Tuesday, July 7, 2009

I'm all a-Twitter now

Okay, I've avoided it as long as I could. Twitter seemed like another nightmare time vacuum, when I'm in the middle of a new contemporary novel that's been niggling at my brain for a month. If I don't make time to write it, it will implode my brain. But, when Joanna D'Angelo announced she was having a Romance Authors Day on Twitter, I had to make the leap.
So, if you want to follow me, I'm at http://twitter.com/CateMasters. Although frankly, if I lead you into a black hole in the universe, I can't be held responsible. I have no idea how to use it, although (I think) I set it up to be able to tweet from my cell. Theoretical, at this point, since I haven't tested it.
But more about Joanna's cool Twitter day. If you're a romance writer and haven't signed up for Twitter yet, you may want to do so now. You'll also want to follow Joanna, and join her Love Romance Novels group on Facebook. She's also the dynamo behind our popculturedivas blog, where I post once a month, along with brilliant writers, filmmakers and others.

Here's the info on the Aug. 5 Twitter chat day:

From two brilliant minds: Kim Castillo and Joanna D’Angelo comes a great idea in online social networking for the romance world.

Hey romance authors! So, you’re online are you? You have a web site, a blog and maybe even a facebook page. (We hope you have a facebook page tsk tsk!) We applaud you for that. But if you’re not on twitter then baby you better be! Twitter is a great social networking tool that enables writers to grow their contacts, writing peers and most importantly – fan base. And guess what – every time you make a change to your web site, blog or facebook page you can write a blurb on twitter and then lots and lots of people will know about it. And they’ll tell their friends and so on and so on....

But the most important reason for you to join twitter is because Kim Castillo and I are planning a really amazing day of twittering fun for fans to chat with authors!

Read on....

Taking our cue from the wonderful #askagent chat days on twitter we’re going to be running a chat day with lots and lots of terrific romance writers!

THE NAME OF THE CHAT DAY: #askromancewriter

THE DAY: Wednesday Aug. 5th
Start time: when the clock strikes midnight on Aug. 5th
End time: when the clock strikes midnight on Thurs. Aug. 6th.

THE PLACE: Twitter

Every question/query you make you must start or end with #askromancewriter so it can be tracked and searched by everyone participating. That means so we can follow along with what everyone is chatting about!
And guess what – the more people involved the better. We might even become a “trending topic” on twitter. If you don’t know what that means now you will - ‘cause it’s very cool!

So between now and Aug. 5th – we’re encouraging you to join twitter – set up your account and get familiar with twitter. It’s a nice complement to facebook and a great way to connect with fellow writers and fans. You can even download an application (I think it’s on facebook) that will automatically update your facebook status from twitter. So they work well hand in hand.

If you’re a fan you can ask your favourite author a question simply by typing @theirnamehere
And of course everything has to be under 140 characters (that’s a challenge for us!) but you can continue in a follow up (I do that all the time! - no shame in that – as long as we keep using the hashtag moniker #askromancewriter – which counts as characters BTW).

This is twitter so u can use abbreviations/numbers whatever it takes to get it all in!

Here’s an example:
@EloisaJames Luv Desperate Duchesses! R u going 2 write about DD kids in future books? I.e. Jem and Harriet’s daughter #askromancewriter


@Lisa Kleypas How long did it take u 2 hit NYT best seller list? Advice on how 2 get there? #askromancewriter

If you’re an aspiring writer you can ask any question you’d like of a specific author by doing the above

Or feel free to ask general questions and include #askromancewriter and one or more authors will answer. (I did that on #askagent day and I got many wonderful and informative answers to my queries).

But here’s the kicker – because it’s a chat the rest of us have to be able to read these Qs and As as well so at the end of your Q or A you must include #askromancewriter so the rest of us can use it as a search term to find out what’s being chatted about.

If you sign up now and try it out with other topics you’ll see what I mean – One of the biggest trending topics lately is sadly Michael Jackson or MJ so if you type in those words under SEARCH then you’ll see what all the comments are that people have been making regarding Michael Jackson.

As you get to know twitter you can do other cool things like post pictures (twitpics) and articles (using short urls)

Many of you access twitter through other applications such as tweetdeck and you can use that too for the chat as long as you continue to use the #askromancewriter moniker


We thought it would be a great idea to create a way for fans to be able to connect with as many of their favourite authors all at once (and not have to get out of your PJs **g*) just like a fan convention but this one will be online. It will also help foster the wonderful positive spirit in the romance community - between writers and their fans.

We’re signing up authors who will be participating in #askromancewriter day on twitter: If you’re an author – make sure you’re on this list! :D You can e-mail either Kim or myself if you want to take part.

Oh and when you join twitter – do follow us and we’ll follow you – it’s a wonderful thing!



bookbabie said...

Welcome to Twitter Cate, it's not so bad if you don't get obsessive with it!

Mary Ricksen said...

I don't know how everyone finds the time to be on twitter and tweet all the time. I'm on it but I know nothing.
Good luck Cate!

Cate Masters said...

Thanks, Lilli! I'm worried about fitting in writing between email loops, Facebook and web sites and blogs. Oh my! I'll look you up!
I'll look you up, too, Mary, though I have no idea what I'm doing either!