The Manhattan Project--2016 A to Z Theme

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Who Do You Follow? Who Do You Read? #atozchallenge #AZchat

Twitter
Twitter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


         It has now been a little over two years since I opened my Twitter account.   I can't say that I know much more about Twitter now than I did back then but I suppose I've gotten better.  With well over 5000 followers and nearly 8000 tweets to my account, I guess I'm not what one might consider a Twitter heavyweight, but I'm doing moderately well for whatever that's worth.

         When I first started on Twitter I naturally began following all of my blog contacts who had accounts and a few other people I know.   I also began following every literary agent and publisher I came across.  I figured by doing so I'd get some insider knowledge about things I'd need to know about being a writer and perhaps even get a foot in the door with some of these contacts.  Wrong!--at least as far as I can tell.

         First of all, I discovered that most of these agents and publishers had a ton of followers--probably writers like me with the same goals as I have--and they had a minuscule number of accounts that they were following.  They were unlikely to see any of my tweets and probably didn't care whether they saw them or not.  Like any high profile Twitterer, they were sitting in their high places tweeting their tweets expecting their fans to revel in everything they sent into Twitterland.   Where I would excitedly note who followed my account and courteously follow them back, they were probably deleting every "following" notice they received as quickly as they came in.  Actually they probably had an assistant or an intern casting people like me off into non-entity limbo.

        Not only would they be unlikely to ever follow my Twitter account, I discovered that most of the publishers were just tweeting marketing information about their products and many of the agents were tweeting absolute nonsense.  They were making comments about the weather or what they ate or some such usual nonsense that many people tweet about.  If I tweet about stubbing my toe nobody's especially interested, that is if they even happen to notice my tweet in the first place. An agent needs to be tweeting me something that's going to provide me with information that is going to lead me to success.  I guess not though.  After all they're just people too and they don't have all that much to tweet about either and if they do have something about business it's about their client or something like that.

        I eventually decided that I didn't need the agent tweet clutter in my feed and started unfollowing all of the agents.  I get enough dumb stuff flying through my Twitter feed.

         Oh, and if you're an agent and you happen to be reading this post, I wasn't talking about you.  I love you and would like to start following your Twitter account.   Just let me know your handle and I'll faithfully read about what you had for lunch or what you're wearing today.   And if you're ready to sign a contract with me then let's talk.   I love all of your tweets!  You can find me at @ArleeBird.  I follow back!


Tweeters You Should Know

         If you want to get to know some great folks on Twitter then join in the next A to Z Challenge Chats on Twitter tomorrow (Thursday March 27th at 1 PM and 8 PM EST).  This is a good bunch of people who have a good time and dispense some useful information.

          You can even join in if you're not signed up yet for the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge and just want to know more about it.   Have questions about A to Z?   Jump into the conversational fun and just ask.  The previous chats were very enjoyable--much more so than I had expected.

          All agents and publishers are welcome to join the A to Z chat sessions cause I really do like you.    Just ignore what I said earlier.

Why Should You Come to #AZchat?

         A to Z co-host Pam the Unconventional Librarian tells about why you should attend the A to Z Twitter Chats.  Please drop over to her site and take a look.

          While you're at Pam's blog, if you haven't done this already, please stop in to check out my guest post about one of my favorite books.

           Do you follow Twitter accounts of literary agents, publishers, or other professionals whom you think can be helpful to you in your field of interest?   Do you follow any celebrities or well known people?    Can you recommend any particularly helpful tweeters who post useful content?



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34 comments:

  1. Hi Lee - I haven't quite got the Twitter thing ... or had the energy to give it a go - the barriers are coming down and I guess the curtain might open to me actually using twitter sometime in the summer - now I've said it!

    Cheers and I'm sure lots of people find all the information so helpful ... and we could do it here .. the 1.00pm slot is fine for us - early evening ...

    PS - thanks so much for this wonderful challenge - Hilary

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  2. That's an impressive amount of followers, Lee! I've been on there twice as long and only have 3000. (Of course, I don't actively follow a lot of new people. I don't follow any publishers or agents. (I don't follow their blogs, either.) I do follow an assortment of science fiction and other accounts, but only a handful. The ones I really keep up with are my blogger buddies.

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  3. Laughing here. I find a lot of helpful information on Twitter by following like-minded writers, but I am barely on Twitter, really. I struggle to keep up.

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  4. Yeah, I get a thousand followers and I would pass out. From alarm. Impressive following Arlee and it's annoying when your twitter feed gets cluttered by junk.

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  5. I only check in with one celebrity, John Pyper Ferguson, b/c he closed his Facebook page (we were FB friends). And I also tweeted an app developer when the game went down a few weeks ago. Other than that I have no use for it. I already spend too much time online as it is, and I don't have a smartphone so it's not like I can log on and tweet all the time when I'm not at home.

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  6. I originally opened a Twitter account to contact an author, didn't do me a lot of good so I haven't really been on Twitter since. Would love to join the Twitter A to Z chat, but it's always at the wrong time for me, I have lunch out and bowl tomorrow for instance. So, won't be there.

