me a long time to figure stuff out. The first few months I didn't even know people @ replied to people on Twitter. I thought that you just wrote a tweet and others read it and that's all, lol. So anything I can do to speed up that process for others, well, I will do! :)

Maze Runner
01-08-2016, 03:03 AM
It depends if you can get followers who are interested in what you are tweeting. I do promo on there, but I also tweet about a lot of other things interacting with my followers.

I enjoy Twitter, but I admit to ignoring most of the tweets by people who only post nonstop promo.

Yeah, I mean, today and part of yesterday I did tweet some snippets that I thought might grab some attention, but mostly I'm talking Bernie Sanders and gun control. For now, I'm following a ton of people but this thing that Toothpaste linked http://untweeps.com/ (https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Funtweeps.com%2F&h=IAQGiOJpL) really looks like a good idea. It seems like the 10K character thing, if it happens, might be a good idea, but I don't know.

Maze Runner
01-08-2016, 03:09 AM
Oh my goodness, I'm blushing! I just like helping out where I can (and I figure come the apocalypse I'm going to have so few useful skills that I need to rack up as many karma points now as I can ;) ). I've learned so much in the almost decade or so I've been doing this author thing (like seriously 2017 it'll have been a DECADE since I published my first book. Blows. My. Mind.) and I love to share everything I've learned whenever possible. And especially since my learning curve with Twitter was very slow, took me a long time to figure stuff out. The first few months I didn't even know people @ replied to people on Twitter. I thought that you just wrote a tweet and others read it and that's all, lol. So anything I can do to speed up that process for others, well, I will do! :)

Well, you're incredibly sweet. Yeah, I can't make heads nor tails of it yet, but my impatience sometimes helps with the learning curve. I like interacting with people, most people add much more than they take away, but the truth is I don't have all that much time. I've really been cheating by going on Twitter as much as I have over the past few days--just trying to get some traction so I can get back to spending most of my free time writing. I haven't written a word in months, what with querying and editing and now trying to market it. I've got another one coming out in a couple months with a different publisher and so maybe what I'm doing now will help. Damn though, I just want to write. And not to worry, something tells me you've got a surplus of karma points. Thanks so much.

Chumplet
01-08-2016, 03:13 AM
Might I add that Toothpaste is very good at what she does, and never annoyed me at all! Like she says, you can't see everything. Think of it as walking through a room and catching some really cool conversations.

Maze Runner
01-08-2016, 03:21 AM
Might I add that Toothpaste is very good at what she does, and never annoyed me at all! Like she says, you can't see everything. Think of it as walking through a room and catching some really cool conversations.


hahaha, that's good to know. Yes, I do believe that she is. And I think I'm beginning to see the light, so to speak. Thank you!

Laurasaurus
01-08-2016, 03:22 AM
Do we think that the 10k characters is a good thing? Wonder how many words that averages out to.
I think it sounds horrendous. The reason I like Twitter is because it's nothing like Facebook.
I've not yet seen anyone express a positive reaction to the 10k characters rumour. I think a lot of people might leave if it happens. It'll take ten minutes just to scroll through a few tweets. Yikes.

Maze Runner
01-08-2016, 03:58 AM
I think it sounds horrendous. The reason I like Twitter is because it's nothing like Facebook.
I've not yet seen anyone express a positive reaction to the 10k characters rumour. I think a lot of people might leave if it happens. It'll take ten minutes just to scroll through a few tweets. Yikes.

Yeah, I mean, from my experience on there, which is all of a few days, I have thought it would be nice to have a little more space, though I do see what you mean/ 140 to 10,000 is quite a leap. Maybe some smaller number might be okay, but I don't know what everyone else will think.

BenPanced
01-08-2016, 04:45 AM
I had a Twitter account for about three months and had four people following me. They're already following me on Facebook, where I'm making many posts around 140 characters, anyway, so I deleted Twitter.

Jamesaritchie
01-08-2016, 09:41 AM
Does twitter help? I don't know. What's twitter?

Laurasaurus
01-08-2016, 02:06 PM
Yeah, I mean, from my experience on there, which is all of a few days, I have thought it would be nice to have a little more space, though I do see what you mean/ 140 to 10,000 is quite a leap. Maybe some smaller number might be okay, but I don't know what everyone else will think.
Ha, yeah. I could live with them extending it to maybe 200/250 characters.
But on the other hand, making what you want to say fit 140 is kind of fun and satisfying. A great exercise in editing and getting rid of words you didn't realise were unnecessary on first look.

I'm still hoping the 10k is just a rumour.

Maze Runner
01-08-2016, 05:34 PM
Ha, yeah. I could live with them extending it to maybe 200/250 characters.
But on the other hand, making what you want to say fit 140 is kind of fun and satisfying. A great exercise in editing and getting rid of words you didn't realise were unnecessary on first look.

I'm still hoping the 10k is just a rumour.

You're right, I've had the same thought regarding the lesson in brevity. I guess we'll see what they decide. Wonder if there's any kind of timeline, so to speak.


Does twitter help? I don't know. What's twitter?

Hmm, you're asking the wrong guy, James. But if I figure it out I'll be sure to let you know.

