Foraying into the Twitterverse
I just re-read my blog entry from June 2009, The Future of Twitter. In that post, I did my usual round of horrible and smug predictions for the future (honestly, I think the only thing I can predict with any accuracy is the Redskins’ future. And that generally isn’t pretty), culminating in the belief that once Corporate America realizes the usefulness of the service (mini-press conferences on demand) that it will earn a place with staying power. I was, of course, wrong about a lot of things – including my assertion that I would never be on it (fool!). I also used the word celebutard a lot for some reason. I must have been vexed at one for some reason. Probably Ashton Kutcher. Isn’t it quaint that back in ’09 you used to hear about him? God that was CENTURIES ago.
I joined Twitter some time last year, probably not long after I published my novel (still available for 99 cents! Or 70 pence in the UK!) and saw a Twitter account post about it. I thought, how cool! So I joined up. I added Lady Aravan, who had been on for a year or so but didn’t do much with it, as well as the rest of my friends. And then I thought, now what?
Most of the updates I saw from my friends I already knew or saw through Facebook, so it wasn’t like I was learning anything new. I thought about following some “celebrities”, eventually adding some along with a lot of the football writers I read regularly. Of course, since I read them regularly, most of the information they imparted I would have found anyway. I didn’t keep up with it enough for it to make a difference. Some random people followed me, I made witty bon-mots that vanished into the dusty depths of the interwebs, and that was that. I certainly didn’t get the point.
Then, as they say, things changed.
It was shortly after reading J.A. Konrath’s blog about self-publishing after a friend linked it on my Facebook wall that I ended up following someone. I don’t remember who it was exactly, but they linked something from a different Twitter user, Al Boudreau, a blog post that he had done based off of something someone else (L.M. Stull) had said on a different blog about being bombarded with sales pitches on social media sites from writers like themselves. They didn’t care for the practice, since they were trying to connect with fellow writers for conversations and feedback and support and also to gain a wider audience. Everything they said resonated with me, and I started following them.
And they followed me back.
Whoa! Suddenly, I was exposed to an entire array of self-published or soon-to-be self-published authors all over the world. I was able to read their blogs, learn marketing and writing and other tips for people like us, along with getting to read some genuinely good stuff. In the last week, I’ve started following 100 or more fellow authors, and a little over half of them returned the favor. Someone actually bought a copy of my novel yesterday after I followed them, but that’s just because he’s a fellow fantasy-writing accountant, so he’s automatically an uber-cool guy (and his site is www.bloodskies.com).
So my prediction ended up being as horrible as most of the rest of them. No surprise there. But in a way I guess I was partly right: I just didn’t think of myself and people like me as mini-corporations, using the platform as a combination of marketplace, writer’s conference, and kitchen to stand around in to talk. It has become a way to support people like me, good writers who have tried to get into the thorny tangle of legacy publishing who have decided to buck the odds and take a chance on their dreams. I like people like that. You’ll find a lot of them in my blogroll. I’d like it if you supported them too.