Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A Twitter-Sweet Love Story

By Tiffany Reisz

JH: It's always a treat to have the wild and crazy Tiffany Reisz on the blog, and today she's sharing her Twitter plan. Rarely a week (or even a day) goes by when she doesn't tweet something that just cracks me up, I tell ya, this girl's a natural on Twitter. Even though we've met in person, it wasn't until we started tweeting that we became friends. She has some great advice for using Twitter to your advantage.

Tiffany is the author of THE ORIGINAL SINNERS series (THE SIREN, eBook May 1st, in stores July 28th). She lives in Lexington, Kentucky with her gorgeous boyfriend and two kittehs (one good, one evil). Follow her on Twitter @tiffanyreisz if you dare…

Take it away Tiffany...

Greetings Fellow Earthlings!

It’s Tiffany Reisz (your friendly neighborhood smut peddler) here again on Janice’s blog. Why she keeps letting me come back is beyond me. Let’s call it a lapse of judgment on her part, thank her for it, and move on.

Today I’m going to talk about Twitter and how you can use it to increase your awesome by at least five to seven Awesome Units. Writers in this day and age can’t get away with J. D. Salinger-style hiding from the world. You have to have some sort of internet presence if you want an agent, an editor, and/or any kind of connection with your readers. My own agent says she always checks out a potential client’s internet presence before making an offer of representation. And my editor admitted she decided to give me two-book deal instead of a one-book deal because of my internet presence.

As you can see, good things can happen to those who tweet. Instead of compiling a list of Twitter dos and don’ts, I’ll just tell you what works for me and what might work for you.

What works for me on Twitter…

#1 – I am the same Tiffany on Twitter as I am in the real world.

I get slightly annoyed when people talk about my online “persona.” I don’t have a persona. It’s a personality. Slightly different. If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll find I’m fairly gregarious and obnoxious. If you know me in real life, you’ll find I’m fairly gregarious and obnoxious. I asked my boyfriend who knew me on Twitter before meeting me in real life if Twitter Tiffany was any different than Real Life Tiffany. His answer, “Real life Tiffany is even goofier.” Oh dear…

But seriously, be yourself! Really! Don’t feel like you have to present only “Writer You” or “Mommy You” or “On Your Best Behavior You.” Be YOU and that’s what’ll work best.

#2 – I ask questions.

People love feeling intelligent and in the know. People love giving their opinions. People love to help. I use Twitter all the time to learn more about people and topics I’m into. Just recently I asked the Twitter hive mind what “polenta” was (and pretended I had it confused with “placenta”). I had about fifteen people @ reply me to explain the difference between polenta and placenta. Of course I could have looked it up on Google, but then I would have lost the change to give my followers a giggle and help them help me.

By the way, if you ever want any attention on Twitter, just tweet about food. Don’t even get me started on the Great Cilantro Twitter War of 2010.

#3 – I talk about my personal life.

I’m a BDSM writer by trade, and I write erotica under my own name. Clearly I’m not a person who suffers from shyness, and this has really paid off on Twitter. When you let your guard down and tweet about your real life, people let their guards down in return. Once when Twitter was boring me one night, I asked my Twitches (that’s what I call my Twitter followers) what their favorite part of sex was that wasn’t orgasm. They told me and I retweeted their responses. I got at least fifty @ replies with that question. People leapt at the chance to share their personal preferences. I got serious responses like, “that moment when you lose all track of time and the whole world disappears” to hilarious responses like, “the moment when the chloroform kicks in.”

My Twitches and I bonded that night, and my Twitter feed turned into a party (some would say orgy). Thanks to me being willing to talk about personal stuff, my Twitches feel comfortable telling me anything. I’ve made lots of real friendships with my Twitches while discussing the various trials and tribulations of love, lust, and loss. And while a “fan” will be loyal to an author he or she likes until that author writes a book they hate, a friend will have your back through thick and thin, good reviews and bad.

#4 – I don’t market. Well, not very much anyway.

I joined Twitter in late 2009 long before Twitter had taken off and become the Internet monster that it is. And I joined Twitter for one reason and one reason only—no one I knew was on it. All my friends had one-by-one succumbed to the Facebook bug. Out of pure spite, I refused to join. I told them if they wanted me, they could find me on Twitter, to which they responded, “On what?”

