10 Ways That Twitter Can Help Writers

TwitterWhen I first heard about Twitter, I dismissed it as just another social networking site. I didn’t really take it seriously but as a self-confessed online beginner, I gave it a go, even though I was already overloaded with keeping up with the social networks I had already signed up for.

Why on earth would I want to read about what someone eats for breakfast or what they’re doing every minute of the day?

I admit now that I was completely wrong. I’m now @marlin_writes on Twitter, and here are some of the reasons I’m glad I joined.

1. Twitter forces you to exercise your writing and editing skills. With only 140 characters to work with, you have to choose your words carefully and be concise.

2. Stay informed about the publishing industry. With so many publishing house Tweeters, you can learn a bushel about what’s happening in the industry.

3. Make contacts in the publishing industry. One of the reasons I decided to take Twitter seriously was because I kept hearing about various editors and publishers who were Tweeting. And they weren’t just posting promo items; they were also reading posts by other Tweeters and sometimes replying to them! (Imagine that……one can only dream)

4. Meet and share ideas with other writers. Yes, you can do this through other social networks as well. I’m finding, though, that Twitter’s platform provides a unique experience not yet duplicated by other social networks .There is a HUGE network of writers on Twitter and chances are good that you’ll find other writers who are going through the same types of experiences in their careers as you. Said writers will almost certainly posts tips and blogs articles of mutual interest.

5. Promote and market your writing. As writers are expected to take on more and more of the responsibility of marketing their own work, it makes sense to use every possible venue to do so. You may already be promoting your book on Facebook, for example, but Twitter gives you access to more potential readers.

6. If you can’t get to the next ‘big’ writing event, the next best thing in my view if not better is by following the relevant event #. You will then see posts from anyone attending and keep up to date with all the latest news!

7. Increasing your blog readership. Post a summary or blurb about the great content on your blog on Twitter, with a link back to your blog post for those who want to read the full content. Increased blog traffic means increased exposure to your work, which could lead to other writing-related benefits.

8. Writing motivation. In addition to finding inspirational tips and information via Twitter, you can also exchange mutual encouragement and advice with others via mentions and hashtags. The #amwriting hashtag is a popular hashtag for those posting updates on what they’re working on, for example, and has expanded into its own Amwriting website.

9. Get ideas for your writing projects. Get inspired by following current hot “trending topics” as well as thought-provoking posts.

10. Find useful resources, articles and tips to help you in the craft and business of writing. Most of the people I follow with @marlin_writes are writers, editors, publishers or book publicists, and many of them post links to useful info for writers on a daily basis. I try to do the same.

I could go on, but I have to get back to writing now. Follow me on Twitter! I’m @marlin_writes.

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The Kindle-ing- To keep the author fire burning

The Kindle-ing- To keep the author fire burning

The Kindle-ing- To keep the author fire burning

There was a time–and not all that long ago–when self-publishing was considered nothing short of blasphemy and with the ‘one stop shop’ offering from publishers being hard to refuse what else would you do?

Well, that was then. Today, self-publishing has become a billion-dollar juggernaut. So with that last year I embarked on a journey, and what I have found was more complex than Quantum Reality.

Igniting the fire

Having the fortunate driver of ‘just because’ behind me I was in an advantageous position. My aim was to share my stories, being a bestselling author was not (although I wouldn’t say no!)

So my first book ‘The Retainer’ was published in April 2013, followed by ‘A Hero of Our Times’. I had no real idea of how my stories would be perceived but some early glowing reviews gave me the gentle nudge to ‘keep calm and carry on’.

And I’ve enjoyed it….

Exploring new fireplaces

It gave me an excuse to delve into the world of social media as a means of communicating my work and join the online Indie Author community, it’s also quite a pleasurable way of depositing ones daily thoughts.

I have learnt all manner of technical skills such as ‘what on earth is a pdf’ and also what that wheel on the top of the mouse was for – yes I was using the keyboard arrows prior to this revelation (not even the scroll bar)

I have found blogging delightful!

Blogging provides substance for social media and an aperture for the ‘surplus to requirements’ short stories or tales of years gone by. The lure of fellow bloggers postings is also quite formidable and often diverts my attention.

Utilising the many relevant on-line habitations of readers and writers is a highland I am finding an ongoing and changing expedition. Helpfully for every suitable outlet there are hundreds of blogs, articles and social media accounts to promote them, so they are not hard to find.

One of the single most successful things I have done to date has been to utilise the facility via Amazon of offering my books for free on chosen days via Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP).

My first free promotion saw over 400 downloads in 24 hours!

Yes I know I made no money from it, yes I know the appeal of the book being free is often enough for someone to download it regardless whether they are interested in the genre or book description, but just imagine if even 5% of those 400 wrote a review on Amazon!

With rankings being heavily review led that opportunity is not to be sniffed at!

Maintaining the burn

So now I am in full swing with my author journey, I can hashtag with the best of them and use a mouse properly, what’s next?

The procurement of some all-important ISBN codes will I hope open up some more boulevards for distributing my books.

I also hope to locate some time for literacy consumption now that I have freed up some space in the grey matter!

How is your Indie Author journey going?