Finally, A Use for Twitter

Shonna Slayton — 

I joined Twitter a few weeks ago to see what all the hullabaloo was about. At first, I didn’t get it (but I did get a bunch of unsolicited followers that I, ahem, immediately deleted. Warning: I was sent an “uncensored” picture. First time I’ve ever had that happen online.)


But, when I found a series of blogs about Twitter on Shrinking Violet Promotions, I shouted Eureka! Robin L. LaFevers had posted a list of industry professionals who tweet. I got straight to work following a few just to see what they talk about.


Here’s the obvious that I knew, but didn’t stop to think about: publishing houses, agents, editors, and other authors are twittering. Back and forth. About the industry. About trends in queries. About specific storylines they would like to see.


I, know. Duh, what else would they talk about? Well, coffee and the weather, too.


I sort of knew all that, but what really struck me after a few days of listening in on these 140 character conversations was the personality of these gatekeepers. Take agents, for example. You research as much as you can online: finding out the kinds of books they rep, what they say they are looking for, etc. But with Twitter, you can get an inkling to their unguarded personalities. It’s not like a blog they may edit before sending out.


One of the agents that was on my “to query” list I’ve now crossed off my list because of her tweets. (She might be a good agent, but I can tell by what and how she talks that I would not want to work with her.) Good to know. Then there was another agent I had passed over before. Now, because of her tweets, I’m putting her on the list. Also good to know.


As Stephanie mentioned earlier, Routines for Writers is also on Twitter. We haven’t set up an official plan as to how the three of us are going to manage the frequency or content of the tweets. It will be something centered around how to help writers write more. So if you want to be in on it from the beginning, look for us on Twitter.


Note: To get more links you can also go here: A Directory of Book Trade People on Twitter (This address was left in the comments section at Shrinking Violet Promotions.)

Shonna Slayton

Posts Twitter

Shonna Slayton is the author of the 1940's YA novel Cinderella's Dress (2014, Entangled Teen) and its sequel, Cinderella's Shoes (Fall 2015) . Visit her website at sign up for her newsletter.

One response to Finally, A Use for Twitter

  1. I was also really reticent to start tweeting, but I’ve found it really useful–mostly for the reasons you’ve mentioned.

    Mystery Writing is Murder