Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Why I Love Twitter

If anyone is keeping track I have 47 clients. Many of them have books that are being published this year, or next, or are working on books under contract. It's easy to stay in pretty regular touch with them because there are various deadlines: turning in a manuscript; turning in an author questionnaire, making sure they get paid. Deadlines that go on calendars and prompt an email or a call.

I have another group of clients who are working on books that aren't under contract. Fewer calendar items for this group. You can't call or email "how's it going" too often, but you need to do it often enough so they don't wonder if their agent is dead. It's really hard to know when it's a good time or a bad time to nag if you're living inside the NYC bubble.

Enter Twitter.

Because of Twitter I know one of my fabulous clients is literally up to her ass in snow. Is this a good time to nag about the novel? Probably not. Let's wait till she's not riding herd and rounding up pregnant cows in three feet of snow. July maybe.

Because of Twitter I know one of my fabulous clients is defending her thesis on a certain day. Probably not a good day to nag about her revisions.

Because of Twitter I know that one of my fabulous clients is not responding to her email cause she doesn't have electricity in her house and has to use the computers in the library for awhile. Not a good time to nag at all.

Because of Twitter I know when one of my client's kids has a broken arm or a bad day at school.

All this is valuable info. Yes it's part of a twitter stream that can be banal. Like any daily conversation there are jokes about toast and jam, coffee, not enough sleep, and the weather.

When your job is managing expectations, and hopes, selling projects of the heart, giving career advice and pep talks, it's invaluable to know where the clients are. Particularly if they are literally up to their ass in snow.

8 comments:

Eileen said...

Dear God- I hope she lives in the Yukon or Siberia. Does she not know it is end of APRIL? Spring?

Does she live there on purpose?

worldofhiglet said...

This is the second post I've read tonight on an Agent's blog that mentions Twitter! I agree with you whole-heartedly. It can be an invaluable tool in addition to the more obvious social aspects.

Nice pic...! :)

Janet said...

I'm guessing Colorado, myself, seeing as so many of my Twitter friends there have been complaining.

And yes, I have found Twitter useful in the same way. When I saw my agent dealing with some family drama, I said, "Not a good day to phone." And left him alone.

Jaded Jennifer said...

I sometimes consider jumping on the Twitter bandwagon, but I haven't done it for one very big reason: I'm afraid my lack of followers would hurt my already poor self-esteem. lol

I am happy to hear I'm not the only one who keeps up with people via the internet. For me, it's usually MySpace or Facebook statuses. I admit, though, it was probably a little creepy when I ran into a friend I hadn't seen in years and started mentioning the house she was purchasing and brought up the inspection they had that day. I'm sure her husband thought I was some crazy internet stalker, especially since he hadn't ever met me until then.

Susan Adrian said...

Hmmm, why does that look so familiar?

Oh, I know.

My view

jimnduncan said...

Kristen Nelson's blog has a great little bit on how twitter can be beneficial in other ways too. It shows just how handy it can be to make a few good connections.

2glassyladies said...

I love this post and will point to it for the folks I know who are critical of this type of communication. And for Jaded Jennifer (or others who fear they will lack followers) I suggest you should join Twitter, do some searching to find and follow like-minded people and you will soon have followers. Share some interesting stuff and those followers will soon RT (retweet) to the people who follow them and your audience will quickly expand.

http://twitter.com/ewellburn

Kari Lynn Dell said...

Actually, when the snow is ass deep I have lots of time to chat on the phone. Not like I'm out galivanting around the neighborhood or going to that place where they pay me to do work.

Sadly, yes, I moved here on purpose. And even sadder, this kind of weather isn't that unusual on the east slope of the Montana Rockies in April.