How To Use Twitter, The Right Way

Writers! Bloggers! Are you using Twitter? If you are, answer these two questions:

1) Are you using it to publisize your work, or want to?

2) Do you have fingers?

If you answered yes to both these questions, then this post is essential for you.

Twitter the ultimate advertising tool.

First of all, twitter should not be your main source of advertisement. I just want to make that clear, that there better and more effective ways to advertise than twitter, but they all cost money. Twitter is free. Free. It’s one of my favorite words. Free. And I’ll say it a lot, don’t even try to stop me.

Now let’s cover why.

One tweet, can easily be seen by a number of people. Now hundreds of tweets would be seen by at least hundreds of people. Usually one tweet for my blog will bring in 2-10 people. With Triberr, I can easily multiply the amount of views. Here at AKAQ (A Knife And A Quill) we get an average of 160 unique views a day, with just tweets and facebook post. We don’t advertise in any other ways, at least not yet. Even before I had used it to get people to read my stories on devianArt, which would easily get me 10-20 views per tweet. Which, due to responses, has help grow my fanbase. And those fans respond to me and send me messages on twitter all the time. So here’s a secret to my small success: twitter is worthless without followers.

How to make Twitter work for you.

I see it all the time, a new author with 80 followers. I just invited two authors into my triberr tribe only to realize they barely have any followers. Which is okay, because it didn’t cost me anything to get them in my tribe and most importantly, they are probably going to read this post.

An author with less than a couple of thousand followers isn’t helpful. I hear this all the time though, “Yeah but my followers are loyal, strong followers.” First of all, I doubt it. Second of all, if you have only 80 followers and expect to be one of the big dogs, it doesn’t look impressive. Even though, and here’s a big assumption, you post a lot, having few followers makes it look like no one wants to follow you. It may take a while before you get out beyond 200 without some help. So that’s why you are reading this post. To get more followers, so that you can advertise tweets to more people. We need more followers, and not just any followers, but followers who read what we tweet. So of those 80 how many are fiends and family? So this is how you get followers, it’s a known practice that many people use including corporate businesses, because it works.

Follow people like your mouse button has a mind of it’s own.

Tweepi is an easy software that will help you on your way. You can search for a user, and follow all the people that follow them. For example, pull me up and follow everyone who follows me. Follow at least 200 people and see how many follow you back. It’s amazing. Then in a week unfollow those that didn’t, rinse repeat.

“But L. that’s not fair, you didn’t get those followers fairly.” Fairly? Since when was advertising fair for anyone. We have authors who throw money at their book to sale copies, we have authors who make fake reviews, and we also have authors who buy thousands of copies of their book just to get on the best seller’s list. What’s wrong with following a couple people you don’t know? I see it as being polite.

I went to college, not for a literary degree – I wish I did  – and I ended up at Texas A&M for a year before going broke from it. There they have like hundreds of traditions, many of them are fun and interesting. But the most important tradition, which I think was great rule to follow, was saying “Howdy” to everyone you saw. It was fun and friendly and many times a conversation would spark up. And you made a friend.

Twitter is the same way. The millions of people on twitter don’t know you exist, but something as small as a “follow” can bring a new friend into your mix of tools. Meet @M_rinny a devoted fan of mine I met on Twitter. She re-tweets my tweets to her followers, she replies to many tweets, she talks about my stories; she’s one person that has by far been a huge impact on me getting noticed. Here’s another @mendystar1. She’s a deviantArt watcher that actually helped me get on twitter. She’s the reason I’m even on it to begin with and have gotten this far in my writing career.

Follow as many people as you can. It’s like saying “Howdy” to people who can help you.

-L. Vera

P.S.: My twitter account is @LVeraWrites and I have over 8000 followers and growing. Also, this was also just a introduction to Twitter, expect more articles in the future on how to use twitter “The Right Way”.

