Dear writers: It’s finally time to join Twitter. Here’s how to get started.

We get it: That little blue bird is intimidating. But as more and more authors, agents, and editors turn to social media to connect virtually in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, you’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain by joining Twitter. Here are tips, strategies, and best practices from other authors on getting started.

It's finally time to join Twitter. Here's how.

More best practices for writers on Twitter

Alina Adams

New York Times bestselling author of The Nesting Dolls

“Just because you’re a writer doesn’t mean that’s all you need to tweet about. You must have other interests. In my case, it’s soap operas, figure skating, and education policy. I interact with people who tweet about those subjects without ever bringing up my fiction writing. However, getting known as a person who isn’t just all about self-promotion is also a way to expand your presence.”

Christopher McKittrick

Author of Can’t Give It Away on Seventh Avenue: The Rolling Stones and New York City

“As primarily a nonfiction writer, I created a Twitter account focused on my latest book (@7thAveStones) and used it to regularly share images (with proper credit, always!) of the subject of research, plus articles relating to the subject. In addition, I followed the followers of subjects related to the book. My goal was to build up awareness of my book with those that were already interested in the subject.”

Phyllis Zimbler Miller

Screenwriter and author of CIA Fall Guy: A Spy Thriller

“Both writers of fiction and nonfiction can effectively participate on Twitter by sharing information related to the subjects of their books and/or subjects of which the writers are passionate. For example, I share tweets of @film2future to promote diversity in the entertainment industry. Writers can share tweets about writers’ conferences and other writers’ programs. 

Courtney Craven

Can I Play That?

“If you have a personal/semi-professional account, and a brand account, keeping them separate helps you to keep that separation, too, so you don’t find yourself having to be ‘on’ all the time. It also helps build the brand and promote it to people who may not love who you are as a person, but they love your work.”

Joshua Lisec

Certified ghostwriter at The Entrepreneur’s Wordsmith LLC

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“Use your pinned tweet to tell people the most important thing about what you do. For example, [Dilbert author] Scott Adams recommended my ghostwriting services to aspiring authors on a recent YouTube video. Because I want to set myself apart from all other freelance writers, I’ve made that video my pinned tweet. Even new freelancers have third-party social proof, perhaps a recommendation from a recent employer they can post as a pinned tweet, a testimonial, or a podcast interview with someone who your future clients respect.”

–Contributing Editor Melissa Hart is the author of Better with Books: 500 Diverse Books to Ignite Empathy and Encourage Self-Acceptance in Tweens and Teens (Sasquatch, 2019). Web: melissahart.com

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