Publish A Book With Your Literary Tweets

This post, from Polish author Nick Name, originally appeared on his Password Incorrect site on 10/15/09, and is reprinted here in its entirety with his permission.

Have you ever thought of making an e-book with your literary tweets? If you still have doubts, consider this: you can easily do it yourself, you can do it without any cost, and you can use the book as a promotional tool.

A free cover for your Twitter bookHere are some tips based on my personal experience. Just make sure you’ve got a large coffee ready – and make your book happen!

How to collect content?

Twitter search is currently showing results from 9 recent days. Nobody will find your fantastic tweet if it’s 10 days old. 10 days means  “gone”.

It might be difficult even for you to collect your own Twitter stream. And here is a rescue: Tweetbook. It’s a wonderful web service, where you can make a pdf or xml file with your tweets (up to 3200). Having all of them in one editable document will make it really easy to select the golden ones – those you want in your book.

Tip: if you want to have a constant access to your tweets, you can subscribe to your Twitter profile’s feed. From now on all the updates will be collected in your RSS reader.

Where to publish?

There are a few really wonderful sites where authors can self-publish in addition to Smashwords or Manybooks. Feedbooks is my favourite one. Here is why:

:. creating a book is extremely easy. Just copy and paste a piece of text into blog-like fields. A very useful feature is the ability to structure a book on different levels: parts, chapters, sections. If you do so, the table of contents is clickable afterwards, which makes it easy to navigate through the book. This is a unique feature, I didn’t find it anywhere else

:. Feedbooks fully supports mobile reading. Major formats are ePub and mobi, which make a book friendly for reading on cellphones and eReaders. Having in mind that Twitter is being consumed mostly from the mobile web, it’s good to be there

:. apart from public domain books, there is a quickly growing section of original self-published books. Recently a new book list has started, 140 characters, with Twitter-based fiction. Just make sure you include “Twitter” as a tag for your book, and you’ll surely find yourself on the list.

What about a cover?

For many authors the book cover seems to be a killing problem. They can’t design it themselves, they don’t know any designer who would do it for free, and they’re afraid to ask. Well, there are at least three ways to deal with that:

:. every site for self-publishers shows a default cover. At Feedbooks there is additionally a title and author’s name shown on a cover, which is a really nice feature

:. you can choose from a collection of free covers I’ve prepared for self-published Twitter authors like myself

:. as soon as you have a selection of tweets made, you can use the brilliant Wordle word cloud generator to make a cover design for you. Read here how to do that.

How to benefit from a book?

As soon as your book is published, you can use it for promotional activities:

:. in addition to your current literary tweets, you can send a link to your book from time to time

:. show a book on your blog; you’re a published author, let everybody know it

:. share your book on other platforms, let it appear in as many places as possible. It’s a finished and lasting work, link to it from your profile on Posterous, Bebo, LiveJournal, even if you don’t use them frequently

:. if you want to try reaching a book agent or a publisher, having a published book is an asset. Sending an e-mail with a book attached (f.e. in pdf format) makes it more probable to draw attention

[Publetariat Editor’s Note: there’s a variance of opinion on this, but in the U.S. at least, most agents don’t want to receive unsolicited attachments of full manuscripts. However, you can always use your Twitter book to help build your readership and expand your author platform by sharing the book—or just excerpts from it—on your author website or blog]

:. your book is at the same time an easily accessible archive of your best tweets. Send them again, from time to time, there might be people who haven’t yet discovered how good you are. 

Note: if you’ve found this post useful, I would be grateful if you could just download my Twitter-fiction book, share it with your friends and leave a comment.


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