Twitter for Authors

Ingrid on twitterDoes Twitter mystify you? Is everyone around you talking about it (and using it), but you’re not sure why Twitter would be useful to you as an author?

I like to think about Twitter as one big global “town square” where you can share your opinion, have conversations, share, and do it in real time! Twitter is a great platform to build and interact with your audience.

Even if you’re an old pro at twitter or new to the tweet-a-sphere, check out these quick tips on how to use Twitter to talk about you and your books.


  • Don’t just post links. Be you and show your readers that you’re a real person.
  • Not sure what to say on Twitter? Follow other people with similar interests as you. Share your hobbies, personal interests, favorite sports team, or your thoughts as you watch TV shows or read a book.

Maureen J tweet

  • Find your own authentic voice.  For example @ruthreichl tweets in a beautiful writerly voice:

Ruth Tweet

  • @JudyBlume tweets about her life in a direct and frank manner:

Judy Blume Tweet

  • @timFederle is really funny:

Tim F tweet


  • Followers want to learn about your life! Share your writing life and writing tips.

Stephen King Tweet

  • Use photos, videos, and vine to share your process.

Paulo C Tweet

  • Get advice and tips from your followers. Crowd source content if you want.


  • Respond and tweet about you and your books.
  • Engage with your followers, talk about what they’re doing.

Holly Black Tweet

  • Host a Q & A on twitter. Remember you don’t have to answer every question asked of you. Pick the ones that allow you to share the message that’s important to you.
  • Do an account take over. This is when you tweet from another account and reach a new audience. Sometimes authors do this with bookstores or media outlets.


  • Search for your name on twitter, or your book’s name. This will show you conversations people are having about you and your work that you weren’t tagged in.
  • Use hashtags.
  • See what public conversations are happening about you or your book.
  • Search by using:

Twitter search


  • Write stories on twitter. Check out the hashtag #TwitterFictionFestival2014, where tons of authors experimented with fiction and tweets. Learn more by visiting their archive:

Twitter fiction festival archive

  • Tweet a short story like R.L. Stine did.
  • Shared a non-fiction essay like author Teju Cole. He shared a whole essay “A Piece of the Wall” in 140 character tweets. He created its own account to do it.

A Piece of the wall Tweet

  • Create conversations with other authors.
  • Invent characters, or tweet as your character.
  • Tweet about parallel worlds.
  • Experimenting creates interest and gathers followers. Create new things and you’ll get attention.


  • Don’t focus on your overall number of followers.
  • Focus on how much your followers interact with you.
  • Pay attention to the rate in which you collect new followers (i.e. one per day, etc.) and see how that relates to your activity on twitter.
  • Are you getting lots of re-tweets? Is your message moving past your followers to new groups of people?
  • Don’t “buy” followers from services that promise to increase your twitter numbers. Twitter doesn’t like these accounts and deletes them when it finds them. Plus you’re not interacting with the followers on this list. It’s just numbers and not genuine interaction.


  • As frequently as you want. It’s up to you to see what works for your schedule.
  • It’s good to create a habit. Tweeting once a day is a great way to create a habit. Think about tweeting every time to sit down to watch a show, etc.


  • You can create as many accounts as you want.
  • You won’t lose followers if you change your twitter handle. Feel free to create a new handle with the account you have instead of creating a whole new account.
  • Don’t create a personal account and a professional account. Followers want to get to know you and will want to see what’s in the personal account.
  • Create a new account for your character!


  • Put on your public face. Twitter is live and instant. Behave as you would in public.
  • It’s a great place to debate, but keep it simple.
  • Don’t use too many hashtags. Stick to one hashtag per tweet. More than one hashtag can start to look like spam.
  • Everything you tweet is searchable. Nothing is private unless you use Direct Message.


  • It’s super popular with the teen market right now.
  • Engages with your followers in a visual way.
  • It’s great for visual storytelling.



  • Try and focus your twitter campaigns around you book release.
  • Check out @twitterbooks. They’re always tweeting interesting things that other authors are doing!

Twitter Books


Happy tweeting everyone!

3 thoughts on “Twitter for Authors

  1. This is the best post I’ve ever read on how authors can use Twitter to their benefit. Thanks for sharing such good tips.

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