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Category Archives: Social Networking For Writers

The Right Way To Publish A Short Story On Social Media | Web Design Relief

The Right Way To Publish A Short Story On Social Media | Web Design Relief

If you’re a short story writer who wants to add something new to your publishing options, you might want to consider sharing your work on social media. More and more writers are discovering Twitterature: micro stories that fit within the character limit, or entire novels broken into serialized snippets stretched out over hundreds of tweets. You might also publish a short story or excerpts on Facebook or even Instagram. But be forewarned—the majority of literary editors consider a short story published on social media as previously published, and won’t be interested in republishing rights. That being said, some works published on social media have proven so popular, they’ve been traditionally published as well. At Web Design Relief, we know there’s a right way and a wrong way to publish your short story on social media.

The Right Way To Publish A Short Story On Your Social Media Platforms

Here are a few writers who’ve successfully published work on social media platforms.

David Mitchell, bestselling author of Cloud Atlas: Mitchell once published a short story called “The Right Sort” in a series of 280+ posts on Twitter! The story was published over the course of a week. Mitchell said his publisher gave him the idea.

Jennifer Egan, Pulitzer prizewinner: Egan published an 8,500-word story called “Black Box” on Twitter, posting a new line every minute for an hour each night. She has said she spent about a year writing and revising the story before posting it—it was originally twice as long!

Writers in the We Tell Stories project from Penguin Books: Six Penguin authors used different social media formats to share stories with their readers, including author Toby Litt and his piece “Slice.” This story was broken into a series of blog posts and included tweets from the perspective of the main character and her parents.

Neil Gaiman—and his Twitter followers! Gaiman once worked with BBC Audiobooks to create a short story on Twitter. He tweeted the first line of a fairy tale and then chose the next lines from 124 followers! A fun, interactive publishing format like this is very creative and could win you fans and followers.

How To Become A Social Media Published Writer

Know the pros and cons of social media publishing. Social media publishing is a fun and different way to garner followers and share your writing. But know that online publishing can get a little tricky if you plan to submit the piece to traditional publishers later. The short story you choose to publish on your social media platform should not be something you also hope to submit to literary journals, because most editors have strict rules about not republishing anything that’s already available online. Instead, choose a short story specifically written to be published on social media or your blog, or use a story that’s already been published in a journal and the rights to which have reverted back to you (be sure to acknowledge the first publisher).

Prepare your short story. Some authors prefer to have their entire short story written and edited before they start a series of tweets or posts. This may be the best way to stay organized and ensure your story is proofread and polished. If you don’t want to write the complete story before you start publishing it on Twitter, your blog, or another social media platform, at least have an idea or outline of how the story unfolds so you don’t veer off track.

Get your readers and followers excited! Announce your social media publishing venture to your followers before you start posting or tweeting. Let readers know the start date and when they can expect to see installments. Tease your followers with small snippets or a log line to get them interested!

Optimize your post. Once you start posting installations of your social media piece, be sure to grab attention and attract a wider readership. If you’re using Twitter to publish your story, don’t forget to include the right hashtags like #TwitterFiction and #Twitterature. Consider creating a unique hashtag just for your short story so that readers can easily follow along!

Get started—and stick to a schedule! Staying on schedule is very important to the success of social media publishing. Readers will lose interest and move on if they don’t see the next installment when you promised it would be posted. Decide how far apart you want to post your excerpts—a few hours? A few days? Every week? At what time? Then be sure you note these details on your calendar, or set reminders on your cell phone or computer, so that you never forget to post. If you’re going on vacation, be sure to automate your posting schedule.

Bonuses Of Publishing On Social Media

In addition to being a great creative project, posting Twitterature (or posting on any other social platform) can have a larger impact on your writing career. Do you also want to build your author mailing list? Use some installations of your story to refer people to a sign-up link! Itching to get new followers? Encourage your readers to follow you if they’re enjoying your posts. Want to catch the attention of literary agents? Be sure to follow a few agents, interact with them on social media, and note the hashtags they follow so you can use those when promoting your story.

 

Question: What social media platform would you publish a story on, and why?

Tweet, Tweet! 20 Fan-Growing Tweet Ideas For Writers | Web Design Relief

Tweet, Tweet! 20 Fan-Growing Tweet Ideas For Writers | Web Design Relief

Using the social media platform Twitter is a great way for writers to build their audiences and gain fans. But the marketing experts at Web Design Relief know that the key to success on Twitter is to make sure every tweet isn’t a “buy my book” promotional push—you need better tweet ideas! People want to engage with you as a person and a writer, not as a pushy salesperson. You’ll grow your fan base more effectively if you tweet about what you’re reading, the causes you support, articles you’ve enjoyed, and even some photos of your pets (#caturday is a popular social media hashtag!). If you need some inspiration to get started, we have some fan-growing tweet ideas that will organically build your audience.

