I’ve discussed before the wonders of Twitter as a social networking site. I’ve made a lot of friends, both aspiring authors and other people involved in the industry. They are very supportive, giving advice and passing along my Tweets, etc. That’s why I’m really making a conscious effort to try and pay it forward. Twitter makes it easy to help you support your fellow writers. Here are a few ways you can say thanks to your followers as well as promoting them.
#ww The hash tag #ww stands for worth watching and also Writer(s) Wednesday. What better a day to share with your followers the Twitter names of some of your fellow writers that are worth watching? It’s up to you whether you want to send out one #ww Tweet or several through out the day adding in different names.
#ff The #ff hash tag is very similar to #ww except that it stands for Follow Friday. Because it’s not writing specific, you can use it to recommend anyone you follow, but it’s a nice way to share with others those you find especially amusing, entertaining or informative.
With both of those hash tags, you can individualize them for people and go into detail on why others should pay attention and/or follow them. For example:
You should #ff @patricialynne07 because she’s got an amazing vampire book coming out soon!
It’s #ff and you need to follow @shiki_boy because he writes sex scenes that will make smoke come out of your ears!
Besides the hash tags, there’s also Retweeting. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, it’s similar to forwarding an email. There’s that special little button on Twitter you hit and it displays the same message with a RE: in front so you can send it out to all your followers allowing more people to see the message. It could be something funny or profound, or if could be someone’s blog post you especially liked or maybe the announcement of their book being available. You obviously don’t have to Retweet everything, but it’s a nice way to help people get the word out about events, news, etc.
If you’re still looking for ways to say thanks and help other authors, there are several non-Twitter related things you can do. If you run a blog like this one, you can offer to review someone’s book. You can have them guest post or even do little interviews with them. It’s highly likely that you do not run in the same exact circles as the other person so you will be helping them to possibly expand their fan base and make new friends.
You can also offer to help if they’re looking for beta readers. Then when they’re ready to publish, you can leave reviews on Amazon or Goodreads or other places their book is being sold. I think people are more likely to give a book a chance if they see others have read and reviewed it.
Writers seem to be a close knit community and many have gone out of their way to lend me their knowledge or leave me a comment or Retweet my posts, so I’m happy to return the favor and do the same for others, whether or not they have helped me. I think it’s good to keep the karma level on the good side. Be sure to thank your friends and fans as well. Remember what they say, turn about is fair play!