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  7. I don't know how useful it is, but @HonestToddler is one of the funniest things on Twitter. If I need a laugh I go there. @ JonAcuff is funny and also helpful...motivates, encourages, and makes you laugh too.

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  8. I still haven't opened a Twitter account.

    Now, I do follow some agent blogs. I don't read them every day. They are very helpful with information if you need to make your query better. They also, occasionally, have interesting industry news. When I first found them, I read them all faithfully. Now... not so much... even though they don't write about their breakfast, etc.

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  9. What I'm kind of coming to dislike about twitter is the number of people I don't know that will follow me one day and, usually, three days later unfollow me. I get, now, that those people are trying to get me to follow them back, but, honestly, if you follow me and I don't know you, I am unlikely to just follow back. However, throw some interaction my way, and I will gladly follow back.

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  10. Hilary-- I understand about the energy. I get worn down by all of the social media platforms.

    Alex -- I've lost track of most of what I "follow" and like you mostly just keep contact with community.

    Liza -- Believe me, I'm the same way.

    Sheena-Kay -- The more you follow, the more stuff in the feed.

    JoJo- John Pyper Ferguson? He's a celebrity. Well, that's how much I keep up with people.

    Jo -- I've tried to make contact with certain people and never get a response.

    Joyce -- I'll have to take a look at these.

    Robin -- I guess I still follow many agent blogs, but it's been ages since I've looked at most of them. They do have good information but it's also usually information that I see in many other places as well.

    Lee

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  11. Hi Arlee,
    Yet another post on twitter on the Eve of the big event -A to Z :-)
    yes, twitter can play a vital role in promoting our posts, all bloggers should have one account. I joined long back and i use it quite often to promote my posts. Hey I have one good news to tell you:
    I have a new web page now i am mainly concentrating on it, though its still under construction, pl. do have a look give me your suggestions. Thanks
    url is www.pvariel.com
    Best Regards
    Phil
    Have a good day.

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  12. I have started culling my list of celebs and agents, and am sticking to interesting bloggers and comedians now - The #AZchat (s) I participated in so far were so confusing at first but also informative and a lot of fun.. I'm in PammyPams Unconventional alliance she has certainly given me the kick start I needed -

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  13. Andrew -- Are you signed up for one of those apps that helps you keep track of those who unfollowed you, etc? I find it helpful to clean out those rude people who do what you describe. They are rather egoistic in my opinion and not worth having as Twitter associates.

    Phil -- Good luck with the new site.

    Ida - Following the chats on a tweet consolidating site helps keep things more clear. On the most recent chats I followed on Tweetdeck and it made a huge difference.

    Lee


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  14. No, I don't have one of those apps, but I don't have enough twitter connections at the moment to need one. I just glance back through my email notifications to see who it was.

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  15. My answers would be no to the three questions you posted. A few hundred (or a few thousand)agents and book editors are responsible for delivering the few hundred(or few thousand) book titles that hundreds of millions of us buy and read each year. These titles are not sieved out of the millions of manuscripts written each year as a few tons of rare earths are sieved out of millions of tons of ore. Literary talent is not recognized that way.

    We all know that personal contacts govern. A well-written inquiry submitted with a well-written, engaging manuscript won't do the job alone. I can't see how being among the Twitter millions or billions changes the odds against an unpublished author. However, I wish you luck.

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  16. I don't follow literary agents or publishers. All they do is promote. I do follow other writers who often share interesting links.

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  17. Lee-

    I do not have a Twitter account, nor do I have any plan to open one.

    Who has time time?

    It seems that for many people, they get some form of affirmation from friends on Facebook or followers on Blogger/Twitter, so the quantity is more important to them than the quality.

    While I appreciate the people who follow my blog, I would like to believe that they find some of the posts of interest (that is why I follow the blogs I do).

    Comments provide me affirmation, especially comments that initiate a discussion. I value the meaty comments far more than the sheer number of followers.

    If I get a comment from someone I do not follow, I check their blog out, but I have found that when that list gets too large, my dashboard is unmanageable.

    I do get that many people simply do not have time for that level of commenting...but then I wonder where they get the time for Twitter.

    One other thing- I am from Philadelphia.

    Men from Philadelphia do not, under any circumstances, "tweet."

    Not that there's anything wrong with that!

    LC

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  18. I deleted my twitter account a while back simply because it was becoming a distraction and quite the nuisance for me. At the time my Facebook was deactivated too.

    Anywho, I did follow some literary agents but not all were as helpful as I initially presumed they would be. Some mentioned the tons of emails they received, ton of rejections they sent out, and the few partial/full requests they may have sent. It was kind of annoying to be honest; to read them complain about the 200+ emails they received and the, sayyyy, 195 rejections they sent. The complaining got to me because this our life, we're just trying to get representation and hopefully published. There's no need for your to rant and rave about it. I understand some queries just blatantly suck in the content/delivery aspect but sheesh...

