Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Day on Twitter

I've promised that we'll be talking more here in the future about how an author can use Twitter. For a quick look at how Twitter helps authors connect, consider these "tweets" or messages I received yesterday on Twitter.

1. hey whats the name of your new book?? im excited to read it, when does it come out again?? :)) This was a DM--direct message, which means it's private between the writer and me. I answered back with info about Exposure and Always Watching, sending the gal to my Web site for more information. She wrote back that she's excited to read them both.

2. Thanks for following me. Looking forward to learning more about you. PTL for your healing. Another DM, after I chose to follow this person. She obviously visited my Web site and looked around, where she found the story of my healing from Lyme Disease. I don't know if she knew about my books before--but she certainly does now.

3. Brandilyn thanks for following me. I hope to learn the secrets to being a great writer like you! Another DM in response to my follow. I wrote back thanking him for his kind note and saying that on this blog we talk about writing and the publishing industry. Perhaps he will find the info helpful in his own writing journey. I added the link to F&F.

4. I sent out a tweet saying I'm looking for guest posters for F&F and listed what we talk about here: fiction writing, publishing industry, marketing, and social media. I immediately received six responses from interested folks on Twitter, and two from Facebook (my tweets feed to my Facebook page). I'll probably receive more responses tomorrow. With one tweet, I reached people I wouldn't have thought of and most I don't even know--who may be able to bring you a fresh look at the topics we cover here. Twitter is great for getting word out about any need.

5. @Brandilyn how have you been? I finished reading 1 of your books and about to start another one. I am hooked :) This is from a gal who, if I remember right, discovered my books through Twitter. These @Brandilyn tweets are public, so anyone following the writer of the tweet can see it. Plus all who follow me (2400+ at the moment, and climbing daily) will see my response: Thanks. Which book of mine did you read? And which are you about to read? Glad to hear you're "hooked." :]

6. @Brandilyn I converted my librarian, confirmed Kingsbury fan, into a Collins fan! She's read the mild stuff--I told her read a scary one.:-> My response: Waytago! Thanks for converting your librarian into a Brandilyn Collins fan!. :]

7. @Brandilyn I have Exposure on pre-order at CBD. Amazon gives a different date. Will it be May or June? I wrote this gal a couple of public responses, explaining the difference between the release date for Exposure (in April) and the pub date (May). CBD seems to pick up the release date while Amazon picks up the pub date. As I am answering this gal's question I am naturally talking about my books, and all my followers can see the responses.

8. I posted a tweet quoting a reader letter, in which the reader said she read Dark Pursuit in one day because she knew she couldn't sleep if she put it down for the night. This tweet came in reply from another gal: @Brandilyn LOL...I read Dark Pursuit in one sitting! :D

9. Every morning I post my Today's Word and definition, then invite folks to use it in a sentence. People on Twitter and Facebook have learned to look for Today's Word. I receive responses in both places daily. In the evening a follower asked: @Brandilyn so, you are good with words :), what does this one mean "pescatarian?" new follower from spain. oh my, hope it's a nice word. I replied in a public tweet that she probably meant "pescetarian" and gave her the definition. Someone who eat veges, fruit, nuts, some fish, but not birds or mammals. From Latin PISCIS=fish. I was able to answer this gal's question and at the same time reinforce myself as someone who deals with words for a living.

These are just some of yesterday's tweets directly related to my books and writing. In other tweets I talked about everything from American Idol to seeing some "tweeps" (Twitter friends) this weekend at the ACFW joint boards meeting in Denver, to finishing my copyedits for Last Breath (Rayne Tour series #2, releasing in September). I'm just myself. My tweets are about me and my life as a novelist. There's no hard sell. Never, ever do I tweet Buy my book! and list a link to do so. I try to be helpful and answer questions about the publishing industry/writing. The end result: people all over the world see my name and photo, read my tweets and are reminded--or learn for the first time--of my books. In the meantime I'm forging relationships.

And no, I'm not on Twitter all day. I bounce in and out throughout the day as short breaks from my other work.

P.S.: If any readers here would like to contact me with an idea for a possible guest post for Forensics and Faith, please feel free. You can write me at: brandilyn (at) brandilyncollins (dot) com.


Kim Vogel Sawyer said...

Okay, really dumb question here, but....where are you doing this tweeting? On your computer? Your cell phone? I'm trying to figure out this whole system...

Blinky St. James said...

I've been wondering how to get my tweets on Facebook. I've managed to set up ABH posts there, but I didn't see how to set up Twitter. (haha)

Just sent my guest post idea to you in a tweet. ^_^

~ Brandilyn Collins said...

Kim, you can tweet from a cell phone when you're out and about. But I'm in my office, tweeting from my computer. I use Tweetdeck as an easy way to receive and send tweets. Tweetdeck is free downloadable software.

Katy, on Facebook go to applications. You'll see one for Twitter. Go through the settings as the app leads you. It isn't hard. If you have trouble, let me know.

Ron Estrada said...

Twitter and fb open endless possibilites. I'm already forging my marketing plan for Streamers. I'll have parallel "stories" told on various groups and blogs from characters both in the novel and out of the novel. Turn your bad habit into a marketing machine!

Ane Mulligan said...

A couple things. I did soem kind of download and suddenly got on someone's list for text trivia. About drove me nuts! I think it's finally off; I contacted the sender.

So I'm leary of Tweetdeck, but if it doesn't make me text, LOL, I'll be cool.

Othjer question, Brandilyn, is do you delete older DMs?

~ Brandilyn Collins said...

Ane, you needn't be worried about downloading Tweetdeck. Lots of people use it, and if it resulted in spamming of some sort, that would be all over Twitter.

I don't worry about DMs. On Tweetdeck they move down as new ones come in, and eventually I don't see the old ones anymore. They're still on my DM page of my Twitter site, but I don't use that page anyway.