This article, from Caroline Smailes, originally appeared on her website on 8/12/09.
It seems that everywhere you turn writers are being told that they need to build an online platform. They need a blog, a website, a Facebook page and, perhaps most importantly, a twitter account.
Here are six reasons I (@Caroline_S) have found twitter to be essential for new writers:
It is big and it is clever: The explosion in twitter users has made twitter the thing all the cool (mainly over 25s) ‘kids’ are doing. It’s new (ish) and to be honest its reputation as the best social media tool out there is well deserved. The simple fact that twitter is the latest trend is reason enough to get involved. The fact that is gives writers the chance to entice hundreds of new readers makes it, well…irresistible.
Conversation is King: Twitter’s biggest advantage is that it makes millions of people so damn accessible. Once a member of twitter, you can follow and interact with anyone else on the system. Now (for me) this isn’t about famous people, it’s about normal people and people that you can connect with and who you’re interested in. As a writer it allows you to make friends and build a following. However, it also allows you to interact with people that can help solve problems. For me, twittering isn’t about trying to get someone to buy my books, it’s about connecting and having a laugh. Need a bit of advice about grammar, or which publisher to approach or even the best type of dog food – twitter can help.
You might just bag yourself a book deal: A growing number of publishers and agents are using twitter. Most are open and ready to interact. This means that, for the first time, writers have the chance to skip the slush pile and go straight to the people that count. Build a relationship with the correct agent or publisher and you never know there might be a book deal in it for you.