8 reasons why you should start tweeting or come back if you’ve stopped
This is based on a post I wrote back in 2010 and I think it still holds true. If Facebook is about renewing and making contacts, Twitter is about information but there are other benefits.
1) You exercise your writing and editing skills. The aim is to be pithy and witty in 140 characters. It’s good practice.
2) You can find out what’s happening in the publishing industry – many (most?) publishing houses, editors, publicists and agents tweet. For example, leading London agent Carole Blake (author of From Pitch to Publication) is a prolific tweeter
3) Feel part of it – I got tweets from a dinner table at the Booker. It was fun to know what everyone was eating or being too nervous to eat (lamb) and who won before it was on the television news.
4) Get useful information and advice about writing competitions, festivals, book reviews, local events, special offers etc etc
5) If you write a blog it’s an important way of alerting people to something you’ve written.
6) Promote your writing – but not all the time. You wouldn’t want to mix with someone who only ever talks about themselves. And we all hate ‘shouty’ tweets that instruct you to buy a book without giving one reason why you should. My personal hate is automated direct messages from someone I’ve just started to follow telling me to look up their blog, facebook page and Amazon entry and hoping that I will be entertained by their regular tweets. They could at least pretend that it might be a two way relationship and that I haven’t got audience scribbled across my forehead…
7) Keep up to speed with what’s going on. Journalists check out the trending subjects all the time.
8) Make contacts – there’s a world of people out there interested in the same things you are. And there are jokes and experiences to share that lift the day. (And yes, waste time…that happens too)
This is Stephen Fry’s take on twitter:
… the majority, the great majority of people are friendly, forgiving and kind…You will be astonished too by the wit. The speediness, elegance and brilliance of some twitterers regularly takes my breath away…mostly Twitter and my two million followers are as good a reason as I know to trust people. To respect people. To believe in people…
(That was written in 2010. I’ve just checked and he now has nearly 7 million followers)
Not convinced? Here’s a sample of tweets on my account right now.
Photograph of a baby hedgehog in a baking tray(New development – it’s got pictures now.) Appeal for training rooms for hire by a London Charity A poem about sleeping mountains Suggestion to listen to a radio interview with veteran war photographer Don McCullam. News about a fairy tale fair being held a few miles away from where I live in April. Fairy Tale Fair! I might have missed that. Advice sought by someone who’s been asked to take down a book review Photograph of the best graffiti on the back of a toilet door ever (rather cute – wouldn’t raise a blush) Ok and a lot of people saying look, I’ve got a book out but some of those are interesting or smile inducing.
If you are already on twitter come over for a chat. I’m at @agoodconfession