Friday, March 18, 2011


Twitter, tweeting, and am I just a twit?

I started twittering this week. Seriously. I had jumped in last year sometime on somebody's advice and had one brilliant tweet, something about my cats and Garrison Keillor. And that was it. I discovered over time that I had followers. But, did I follow them back? Did I look for people to follow? Did I tweet again? The answer is no. I did nothing. Not a very good twit!

In the past couple of weeks I've been part on an on-line workshop, part of a writing group I belong to, and we've been led through the basics of tweeting. Things like selecting the proper name. If you're a writer, you want to be found. This is part of your marketing tool. So why use something cute? Better to use your name. Hence, I'm @erika_chase.

How to find followers and twits, sorry, people you want to follow is also part of the plan. There are a lot of fascinating people using this social networking and many have tweets you'll want to read. Some may not. And, there are a lot of people who you want to get the message out to, that you're a writer, this is what you're writing, this is why you'll like it.

Blatant, isn't it? Well, so is the business of writing. If you have a book to sell, you're going to have to take an active role in doing so. The cover won't do it all. Neither will your publisher, although they'll certainly give you a good start on it. With Twitter, there's the potential to reach more readers, faster than by any other means. Not that they'll all read your tweet. Nor will all of those who do, rush out and buy your book. But if you find a small percentage of new readers in doing this, it's well worth it.

Unfortunately, you'll never know the success of Twitter if this is the main reason you're using it. But if you look at it as another means to catch quick glimpses of the world, of what's happening, what's on people's minds, and who wants to connect... you'll find it invaluable. And fun. The trick is, give yourself a time limit otherwise, like Facebook, you may spend most of your time on-line rather than writing.

Of course, you could look at tweeting as your morning warm-up, getting the fingers and brain all set to tackle that manuscript once again.

If you're tweeting, what do you think? If not, why not?

Linda Wiken/Erika Chase
Book Club Mysteries coming April, 2012 from Berkley Prime Crime
Murder By the Book


  1. If people follow me, does it mean I'm going somewhere?

  2. We'd all like to know where you're going!

  3. I'm like you before your workshop. I am on twitter, I had a brief flurry of tweets, I collected a few followers but the never followed up. Maybe I should.

  4. I found this week just why Twitter can be so useless if not dangerous. 140 characters with no context. I read something, about me, that made me furious. I sent out waves of e-mails demanding an explanation. Turns out that the message that was communicated should not have been and the context which would have made it okay for me was totally omitted. For about five minutes, I felt contrite, then I realized that I was right. I acted upon all the information I had. If I had an army and a nuclear arsenal, who knows what I might have done.

  5. Too bad about your experience, Vicki!

    I'm enjoying reading the tweets & thinking up my own. Only problem - so far- is I'm spending too much time on it. Part of the great procrastination game.