Rachel Hauck

Best-selling author and award winning author Rachel Hauck lives in central Florida with her husband and loving pets. She earned a B.A. degree in Journalism from Ohio State University and spent seventeen years in the corporate software world before leaving to write full time. Rachel loves to teach and mentor writers.

She is a Book Therapist at www.MyBookTherapy.com, a daily craft blog and community for writers. In the past, Rachel is the president of American Christian Fiction Writers and now servers on the Advisor Board. Visit her blog and web site at www.rachelhauck.com.

Twitteriffic - Part II

Last month we talked about the benefits of social media hot spots like Twitter. As authors, or marketing professionals, even as a reader, social media is an excellent tool for spreading the word.

The time commitment is less than thirty minutes a day, if you’re becoming a Twitteraholic. If you use tools like Tweetlater, the time investment is around ten minutes. I’ve listed some Twitter guidelines below, and enlisted the help of some friends to encourage you on your social media journey.

1. Don’t slam individuals or groups, or even hint of dissing. While you may know what you mean, those reading your post may have no idea and get the wrong impression of you and those you speak of.

2. Avoid over-venting about your boss, your spouse, your neighbor, and even your current manuscript. Be honest but creative.

3. For me, if I see a Twitter account with only Web site links and marketing promo, or a half-naked girl, I don’t follow. Life is too short . . .

4. Post your own tweets. If you don’t have time, don’t sign up. Celebrities and politicians have joined and it gives serious doubts to who is actually doing the tweeting. The beauty of social media is that it’s you doing the talking not your “people.” I don’t follow those I don’t feel do their own posting.

5. Don’t whack me on the head with your social or political agenda. I’ll get it with just a few tweets. And you’ll get mine, too.

I’m not alone with my love affair of Twitter. A few noted authors and agents have said this:

I’ve found that giving out good content, like writing advice and helpful quotes, builds goodwill. I have a number of followers who look forward to seeing what I tweet from day-to-day. I don’t view this solely as marketing. If all you do is talk about yourself and your books, it tends to turn people off.

—James Scott Bell, author of Try Fear, @jamesscottbell

Twitter has given me a new connection with readers. There really is a bond that forms that’s hard to explain. I follow industry leaders too, and their tweets have shown me different sides of the issues that face all of publishing. I love Twitter!

—Colleen Coble, author of Cry in the Night, @colleencoble

I have gathered new readers and reached out to existing fans through Twitter. It’s great for getting your name in front of a lot of people. And when people tweet about my books, that tweet

is public for all who follow that person (and anyone else who might visit that person’s Twitter page). So unlike a fan e-mail, which only I see, [tweets are] public praise. For example, this one came in this morning: “Should be working on book edits. Reading Brandilyn Collins’s Crimson Eve instead. Simply can’t put it down.” I have also hooked up with reviewers who didn’t know my work before. As a result, my books are being reviewed on new blogs/Web sites. I have also seen definite increased blog traffic because of Twitter.

—Brandilyn Collins, author of Exposure, @brandilyn

A well-written, well-crafted story will always trump any social media, networking, or market plan. That said, society is crowded with leisure-time options like movies, 200-plus TV channels, video games, and Internet sites like YouTube and Hulu. It behooves authors to stay connected personally with readers, draw them in and entice them to read their book over other entertainment options. Twitter is one of the most effective ways to connect with large numbers of people who may one day buy your book.

—Rachelle Gardner of WordServe Literary Group, @rachellegardner

So there you have it, my thoughts, and my friends’ thoughts on Twitter. I recommend trying it for thirty days, reaching out, becoming a social networker. See what might come your way.

If you have any thoughts or social media suggestions, contact me at rachelhauck [at] gmail [dot] com and follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/rachelhauck.

Love Starts With Elle