Twitter for Writers: 7 Tips

When was the last time you reviewed your Twitter profile? Do you even have a tweeting strategy?

While Facebook is a great place to hang out with friends and family, Twitter is the best place to find information and make new connections. Like any social platform, you want your Twitter account to be professional and show your personality. You can meet new people, engage followers, ask and answer questions, and perhaps pick up some new readers and/or clients.

Here are 7 things you can do to make the most out of Twitter.

1. Post a recent profile picture. Others will be more likely to engage with and follow you, if they can identify you as a real person, rather than a logo. One exception: if you are a caricaturist or someone who draws self-portraits, an artistic rendering of you will serve to showcase your abilities. 

2. Upload a branded header photo. You want the colors and tone of your website to match all of your socials. That way, people can identify you from a mere glance. Put your logo, as well as an info you want to call out - like your most recent book - in your header.

3. Write a concise bio. You have 160 characters to show who you are. You're a writer. You can do it!

4. Fill out the rest of your profile. Be sure to include location and website. Also, if you are so inclined, add emoji's to your profile name. It will really help you stand out. Note: I use Gold Stars in my @TheDEBMethod, @GoalChat, and @WriteOnOnline profiles.

5. Follow People. Obviously you want to follow and support your friends, but also use Twitter to make new ones. Follow your favorite authors, magazines, writers, news sources, etc. Connect with anyone you believe you would benefit from following and those you believe would benefit from following you. You don't want to follow too many people in one day, tho. It will look like you are spamming and Twitter may give you a time out.

6. And Create Twitter Lists. Create public and private lists of the people you follow. Organizing your feed in this way makes it easy to find tweets from the people you want, when you want them. For instance, create a list of podcasters or interviewers who pose questions to people with your expertise. Or if you have a local blog, create a list of places where you live. That way you can see what's going on, retweet valuable information to your followers, and reply if there's an area-specific question.

To create a list, go to your profile, click on lists, and select, Create new list. Name it, describe it, and decide if you want it to be public or private. Then add people. Hint: Keep most of your lists public. The only reason to create a private list is if you want to keep an eye on your competition's tweets.

7. Tweet. You now have 280 characters, as opposed to the original 140, so make them count. Feel free to add pictures to make your tweets stand out. You can add videos and GIFs too. Tweet your articles and other information related to your expertise. Reply to requests for information, ask people when you need things, and participate in Twitter chats. You can promote yourself, as long as you don't do it all the time. Remember, value first.

Twitter is a valuable too. Use your profile to highlight who you are and use your Tweets to share what you know. Share information and have conversations with your followers and friends. You never know where a tweet may lead.

Do you use Twitter? What's your handle? In what ways do you use Twitter for your personal or professional life?

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Debra Eckerling is a writer, editor and project catalyst, as well as founder of The D*E*B Method: Goal Setting Simplified and Write On Online, a live and online writers’ support group. Like the Write On Online Facebook Page and join the Facebook Group.  She is author of Write On Blogging: 51 Tips to Create, Write & Promote Your Blog and Purple Pencil Adventures: Writing Prompts for Kids of All Ages, and host of the #GoalChat Twitter Chat. Debra is an editor at Social Media Examiner and a speaker/moderator on the subjects of writing, networking, goal-setting, and social media.

Extending Life of Authors' Fave Reviews - Free Resource



Sometimes a review so good comes along that authors are loathe to let it die. They might include it in their media kit or add it to their websites. But then they run out of ideas for it.

But wait! Its life can be extended with new Nonfiction Authors Association’s member Carolyn Howard-Johnson's blog.

The New Book Review is a review blog that doesn't judge a book by its cover or by the press used to print it. If one reviewer loved a book, that qualifies it for more coverage. If a book is so new the author may submit a synopsis. Authors, publicists, and reviewers are asked to follow the guidelines given in the left column of the blog and, in return, are asked only to let their fans and the media know it is there through their networking channels. That helps expose every review on the blog (a cross-promotion of sorts) and gives authors an opportunity to reach the reading public.

Many authors who submit include author bios and information on their reviewers. In turn, authors use information in each review as a resource—the names of reviewers, review sites, publicists and more. A search engine helps visitors to find past reviews using keywords.

The blogger, Carolyn Howard-Johnson brings her experience as a publicist, journalist, marketer, and retailer to the advice she gives in her HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers and the many classes she taught for nearly a decade as instructor for UCLA Extension’s world-renown Writers’ Program. She is dedicated to helping other writers with free services like The New Book Review as well as the the books in her HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers which have won multiple awards.

Check out the author's  Back to Literature column for www.MyShelf.com.

Children’s Writing and Information Dump


As a ghostwriter and editor, occasionally I get clients who give me a draft of a story that has information dump within the first few spreads of a picture book.

This is a no-no.

Information dump is when an author literally dumps a chunk of information for the reader to absorb.

Granted most new writers may not realize they’re hitting the reader with these big chunks of information. Or, the author may want to tell the reader what she thinks the reader should know, but doesn’t know how to weave the information into the story.

I think the problem is the ‘author’ wants to make sure the reader understands what’s going on. For example:

Billy and Joe had been best friends since Kindergarten. They played together every day and even had sleep overs. They were also on the same football team. Then Billy insulted Joe last year. After that, Joe didn’t want to be friends with Billy anymore. Now, it’s a new school year.

While this example isn’t too long, there are some info dumps that are paragraphs long, pages long, or in the case of picture books, spreads long.

Another possible reason for information dumping.

Another possibility is that the ‘author’ is writing the story for himself. He’s writing to see what he wants to see in the book. He’s not thinking about what a seven year old or a 10 year old will want . . . even expect in a book.

Whatever the reason, information dump at the beginning of a story leads to a very boring beginning. And, it delays the initial problem that the protagonist must overcome.

While this has touched on the beginning of a story so far, it’s not a good idea to dump clumps of information elsewhere within the story either.

Why information dumping isn’t a good idea.
Children, even adults, have short attention spans. Being told what went on is boring for the reader. She wants to see or hear what’s going on through action and dialogue. Information or backstory must be weaved into the story here and there.

For example, going back to Billy and Joe. Instead of telling the reader flat out in the beginning of the story why they’re not friends, bring it in through dialogue.

It was the first day of the new school year. Joe walked past Billy in the yard without looking at him or saying a word.

“Okay, enough already. I insulted you last year. Get over it already,” chided Billy.

This lets the reader know what’s happening without knocking him over the head or dumping clumps of information. It brings the reader into the action and conversation. It’s effective writing.

While you may not be able to get every bit of information into the story that you think should be there, it doesn’t matter. Your reader will read between the lines. .

So, think twice before dumping that information on your reader.

This article was originally published at:
http://karencioffiwritingforchildren.com/2017/04/30/childrens-writing-information-dump/



Karen Cioffi is an award-winning children’s author. She runs a successful children’s ghostwriting and rewriting business and welcomes working with new clients.

For tips on writing for children OR if you need help with your project, contact her at Writing for Children with Karen Cioffi.

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