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How To Kill Someone

Killing people is easy, at least for writers. (Now all you weirdoes who came here to see how to really kill people can leave.) Now, the hardest thing to do is to sell the idea. I’ve never killed a person. I don’t really know all the feelings involved. I’m sure most writers don’t so we have to sell the idea that we have, or at least sell the idea that are character can kill someone.

I like to view seeing a story in my head as staring through windows. I open one and sit with my elbows on the sill, a laptop and sometimes a glass of water and stare at the contents. Many times I feel like I have no involvement in it – I’m just a scribe. The story exist as it does and it’s my job to get an accurate description of what happens. Stephen King also describes this in a similar manner in On Writing but as fossils. I like windows.

So there I am, with my laptop – sometimes with my iPad or iPhone – peering out a window watching someone die. That’s a pretty normal day for me. I’ve never killed anyone; but I think of other people doing it all the time, hence all the windows. So this window is one that floats above a grassy, sunny space away from any form of life besides these two people. One is on his knees and the other is holding him down, from the throat. Have I ever seen this event? Not in real life, just in movies, images in my mind and the internet. So let’s continue this as a story, or a window.

The sky is bright, probably too bright for such a scene; but it’s too late now, Jerry had already begun what he thought he would never do. I shuffle and write that in my laptop. Click. Clickty. Click. I know the other man’s name, Leroy. Why? I don’t know, that’s just his name and it will always be his name, even though I’m watching him die. His eyes, bulge, his face reddens first, and then it fades. It fades like a man slowly turning into a ghost, white and it’s sickening. Something in my stomach churns; but I watch and I type. I like watching.

Jerry’s face. It’s different, it’s not full of anger, it’s full of satisfaction. There’s no smile, just that look, a stoic pleasurable form of satisfaction. And Leroy dies, his face blue, his eyes like swollen white berries. Leroy dies. Click. Clickty. Klack. Klack. Klack. 

So how do you kill someone? With what you see. Ignore everything else. Did those things really happen the way I describe? Who knows? That’s the way I see it and that’s all that really matters. After all, are they buying the truth, or a story. Are they reading because what happens in the book is “possible”. No. If you want possible things watch the news. I’m here to show what I see in the windows.

I’ve read reviews where people say, “I don’t believe that’s possible,” or “Come one why would it happen on a sunny, happy grassy knoll.” The truth is I don’t know, it just did and I’m portraying that as best I can (I’m no professional, just another self-pub writer but a happy self-pub writer). Have I ever seen a person’s face turn all those crazy things. Nah. For all I know it doesn’t even happen that way.

Research is important, just for the fact that there’s a lot of douches and trolls ready to pick something apart if you don’t research. They expect our omniscient to be almost godlike. We writers know that isn’t possible, but we try. Try. For gods sake, try. Then with that research, you’ll feel confident. That’s what sells death – confidence. If you truly believe what you see is really happening, people will to.

As a writer, I like to think I’m lenient on a lot of things, I even over look spelling and send the author corrections. Yeah, I’m hardcore. But please do some homework, don’t change names and leave me confused. And not re-reading your story isn’t killing anyone but your readers. When I’m staring out my window watching poeple die, I tend to write too fast and misspell, miswrite, or just plain miss something important. So edit. Edit, edit, edit and then get someone else to edit. Please. Then kill some more people.

-L. Vera

Check out Part 2: How To Kill People The Right Way

Duotrope: If You Don’t Know What It Is, Read This Now!

It’s free and it’s the best way to submit to any publications. Want money? Want just to be publish? This is the site for you. I’ve been using it for a least a year now and it helped me get several short stories up online. You can search for any genre and fiction type. From novels to flash fiction, to horror to speculative fiction. It’s huge, with over 4,175 publication in their data base and it’s all free. Freeeeeeeee. 

They collect donations to keep running, so if they help you donate to keep them running. There’s no other site like it.

Note: They also are very reputable and if a site doesn’t pay you, you can report them and get their list removed.

-L. Vera