Last night, while Hurricane Sandy worked its way through the eastern states, I was on Twitter for hours—6 hours, to be exact.
Well, I wasn’t JUST on Twitter. I had a bunch of other stuff open in my browser too: Weather.com, CNN.com, Facebook, a few poetry websites, YouTube, email, The Onion, etc.
Oh, and the TV was on too. (For someone who prides himself on singular focus, it was not my finest 6 hours. But I digress.)
This is the way millions of people are engaging with the world nowadays—on multiple screens, multiple devices, multiples browsers, and multiple websites at once.
In between sending poetry submissions, revising poems, checking email, scheduling some interviews, making dinner, and changing my baby’s diapers, Twitter helped me trace the path of the storm and check on how many of my friends living between Virginia and Maine were faring. Twitter was alive with news reports, photos, reassurances, and something extra: a glimpse into what folks were doing creatively with their down-time as they waited out the storm.
It was fascinating to see what my favorite authors and musicians were up to, and helped make me feel (in a small tweet-sized way) closer to them as people, and to their art.
It was a good reminder of how social media CAN actually connect and inform us.
Twitter 101 for authors
If you’re just getting started (or haven’t yet started) using Twitter to connect with your audience, check out these 3 articles:
Twitter is an effective and fun way of promoting your writing (in a soft-sell manner) while also building your tribe/community of authors, staying engaged with industry trends, networking with editors/publishers/agents, and tracking storms, political campaigns, foreign and domestic revolutions, or the latest memes.
How are you using Twitter to promote your book? Let us know in the comments section below.