Authors are often encouraged by their publishers to create a social media presence. J.K. Rowling has 10.8 million twitter followers, while new authors, like me, just broke the 200 mark. There’s a delicate balance to dedicating time to both social media and writing. I’m on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, have an Amazon Author Page, and recently added Instagram to my repertoire. I also maintain this website, occasionally blog, and put out a seasonal newsletter. Of all of these platforms, Twitter definitely is the biggest slice of time commitment in the social media pie. Over and over again, I hear that it is also the platform that is least likely to help an author sell a book.
For my summer reading list, I’m challenging this idea by looking to Twitter to find authors that I haven’t yet read. All of my choices come from Twitter, either by following another author, or engaging writers in one of the many Twitter Writer forums. Here are a few:
- #bookqw (Book Quote Word): a Wednesday hashtag encouraging authors to share a piece of their work, hosted by @MindyKlasky. The only rules: the excerpt must include the word of the week & the tweet must include #bookqw. Oh, and no posting until Wednesday morning (see this week’s example, featuring the word “SCREAM” from The Queen’s Dance.
- #RWChat (Romance Writers Chat @rwchat): a romance writer online get-together every Sunday evening. May’s topics were all about marketing. Last week, discussion questions covered “The Non-Romance Plot.” It was by far one of my favorite chats to date. Next week, Heroes & Heroines!
- #MagicMon (Magical Mondays @magicmonwords): That I stumbled upon this chat was a case of sheer good fortune. Though I haven’t released a book that includes magic in the “traditional” sense, topics are far-reaching and overlap into fantasy and paranormal. What I love about this chat is that it spans several hours and includes writing sprints. Writing Sprints! What a fantastic idea! #MagicMon has inspired me to dust off my outline for a “Magic” novel, making my current works in progress tally: 3. Monday night is dedicated to this one book, while the rest of the week, I hop back and forth between editing Book 3 of The Aurelian Guard Series and writing a new political thriller.
- And other hashtags that writers orbit: #OneLineWed, #PitchMadness, #amwriting, #amwritingromance, #amwritingfantasy, etc., #writerslife, #WIP. There are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of writer hashtags.
Only a two-year Twitter veteran, I’ve often been intrigued by what other authors tweet, but I have never actually taken that final step and purchased one of their books. Until now. Here are the nine books that I’ve downloaded for my summer reading list (in alpha order):
- Annabelle Anders – Hell Hath No Fury (pre-order for beach trip!)
- Nichole Christoff – The Kill List
- Pat Esden – A Hold on Me
- Dianna Gunn – Keeper of the Dawn
- Kathryn Hills – Haunting Highland House
- Mindy Klasky – Rebel Flight
- Robin Lovett – Stranger
- Kelly Maher – The Bridesmaid and the Hurricane (pre-order)
- Laurel Wanrow – The Unraveling
Hopefully, these books will see me through to the end of July! I will endeavor to keep you all abreast–via social media, of course–of my progress. In the meantime, make sure to post and tweet about your favorite books. And maybe, try out a few authors who you haven’t read before.
As promised, here’s my #bookqw from this week: