Monday, 19 March 2012

What has Twitter ever done for you? (With a competition)

This post is to launch the NEW, updated version of Tweet Right. But wasn't the first one as perfect as a perfect thing? Well, of course. But then Twitter and Tweetdeck screens changed and suddenly there were bits in Tweet Right which no longer precisely applied. I'd wanted to be able to say, "You'll find that button to the top right of your screen" or, "It's the icon that looks like a red banana", but suddenly those instructions made me look as though I'd been hallucinating. Even when I hadn't.


So, I spent time and money rewriting it. Partly because I love you so much.

Anyway, it's done. So, please tell your friends who are on Twitter already or thinking about starting. It is at its heart a beginners' guide but there's also lots of stuff that some seasoned users might not know either. Especially those who are behaving badly with DMs and poor etiquette. *glares crabbitly* In fact, should you see anyone misbehaving, just suggest they buy Tweet Right and do us all a favour.

What has Twitter ever done for me?
It's been my office, without the office bore, the office flirt, and the office politics. (Mostly.)

Yes, but apart from that?

It's like a party, where I can talk to many people at once, not get pinned in a corner by the drunk boring flirt. And for which I needn't even get dressed. Or buy anyone drinks. In fact, we occasionally have Twitter parties where exactly that happens. Unless @gillian_philip is there, in which case a lot more happens.

Well, yes, but apart from that?

It answers questions for me, such as: if you're 6' 2" can you stand upright in an ambulance?

Yes, but what else?

It (or the people on it) helped me when my website was hacked and when my Mac caused me horrible, horrible problems.

And?

I found my ebook cover designer (@design4writers), my formatter (Becky Pickard of www.zebedeedesign.co.uk), two fab assistants who sadly can't work for me any more (@catoninetales and @bookshop_becky) and my brand new sparkly publicist (@mllouisekelly), as well as lovely @rebeccaebrown who handled the blog tour for Write a Great Synopsis. Another ace publicist, @cgotch who handled Write to be Published, is also there, though I'd known her from Before Twitter.

Yes, but apart from that?

I've made friends with authors, agents and publishers. Some of them gave me quotes for my books, some asked me to do events (which, largely through Twitter, have become a financial mainstay of my career), and several have said they'd like to publish me. All of them have been what good friends are: people who support me in good and bad times.

Yes, but...

If I have good news, someone on Twitter will always start telling people before I do, so I don't need to.

But apart from that?

If I'm doing an event, it's Twitter that spreads the word further and drums up most interest.

*getting bored now* And?

It's extremely amusing when @hprw puts her capering slippers on and cavorts all over people's keyboards, or when she is rude to @caroleagent and almost gets away with it, or when @mikejarman's thumbs get him into trouble.

You're almost convincing me, but what apart from that?

I got myself in the news when I accidentally created the No 1 worldwide trending topic, #lessinterestingbooks.

Pfffthp.

I sold a sofa.

SOFA?

Yup.

OH, WELL then!

So, competition time! 
Simply comment below, in no more than 140** characters including spaces, telling us what Twitter has ever done for you. It can be general or specific, amusing or serious. The winner will be randomly chosen (no skill required) on Good Friday, 6th April, midday GMT. And the prize? Chocolate! Your choice of any delicious bar from Coco of Bruntsfield, the very clever people who, when I moved from Bruntsfield, sensibly opened up a branch near my new abode. I will post your prize to any UK address. The choice is fabulous! My favourite is probably honey and almond, though I wouldn't say no to any of them, really... Just hinting.

(** Tip: check this by writing it in your tweeting space on Twitter?)

Details of Tweet Right and my books for writers (including various buying links) are here.

Twitter away!

42 comments:

andewallscametumblindown said...

2 competition wins: 1 resulted in a reading by Bill Nighy, the other brought Writers'&Artists'Yearbook to my desk. Plus new friends, info...
~Miriam Drori

liz fenwick said...

I met my agent

Note: don't count me in the comp though..can't do chocolate but I love twitter

Nicola Vincent-Abnett said...

I heard about the Mslexia writing competition, on Twitter; I entered, finished in the last three, and, now, an agent is reading my novel.

Johanna Nield said...

Twitter has broadened my outlook & knowledge, connected me to new people, distracted me from tedious tasks. It entertains, informs & engages

joannacannon said...

Through Twitter, I found writers. People who like doing what I like doing. And I could finally stop pretending.

alex johnson said...

It's been the last piece in the jigsaw to finally realising my international jetset playboy lifestyle #fact

catdownunder said...

I work in isolation and care for my elderly father at home. Twitter provides the companionship of a working environment but without the office politics. I can tease and be teased, I can talk knitting and share the occasional recipe, get advice and encouragement, give and get a virtual hug and generally purrowl my way through the beginning and end of the day...and, best of all, there are writers there and they understand!

Carole Blake said...

Met my fabulous newest client @Liz_Fenwick who DID NOT pitch to me on Twitter. Got radio gigs, app review requests, quotes for my authors.

Julie Cohen said...

Without Twitter, I never would have had the opportunity to discuss the wider social implications of Rupert Holmes's 'The Pina Colada Song.'

Carole Blake said...

