As a writer, I love Twitter. It’s an incredible tool for connecting with other writers, promoting my own stuff, and just killing time when time needs killing.
But it’s not all rainbows and roses. (Or scotch and cigars.) There are certain things writers do on Twitter that are guaranteed to not only result in an unfollow, but could also drive away potential readers or writing buddies.
Now, just for the record, I’m not writing this to call anyone out or pick on any individual writers, only to generalize a pattern of behavior that is pretty common among writer using Twitter solely as a promotional tool.
So while this post might not be for everyone, if you use Twitter at all there’s no doubt you’ve seen at least a few of the items on this list.
And with that said, here are the most annoying five ways writers abuse Twitter.
1. An elevator pitch followed by a link to Amazon (x 1000.)
Some authors seem to have a bot programmed to spam Twitter with pitch every 10 minutes. It’s annoying. It makes Twitter nearly unreadable when it happens. And even worse, it doesn’t sell a single copy of your book.
2. Retweeting a link to every review, comment, or Twitter post that mentions the book.
Seriously, nobody cares. If we want to read reviews of your book, we’ll go to Amazon and read them ourselves. So stop it.
3. “Hi, thanks for the follow. Now you can visit my Amazon/Facebook/Goodreads page too!”
One: If I took the time to find and follow you on Twitter, don’t you think I’m intelligent enough to do the same thing on Facebook? Two: Do you think that spamming my Direct Message box will make me more or less likely to pay attention to you? Think about that for a minute. Three: Isn’t auto spamming the Direct Message a violation of policy? I’m not sure, but it should be.
4. RT: Here an article from the (partisan website I like) proving that all evil since the beginning of time is (politician I don’t like)’s fault.
Politics. There’s nothing wrong with being informed and having political opinions. It’s good thing. But what’s not a good thing is to use your social media sites to attack peoples’ politics. I don’t hide behind my politics (I’m a registered Libertarian, if you care) but promoting my politics or attacking the beliefs of others does nothing for my writing career. I’m not trying to sell my politics, I’m trying to sell myself as a fiction writer. I don’t want to offend half of the reading population by political trolling on Twitter. You shouldn’t either. It’s the quickest way to an unfollow.
5. BUY MY BOOK BUY MY BOOK BUY MY BOOK BUY MY BOOK.
I think this one goes without saying. We’ve all seen it and we’ve all blocked it. So just don’t do it.
So there’s my public service announcement. If you use Twitter wisely, you’ll increase your audience and make some new writer friends. If you practice any of the five abuses listed above, you’ll likely do the opposite.
And yes, since I mentioned politics earlier, I’ll acknowledge that today is election day here in the states. So go vote if you’re into that sort of thing. But just remember, this isn’t a bloodsport and just because your candidate is the most honorable perfect person in the world, not everyone else sees it that way. So let’s all try treating each other with some respect after all is said and done.
Check back tomorrow for more writing stuff, but until then, feel free to leave a comment and let me know if there’s anything you’d like to add to the Twitter list.