Marketing, Social Media

Twitter for aspiring authors: 6 tips to engage, network, and grow your fanbase

Twitter is a valuable tool for an aspiring author to find and network with your tribe and promote your debut book. Read on to learn more.

Are you looking to make a name for yourself as an up-and-coming novelist? What better way to share your words and win loyal fans than by leveraging the power of Twitter?

With 192 million daily active users worldwide, Twitter is the perfect platform to promote your work. Why did 82% of B2B marketers incorporate Twitter into their marketing strategy last year? Simple — your content can go viral overnight and put your name on the map.

But there’s more to Twitter than virality; if you focus on longevity and building steady and consistent growth, you’ll position yourself as an influential voice in the writing community.

Today, I’m sharing six strategic ways to use Twitter as an aspiring novelist. Ready to establish a strong network and watch your fanbase bloom? Fellow scribe, here’s your guide.

1. Complete your Twitter profile

Twitter is bite-sized, which means you’ll want to maximize opportunities to express your individuality as a novelist. First stop? Fill out your bio completely. 

Above all, add your own pizazz to clue people into your writing style and personality.

What to put in your Twitter bio:

  • A brief introduction. Here’s a fun, personalized example from @jodyhedlund, a bestselling author bringing humor to her bio: “When I’m not writing, I’m reading. What else is there?” It’s fun, human, and relatable.
  • Self-promotion. Add your website, social media, and any published works or projects you’d like to highlight.
  • Relevant keywords. Keywords like novelist, author, and professional writer will help your account show up in search results. Let SEO do the heavy lifting for you. 
  • Hashtags. Working on a project? Be sure to share it with the #amwriting hashtag or #amquerying if you’re looking for an agent.
  • A profile picture. Choose a pic that represents you as an author. Use your profile pic to show a little flair and flex your personality.
  • Your location. While not entirely necessary, you can include this if you’re interested in cultivating a local network.

What about your username? The rule of thumb: keep it short and sweet. Shorter usernames get tagged more often and enjoy increased visibility. Consider choosing a memorable username that revolves around your niche, like witty author @askanyone.

Lastly, upload a Twitter header that helps you stand out from the crowd. Need inspiration? Our free Twitter templates can help you create a unique header that visually captures the essence of your brand. You can even repurpose your book cover by resizing it for free! 

If you have multiple published works, consider sharing images of them here.

So, your bio’s fully loaded; what’s next?

2. Follow circles relevant to your industry

The Twitter writing community is notoriously active and supportive, and it’s time to join the conversation. Plus, there are downright fun threads on subjects anywhere from using GIFs to describe your novel to sharing your writing heroes.

Participate in conversations online with specific writer and author hashtags. Below are some of the most popular hashtags for writers.

  • #WritingCommunity connects you with a virtual hub of writers worldwide. You can share anything from exciting new projects to daily motivational messages.
  • #amwriting is excellent for promoting your work, uplifting other writers, and posting empowering quotes.
  • #writerslife is the perfect hashtag to use when sharing your life and process as a writer. Some writers also link this hashtag when making insider jokes. (“You know you’re a writer when…”)
  • #writerslift helps you network with other authors and grow your following list by swapping follows with fellow writers.
  • #WriterWednesday is ideal for when you want to shout out a fellow author. You can also provide any helpful writing tips to your audience. 
  • #WIP (Work in Progress) is a hashtag you’ll use to share details about your novel.

Stuck on what to tweet? Browse other authors, see what’s trending, and chime in! 

3. Make connections with writers, agents, and publishers

A great way to amplify your name as an aspiring novelist on Twitter is to follow successful authors and start engaging with them. Start liking, retweeting, and leaving genuine comments on their posts. The more you engage, the more visible your profile becomes and the more connections you’ll make.

As you meet others in your industry, don’t focus on self-promotion right off the bat to avoid coming across as self-serving or pushy. Instead, focus on building genuine connections.

By forming organic relationships and providing value, people will start to reciprocate and engage with your content. Over time, people will remember you and come to you for inspiration.

Keep in mind that the publishing industry is a small world. A single sour encounter with an agent may come back to bite you. Use your Twitter professionally and respectfully, and you’ll forge real connections that can advance your career in the long run.

4. Publish and schedule content in your audience’s timezone

While interacting with other industry players is essential, you’ll also need to create your own content. How?

  • Regularly publish updates about yourself and your work. 
  • Share content that you find interesting, whether you discovered it on your own or through another writer.
  • Post when your followers are most active based on their location. If your followers are primarily on the West Coast, schedule your posts and PST.

This brings up a larger question: When should you post on your Twitter? One study found that Tweeting on weekdays between 6-9 a.m is the best time. However, publishing content at unconventional times is still better than not creating any content at all. Your next question is probably “what should I tweet as an author?”

I’ve got you covered!

5. Share diverse content

What kind of content can you create? At first, experiment with different types of content to see what posts your audience interacts with most. Some ideas include:

  • Motivational quotes. Be sure to choose quotes that you and your audience find relevant, like author quotes for writing motivation.
  • Relevant writing advice. Why not establish yourself as an industry expert? The more value you provide, the more others will gravitate toward your brand.
  • Your current reading list. This is a fun way for your followers to get to know you and your interests.
  • Promotional posts. These can be for yourself or on behalf of other writers. Elevate your fellow creatives, and they’ll return the favor.
  • Personal content. You don’t have to restrict yourself to solely writing-related posts. Share your passions, hobbies, challenges, and bits of your personal life.

Remember, you run the show on your account. If you’re passionate about sharing something, do it! The more unique your content is, the more you’ll stand out.

6. Host Twitter chats

Take your Twitter content marketing to another level by directly engaging with your audience. Twitter chats are live Q&A interactive sessions that revolve around a particular topic selected by the host. Many authors like to host regular Twitter chats — think of them as virtual clubs.

How it works:

  • The chat host asks questions related to that session’s chosen topic. Example: “What’s a story that comes to mind when you hear the word ‘tragedy’?”
  • Participants tweet their responses using the chat’s hashtag, which also can double as the chat name. 
  • By searching the chat hashtag, participants can find and interact with each other’s responses.

In a chat called #writeandWine hosted by @lexvranick, participants share their name, what they’re drinking, and answer a given question.  Twitter chats are a fun way to think outside the box, get to know your writing community, and promote your brand as an aspiring novelist. 

If you plan on hosting a chat, don’t forget to promote it beforehand. Choose a set schedule so that your followers know when to tune in.

Time to Tweet!

And that’s a wrap on how to maximize your Twitter content marketing as an aspiring novelist! 

To recap, be sure to fill out your profile as much as you can. Connect and engage with both your followers and colleagues. 

Above all, remember to create rich and compelling content that’ll leave your audiences hungry for more. Get them engaged, and they’ll eagerly anticipate the release of your next novel! 

Blog post by: Christina Lyon