Friday, May 29, 2009

Twittering, the Crime Sistahs' Way
By Persia Walker

I call it being stylishly late to the party. Everyone knows that Twitters' been all the rage for some time now, but we CrimeSistahs took our sweet time getting there. No rush for us. Well, I'm happy to say that we are there now.

We. Have. Arrived.

I signed up for a personal Twitter account, oh, back in November, December? It was late last year. Then I did nothing, nada, nix. While the world partied, I kept thinking, what's so special about Twitter. I remember reading a New York Times article on something called ambient intimacy -- all about people connecting online. That article is what sent me to Twitter in the first place. The author of the article said that first he didn't "get it." It just seemed like a stream of meaningless jabber (which, quite honestly, it can be). But at some point, his mental lens focused, and out of this stream of nonsense formed information of import. He got it. A real ah-hah! moment.

Well, I had that moment a few weeks ago, and I've been working on tweeting ever since. No, I haven't totally changed my habits. I don't tweet as much as I should, but I try. I found a way to rapidly increase followers. Over the last few days I've gone from what, a couple of hundred to more than 700. I've been primarily trying to reach other writers and avid readers of mysteries. Yes, some other folks manage to get in -- but why not? If they love books and mysteries then I'm happy to tweet with them!

Someone likened tweeting to hanging out in your favorite neighborhood bar, some place to go where everyone knows your name. Twitter can certainly be like that. You have to carve out your little space. Get to know your folks and exchange silly jokes, advice, inspiration, and news.

News. Now that's important. Everyone I tweet with might one day become a reader, introduced to me and wyourork on the rather microscopic basis of my tweets. Some of them have already proven very helpful -- offering advice on optimizing my website, books to read, newspaper articles to catch, etc.

Back to promotion. I admit that my initial interest in Twitter had to do with promoting my work. But I've come to enjoy it for the moment to moment events, and that, oddly enough is why I believe that I'll be successful with it. I'm not trying to sell anything. I am, however, trying to build relationships -- small ties that don't bind, but do let folks know that I'm out here.

John Kremer, the guru of book promotion, has released a Twitter Manual for Writers and Booksellers. If you're an author and you're interested, then please download it. It's a good place to start. There's tons more to say about how to navigate Twitterdom, but his manual has more than enough to get you started. I can't find the original URL, but here's another one that's just as good (as it lists several sources from Kremer).

Best wishes for a happy Twitter Friday! :-)


Ty said...

Hi Ladies,
I wanted to drop-in to let you know I've enjoyed your blog for several years now. Keep up the great job! I'm a avid mystery reader and in recent years started writing mystery and suspense manuscripts.

Consider adding your group to Facebook as well. You might find the interaction better than Twitter. I'm a fan of both. :)



Stephen said...

Welcome to Twitter! I recently had my own "aha" moment and have twitted every day since. It's like an extension of txt messaging, and a great way to find out about fellow writers.

Be seeing you,

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