What Not To Tweet

Sometimes, the things you’re most tempted to tweet are the things you should try hardest to avoid. Here’s what not to tweet.

When You Get X Number of Followers

You’ve probably seen this one before: “Come on, guys—only seven more people until I make it to 500 followers!” Or: “Wow, 700 followers! You guys are amazing!”

Harmless, right? It’s OK to be excited about your follower count—right?

Right—but please keep your excitement to yourself. Tweeting about your follower count can make you come across as needy (“Only seven more people need to follow me! Come oooon guys!”) or narcissistic (“whoa, seven hundred people follow MEEEEE”).

Little known fact: Nobody except you cares how many followers you have. So keep your fist-pump private, and focus on tweeting things that will be of interest to your followers.

When You’re Promoting a Contest, Blog Post or Book—Over and Over

It’s OK to use Twitter to promote your contest, blog post or book release, but when you clog your followers’ feeds with a dozen contest reminders a day, you’re just going to annoy people. Even worse, you’ll increase the likelihood that your followers will skim over your tweets instead of reading them.

Believe it or not, tweeting about your contest, blog post, or book release once (or a maximum of twice) a day (and not for too many days in a row) is actually more effective than tweeting a million reminders. So play it cool.

When Your Book is on Submission

Because the publishing process can be so frustrating, it can be tempting to tweet every little victory. Sharing the news that you’ve signed with an agent, finished a draft, or gotten a book deal is perfectly fine—after all, you deserve to celebrate.

But some parts of the publishing process are better kept quiet, for your own sanity and for the sake of your career.

Going on submission (i.e. when your agent starts shopping your manuscript to publishers) is one of those things. Nothing in publishing is a sure thing, and unless you want to fend off lots of messages from well-meaning friends and acquaintances asking when your book is coming out, you’re better off keeping it under your hat.

When You Get a Bad Review

The story of the author who went ballistic on her blog following a negative review has almost reached the status of an urban legend among writers who tweet and blog. Anything you put on the internet can spread to thousands or even millions of people within a matter of minutes, and it’s not worth the negative attention that will result from posting a bitter or childish response to a bad review.

Vent to your family, your friends, and your dog—not to your Twitter followers.

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