Wednesday, July 31, 2013

FIVE Reasons Authors Should Be On Twitter

Two years ago this summer was when I joined facebook.  I was a sworn enemy of the site that I considered only slightly better than MySpace, which I also never joined.  Then I finished my debut novel and received my first contract.  The marketing director at the time expressed complete shock and awe that I wasn't on it.  So, I joined, kicking and screaming.  Now, two years later, I love it. And so do my books, my followers and my fans.

I learned early on that it was a premier site for marketing my books, and later when I had more than one, the best place to promote my brand, samanthacombswrites.  But, there is a new game in town, and like all things technological, I came to it dragged by the hair.  yes, I am talking about Twitter.

At first, I shied from it.  It was too elite, too aloof, too only-for-celebrities with their million plus followers.  Besides, how could I find value in 140 characters?  I was a writer, for God's sake! Words were my currency.  I wanted as many as I could get.  But, the mystery site grew in popularity.  When my mum began tweeting, thank you very much, I knew it was time.
As I dove in, I realized this could be as valuable, if not more, than facebook.  Many of my author friends are not ready for the tweeting world, but I hope this post changes all that.  Check out the Five Reasons Why Authors Should Be Tweeting.

  1. Self Promotion - the main value of the site cannot be dismissed.  You can tweet about your upcoming release, your chart-climbing current novel, or comment on the outstanding books of our time.  I caution you to use restraint, however. The constant tweeter becomes annoying, and his or her message a bore.  Don't tweet your message to death.  Use Twitter judiciously.
  2. Teaching Brevity and the Art of the Edit - at only 140 characters, Twitter is your short story while Facebook can be your novel.  And any agent or publisher will tell you that the author who can exercise brevity is one who can write tight scenes and fully-fleshed characters.
  3. Literary Brilliance - not yours, other Twitter users.  Never in one place have I found such a brain trust of intelligent people making completely apropos comments about current and timely events.  Social injustices, nationwide philosophies, it's all there.  When a public figure is convicted or acquitted in court, it's there.  When a natural disaster levels a city, it's there. And when something on the internet is too funny/cute/infuriating/alarming/life-affirming not to share, the viral video can be spread in literally seconds across the globe.  Don't you wish that was your book?
  4. Knowledge - and speaking of information, when power was shut down in cities and no phone calls could be made, guess where the public got it's information?  Yep, Twitter. Complaints regarding some of the biggest companies in the world have been addressed because of being spread on Twitter.  And deception is a thing of the past on the tweeting site. On Twitter, everyone is a whistle-blower.
  5. Insider Information - as an author, getting in the heads of the dream agents we all covet is
    invaluable. On Twitter, they seem to let their guard down and feel more human to me. And they drop hints.  Like, ALL THE TIME.  I follow as many agents as I can whose opinion I value like a stalker. They are always telling you what kind of novel is on their current wishlist.  Right this second, here are some wish list items at #agentwishlist:  a YA a la Friday Night Lights, Spartacus for Teens, anything non-fantasy Middle Grade. See what I mean?
I'm sure there are more, and I'd love your take.  And if you ever feel like following me, I can be found on Twitter here:
Tweet ya later!


  1. All valuable points, Samantha! As a tangent to #2 and #3, I'd add that Twitter as an author adds you into a community of other writers. That kind of community is invaluable as you build your resume, your skill and your catalogue. You get to be a better writer by bouncing ideas around with smashing counterparts in the field.

  2. I am a reluctant tweeter and have been trying to learn my way around so it is a valuable use of my time and not a waste of time and energy. Your #agentwishlist is a valuable find. Thank you for sharing.