Twitter Tips for Writers + 25 Good Follows

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January 15, 2009

42 thoughts on “Twitter Tips for Writers + 25 Good Follows


    I couldn’t figure out how to add the people you listed without signing in and out of EU and AOL and Twitter. You had some great people so I clicked on your list and then started adding. Now, I am overwhelmed. Skipped “thefuckingpope”, but added most of the rest.

    Do you read all the messages that arrive by the minute? What is the “direct response” option?

    I might have to rethink this. All in the name of marketing, learning, branding? Mary

  2. A utility from Twitter I’ve yet to create for myself. Information overload seems possible if too many people are Followed. I’ll work with it for a time, if only to understand what possibilities may evolve.

  3. Oh, boy. I ended up dropping twitter. Btwn blogging and facebook and ning and my website and forums and argh. It’s too much. Just too much of a time-sucking blackhole, trying to do all of it. It’s hard, you inevitably feel like you’re missing something or passing up some opportunity-but my time needs to be spent writing and submitting first. :( I’m envious, though.

  4. J.M.Strother, I’ll remember to use that Twitter search query RSS feed trick inside my Google homepage. That is, when I find something I want to keep abreast of in real-time. Good idea.

    And because I already have a mindset for the goals and objectives I want to accomplish in the near, short-term future, Twitter posts are a distraction unless it’s relevant in some way to accomplishment of these goals and objectives. Twitter is a tool I’ll keep in my pocket, and when needed I hope to know enough to immediately put the thing to work for me. At this time Twitter is still a gizmo, a contraption-like “thing” that I lug around inside one of my pockets.

  5. Thank you for this information on Twitter. I have read you mention it in one of your earlier posts. I have not checked it out yet, but this certainly will help when I do. Do you prefer it to blogging?

  6. Friends have been trying to coax me on to twitter but I am always the reluctant who then turns enthusiast…I was overwhelmed by the idea of yet another new arena to navigate but the blogging on MySpace is on its deathbed, most of the people creating their own websites etc, so I have been thinking of focusing my efforts on wordpress and now will add this to my list of ‘things to do when procrastinating’.
    This was a great blog, thank yoU!

  7. @Asoldier – think of it as a research tool. Say you want to write a novel with/about a police dog. You can do a Twitter search, “police dogs”, and feed that to your newsreader. You’ll get more information on police dogs than you can imagine. Lots of Tweets with TinyURLs to real news stories and magazine articles. It is very helpful in the research stage.

    It’s also good to see if anyone is talking about you. Say you’re an author who goes by the handle, RealCoolWriter, with the given name, Glaspar MacNiel. You can do a two Twitter searches, one for each name, and feed those to your newsreader. Then any time someone would Tweet your name or your handle, you’d see it.

    “Anyone know if Gone With the Breeze by Glaspar MacNiel is out of print?” You chime in with a handy list of where they can still get it. It is very cool.

  8. Mary, if you find it overwhelming you never need to go to your Twitter home page. If you just add selected people to your newsreader then you’ll only see those tweets. You can then dip into your home page periodically to see what the rest of the world has to say.

    I check the tweets in my reader regularly (more than once a day). But I check the tweets on my Twitter home page less frequently. It’s not that I’m not interested in what all those people have to say, but that it is impossible to keep up with it if you follow more than just a couple of people.

    By the way, if you have trouble keeping up with all the blogs you’d like to follow you can feed those RSS syndications to your newsreader as well. A newsreader is an incredible tool for simplifying your web life.

  9. @ Matthew,
    I like the idea of doing a list for advertising, freelance, marketing types too. I’ll do that next week. Thanks for the tip!

  10. Hey.

    Thanks for the tips. I started randomly adding people who followed sites that were similar to mine but have realised that the personal touch is better as one doesn’t want to be seen as a spammer. Talking to other people and checking out their stuff is vital to the ’social’ aspect of the site.
    Follow my satirical news feed at twitter/HEEDLINES.

