In the light of Tricia Drammeh’s excellent post titled Facebook Etiquette For Authors I decided to write one on Twitter etiquette.
I have heard countless complaints from many book bloggers and other authors about Twitter accounts set up like annoying spam bots. Here is a list of things which should help those new to Twitter:
1. Don’t set up automatic DM’s and replies. No matter what the internet marketers are telling you, setting up automatic DM’s and replies is a very bad idea. For the love of God, don’t do it. You are not the only person on Twitter and you are definitely not the only person I am following. Each time your spammy script sends a DM saying ‘Click my Facebook page! Here is my book!’ a little puppy dies. I am following over 1000 people and have over 1000 followers, I really don’t have the time to click every Facebook/Amazon page/book link sent via DM. It floods my inbox and cleaning them up wastes my precious time. There is a place to put your link on your Twitter bio and if you are an interesting enough person, if you actually interact with me, I will click it and seek out your books and subscribe to your blog myself.
2. Don’t set up automated, scheduled tweets constantly advertising your books. It’s irritating. Do advertise giveaways, valuable blog posts you wrote, book sale campaigns benefiting charity, but don’t spam links. Thousands of people are spamming links and no one is clicking them.
3. Don’t follow me back to send me your book or facebook page link and then immediately unfollow. That is outright rude and disrespectful. I go through my DM’s and if I see people following me back just to spam links and then unfollow, I block them for good.
4. Be a human being and talk to people. Look at Neil Gaiman’s Twitter feed for a good example. He talks to his readers all the time.
5. Make sure to put your web site or blog link on your bio. Also list your genre in your bio, so that the people looking for a specific genre can find you.
6. Don’t spam the hashtags. That is rude and irritates everyone. Tweet things relevant to the hashtag.
The less automated, the better. Automatic tweeting of new blog posts is ok, scheduling a few tweets to announce book launches, discounts and giveaways is ok, but setting up a Twitter bot is not. If a big shot celebrity author like Neil Gaiman can find the time to type tweets and talk to people with his extremely busy schedule, we the little people have no excuse for setting up spammy Twitter bots.
I followed celebrity authors and never not received a spammy automatic DM from a single one of them. Yet my DM inbox is full of spam from no-name indie authors. If you want to be successful, then make a point of acting like the successful people out there. I personally follow the example of authors like Neil Gaiman, George R.R. Martin and Patrick Rothfuss, not some no-name internet marketers who spread false information to make a quick buck.