Twitter to Woo

Published 18/04/2012 by Lily Crussell

Twitter to Woo


I attended this talk at The London Book Fair today, and whilst it was mostly aimed at publishers, I have popped my notes up on here as I think they may be useful to any new authors wanting to get some followers etc from Twitter/Facebook etc etc ad infinitum.

The talk was given by three panelists, one was a publicist at Penguin @joethepublicist, one was the person in charge of social networking for Wylie books (They do the ‘Dummies guide to’ books) and the Lonely Planet online editor.

They listed all the common social networking sites that publishers and authors need to be aware of; Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Tumblr, Pinterest, LinkedIn and how people should not necessarily join all of them, but at least gain an interest of what they are. They stated that Twitter was more a medium for professional networking, whereas Facebook and some of the others are more informal.

Please be aware that I am not quoting directly and am paraphrasing as is needed to makes these points relevant to authors rather than publishers.

@joethepublicist brought up the following points;

-No one is bored anymore. Previously (in the olden days before the internet, ipads etc) people didn’t always have something to do. They would pick up a book as there wasn’t the same easy access to entertainment as there is today in the form of iphones, ipads etc.

-Everyone’s roles are changing in the publishing industry. Everyone is having to adapt and learn to cover more areas as technology is leaping forward so very quickly that everyone is having to learn afresh. This isn’t just limited to publishing obviously, but in all areas of business where marketing is important. This is especially important (in my view) for authors without the backing of a publishing house. We need to be able to be authors, marketing experts, social networking gurus as well as potentially self publishers.

-Think about how you receive information and what works with you. Use this to attract people to your Twitter/face book etc. How can you excite people? The best way to do this is to be generous. This is with your time and energy by replying to messages and emails, and by doing giveaways etc to get the audience involved.

-What should you say on Twitter? There are no hard and fast rules, but I think it’s important to live by the rule ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’ I.e don’t be mean. There’s just no need for it. If you hate something, keep it to yourself, or be constructively critical. On the other hand, if you love something, tell everyone. Even if it’s something the competition has done! If you’re a YA author and loved The Hunger Games, tell everyone! You will get people engaging with you about that, and they may then move on to what you are writing as you have common likes.

The Online Editor raised these points;

-Judgements are quick. You have about five seconds to impress or annoy someone. Ensure you think about this when posting and blogging.

-Curate, don’t just self promote. It’s boring to read; ‘Buy my book’, ‘Buy my book’, ‘Buy my book’. If you wouldn’t want to read that, don’t expect others to!

-Reply. Start a dialogue, engage your audience, don’t ignore their messages! On the flip side, if someone insults something you have done (politely) defend yourself and try to put your message across.

-Social Media is not just for new content. If you posted about something six months ago that is relevant now, repost it! But ensure that you mention that it has been previously used.

-A big audience isn’t the best metric. I.e 5,000 Twitter followers isn’t any use to you if they’re all spambots or people who don’t use their accounts as you won’t be reaching them.

-Don’t go dark. I.e don’t neglect it. Keep it up to date and fresh.

Other points raised;

-Ensure your profile on twitter etc states who you are and what you do, or people searching for you won’t find you.

-Cross posting isn’t always a great idea. I.e tweet deck. Facebook is for longer posts so shouldn’t be clogged up with your tweets as people will find it irritating.


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