I do know, what you're hinting at, of course, and I fully appreciate your point.

Richard White
01-09-2016, 12:00 AM
My experience with Twitter (and FB, and CompuServe, and ... (yes, I am that old)) has been to focus on creating conversations and talking about writing/publishing in general and only commenting on something like "Hey, I have a new book out (link)" and then dropping it unless someone asks me. I see Twitter more like the corner bar where I go in and talk to people who've got something in common with me and love talking to people I've never met before (I'm a shameless extrovert after all).

But, I follow a few personal rules:

I try to avoid ALL conversations about politics and/or religion in main chat. I figure as polarized as this country is these days, there's no sense in antagonizing up to half of my potential readers by goring their personal ox. Some of my writer friends thrive on being all political and controversial - I also notice almost all of them live in NYC and they're all following each other. If that's what they want to talk about - fine - but I don't have to listen to it.

Honestly, I don't care about your politics, and I'm pretty sure you don't care about mine, so why throw stuff on the wall that generally only starts acrimonious debates and hard feelings. And if someone insists on making most of their tweets (or FB posts) all about politics, they very soon get unfriended. I don't tell them what to talk about, but I pick up my drink and move out of earshot (to keep the bar analogy going).

Debeucci
01-09-2016, 12:22 AM
I think twitter is the best and easiest way for authors to interact with each other and with readers. There are (imo) definitely right and wrong ways to go about it. If you're using Twitter strictly to market your books, you're doing it wrong. My personal rule is I use Twitter to be me and that I'm selling myself to the audience. Books and sales and marketing all come later.

brainstorm77
01-09-2016, 01:20 AM
Does twitter help? I don't know. What's twitter?

I suggest using Google to help answer that for you.

Maze Runner
01-09-2016, 07:06 PM
I suggest using Google to help answer that for you.

Ha, it's the cold truth.

Maze Runner
01-09-2016, 07:20 PM
I try to avoid ALL conversations about politics and/or religion in main chat. I figure as polarized as this country is these days, there's no sense in antagonizing up to half of my potential readers by goring their personal ox. Some of my writer friends thrive on being all political and controversial - I also notice almost all of them live in NYC and they're all following each other. If that's what they want to talk about - fine - but I don't have to listen to it.

Honestly, I don't care about your politics, and I'm pretty sure you don't care about mine, so why throw stuff on the wall that generally only starts acrimonious debates and hard feelings. And if someone insists on making most of their tweets (or FB posts) all about politics, they very soon get unfriended. I don't tell them what to talk about, but I pick up my drink and move out of earshot (to keep the bar analogy going).

The % of my tweets that are politics related is very small. But sometimes I just can't help it. I'm sure you're right about alienating potential readers. In fact, I have noticed that every time I do make a political statement I lose followers. But as I even said in a tweet in so many words, Some things are more important than selling books. I'm sure that's a self defeating attitude to take.

Jamesaritchie
01-09-2016, 09:40 PM
I suggest using Google to help answer that for you.

I would, but I'm too busy writing.

Maze Runner
01-09-2016, 09:45 PM
I would, but I'm too busy writing.

Well, I guess you're lucky to not have to do any self-promoting on social media. I also assume you've been at it a lot longer than most of us have. And I'd bet that the great majority of us would like nothing more than to be able to spend all of our free time writing. So, I don't know, what? Good for you?

AW Admin
01-09-2016, 09:55 PM
Twitter should be used as part of a larger strategy, one that has your website (and your books) at its heart, can be effective but it's tricky:

1. Engage with the conversation; don't just pimp your book.
2. Manage your time; don't use Twitter instead of writing.
3. Be real. Don't be someone you aren't. Don't sockpuppet.

I interact with people on Twitter that I have some connection with; people on AW, former colleagues, writers whose work I know, agents and editors I know.

And one of my main reasons to use Twitter is for book reccs from people I trust.

And I get those reccs regularly; see for instance this conversation on Twitter (https://twitter.com/scribofelidae/status/678050534608125953).

Also talking about books you love can only help people find your books. Really truly. It works.

Jamesaritchie
01-09-2016, 10:15 PM
Well, I guess you're lucky to not have to do any self-promoting on social media. I also assume you've been at it a lot longer than most of us have. And I'd bet that the great majority of us would like nothing more than to be able to spend all of our free time writing. So, I don't know, what? Good for you?

I don't think social media helps any writer, except the self-published. Publishers do all the necessary promotion, and if it doesn't work, the problem is with the book, not the lack of promotion. Despite all the modern technology out there, one thing has not changed. Books sell well because readers talk about them to their friends who talk about them to their friends, on and on. This is how every book grows legs. Once it does grow legs, publishers will shove a truckload of money behind it.

If it doesn't grow legs, all the promotion on earth won't make it sell well. Readers know what they like, and have no trouble finding any book released by a commercial publisher. They simply don't like three out of four. The fourth one sells well, even without promotion. The one out of ten that sells extremely well, that becomes a bestseller, grows legs before the writer can even think about ways to promote it.



