I will not lie. It is hard for me to believe, but I have become a tweeter. I have a Twitter handle, I am using hash tags, utilize a service called HootSuite, am on some Twitter lists, trying to learn how to gain followers and would even like to become a trend if I could. The even weirder part of all this is that I am finding it fun and useful.
I will admit to being hesitant about this and other forms of technology. So what I have to tell you is not from the point-of-view of someone who is tech savvy, or really all that interested in how social media really works.
Trying to figure out what value Twitter would have for me was the real mystery. What did everyone have to tweet about. I did not understand shortening links, or the value of being limited to 140 characters. Until I thought about the following. One, limiting characters is like limiting words. It helps to be concise. Tweeting for me is like writing practice, doing what I hope and tell others to do.
Secondly, for better or worse, I considered, why not make regular tweets, kind of like a blog, but even shorter. I could do short bits on what I do. I decided I would start tweeting about what it is like to be a publisher. I have been hash tagging “#Publishing is… ” I have found this to be quite fun.
What I do is just enter a short thought, for example: “My #Publishing life is … a process of moderation, some time doing design, some time at marketing, just like a good diet.” I have to admit there seems to be an endless array of things I can tweet about. However, thinking about what to write does enable me to focus on what I do and feel better about it. I believe that I reveal a dialogue about what it means to be a publisher for others to learn from and from which authors can learn a bit too.
I do not know much about how this will all translate into improving book sales, or marketing, or submissions, but I think it helps me feel more connected to fellow publishers and authors by following them on Twitter. I do not quite understand how to gain followers and reply, and connect, or chat, but I have already been surprised by how much and how many others are involved in Twitter that are into the publishing profession. It is a good feeling, as small as it is, to find another way to feel connected with the world of publishing.