Two years ago when the opportunity to launch a website, and get my name out there as a writer presented itself, I thought half the battle had been won. For someone aspiring like myself, yes, it is definitely beneficial to have an on-line presence. Now understand, I will only speak of writers here, although I’m certain others may put together what I mean, and find it useful. First, let me say, the more I look at the concept of Twitter, and writing, the more I’m left scratching my head. What do I mean? Think about this. I want to draw your attention to your followers. Of course, as writers, we follow other writers. But, have you stopped to ask yourself why? If you’re tweeting about your most recent book, wouldn’t it benefit the author to advertise to potential readers who – get this - are probably not on Twitter. I’m trying to understand how tweets to other writers, and followers who also want to become known in their own right, will increase your readership.
Now, I realize having a Twitter account adds a bit of luster to your curriculum vitae (CV), but will it sell books to readers? I fully understand there is a Big Brother/Big Sister somewhere keeping track, however, and when you’re in touch with an agent, or publisher the question surfaces – are you on Twitter? But, has this in itself turned to a high-priced game of, oh I don’t know – chicken? (You know, if you’re not on Twitter, then you get hit by the car.) This profession is a serious full-time job. Now, add running a blog, working outside the home, and lastly marketing. I would like to ask another question. Do you write about everything, or only about craft? If it is only on writing, why? Don’t all these things eat away at your time as it is? Who do you want reading your material; other writers, or everyone? Maybe, once in a while to encourage, or to present a new issue, something you may have recently learned, but otherwise would there be a need?
Wouldn’t you prefer to gather readers instead, allowing them a peek at your world versus what you know about writing? How will that help the reader who is searching for, well….reading material. Once you’ve grabbed their attention then, hopefully they’ll come again. Trying to make one’s way through this world of publishing is a difficult task. Thinking about this takes me back to square one – gather your readership before the contract is ever negotiated. But, like I said, will you find them on Twitter? Yes, there is the occasional reader/reviewer who signs on, and follows you, the writer. Then, there are others who have subscribed to your blog. Those are two categories of which you want more.
Lastly, I’d like to mention tweeting that book information. Isn’t that like screaming in to a massive empty glass bubble? Again, this doesn’t get the information out to potential readers. Unlike owning a company where social medial can provide a channel of open dialogue between that company and the consumer, to name one thing. But, this is a rule that does not apply to the writer. I have never professed to know how, or which form of social media is best for this field, but I had to put the question out there. I have heard authors talking of cutting their Twitter time way back, because they had not received the return they first thought. What I’m getting at is, Twitter is a great platform for networking, but is anyone else out there with me when I say, it’s the person feverishly turning the pages who sky-rocket the numbers. Isn’t putting your work in the hands of the “public at large” what you want versus it simply going to Wilhelmina Writer’s Twitter stream somewhere in Anywhereville, South Dakota. To reiterate, for those who are aspiring, running a blog and tweeting that post is great advertisement, and will absolutely get you on the map. But, a contract equals lock down time, which does not include Twitter. For me, I guess I’ll hang on a bit longer, but once I sell something, I do believe my time will be cut way back as well on this planet called Twitter. Please, give me your thoughts and/or change my opinion.
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