The best way to be successful as a writer, to make money as a writer, is to write. To write constantly, to write often enough to keep new material coming out on a regular basis. Social media is useful to self-published writers, at least to a small degree, and it's useful to writers who are famous enough that readers want to rub elbows with that writer. Dean Koontz and Stephen King are not successful because they use social media, they use social media because they're already famous.


The simple fact is that books readers don't like are not going to sell, and books readers do like will sell. With or without social media, this is just how it works. Too many writers spend most of their time trying to promote a book when they should be spending their time writing the next three books.

Maze Runner
01-09-2016, 10:27 PM
James, many small publishers don't do much in the way of marketing, and from the number of not famous authors signed with major pubs that are active on social media, I'd say that they disagree with you.

As far as getting people talking about your book, I fully agree. Word of mouth is still the best form of advertising regardless of the product, but it seems to me that much of this conversation now takes place on social media--word of mouth on steroids.

Again, I would bet that the great majority of beginning writers would much rather be writing than trying to promote their last book on social media. You can have a great book, but if you're not with a major publisher, and you're not able to get it in front of enough people then you might just get lost in the shuffle. I've got three coming out this year, two of which I wrote in the first 8 or 9 months of last year, so maybe you'll believe me when i say that I'd much rather be writing. I think most of us would.

I don't know this to be true, but I do have to wonder that if some of your business advice is a little outdated. I value your artistic advice greatly as I've said privately and publicly. Maybe you're not able to appreciate the level of frustration some of us feel when we believe we've written a good book, but run a real risk of it remaining a well kept secret.

AW Admin
01-09-2016, 10:29 PM
Books sell well because readers talk about them to their friends who talk about them to their friends, on and on. This is how every book grows legs..

Mr. Ritchie:

This is exactly what happens on Twitter. People who love and read books, readers talk about those books on Twitter. People buy those books because they know each other via Twitter and know that if Jack and / or Jane think this is a good book it's probably a good book and I should read it.

There's a reason people like Joe Hill and Stephen King and John Scalzi and Neil Gaiman are on Twitter; to talk to people they know, to find books and to sell their own books.

rugcat
01-09-2016, 10:44 PM
I don't think social media helps any writer, except the self-published. Publishers do all the necessary promotion, and if it doesn't work, the problem is with the book, not the lack of promotion. Despite all the modern technology out there, one thing has not changed. That may have been true at one time, but it is certainly not true these days. One of the most common, perhaps the biggest complaint I have heard among all the published novelists I know, is that many publishers basically no longer do any promotion for books whatsoever in fact, they sometimes almost seem to sabotage the books not from malice, but from sheer incompetence. And I'm talking about well known, respected publishers, not fly by nights.

These are mostly publishers in the F/SF genre, a genre I am familiar with, but I doubt it's a much different story in other genres as well.

As far as social media goes, it is invaluable. The problem is, you have to be good at it, and it's a talent just like writing a novel is a talent. You can't just decide you're going to do it you really do need a feel for it and and enjoyment of it as well.

John Scalzi is a quite successful author whose success was driven in large part by his social media ability. But he wasn't an author who picked up social media he was a blogger, critic, and reviewer as far back as 1998, IIRC. And he's really good at it. Expecting the same success via social media is no more realistic than expecting your book to instantly become an overnight bestseller.

It's also true that if readers don't like your books, no amount of social media will help them. On the other hand, if no one even knows that you've written a book, it's not going to do very well no matter how good it is.

Maze Runner
01-09-2016, 10:47 PM
I mean, James, what would you suggest that someone like myself, who believes he's written a good book--not Hemingway mind you, but a fun, well-written, entertaining read and even with some originality, but with a small publisher that doesn't have the budget to do much in the way of promotion do, to try to get the book in front of enough people? I'm going to try to get it in the hands of as many reviewers as I can, that's one thing I've got planned.

brainstorm77
01-09-2016, 11:30 PM
Mr. Ritchie:

This is exactly what happens on Twitter. People who love and read books, readers talk about those books on Twitter. People buy those books because they know each other via Twitter and know that if Jack and / or Jane think this is a good book it's probably a good book and I should read it.

There's a reason people like Joe Hill and Stephen King and John Scalzi and Neil Gaiman are on Twitter; to talk to people they know, to find books and to sell their own books.

Excellent post and worth repeating.

brainstorm77
01-09-2016, 11:33 PM
I mean, James, what would you suggest that someone like myself, who believes he's written a good book--not Hemingway mind you, but a fun, well-written, entertaining read and even with some originality, but with a small publisher that doesn't have the budget to do much in the way of promotion do, to try to get the book in front of enough people? I'm going to try to get it in the hands of as many reviewers as I can, that's one thing I've got planned.

I think you are on the right track.

Debeucci
01-10-2016, 01:04 AM
I would say social media (twitter especially) has been extremely important to my career.

Here's the thing about publishing. Everyone's path is different. What works for some may not work for others. Also, just because someone speaks with authority doesn't mean what they say is right. It may be their truth, but not yours or anyone else's.

cmi0616
01-12-2016, 12:06 AM
Are you on it?


Yup. Though I never post on it, I just kind of lurk and look at what other people've written.


What do you think of the rumor that it might up the min # of characters to 10K?

I'm all for it.