They say social media is a time suck which of course is true. And can be one of the many kryptonites for writers. I should know. Many a time I would look at the time and be in shock to where all the time went. Time I could’ve, should’ve used to write. Damn you Facebook and Twitter, hand shaking fist.
Yet, social media also holds a plethora of tools for your instant perusal. Tools to help you, the writer, achieve your publication goals. I myself just spent a wonderful month in September taking part in #WIPjoy. A hashtag created by sci-fi & fantasy author Bethany A. Jennings.
Will talk more about that starting now.
So here’s a few Twitter hashtags I follow and take part in:
#WIPjoy is a month long event celebrating, if you haven’t guessed it, a writer’s work in progress novel. Every day, we post on Twitter according to that day’s theme. The first three days you introduce what you’re working on and the current stage of your novel. The next fourteen days focuses on backgrounds like settings and backstories. But more importantly and fun, your protagonist(s) take over. The next seven days is the deep stuff like the theme of our work in progress. And the challenges writing it. And the last seven days is community fun week. Where you shot out your writer friends, remind what your novel is about, etc.
#1linewed is a writer hashtag I recently started taking part in. It’s real simple and fun too. Every Wednesday has a new theme. Where you share on Twitter a line from your work in progress novel that corresponds to that theme. September 14th’s theme was ‘socks.’ And you wouldn’t believe how lucky I was to find two lines that mentioned it. One line each in two seperate work in progress novels. All writers are welcome to tweet lines from their novel. But remember, please don’t share buy links.
#MWSL is when agents and editors share on Twitter the type of manuscripts they’d like to see in their inbox. Have a completed and unpublished story similar to what they’re looking for? Follow their guidelines about querying your novel to them. Is your story still in the draft/editing stages? Do what I do. Research and follow their profile on Twitter or other social media to check if you might be a good match. Create and save their file to a master agent/editor list. And query your manuscript once it’s ready. (I have a gdoc list of such possible agents. And an excel tracking list of agents/editors I most definitely want to submit to).
#PitMad, #SFFpit, #Pit2Pub…basically any pitch event. As I’ve mentioned on my blog many times, a Twitter pitch event is a good way to circumvent the dreaded slush pile. In 140 characters you pitch your completed manuscript. The editors/agents taking part and watching the feed will like your pitch as a sign to go ahead and query them. If you’re like me and don’t have a completed manuscript(s) to pitch, you can still take part. How? By supporting the writers who are. You can tweet them how much you love their pitch. Or how you think the book sounds interesting and sound like something you’d read. You can also study the pitches to help strengthen your own pitches. I also like to study the Twitter feed for genre hashtags I’d use for my own. And search the genre hashtags and pitches to help build my agent/publisher query list.
All in all, it’s a great way to have fun and meet other writers. As well as serve veritable proof that we’re not as alone in our writing journeys as we think. Plus, it allows us the chance to show support to our fellow comrade in pens. Another bonus is it can increase your Twitter follower count. And the piece de resistance is you’re actually promoting your writing. Gaining fans of your novel(s) before it’s even published. So come release date, you already have an audience who’ve been with you from the beginning. Who’ll be excited for you and might buy your book.
Are there any Twitter hashtags you follow and want to share? How has participating in that hashtag helped you with your writing and writing career? What Twitter hashtag(s) you wish writers knew more about? Why?
PS I’ll be away for NaNoWriMo and looking for some guest bloggers to take over. If you’re interested, take a look at the sign up form below. Make sure to send all your media content (author and/or book photo). And your social media and buy links and blog post by the end of October.