Top 10 tips for creating the perfect author Twitter account

A Twitter account is a Twitter account is a Twitter account, but .. not all accounts are made equal and I’d like to make a few suggestions to those of us who already have accounts, as well as those who are thinking about venturing into the twittersphere. They may help to raise your profile as an author.

  1. Create a Twitter account, it’s the perfect social network for authors – if you haven’t got one, you are potentially missing out on an enormous audience.
  2. Use your real or pen name rather than the name of your book or a character. As an author, the expectation is that you won’t be a ‘one book wonder‘ and you will go on to write other books. These may or may not be in the same genre or series. Either way, your fans will almost certainly know your name, even if they can’t remember the title of your book. It also means that you avoid the risk of ending up with multiple accounts.
  3. Include your Twitter contact details within your book/s – preferably within a ‘Contact the Author’ section.
  4. Don’t forget to add a big Twitter icon, bird, logo or button on your website and blog – preferably in the sidebar so that it’s accessible from every page and your visitors can find it quickly and easily. If I want to keep up with an author I’ll use Twitter as my RSS feed.
  5. Add your Twitter feed to your Amazon author page, your Goodreads author page and any other reader specific social network you use.
  6. Use Twitter lists to segment the people you follow into usable groups – even better follow other people’s Twitter lists instead as they have done all the hard work for you. You can find some lists I rate here: The Top Ten Lists for Writers and Authors to Follow on Twitter.
  7. Make sure you have a complete profile on Twitter – this includes your name, a link to your website AND a short 160 character biography of YOU – the author, not your character. Tell your potential followers what makes you different and how you stand out from the crowd.
  8. Use hashtags such as #author in the tweets about you and your books – the hashtag is a simple search mechanism that groups tweets with a common thread together.
  9. Don’t just make it about you – if someone replies to you or retweets you, start a conversation with them – we don’t always want to hear you on broadcast even though we know you are the best author to have graced the bookshelves since Thomas Hardy.
  10. Pop your Twitter handle (ie @lindaph) on business cards, postcards and any other promotional material you are creating.

Leave a Reply


  1. I do use auto tweets to tweet old blog posts. I try to say thank you when I see someone has retweeted, but I am remiss sometimes too. some of those tweets gain favorite stars and i wasn’t sure how to handle that… it felt like invading their privacy to tell them thank you for favoriting, so I haven’t been doing that. Oftentimes I’ll favorite something just so I can find it again later.

    About the endless writer horn tooting… I think part of the irritation with that stems from the fact that nearly all of my followers are writers. And everyone I follow is a writer. So the odds are I’ll see writers hawking books more often than not. To remedy this I’ve tried to make conscious attempts to follow people who are other than writers. This achieves two ends: it exposes me to an audience who are more likely to be readers (especially when they follow back) and who are hopefully not saturated with pleas to buy books constantly, and it gives variety to my stream so I’m not so irritated when I browse through it.

  2. Mmmm, I have to hold my head in shame here Karen. I use some of the auto tools but have prided myself on always engaging – until December that is when it all went horribly pear-shaped and I didn’t appear as myself on Twitter at all. I spent a hefty portion of last Wednesday and Thursday catching with everyone and have given myself a good old slap on the wrist as I think there is nothing worse than not saying ‘thank you’, at the very least. I even blogged about it in 2011:

  3. Indeed 🙂 of course, twitter is always useful to promote yourself and I’m not against that but it can become a bit much when someone tweets about themselves and their books and their reviews all day every day (and that is not an exaggeration). I actually responded to a tweet from one of these authors the other day and never got a reply so perhaps its auto-tweeting (if there is such a thing) or even worse is when they auto-reply and when you check you see they have sent the same generic response to everyone!

    Oh, and happy new year, will be trying to check out all the blogs on a more regular basis now that the mad rush is over! 🙂

  4. That’s a very good point Karen and I guess if I were to give fuller advice it would not to forget that it’s not really about ‘you’, it’s about the audience and what they are interested in. I must admit that I’ve been a tad remiss on Twitter myself recently because of holidays etc … Nice to hear from you too 🙂

  5. I actually get really annoyed when I open my twitter and my entire feed consists of authors blowing their own horns. Pages and pages of it! I think that perhaps a better option for authors is to make posts about the setting or themes contained within their books rather than shouting that they have one every 5 minutes 🙂 Or perhaps have a chat with one or more people about something interesting. That said, I hardly post anything on twitter anymore 🙂