Twitter is a great way to build your author brand.
It offers you a chance to connect with people; authors, readers, fans, agents, publishers, and many more. Twitter promotion can help you market your book in many ways.
What’s even better is that it offers all that in a quick, easy to handle format that you can master in a few hours and then manage in a few short breaks each day.
Don’t think you can do it?
That’s why I’m writing this series of columns. Last time I talked about how I learned about Twitter and how it helped me. Now I’m breaking those points down into bite-sized pieces, distilling them into actual steps you can take to build your own author brand on Twitter.
Welcome, I’m Ann Shannon the Manic Writer. I write romance, erotic romance and sometimes a short story or two. I also do book reviews and anything else that grabs my attention. Today I’ll be talking about who you are on Twitter. Specifically, your name. Next week we will talk about the person behind that name.
Here’s the cliff notes- Choose a name people will associate with who you really are.
Read on to learn even more!
Your Twitter name, or handle, is the way people will find you, communicate with you and generally know who you are. It should be memorable, easy to find, and easy to remember. Kristen Lamb, author of Rise of the Machine, suggests using your author name, or something close to it, if possible. If you use a pen name, use that, but don’t bounce back and forth. The only thing more important than having a memorable and recognizable name is to be consistent.
You’ve reached this paragraph with one of two reactions, okay maybe three.
- You’ve chosen a name and feel you need to change it.
- You need to choose a name but you don’t know what to choose.
- You’re not sure Twitter is right for you. (refer to my article here)
If you’ve chosen a name and you don’t like it, or you feel it doesn’t represent you well, you can remedy that by changing it. Your name can be changed in your settings by going to your main twitter page, clicking on the tiny profile picture up in the top bar of the page and then choosing a different name in box labeled Username. Just remember to be sure to announce the name change in your feed to let your followers know so they can contact you with the right name.
Choosing your Name
Your Twitter name should connect to you, as an author, in some way. For instance, I publish under my real name, Ann W Shannon, thus my Twitter name is @annwshannon. What if you don’t publish under your real name? Then it should be your pen name. If I chose to write under the name Woodford Richo (my middle and maiden names), then my Twitter name should be @woodfordricho, or something very close to it.
You might ask why. So, I’ll tell you!
This is because when I become famous someone might come to Twitter and say, “Hmm, I wonder if that amazing author who wrote the book I loved is here?” When they search me, they will find me. If I had chosen to be @thedragonwonders or even @themanicwriter (My blog name) they might not find me. If those things are part of my brand, I can still use them, just not as my Twitter handle. I can make them hashtags, use them and then my fans will find me through them, but they’ll be sure it’s me because I’m @annwshannon with a photo of me that is connected to all my other social media.
What if your name is taken? It happens.
I’ve searched my name and there are other Ann W Shannon’s. Unfortunately, I’m not one of a kind, at least in name.
If your name is taken, don’t lose hope! Do not, I repeat, Do not accept the Twitter suggestions. They are typically the name you tried with some unmentionable number after it. Remember, math and numbers are not my friends. And your fans are unlikely to remember your name if it’s @awshannon3458273956.
Instead, try adding an element of who you are to it without making it too long. For instance I could be @authorawshannon, or @awshannonmania, or some combination of those things. Mania is a part of my brand, I am the Manic Writer, and I am an author. You don’t want your name to be too long though, your tweeters will have trouble tagging you in their 140 character tweets.
Be sure to type out the name you are considering and look at it carefully. For instance when I look at @authorawshannon the word raw pops out to me. I’m not sure I like that so I’d move letters around to change it before I settled on it.
Twitter builds Community
Twitter is a great tool, used wisely that can help you build a community of author friends, readers and fans that will help you sell your books. Remember to choose a name that people will be able to find you under, even if you have to be creative with it. If you want to know more about choosing a name and using Twitter, subscribe to my blog. I’m building a series on just that. I also highly recommend Kristen Lamb’s Rise of the Machine as your starter book. She not only talks about Twitter but also the publishing industry and how it affects the Indie author.
Thanks for stopping by the Manic Writer!
The mania is always more fun with friends. Next week I’ll be discussing Hashtag games and community on Twitter! Subscribe on the sidebar, or follow with WordPress so you don’t miss a moment of the Mania!
Want to see what’s on my TBR pile? Check me out at Goodreads! Want to know what I do with my days? Follow me on Twitter or Facebook and drop me a note. On Twitter I’m active in the #5amwritersclub, #authorconfessions and other Twitter hashtag games. If you don’t know what a hashtag game is watch for my upcoming post where I’ll explain them.
Don’t forget that I’m publishing a novella called Divorced White Female (not erotica) for free on the web. When it’s fully published, I’ll be releasing it as an E-book, free to my subscribers at the release. Follow the link to sign up for updates on the novella and sign up here for updates on the e-book release.