And - unexpectedly - I found several new & good friends. Don't enter me in comp: leave for others!

Nicola Morgan said...

Carole - I'm glad you made the point about Liz NOT pitching to you on Twitter! Possibly the most important lesson for aspiring writers: do not pitch to agents on Twitter. Ever.

Also, I'm wondering if it's a condition that your clients, like you, must not like chocolate? Is this something that i should have said in Write to be Published? Do you mention this in From Pitch to Publication?

Great answers, everyone. But, Cat, *cough*, 140 characters....

Alex, actually I don't think that *is* a #fact

Cameron Writes said...

I've made friends, found enough information to realise that I rushed into self-publishing too early and the gumption to start again. Without Twitter I'd never know when comps were on or whose cat was ill. I've terminally alienated only one person which is sad but I didn't read your book. Don't enter me in the competition - but thanks for the opportunity to tell you this. Cam

Isabel said...

It's the grown up bit of my day, between writing and two children. It teaches brevity: writers' gold. It watches dull TV for me, so I don't.

Louise said...

Meeting other writers and getting gossip on publishing world,it's quite the eye-opener. And following the lovely Gok Wan.

Catharine Withenay said...

Telling the twitosphere my paltry progress in writing/editing helps me persist (or perhaps procrastinate). Somehow, others tolerate this.

Janet O'Kane said...

Twitter means I’ll no longer be a wallflower at the litfests I’m attending in 2012.

Ann Patey said...

If I'm feeling lonely Twitter cheers me & I forget my problems. I can do good deeds for people & get loads of support back. I <3 Twitter!

Tamara Epps said...

Twitter has helped me connect with others just like me and expand my knowledge of so many things. Oh, and I get a news feed directly to me.

Redleg said...

I can always count on Twitter. Twitter always babysits my kids. And once Twitter was the getaway driver for my insurance fraud by arson.

esmeraldamac said...

I found out that Halloween turnips (not pumpkins) lasted longer in Scotland than the rest of the UK :) #yumchocolate

catherineryanhoward.com said...

There's no need to enter me in the comp because after a weekend of baking more calories is the LAST thing I need, but here's my Why I Heart Twitter tweet:

"BT (Before Twitter): me, working 9-5 in soul destroying office job. AT (After Twitter): me, full-time writer, self-publisher & speaker—and happy!"

Jan Jones said...

Twitter is a world enrichment device. My life would be very greyscale without it now.

Annette Thomson said...

I've gone from being a weird oddball to a weird oddball with loads of weird oddball friends.

Nicola Morgan said...

Some of these answers are so great I wish I'd made it a skill-based comp - except that then i'd have had to choose!

Keren David said...

Caroline Lawrence reviewed my first book. Thank you Twitter! And thank you Caroline more..

Sally Zigmond said...

Twitter has turned me from a social wallflower into a social butterfly.

catdownunder said...

Oh, I thought I was allowed more characters because I am not eligible to enter the competition! Sorry.

womagwriter said...

Twitter has done nothing for me. That is because I am STILL not on it, despite buying your book and promising myself I'll have a go.

Philip C James said...

My old friends tell me to my face my jokes ain't funny; my new friends on Twitter are far too polite, caring and forbearing to do so...

Stroppy Author said...

I befriended a publisher who is now publishing my series of seven vampire books, out in April. NOTE: I didn't pitch on Twitter!

Stroppy Author said...

And sort of got my agent, as she's Nicola's agent and I met her at an event of Nicola's she tweeted about

Tottie Limejuice said...

Not going for the 140 characters as you said you only post the choccy to UK (boo!) but was so struck by the similarity of circumstances with catdownunder in that Twitter helped me when marooned at home looking after my elderly mother with dementia. I have also made a lot of good friends, though lost a few along the way because of Twitter's infuriating habit of unfollowing and blocking people when you haven't asked it to!

But all in all it's a marvel and I can't imagine how we all managed before it.

peterdomican said...

A friendly human being is never less than 140 characters away.

peterdomican said...

Or in better English :

A friendly human being is always less than 140 characters away.

ghulam sarwar said...

nice work keep it up

http://designs-article.blogspot.com/

Emma Pass said...

Twitter's been a revelation! I've found my fab group blog & an amazing community of writers & readers I feel privileged to be a part of.

Mike Jarman said...

Twitter has sent me into my naught corner more times that I can count - I rather enjoy my corner with you lot to keep me company. 

maryom said...

It's replaced the schoolgate gossip that I miss now the Teen's moved up in the world + told me where I can buy haggis flavoured chocolate!

Laura Mary said...

I discovered a world of support and inspiration, in what was previously a very isolated area of my life. I also joined a virtual circus!

gingernutninja said...

Twitter has made me the contacts (and friends) enabling me to leave a job I hated for one I long aspired to. Twitter has got me drunk, also.

Ebony McKenna. said...

Twitter got me a two page spread in the December Ferrets USA magazine!

Nicola Morgan said...

And the winner is.... Julie Cohen! Thanks to EVERYONE for entering and it was great reading your comments. In the end, it comes down to luck but lots of you made me laugh as well!

Julie - click the Coco link in the post, choose your flavoured bar of choc and I'll ask for your address later and send you a delicious bar. Congrats!