by Jean Lizotte Grabow, SCBWI-L.A. Social Media Manager
Social Media is an opportunity for us as writers and artists to become part of the larger publishing community, create a brand for ourselves, and promote our work.
Today we are focusing on Twitter as a tool for all book creators, particularly writers, to support our careers. The platform has an amazing publishing community and many opportunities to participate, including our very own SCBWI-L.A. Kite Tales #KTChat contest (more on this below).
Here are some tips for maximizing your time on Twitter to enhance your writing life.
If you are pre-published, consider focusing your tweets and retweets on writing and the publishing industry. You’ll want to have a consistent voice that represents you as an author.
- Share your thoughts and experiences as an author, including your struggles and triumphs. Other writers will relate!
- Tweet your thoughts about the industry.
- Write a love note to a newly published author or your favorite authors.
- Retweet quotes that resonate with you.
- Make sure you tweet at least as often as you retweet to keep your followers engaged.
Find your favorite authors, agents and publishers and follow them, along with your writing friends. They often give out advice or tweet about what they like or want to acquire. As you tweet, they will begin to follow you back and, more importantly, their followers will follow you back. Having a quality following is something agents and publishers will look at. So, don’t wait until you’ve completed a manuscript, start now!
Promotion and Hashtags
When you’re promoting your book, remember not to overdo it. People want inspirational content about writing and the writing life in addition to learning about your work. If your account only contains self-promotion, followers may feel like it is not adding anything to their feed.
There is so much you can share as a published author that your followers will want to hear in addition to your new book release. Don’t forget to use hashtags on your tweets which allow people to search topics people are tweeting about. Hashtags #amwriting, #writinglife and #kidlit are all popular tags.
Social media can be a real time suck. Decide how much time you want to dedicate. Consider 30 minutes to one hour a day. Give yourself focused time to use your account as a tool to connect with the writing community and build a following so you will have built-in fans for your next (or first) published book.
Twitter Contests and Writing Challenges
A great way to participate in the Twitter writing community and build your following is to participate in writing contests and challenges. You can find many of them by following @writevent account. These events offer advice including direct input on a logline, opening pages, or queries. You can test different options and find out which gets the best response.
Finally, you’ll gain new followers and find new accounts to follow when you participate. Some hashtags to follow for contests such as #KTChat (our own live Twitter chats), #DVPit, and #PitMad. Make sure you use TweetDeck to help you follow the chats, just google it and sign into your account.
Our #KTChat contest usually run twice a year and is a great way for you to engage on Twitter or familiarize yourself with the social media platform. While the contest side of this year’s first #KTChat has closed, we encourage you to check out the #KTChat article here and participate in the live Twitter chat portion this Friday, March 26, from 12-1 PM (PST).
To chat with us: log into your Twitter account anytime during our chat hour and use the hashtag #KTChat or @mention Kitty (@kittyfelde)! Find SCBWI-LA on Twitter here: @SCBWISOCALLA. For more information about our #KTChat contest, please click here.
Of course, if you have any questions about any of the above or if you have some advice of your own you’d like to share about Twitter, let us know in the comments below or on social media!
For more fantastic content, community, events, and other professional development opportunities, become a member today! Not sure if there is a chapter in your area? Check here.
Jean Lizotte Grabow is the Social Media Manager for SCBWI-L.A. and has been a marketing professional for over 20 years. She’s a pre-published writer of poetry, short stories, and fiction.
Images and screenshots provided by author.