The Book Publicity Blog

News, Tips, Trends and Miscellany for Book Publicists

More about Twitter — and why you should join

By this point, most people have heard of the microblogging site Twitter.  I’m sure some of you have been meaning to join, but don’t quite know how — or, for that matter, why.  On How to Change the World, Guy Kawasaki posts some tips about how to build a following on Twitter (and why you might want to join).

Personally, I like Twitter because it helps me keep track of what people are doing (or reading).  Journalists I follow often post links to their stories or to stories they find of interest.  Often, breaking news is Twittered since it’s easier to post a 140-character message than an entire story.  Several publishing houses use Twitter accounts to promote their books (which you can find through my account).  In fact, a friend of mine likened her Twitter account to an RSS feed in that all the important stories pop up in her Twitter feed, albeit in an abbreviated fashion.

Of course, you don’t even need a computer to use Twitter — many users Tweet from cell phones and PDAs.  I admit, when I first heard about Twitter in a marketing meeting years ago, I thought it was pretty ridiculous, but used artfully, it’s actually a very effective way of keeping tabs on what’s going on.

November 11, 2008 - Posted by | Media Monitoring, Social Networking | ,


  1. I’m following some journalists, publishing houses, etc., and it’s helpful to see what I find compelling (or not). At the very least, joining and following some Twitterers has helped me understand it.

    Comment by Kama Timbrell | November 11, 2008 | Reply

  2. I spoke on a blogging panel just this evening and was (I think) the only one willing to try Twitter. I’ve been on just a couple days. My feeling is that there must be some overlap in the Venn Diagram between readers of “my writing” and those that want to track 160 character sound bytes of my thoughts. Not that this is the format I will use for all writing and with no concessions to our gnat-like attention span culture…

    I will read your post and links to learn how to leverage what I see as simply a new and different channel.

    Jacqueline Church

    Comment by jacqueline1230 | November 12, 2008 | Reply

  3. I’ve been tracking publishers on Twitter for while now and maintain a (constantly changing) list on my site. I’ve come to realize that for all the “johnny come lately” stuff book publishers get shackled with (slow to digitize, slow to use social media, slow to use multimedia, etc.) Twittering is something that a lot of book publishers do really well. Better than a lot of tweeters in other industries.

    Most houses seem to get that Twitter needs to be beyond sending out 20% notices and press releases. Maybe it’s because they’ve always been content generators and providers. But I think it’s always more fun to keep up with publisher’s tweets than others.

    Comment by trav | November 12, 2008 | Reply

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