An Author's Guide: The Do's & Don'ts of Twitter

Posted by Sherrie Wilkolaski
Published On Sep 27, 2014

by Gillian Nicol

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In the wide-wild-world of social media, Twitter can make or break your online presence. Despite being limited to just one hundred and forty characters to spread your message, it’s quite easy to find yourself falling into the “annoying zone” in the twitter-sphere (and I know…I am guilty of this).

Utilize Twitter to your advantage by following these five simple do’s and don’ts for authors just like you. 

Don’t Over-Tweet.
There is nothing more off-putting than a follower that tweets every second of the day and it’s a great way to get “unfollowed.” Make your messages meaningful and reach out to those with similar interests. This doesn’t mean, however, that you should retweet everything that comes your way. Be selective and note popular times for tweeting in order to getting your message seen. Tweeting about trending topics is a great way to get your name out to a vast audience.

Don’t Shamelessly Self-Promote.
Oftentimes I see authors putting their accounts in cruise control; every single tweet that leaves their keyboard and enters into Twitter is automated. Most author-automated tweets are solely to promote their newest novel, encouraging others to purchase and read it. This can be tiring for followers and shouldn’t define your entire presence. Programs like Hootsuite are a great tool but shouldn’t be used as a sole means
for communication. A better way to spread the word about your work is to promote a giveawayor upcoming media appearance or author interview.

Getting Publicity for Your Book

Be Informative.
There is nothing better than a creative and thought provoking Tweeter (Twitterer, etc). Get creative with the messages you write. You can expand your social network by promoting your author website, Facebook page or Goodreads blog. Connect with other authors in your genre by reviewing books or passing along interesting quotes about writing. The sky’s the limit when it comes to exposing your thoughts to readers on Twitter.

Build a Brand.
Thinking about Twitter as an extension of your growing book brand is great way to grab the attention of new readers. Use your book’s cover as your avatar and create a witty and informative bio, complete with a link to the most engaging and user-friendly part of your author website. Follow the trends by using hashtags (#), commenting on current events and even taking part in the ever-popular “Throw Back Thursday.” Twitter tours are also a fantastic way to grow your reach by having others tweet about you.

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Interact with Peers.
This is the fun part! Now is the time to tweet your followers and find out what books are on their bedside table. Reach out to new people and use the handy search feature to find others that write or read your genre. I guarantee that every person you decide to follow will be more than likely to follow you right back.

Book lovers are always tweeting about authors and you can connect with them based on books that are similar to yours. Twitter is a dynamic environment that allows you to interact with people from all over the world; don’t be afraid to reach out and embrace that.

Whether you’re a technology newbie or a seasoned Internet pro, Twitter is a vast and exciting environment to connect and share. Take it one step of the time and remember to have fun; you never know, I might just “follow” you!

Have something to add? Comment in the section below and share your experience with Twitter.

Happy Tweeting!


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Gillian Nicol is a publishing assistant and aspiring writer. She launched her publishing career at Pressque Publishing and currently works with PubSmart. She was born in Toronto, Ontario and grew up in Connecticut and Florida. She holds a Bachelors degree in English with a concentration in creative writing from the College of Charleston in South Carolina. The beach is her favorite place to crack open a book and enjoy a good read.

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Topics: branding, promotion, gillian nicol, guidelines, followers, publicity, twitter

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