    There was also an agent who'd post why she rejected certain queries and she'd give the genre so writers could have an idea rather or not that query was there's. That was kind of helpful because it gave me an idea of what agents were looking for....buttt at the same time, it annoyed me because I started writing what they liked instead of writing what I desired.

    Wow...I totally just rambled. I'll stop there. :-)

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  19. I've tried Twitter Lee but can't get the hang of it. May try when time permits.
    Yvonne.

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  20. I can't get the hang of Twitter, I have tried, may try again when time permits.

    Yvonne.

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  21. Andrew --- The app is probably worth looking into as you build up your Twitter acct. I use who.unfollowed.me and I refer to it every couple weeks or so to purge out the ones that I don't care that much for.

    Jack -- Twitter is maybe of some value for promotional purposes, but not like to be a way to get the attention of an agent or anyone like that. Just another piece of one's social media arsenal that might have some effect sometimes, but is mostly like shooting blindly into the night sky.

    Susan GK - Mostly people are promoting though. Sometimes I do find something that is interesting.

    Larry-- Twitter can take much less time than you might imagine. I spend a few minutes a day with it and probably get more return than from any other method. I spend far more time writing these dumb posts about Twitter than I spend on Twitter. As for "tweeting", I am a Bird and birds tweet. Nothing's wrong with that!

    Clarissa -- Like anything, if you let it distract you too much then it's best to avoid it. Since I don't pay too much attention to it then it's not a big bother. I sometimes wonder who actually spends time reading many tweets.

    Yvonne -- It's basically easy and actually fun to play with, but I don't like to spend too much time because I think it's mostly words that most people don't read.

    Lee


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  22. >>... Who Do You Follow? Who Do You Read?

    I follow Jesus,
    and I read His Dad's Book.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

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  23. Hi Lee,

    Thanks for this post. Sincerely, my tummy is rumbaing and zumbaing as I write because Tuesday is now barely couple of hours away.

    I will attend the chat for more ... security that even if I mess up during the #atoz challenge, I will not be thrashed!

    Thanks, Marie

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  24. 5000 followers on Twitter is huge! Agents should be lining up to sign you on, Lee! I look forward to seeing your guest post!

    Julie

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  25. I'm not sure how it works, I don't have a cell phone and don't receive each tweet published, thank god! If I did it would drive me crazy. I have no idea if anyone receives my tweets, I don't do it very often. It's a puzzle, and one I'm not sure I want to figure out. Unless the readers of my books began a group, then I'm sure I'd figure it out! LOL

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  26. StMc-- Well, yes, this is a whole realm bigger than Twitter.

    Marie -- The chats are great fun, but they go by far too quickly.

    Julie--Have you seen some of those really big Twitter accounts? The ones that aren't celebrities or big organizations are probably buying followers, but still my 5000 pales in comparison.

    Yolanda -- We'll eventually figure out what works and how. Some of my tweets that get noticed are really dumb ones.

    Lee

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  27. Life is too busy for twitters and tweets, altho it seems to be important. I wish everyone who seeks agents to have great success!

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  28. Susan -- If agents continue to be around.

    Lee

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  29. Another good "social media" post Lee! I have a Twitter account, but have failed to learn how to use it. Once, I commented to a celebrity and then realized that it is public to everyone who follows me. I would prefer my comment to be directed to the intended person and that only others following that person see the comment; that the thread not be advertised to my followers.

    I don't know if this makes sense to you or not. :) Only goes to show that I need more instruction.

    If I ever do tweet, it will be sparingly. Your assessment of it in this post tells me that it is practically useless in promoting one's literary ambitions; though mine have waned considerably.

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  30. ps. I visited Pam's site and read her opinion of Flanner O'Connor. Thanks for the link.

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  31. Anita -- Don't get me wrong about the promotional potential of Twitter. My recommendation is to use it wisely and not let hopes be exceeded by expectations. Tweet and be happily surprised when you get results.

    Lee

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  32. I follow a few agents/editors, and a few publishers. But truthfully I interact mostly with other readers/writers. And I really like the weekly chats, lit chat, scifchat and so on. Sometimes there are chats with agents / editors, too.

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  33. New Follower here! I really wish I would be able to participate in the #AZchat but living in Tehran I haven't been able to access twitter lately. I can update somethings through my tumblr account that is connected to twitter but I wouldn't be able to join the chats. We'll see if the government loosens up in the next couple of weeks...

    If not, at least I can still participate in the challenge itself.

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  34. Twitter is amazing for writers. I had my account for maybe 4 years or so and did nothing with it until I used it to network with writers. I found a freelance writing job on twitter, which linked me to entertainment writers and blogs that reached a whole corner of the internet that was different than what I'm writing. I did all that because it's fun, not because I had to. I think people who struggle with twitter might be approaching it as an advertising tool, but it's literally about connecting with people. If you aren't using it to connect, it might not be for you (and that's OK.)

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Lee