OK, so maybe I'm a little prone to hyperbole. Can't help it. I'm a writer. To top it off, I'm a marketing consultant by day. It's a dangerous mix.
But, if @RayneHall didn't change my life, she certainly made it more enjoyable. The cost was less than I spend on my morning latte plus a few hours of reading - most of which I did while on the exercise bike, so they barely count.
You see, Rayne Hall wrote Twitter for Writers.
Rayne says tomahto*, I say tomato
There are lots of different opinions about the value of Twitter, ranging from "It's a cesspool" to "I can't get enough of it." My estimation was somewhere in between. I had actually been using Twitter in my day job since 2007 as an RRSS* tool.
I wasn't buying into the cesspool thing. It can be, for sure, but go hang out on the streets of any major city and see what kind of crackpots you find. Add to that the whole anonymity thing, and you can get sucked into a quagmire of unbelievable filth.
I had already figured out how to make Twitter my own little reality, but this is a big part of Rayne's book. So, if reading Twitter nauseates you or makes your blood boil, I encourage you not to wait any longer. You sanity will thank you for it.
My paradigm shift
Beyond creating my hand-crafted world of authors and readers (and historians), I thought I had Twitter pretty well figured out. I was approaching 3500 followers at the time and had never hit the dreaded 2k hurdle. I didn't even know about it until I read the book.
Paradigm shift - a concept/book introduced sometime way back in the 80s or 90s that had business people using the term ad nauseam for decades.
Little did I know that I was being annoying. (I suppose it's a universal truth that the most annoying people are the last to realize how annoying they actually are.)
I was tweeting my book promos. Not constantly, but probably 20 a day scattered throughout 24 hours. I was also tweeting blog posts, so there were a good number of other tweets in between my promos. It wasn't "buy my book" 24/7. (Plus, I like to think my promo tweets were a tad more creative than that!)
More to the point, I was retweeting other author's book promos at least as much as my own. I figured it was a karma thing. You tweet my promo, I'll tweet yours. My tweetstream ended up to be almost 90% promo tweets with the random cute animal picture thrown in just because I can't help it.
To make matters worse, I wasn't that discriminating. My genre is historical romance. I did not RT #erotica #BDSM etc. That's not me or my audience, and I knew enough to know that retweeting those would get me sucked into the aforementioned cesspool faster than you can say "oh sh**!" But, I would freely retweet #Fantasy #Mystery #SciFi etc, even though those authors and genre were not likely to be of interest to my primary audience.
I cannot tell you how embarrassing this is to admit. The immutable law of marketing is that your content must be relevant to your audience, or it is just noise. (or worse) I was breaking that rule, sometimes 20 or more times per day.
There were a number of other things that I learned I was doing right and more than a few strategies that I changed after reading the book. The bottom line is, I love Twitter, warts and all. Twitter for Writers has helped me love it even more. Maybe it'll even help me sell a few books.
You can follow me at @maryjeanadams
*Rayne is English. (Oops! Rayne corrected my misperception in the comments below. She's actually German.)
*RRSS = Really, Really Simple Syndication. It's a bit of a joke that can probably only be appreciated if you're a geek and/or born before 1980.
A note about my review policy:
So far, none of the books I've reviewed on my site were given to me as review copies. Not that I'm opposed to freebies, but if I'm willing to shell out $5 for a cup of coffee, the least I can do is pay for a good book to read while I sip it.
The other reason I've paid for all the books I review is because those that have been submitted to me are not the type of books I'm open to reviewing. I'm beginning to understand those testy little notes on the real review sites that ask authors to read the policies before submitting.