There are as many ways to use Twitter as there are people using Twitter. Please read on quickly as I'm not sure that analogy worked. Whatever. I hope that those visiting these blogs who are far more expert than I am will chip in with their comments. On Twitter, I've traveled the world, met fascinating people, made good friends and sold an awful lot of books. I love it, and if I can get you, the fledgling to love it too, then it's mission accomplished. For this first post, we are going to look at setting up your Twitter site.
Getting Set Up
There are 3 areas to consider: Your Avi, your Mini-bio and your Header pic.
This is the thumbnail picture of you and it is important as it is the first thing people will see. I strongly advise you, unless you are wanted by the police in every known country, continent or galaxy, to use a picture of your face, NOT an egg, a pet,or your kids. Preferably a high res. pic, and with you looking vaguely pleasant and sentient. I do my best, you can do better. As close up as you can get and with an uncluttered background, as it's quicker to spot you. Twitter allows you to zoom, position and crop the picture, which makes it easier.
Some people use their book covers as their Avi. I wouldn't. The reduction is so small it becomes insignificant. Save that for the Header pic. Obviously, there are exceptions to the ''full face''. My friend @JonGardener has a picture of an eye on a red background. It looks scary, but fits in with the fast-paced high-action sci-fi ebooks he writes.
This is the second thing people will turn to, so again, it is worth spending time getting it right. Here are three examples to start you thinking.
Getting nowhere slowly. Artist, writer, poet, barn-owl lover and aspiring Spaniard. Novels - Fraud, Simone Simone etc.http://pinterest.com/pedroyevad/pins/ …
Romantic Husband, Heroic Dad, Maker of Mischief and Purveyor of Utter Tripe. Interesting past. Now the author of The Michael Prentiss series of thrillers.
Writer & blogger. Victorian novel: Diamonds&Dust publ Crooked Cat Books. Outspoken local activist. Love 2CVs, cats & cake. Amazon page: http://ow.ly/oZcIh
You will see they all have certain traits in common: First, they define what the person does i.e Writer... artist. This is important as you want, among other things, to draw people to your books. Next, they give you an idea of the person behind the pic: barn-owl lover, Heroic Dad, Outspoken local activist. All these will attract like-minded or curious people. Finally, they reference actual books/sites. The professional bit, but, you notice, stowed away amid the rest of the bio.
I suggest before composing your final bio, you go onto Twitter and read as many as you can. You will soon pick out the duff ones. And remember, nothing is set in stone. My bio underwent several drafts before I settled on the current one. And I will change it again when the new book comes out.
3.Your Header pic
This is the chance to draw attention to your books in a colourful and attractive manner. There are some lovely examples of Twitter header pics that do just this. Check out @TerryTyler4 - I don't know how she assembled it, but I'm sure if you ask, she'll tell you. Lovely and bright and eye-catching.
If you don't want to use your covers, try to relate the picture to your books in some way. I have what a friend kindly describes as a 'dodgy Victorian knocking-shop' as I write Victorian crime fiction (@carolJhedges). Again, Twitter will size up the picture to fit the space, so all you need do is decide what you want. It's your shop-window, so make it the best you can. Experiment. And if you don't like it, you can easily change it for something else.
Once you are set up, you are ready for Following people and acquiring Followers. We'll consider those two topics in the next post.
OK, if you have anything helpful to suggest on setting up a site, or if there is anything obvious that I've forgotten, please add it here ....