Let's return to our virtual cocktail party that is Twitter in which you are looking to connect with readers. Now we've already talked about branching out and finding readers rather than just hanging with other writers. We've also spent a post identifying potential party fouls. So, this time I'd like to talk about how to engage effectively with readers on Twitter.
As I've mentioned before, you want to treat Twitter like a cocktail party. So, only talking about yourself all the time, is not a great way to build relationships. And make no mistake, relationships are what you want. Sure you can tweet out a link to your book, and you might even get someone to click on it. But you'll get far more traction by forming a relationship with a reader who will buy your next book when it comes out and recommend you to other readers. Relationships make FANS and fans act as street teams to spread the word when you release a new book, or have an event.
I know I'm frequently talking about Twitter, but this time, I wanted to give everyone a little PSA about Facebook. Odds are if you've been on Facebook for more than a month or so you've had this happen to you.
You get a friend request from someone that you could just swear you're already friends with. On the surface this account looks like your friend's. It's got his/her picture, and name, and might even have already roped in some mutual friends. Maybe even a couple of extra snapshots. But that's where the similarities end.
In my last post on Tweeting Success, we talked about building your following. I suggested that you treat Twitter like a great big cocktail party. So, you and your author friends have split up to mingle with whatever readers you can find. You have pointed your pinchy shoes toward a cluster of potential readers and have decided to introduce yourself. Before you get going we should talk a bit about some DON’Ts of Twitter behavior.
I should start by saying that it’s GREAT that Google Translate added Scots Gaelic to its list of languages. Seriously! At a time when Gaelic speakers/learners are fighting to save the language, or sometimes just convince people that it’s a living language and not a historical artifact it’s a big step forward to have Google deem it worth the programming needed to create something like this. And that’s A LOT of programming. Rosetta Stone hasn’t felt that it was worthwhile to offer their software in Gaelic, they even dropped their Welsh program years ago. So, should you add Google Translate to your list of Gaelic learning resources, use it to translate some key phrases for that great highland romance novel you’re writing, translate a favorite motto of yours for a Gaelic tattoo? Not so fast.
I find that it’s best to think of Twitter as a big cocktail party. People are milling around in groups usually based on their interests, political leanings, and sometimes based on whatever they’re trying to sell. They’re usually putting their best face forward, though occasionally some of them imbibe too much and/or put their feet in their mouths.
Then you, the writer, walk in. Your dress shoes are already pinching or rubbing your heels. You try to unobtrusively smooth down the slightly rumpled dress or sport coat that you fished out of the back of your closet when you heard that this was a party you just couldn't miss. You grab a drink from a passing waiter and look around for some friendly faces.
As a girl, I spent large chunks of my summer at my grandparents' houses in small towns in North Carolina. Wearing flip flops (if any shoes at all) and playing with my brother and cousins outside among the pine needles and cat tails and sandy soil. We weren't that different in those summers from the Finch kids. And when I read To Kill a Mockingbird as a teenager, I felt like it was written just for me; a book about a Southern girl barefoot and curious, starting to navigate the more complicated aspects of life.