20 Fan-Growing Tweet Ideas Especially For Writers

#1. Actively locate your fans—don’t wait for readers to find you among the millions of accounts on Twitter! Use the search tool in Twitter to check hashtags relevant to your interests, find the followers of some of your favorite accounts, and locate people to follow who might be interested in you and follow you back.

#2. Tweet about the books you love! And if the authors of those books are on Twitter, don’t be shy—tag them in the tweet!

#3. Mention your favorite TV shows. There are lots of diehard TV fans on Twitter, and many of them enjoy reading too. Check out some accounts and hashtags that deal with popular shows, and start interacting!

#4. Retweet other people’s tweets. There’s power in the retweet—you’ll make your timeline something your followers will genuinely enjoy sifting through. Be sure to add a comment when you retweet to take the engagement one step further.

#5. Use memes. Humor is a great way to connect with your fans and followers. Reading- and writing-related memes are excellent tweet ideas and will best engage your audience, but anything you find funny will work! Just be sure to use memes the right way by crediting the creator.

#6. Ask for recommendations. Requesting advice from your Twitter followers is a great way to get them to interact with YOU. Ask for recommendations on which book to read next, binge-worthy TV shows, recipes, etc.

#7. Post photos. Having a photo in a tweet boosts engagement. You can tweet photos of book-related events, what you’re currently reading, the cover of the latest journal to publish your work, or the old standby: cute pets!

#8. Start a hashtag. Have something specific you want to discuss or do with people? Start your own hashtag. People have started small writing challenges, book clubs, and more with a hashtag on Twitter.

#9. Be funny! You don’t have to have the skills of a professional comedian—even a bad pun or “dad joke” will work. Humorous tweets are some of the most popular and offer the best odds of going viral.

#10. Tweet about literary journals. The majority of literary journal social media followers will be writers and readers, so the Twitter accounts of literary magazines are great places to see and be seen! Tweet about something you read in a recent issue and comment on the journal’s tweets! If you get published in a literary magazine, be sure they have your Twitter handle. Most will happily tag you in tweets about the issue your work appears in when it’s published.

#11. Know the writing hashtags: #amwriting #amreading #writerslife #amediting #writing #writingprompt #WIP #writingcommunity are some examples.

#12. Offer praise. If you enjoy a tweet you’ve read on Twitter, tweet about it, retweet it, and tag the person who created it in your tweet. You’ll boost your odds of getting your own retweets.

#13. Give shout-outs. Boost some of the accounts you follow by giving them shout-outs on your Twitter account. In this way, you’ll encourage your mutual followers to do the same for you!

#14. Use threads. If you have a funny or interesting story that is longer than the character limit of one tweet (currently 280 characters), utilize threads! Just keep replying to your previous tweet so that your audience can see/click on any of them and immediately read the entire story.

#15. Share interviews. Post a link to any interviews about you or your work. It’s a great way to usher people into learning more about you and your writing. Also share any interviews you conduct.

#16. Post about what you’re reading right now. Give your thoughts on how the plot is progressing, but don’t give away any spoilers!

#17. Play with polls. Conducting a poll is a fun, simple way to engage with your followers and encourage them to interact with you. HINT: Use a popular hashtag in your poll tweet so that more people will see it and participate, since polls are only active for a short while.

#18. Humble-brag about your successes. Don’t be shy about mentioning your accomplishments! Did you get an acceptance in a dream magazine? Win a contest? Speak on a panel? Appear on a list of some sort? Get into an awesome writing retreat? Share the good news! Just be careful to sound grateful, not pompous.

#19. Follow the best-known literary Twitter accounts. Here are just a few: @NewYorker, @WritersDigest, @StephenKing, @writing_tips, @thewritelife, @rgay, @JoyceCarolOates, @parisreview, @MargaretAtwood, and of course, @WritersRelief! Here’s how to use Twitter like a best-selling author.

#20. Join in on trending topics. Find ways to connect what’s trending with writing and reading—the topic doesn’t have to directly connect to you. By thinking outside the box, you’ll reach more potential followers and fans.

Remember, Twitter can definitely be a powerful marketing tool, but you won’t grow a strong follower base without showing your audience your genuine self. If you scroll through your favorite authors’ Twitter accounts, odds are you’ll see more than just promotional material—you’ll see some engagement featuring their interests and opinions too.

 

Question: What’s your favorite Twitter hashtag?

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