    Tweet you soon.

  11. Thanks for that article and the useful links Maria – I have been using Twitter for about 6 weeks and am literally using it as a social experiment on myself – personally, professionally, technologically. By putting myself ‘out there’ and communicating in a very real way about what I am doing in every area of my life, it can be challenging – it gives me however a wonderful opportunity to explore myself and what pushes my own buttons. Example: I have a personal policy of always being open, spontaneous and real in my posts, about what I am doing or what has moved me to Tweet, in that moment.

    I found myself starting to Tweet how I was feeling or what I was doing, and then I’d stop myself and think ‘hmm i am OK if X reads this but not sure I want Y to know’ and so I found I was ’splitting myself’ eg. personal vs professional, love life vs social life, etc…I realised I was not comfortable being ALL of who I am with EVERYONE in my Facebook/Twitter groups…so I hit “POST” anyway. Initially it was challenging, and it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but what I discovered was a sense of liberation i that I could be who I wanted to be, and express myself authentically, and not worry about what others would think of me, and trust that those who appreciated/enjoy it would stay and those that didn’t may not. And that’s OK.

    Amazingly, not only has my own personal journey of finding and expressing my authentic self and message become more self accepting, fun and entertaining…I have been surprised at the countless replies I have had from people acknowledging and thanking me for being so ‘real’ and sharing who I am (even sad moments even though I am mostly upbeat). The most common word that comes back to me is people find it ‘inspiring’ so I guess Twitter/FB for me have been an invaluable personal experiment in finding my authentic self, sharing it and as Marianne Williamson says in her passage “Our Deepest Fear” when we are willing to let out own light shine, unconsciously we give others permission to do the same.

    Thanks for your contribution and sharing your tips with us.

    If you relate to what I have written, you can follow me at and find me on Facebook (please include a note so i know how you found me)

    Julie Ann Storr
    Chief Inspiration Officer

  12. Thank you for the Twitter Tips one may never have to much information if they are using what they have to add value to others.


  13. Nice round up. I find twitter to be difficult to balance. You want to share announcements, you want to engage readers and build relationships, but can one really maintain relationships with 30K followers? It seems to me that the more followers, the less personal it gets. And yet, the more followers, the more you feel like you are not wasting valuable time, right?

    Thats my handle.

  14. I’ve been helping people with their book marketing for a while and decided it’s time to get on Twitter. Thanks to you, I have quickly gotten a good feel for how this works and how it can help me get exposure to my book, The Samson Effect. And thanks to, people can now easily see my long blog addresses via Twitter.

  15. I’m a freelance writer, blogger and author working on a children’s book. I’ve only been on Twitter for a few months but the results have been great so far. Thanks for the excellent Twitter tips and list of Twitters to follow. I’m also subscribing to your site. There’s a wealth of useful information here.

    You can find me @

  16. It’s also a great way for authors and booklovers to find the independent bookstores – a way to learn about new titles, make new contacts and see what booksellers get excited about (that excitement can translate into cool events and better sales authors, and, readers- if an indie-bookseller is excited about a title, it’s going to be a solid read!)

  17. My favorite things on twitter are the handful of creative accounts, the ones posting evil fortunate cookies or tiny-form fiction. And the magazines, @nanoism @thaumatrope @picfic etc. Just a little bit fun, a little bit different.

  18. Thanks Maria,
    Have added all the tweeters I wasn’t already following. All you nice writing tweeters in the comments, I am looking forward to reading your tweets soon.

    Me? I am hiding at

    I mostly tweet about writing related stuff, occasionally humour and retweet other writer’s news.

  19. So happy I found you…am still new enough to Twitter to feel lost. I have two contemporary romances to market and your info is just what I need to get my feet wet. Thanks!

