Five Good Twitter Gifts

I'll admit it. I'm a bit of a social media maniac. Why, Mitali, why? you might be asking. Let me share five sweet outcomes of my involvement with Twitter, moving from the sublime to the practical:
  1. Getting to know a slew of fabulous New England independent booksellers as well as local authors and illustrators via Kids Heart Authors Day, not to mention making a good buddy and colleague in Deborah Sloan, marketing maven. (Now Publisher's Weekly is hosting a National Bookstore Day, and I'm not beyond thinking that imitation is a form of flattery.)

  2. The chance to shift from a myopic stare at my own book promotion to a wider vision of connecting kids to many great stories via Twitter Book Parties.

  3. Editor Pradipta Sarkar of HarperCollins India found me on Twitter, and we chatted back and forth about my books via 140-character tweets. Now three of them are going to be published in India (the books, not the tweets.)

  4. Books galore, books a-plenty. For example, Jennifer Hart of Harper Perennial and Harper paperbacks discovered I was a big Betsy-Tacy fan via my tweets, so she sent me copies of their re-issues. I got them today:

  5. Several speaking gigs, like this one at the California School Library Association Convention on November 20, 2009 (notice that's just when I start to get the winter blues here in Boston), were fully arranged via Twitter.
Got any examples of your own when it comes to how social media has enhanced your writing career? Share them here and I'll use them for fodder at an NESCBWI Salon Deborah Sloan and I are leading this November.


Robin L said…
This is so helpful, to see the actual concrete results of your Twitter efforts!

And way cool about the CSLA Speaking gig! I've been invited down for their brunch on Sunday. Will you still be there then? It would be fun to meet you.
Anonymous said…
Twitter has helped me target agents + publishers much more effectively. I feel like I'm submitting to somebody I know - I know what their likes and dislikes are and that's a huge advantage. Roughly 75% of people I've submitted my ms too have asked for more material which is a huge increase when compared to more "normal" methods of submission.
Hi Mitali,

Thanks for sharing all the good info, and congratulations on the new foreign rights deal!

From @readandbreathe's tweets I learned that Identity Theory was looking for book reviewers. I was lucky enough to get a pub-date posting of my review of A GATE AT THE STAIRS by Lorrie Moore!

I'm also finding good YA books for my kids, including SECRET KEEPER :).
susan said…
I'm a social animal and love using technology to promote writers but I don't know how to maximize the features of Twitter. I need a tutor/mentor. HELP.

rilla jaggia said…
Being on Twitter makes me feel like a sailor--I have a friend in every port, or at least, practically every continent on the planet, barring Antartica...but I'm working on that!

My work entails sitting at my desk in my room, day after day, thinking I'm alone. But with Twitter, I'm not. I connect to my community instantaneously, in 140 characters or less--chat with writers, listen in on fascinating discussions between editors and agents, request amazing authors to write articles for Kite Tales (SCBWI SoCal Newsletter) and then some.

And how can you possibly beat being served up on your desktop, countless interesting links to news and children's writing-related features and book reviews and advice and your latest blog posts and...? You can't.

See you at #kidlitchat -- my favorite twitterfrenzy, and another reason I'm a tweet-er.
Doret said…
Much Congrats on 3. Which three?
Mitali, What great news about getting your books out in India via your Twitter connection.

Twitter has helped me in a great many ways.

When I was first laid off a year ago I made mention of it on Twitter and that I was looking for freelance work. I got two writing gigs as a result of that.

I write a lot of articles about writing and whenever I need a quote, I've been able to turn to Twitter and get an expert answer within minutes.

I put out a request for editors to answer questions on a certain topic for another article and from there, the relationship with one of the editors that responded grew and led to another freelance project.

My exposure via Twitter and Facebook led to a request for me to write a booklet on Social Media.

I love the companionship of the #amwriting crowd on days that I seem to have trouble digging in and staying in the chair.

I also Tweet a fair amount about my WIP and find that when I Tweet about a plot problem just the act of doing that generates some answers for me. But in addition, I am building a small readership of people who want to read the book when it comes out.
Gregory K. said…
Those are great success stories, Mitali, and really show the range of what's possible via Twitter, too. People think of 140 characters as limiting... but connections start small quite often. For me, via Twitter I've had thousands of people read poetry at my blog (both my own poetry and other poets). I've tweeted possible story ideas to reporters on a few occasions, and at least one turned into an article (about a YA author not me). And I know that via #kidlitchat (cohosted with Bonnie Adamson), connections have been made and at least some book (not manuscript!) sales have been made, even though that's never been the point of chatting. That's just three among many other similar types of stories....
Paula said…
I was under self-imposed cyber restriction for about six months (maybe more) and Twitter helped me re-connect with a lot of my writing friends. I also met new ones. It's made it easier to stay in the loop on what's happening in the writing community and I've gotten several invites from great, high-profile blogs to guest post.