Monday, March 11, 2013

Top Mistakes Authors Make on Twitter

Ever see a fellow writer use Twitter in a way that made you cringe?
Writers: What NOT to Tweet
                      (yeah, it was probably me)

In honor of the fact that I'm super new to Twitter and still figuring out the ropes, I thought I'd host a little discussion today on Top Twitter Blunders for writers. Here are a few things I've noticed in the past month or so that I've been active in the Twitterverse:

  • Problem 1: Self-Promos
        • Tweeting ONLY Self-Promotionals
        • Tweeting the EXACT SAME Self-Promo over and over and over
        • Even retweeting others' promos too often
  • Problem 2: Unsolicited Twee-Querying at agents
  • Problem 3: Tweeting in Anger
          • at agents
          • at editors
          • at other authors
            ... thereby making yourself and the writing community look bad            

I've also run into a couple of things that I'm still on the fence about. Thumbs up? Thumbs down?

  • Questionable 1: Old-school RT method
                                    (The general consensus is that this is perfectly OK, and perhaps better)
  • Questionable 2: Tweetdeck to schedule Tweets/Retweets
  • Questionable 3: String of quotes from your book in succession
  • Questionable 4: Anything other than your face as a profile pic
  • Questionable 5: Auto-follow programs to follow author lists
                                (I feel like there are people doing this,
                                  but I really have no idea how it works)

Twitter Resources for Authors: 

What do you think? What are your top tips for writers new to Twitter? 
What are the biggest blunders you've seen other authors make on Twitter? 
What are your Twitter Pet Peeves?


  1. Even RTing others' promos, while it seems like a nice, community-spirited thing to do, can get very wearing very quickly for the readers. I do like to share a good deal now and then, but some people seemingly post nothing else, and it's seldom of interest. You can't usually fit enough into a tweet to sell a book just on that basis, in my experience.

  2. I love the "old-school" RT method because you can add your thoughts to the tweet.

  3. I agree with jessiedevine... Much prefer the old school method (as the tweeter and the... reader (?) ) You connect more with the person you're RTing as well as the people who are going to read what you've tweeted.

    As for profile pictures, I don't see a need for someone's face at all. Twitter is about time... doing a lot of things quickly because everyone else is tweeting constantly as well. I don't have time to click on every user's profile to see what they write... I can remember and put a book (for instance) to a name a lot easier (and quicker) if it's showing up with their tweets all the time.

    Just my two cents! :)


  4. I also agree with the old school method, and love your points. Nice post!

  5. Never done any of the problem items.
    Never scheduled Tweets. I'm a member of Triberr, but the Tweets aren't scheduled.
    And sorry, my icon is not me on any platform. Goes back to a promise I made my wife about keeping our private life private.

  6. Scheduling two or three tweets when I'm hosting a guest on my blog is about my only option due to work, but then I'm not a heavy tweeter either.

  7. So it sounds like so far the consensus is that old school RTs are ok (and maybe better), non-face pics are ok, and possibly scheduling is ok?

    (Like Jeff it's logistically difficult for me not to if I want to Tweet things when people in the US are twitter active --- I'm in Australia so ya'll have been awake for hours by the time I roll out of bed)

    It's great to get all these thoughts on Twitter! Keep 'em comin!

  8. Confession: I never knew how to do the "old school" RTs? Though I generally prefer when I see other people doing them, I'd like to also.

  9. I confess, I'm so new to Twitter I barely use it. Except to promote Zombie Fridays... and what songs I'm listening to... and promote my book twice a week... and sometimes random things in the middle of the night while I'm working.
    Dear God I guess I use Twitter a lot! I hope someone would tell me if I'm sucking at it...

  10. I've been on Twitter for a long time now, first as me, secondly as a business owner (remodeling) and thirdly as a blogger. Your points are very valid. No one wants to see the same things posted over and over again, and everyone loves to have their posts RT and given more exposure. You should always look through the tweets of the people you follow and RT them. Do, however, make sure you've read any attached links just in case you don't agree with the content!

    I learned the "rules" of Twitter back in the dark ages, and as the years have passed, new recommendations have emerged and old ones left behind. I must say I have found the remodeling world (which would include architects, designers, engineers, contractors, suppliers, etc.) more prone to following the original etiquette than bloggers. IMHO, I think that's because all those people have a money-making enterprise to promote, and the more people who know about them (yes, even competitors), the better. It's a real community that I speak with every day.

    Blogging, on the other hand, is an (usually) unpaid profession where there's probably a gazillion (estimate) bloggers that might feel like they are all in competition with each other to get viewers, free books to review, author interviews, etc. That's a huge misconception that I'd like to demolish.

    Absolutely there are bloggers who get it - with RTs and promoting other sites and following other sites. Kudos to us.

    As for your list of "Questionables?" I don't understand what you mean by old school RT - I do know that there are also MTs, PRTs, HTs and that what you mean?

    Tweetdeck - oh, we part ways on this one. Scheduling tweets is a joy in my life. I am not always good about this, but I tend to use this method to promote others. Of course I RT immediately when I see something good and want to get it out right now. I use HootSuite, but same diff. The best thing is there's a button on my internet page that I can click when I see something I want to post. It automatically pulls up a box with the page's info in it. Most times I don't even have to write anything extra, and then I post from there. Easy peasy. If you want to know your stats, you can get those in HootSuite as well.

    For something personal, such as a blog, I do recommend using your photo. I don't in my business - I use my logo.

    OK, OK...I am finished!



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