So I’ve got a Twitter profile, though if you follow me I am probably the most boring tweeter out there. I hardly ever tweet and when I do it is mostly to retweet something someone said so far back in history that it is probably irrelevant to anyone anyway.

What I use twitter for is to keep up with authors out there that are active tweeters, both authers I know and have read, and authors and writers that I don’t know. I use it to book browse and to feel connected to other writers out there even if I don’t really participate. Which for me is important since I don’t really talk much about my writing. Reading tweets islike walking around a huge market quietly listening in on multiple conversations around me, and most of the time what people is talking about are my favorite pass times in the world. Reading and writing.

But listening also shows me how differently other people use Twitter. Some like Ian Rankin (@beathhigh) Stuart MacBride (@StuartMacBride), Joe Hill (@joe_hill), Russel McLean (@RusseldMcLean), Mary Robinette Kowal (@MaryRobinette), Chuck Wendig (@ChuckWendig)…the list is long, share thoughts, pictures, political views, writerly facts, and tell you about appearances, book signings and book news. They are fun to read and instructive as well.

Then there are the others. The ones who send you a “thank you for following me” tweet when you press follow, like you are doing them a favor. This always causes my guards to slam into place. In my market analogy they are the hawkers, the ones standing on the street corners shouting about their wares to create an interest, or the shop owners who crowd you in the narrow streets and pester you to come in side to look at their books.. They make me feel pressured and coerced. In the real world I call them the tweet spammers. Those who offer no or very few insights into themselves, they publish mostly tweet after tweet of facts and praise about their own books, hoping to make me want to read their books.

To compare let me just pull up a few tweets from two different tweeters:




These are the last three tweets from author Ian Rankin (26th of March 2013 11.17am)

And from another tweeter:




These are from author Matilda Wren, embedded at the same time as the Ian Rankin tweets, except I culled the second last tweet as it was identical to the last one, just sent 12 hours earlier.

I admit I am biased, I read Ian Rankin regularly, and I do not know Matilda Wren’s books. But nor is that likely to change when this is what she’s doing to make me read them. She has not even made me curious enough to go to amazon and find out about her book. Not once have I clicked her links to find out, because presented with her tweets I get defiant and stubborn. She is trying way way too hard. I’ll most likely unfollow her eventually, defeating her very clear purpose. To make me buy her book.

But writers like Russel McLean and Chuck Wendig who I had never heard about before I followed them on twitter, they make me curious. Not by forcing their books down my throat, but by being living thinking individuals that seem to use twitter, not as a publishing gimmick, but to be themselves.
It is their personalities, shining through their tweets, that make me want to read what they write. Both Chuck Wendig and Russel McLean are wickedly hilarious, and Russel’s next up on the to-buy list.


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