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Writers and Authors Weigh In on Whether Twitter’s Worth It

Over the last two Wednesday blog posts – here and here – I’m sure I’ve made my opinions about being on Twitter as a creative writer or author very well known. I simply don’t see myself “going there” anytime soon.

Sometimes, I’ll admit, I do fantasize about the idea. Though not to promote my books. More to call out companies with bad customer service. Such as P.J. Whelihan’s over on Fruitville Pike.

(Don’t even get me started.)

Or Wells Fargo's condescending manager who literally laughed at me for asking about a home loan… then put his hand on my shoulder like I was a silly little three-year-old.

But other than that, I’m good staying far, far away from the platform. That’s why I’m not necessarily the best person to ask about whether creative writers and authors should be on it.

I’ll flat-out admit that. Hence the reason why I asked a few of the Facebook writing communities I belong to. And here’s what they said…

I have to say that I do wish I’d gotten more responses than I did. I don’t have to be on Twitter to know that five opinions aren’t the best sampling of the twitterverse.

Then again, I suppose 100 wouldn’t really be either, would it?

Regardless, I do respect the individual opinions given – enough even to welcome one of the respondents to guest post later on this month. I’m sharing them below in an effort to give you a rounded review of Twitter before you commit to it… or you don’t.

Let’s start with one of my former creative writing students and the published author of Divided Loyalties. Mary K. Tilghman wrote:

While I realize I’m not going to sell my books via Twitter, I do feel like I get a sense of how the fickle publishing world is thinking… That’s where I follow agents and publishers. And, of course, participate in #pitchwars.

(By the way, I don’t have a clue what #pitchwars are, so don’t ask me. But I will admit that they do sound rather intriguing.)

Bill Peschel, meanwhile, had a slightly less flattering opinion to share, writing:

No. Go there to be a personality, and if you find a niche (like Sherlockiana), you can raise your profiles there. But direct sales? Nope.

Those are both good points to ponder, as are our other three responses…

Those past two responses were from my personal Facebook page and the Pennwriters page, respectively.

Now here’s what I got from the Maryland Writers’ Association Facebook forum when I asked: “If you’re on Twitter as a writer/author, do you find it an effective marketing platform? Or do you think it’s worthwhile to be on for other purposes?

Since I didn’t get permission to share one response, I’ll simply have to paraphrase hers below:

I’ve found being on Twitter an invaluable experience in terms of joining a community of fellow writers. They provide support with questions and encouragement when their fellow storytellers are feeling low. Admittedly, the experience I have is specifically with the literary fiction, fiction, and poetry communities on Twitter.
Your best bet is probably to find an author or authors you personally like, take note of the hashtags they’re using, and start using them yourself.

Next up, Gretchen Miller admitted how she’s still new to the platform, but that:

I got on because I read somewhere it was active with agents – which it does seem to be. I’ve found it useful for querying agents and finding out which agent is looking for which sort of book.

And then, last but not least, our upcoming guest blogger, Katherine Pickett, author of Perfect Bound: How to Navigate the Publishing Process Like a Pro had this to say:

I find it okay for marketing but better for learning about the industry – not just writing and marketing tips but also who the movers and shakers are in your field. You can also present yourself as a resource, whether that’s of information or entertainment in some other way.

So there you have it. That’s all she wrote… except for this last line. The one where I tell you that I truly hope this three-part series has given you some worthwhile considerations. Regardless of whether you should be the next creative writer or author on Twitter or not…

I sincerely hope you make the right choice and benefit from it greatly.

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