  20. What a great list! Thanks for sharing. I’m a freelance writer and researcher, as well as a crime fiction author. I’m only starting to get a handle on this whole Twitter thing. Just figured out how to use Tweetdeck to manage incoming messages. (Whew!) Use Twitterfox a lot, too.

    My handle is Feel free to follow me!

  21. Firstly, let me introduce myself. My name is Russell Smitheram and I’m a full-time freelance writer.

    This is a fantastic post and I’m sure many people have found it useful. It’s certainly great to know that there are so many agents/publishers on Twitter.

    I’m going to check these out right away.

    All the best,

    My Twitter:

  22. Thanks so much for your Twitter follow suggestions! I started on Twitter not too long ago and wasn’t so sure about it until I started meeting so many others with similiar interests! I’m a freelance writer, blogger, and in the process of writing my first book. Love learning from other writers!

  23. Great post! I’m an author, publisher, and book coach. I train authors through my coaching program how to self-publish without a vanity press – and how to create a book that will compete in the marketplace. I tweet writing tips, prompts, and general huh-bub.

  24. So many great people to follow! I live up a Spanish mountain and only have dial-up internet connection, but I’ve bookmarked this page so I can keep coming back. Hope it helps my Chickens fly!

  25. Great advice. I’ve been testing the Twitter waters for a couple of months and have finally weeded out a lot of people who sounded promising, but either never posted or posted drivel.
    I’m @CTTiger
    Thanks for all the helpful words of infinite wisdom!

  26. What a great post! I’m a former health/science editor (Harvard Health Letter, Boston Globe) and am now employed by…myself. Not sure I’m the best boss I’ve ever had, but I’m incredibly flexible on hours and dress code (as it were). I’m following you on Twitter right now and bookmarking your incredibly useful blog! I’d be honored to have you follow my tweets:

  27. I’m the author of a literary nonfiction book: “Jerry’s Riot: The True Story of Montana’s 1959 Prison Riot.” I’m always looking to connect with people interested in the writing genre, prisons and prison riots, Montana and so forth. I’m at Twitter at:

  28. Great post. Thanks!

    I’m a professional writer-photographer-editor interested in making connections on Twitter. I’m just learning how to Twitter too, so these tips are much appreciated! My handle is @mepowell.


  29. Hey Maria! A great site: I’m “older, maybe wiser” woman, with 11 independent published books (and counting), and after blogging, websiting and storefronting, am also finding Tweeting the way to go with my books ( a novel, poetry, inspiration, kids books, travel). Thanks for all the resource info. It’s great, in this someone lonely business of being a writer, to find a community of others as close as my fingertips!

  30. I will try following some of these 25, certainly can’t hurt me. I have a submission with a publisher now awaiting response, my current works are self published, my submission is a mildly different genre, that sells much better. I prefer people who wish to follow me ask first, I’m not a celeb yet, so I feel I have the right to refuse followers. A simple @ message could prevent you from getting blocked. My website link is for my self-published material through My occasional blog is at

  31. Great info Maria.

    Twitter is indeed a minefield of useless spam most of the time. But there are jewels in amongst the dross. My method is to have two id’s. I follow the people I really want to read, retweet and interact with on my personal ‘@stevelean’ id, I also follow those same people on my main ‘@costablogger’ account.

    I also work to build more followers and readers on my main account. To give people an idea, I’m following 30-odd people on my personal id and 1200-odd on my main id.

    This way I can keep track of people who have something to say on my personal id without suffering fountains of drivel. I don’t tweet much on my personal id, it’s more of a ‘listening’ device. I tweet mainly from my main id.

    Just thought I’d throw that in for what it’s worth.

    Thanks again,

  32. I just found this post and can’t wait to follow the individuals you suggest. I’ve been using twitter for 8 or 9 months and love the community of writers. It also helped generate a lot of buzz for the release of my first book! I think it has great potential for the publishing industry. Thank you again. Almost forgot! My twitter handle is @clrsimple2

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