In late 2009, I had no agent, no book deal, no writing career. I didn’t join Twitter because I was an aspiring writer. It didn’t occur to me that one would do that. I joined Twitter to spew my silliness into the world. My early tweets were bits of randomness that I typed to amuse me and me alone…
I’m getting the band back together! The band is Tears for Fears and they don’t know I’m getting them back together yet, but I am.
Iowa just legalized gay marriage. Is this heaven? No, it’s Iowa. IT’S FABULOUS!!!
And for whatever reason, people started to follow me. Total strangers. They had to be total strangers because no one I knew was on Twitter. From day one, Twitter was a place for me to play. Only after I got a book deal, did I hear that I should use Twitter to market my books. I took that piece of advice and pooped on it. (Not literally.)

I do market a little. If I have a new thing out, I’ll spend maybe the first week letting my Twitches know, but I always try to do it in a fun way.
Buy my new novella IMMERSED IN PLEASURE! Free orgasm with purchase! 
New free read on my blog – LITTLE RED RIDING CROP! *spooky ghost voice* If you read it, you will come…
What I don’t do is inundate people with marketing tweets every single day. I’ve seen writers who do nothing but market and make no attempt to connect with readers or be funny or topical or, well, human. Rein it in, Writers. I hate giving out hard numbers but I’d say if more than one out of every ten of your tweets is you trying to sell something, then there’s a damn good chance you’re annoying the piss out of your followers.

#5 – Connect! Connect! Connect!

Twitter is a playground made of people. Great people! Tweet a song lyric and see if anyone can guess which song it’s from. Ask what you should cook for dinner. Live tweet your next shopping trip and point out all the weird stuff you encounter. Tweet pics of your cat engaging in odd behavior. If someone says something you agree with, tell them that. If a Twitter friend is promoting something, retweet it out of neighborliness. If someone is having a bad day, give them a Twitter hug. If someone is celebrating, throw some Twitter confetti their way.

And whatever you do, remember this…Have fun! Enjoy yourself. It’s Twitter, People. Not Facebook. #fun

The following awesome things have happened to me because of Twitter:

-I’ve made a ton of new friends in different parts of the world. During my last trip to NYC, I stayed with Twitter friends.

-I got over 50 stories submitted to an anthology I’m editing, 90% of them from Twitter followers.

-I received six sock monkeys from various Twitter friends for Christmas.

- I got the world’s greatest boyfriend—he decided he had to meet Real Life Tiffany after encountering Twitter Tiffany.

-One of my Tweets ended up in a Huffington Post slideshow which an old friend I’d lost touch with saw. He emailed me and now we’ friends again!

-Did I mention the sock monkeys?


  1. Thanks Tiffany for the tips. I'm not on Twitter yet but thinking of starting to use it. I've been wondering how best to use it. Thanks for your suggestions.

  2. All right, quite some time ago, I remember reading that agents/editors would check what an author was up to online. But if they couldn't find anything on you, that wouldn't count against you. And I really liked that answer, so I stopped looking.

    But that was then... Is that changing? Can a lack of online presence really hurt your chances of signing with an agent or selling your book?

    And Tiffany - hope you're still working on that Tears for Fears thing! Never say never! ;-)

  3. I do use Twitter but have to admit I forget for a week or so then come back and have to figure out how to do it all over again.

    Um, I feel I should clarify that for Tiffany. I mean use Twitter.;-)

    So, asking questions...I like that tip. And P.S. my hubs always asks, "Are you twitting? Did you send out a twit?" I used to correct him, but now I think he's probably right about me when it comes to Twitter. There's a lot of twit foolishness...

  4. Great tips, Tiffany! I think you hit on the biggest one of all - be yourself. And realize it doesn't have to be some "serious writerly thing". I'm the same person on Twitter as I am in real life too. Though, people who only know me on Twitter may think I'm more extroverted than I am because I never shut up. : )

  5. Great post. I find these days I don't have enough time to share people's posts and be all exciting with interesting tweets. I'm not even sure I'm capable of interesting tweets, but anyway I have tried to wean myself to being more personal and after this I'll try a whole lot more, thanks!

  6. Khanada, I've heard agents say yes, that can actually count against you. I don't think it applies to every agent or editor, and it might even apply more to non-fiction than fiction (a non-fiction writer really needs a platform). I think it'll be like so many other things. If they're on the fence, anything negative can be used to say no. But if the book really wows them, they're probably ask for it.

  7. Amen to this. I have people on my Twitter list that do nothing but market and frankly, I ignore them entirely.

  8. Really late to join the party. Enjoyed this. Learned bunches. Thanks!