Wednesday, April 6, 2011

#Tag, You’re It!


A Writer Marketing Post By Tamela Buhrke

Today is #WW (Writer Wednesday on Twitter) making it a perfect day to cover that crazy Twitter phenomenon called the hashtag. What is it? Why should you care?

Twitter Hashtags are created by putting the # symbol in front of a word or words. They started as a way to organize conversations. For example, a tweet with #writermarketing on the end would indicate that the tweet was part of a conversation about... you guessed it, writer marketing. The hashtag makes it convenient for tweeters to click on the tag and bring up all the people who are tweeting in that conversation. This creates a type of Twitter chat room that is open for public viewing. All those using the tag can communicate with each other, but your followers will also see your tweets, and they can decide whether to join in the conversation.

That is the normal use of a hashtag. You may be perplexed to see hashtags that don’t have groups, such as #notcool or #winning. Hashtags have grown beyond their original usage into a creative way of expressing one's self. If people like the hashtag, think it's funny or clever, then many people will use it. That is called trending. It is fun, but not necessarily useful. #ohmygodbecky

There are three reasons a writer should care about hashtags.

The first reason to use hashtags is that they can help writers connect and learn from each other. Some people even put together weekly meetings, or chats, to discuss particular writing topics, such as getting published, marketing your book, and working with agents. These weekly groups will often have guests such as agents, editors and publicists. That makes hashtag chats a great way to learn and interact with important industry people.

Second, you can use these Twitter tags to meet the right group of readers for your market. If you write horror, then joining a weekly #horror chat will be a perfect way to get attention from people who are fans of your type of writing.

To follow one of these hashtag chats, you simply click on the hashtag, read some of the tweets and jump into the conversation by tweeting about the topic. Be sure to include that hashtag in your tweet.

Third, if you can’t find a hashtag chat that represents the genre or topic of your book, then start one! It’s a great way to promote yourself and build a loyal following. Simply pick a regular date and time. Research who is tweeting about your topic by searching for applicable words or phrases on the Twitter search. Then invite those people to join your Twitter chat.

Here are just a few of the writing and genre specific hashtags:

#amediting - General
#amwriting - Ongoing writer connection tag that is sponsored by amwriting.org
#blackbookchat - 8:30 EST Tues
#bookmarket - Book marketing information 4pm EST Thurs
#fantasychat 8pm EST Sun
#kidlitchat - 9pm EST Tues
#Kindlechat - Learn how to publish to Kindle noon PST Fri
#LitChat - 4pm EST Mon, Wed & Fri
#poetry - 9pm CST Thur
#publishing - General
#pubtip - General tips about publishing
#romancechat - 4pm EST Sat or 9pm GMT Sun
#scifichat - 2pm ET Fri
#scriptchat - 8pm GMT Sun
#selfpub or #selfpublishing or #indiepub - General
#steampunkchat - 9pm EST Fri
#ufchat - Urban fantasy writers 6pm EST Sat
#write, #writers, #writing - General
#writechat - 2pm CST Sun
#yalit - General topics regarding young adult literature.
#yalitchat - 9pm EST Wed

NEW ADDS (people tweeted me with additional writer chats to add to the list):
#editorchat - 8:30-10 pm EST Wed
#followreader - 4pm EST Fri
# 6:30 EST pm Tues
- Science fiction & fantasy chat 9 pm EST Wed
- General tags to ask questions for/about agents, editors, publishers.
- General tag to provide or ask for writing tips.
#Writersroad 9pm EST Mon - discussing the writer's journey
#Pubwrite - General evening discussions, all areas of writing & writer support

I have not found a #mysterychat, #thrillerchat, or #westernchat. That represents an #opportunityforsomeone.

If you know of a hashtag chat for writers that I may have missed, then please feel free to comment with the hashtag, day and time that they tweet.

Happy tagging!

7 comments:

Shannon said...

This answers so many questions! Thanks.

Tamela Buhrke said...

Twitter lingo can be confusing. Glad this helped!

j.a. kazimer said...

Tamela:

Am I just too old to get twitter? I've tried it, but really never found it appealing. What am I missing? Yet, each post you write about it, makes me want to try it again, so thank you for ruining yet another Wednesday with that damn tweeting... :) #WHY?????

David Rozansky said...

Here are some more tags and chats for writers:

General tags for questions or advice:

#askeditor (editors often hold ad hoc sessions. I often monitor this tag and answer questions.)

#askpub (publishers answer questions.)

#askagent (literary agents answering questions, often several agents chiming in at once)

#sffwrtcht (Wed 9pm ET, for science fiction and fantasy writers)

#LitChat is actually MWF 4pm ET

#writetip (general tag, writers and editors often dropping random bits of writing wisdom)

#editorchat (for writers and editors to discuss the publishing industry. Wed 8:30-10 pm ET)

#journchat (chat for journalists. Mon 8 pm ET)

I also invite writers to tweet me with any questions about writing or publishing, in the field of novels, nonfiction books, and magazines. Just tweet the question to @DavidRozansky (http://twitter.com/DavidRozansky).

Keep 'Em Flying
David A. Rozansky
Publisher
Flying Pen Press
http://flyingpenpress.com

Tamela Buhrke said...

LOL! Julie, you are younger than me, so you have no excuse. Getting involved with the chats can help you get more than Twitter followers -- you get friends. That's what makes Twitter more fun and more worthwhile. I've found so many wonderful people on Twitter. Most of them are writers. We talk to each other about the industry and our writing dreams/frustrations.

David Rozansky (see comment above) is a great resource on Twitter. Follow him! He's also great at responding quickly to questions. He runs the SciFiChat which always brings up interesting topics (I lurk in his chats often)

Also, if you are on Twitter and you want to know how something works or just want to chat, please feel free to @ me, either at my personal twitter account or the Chiseled accounts:

@TamelaBuhrke
@Chiseledinrock

I will respond! Maybe I will put together a twitter chat on how writers can use twitter.

Kristie Cook said...

Thanks for the list! I'm bookmarking this page. Here's one:

#writersroad 9 pm EST, Mondays, discussing the writer's journey

Newbie Author said...

Well done!

The list of hashtags with explanations is especially useful.

Bookmarked!