Sunday, November 07, 2004



If you're here because I sent you this link on twitter, most likely you tweeted something like "check out my book" to me.

Tweeting "read my stuff" or "check out my books" is like coming up to me at a cocktail party to just start talking about yourself.  It not only doesn't work, it makes me want to avoid you.

Rather than just ignore you, or say something direct like "go away", let me tell you why this is an ineffective tactic to get me to read your work.

First, there's nothing ABOUT your work  in "read my stuff."

Second there's nothing ENTICING about your work in "read my stuff."

Most people can't write enticing stuff about their work in 250 words, let alone 140 characters.

I have spent a lot of time and energy trying to help writers understand and use the system that is flat out guaranteed to get me to "read your stuff"--query letters.

What "read my stuff" says to me is you don't want to do that. You want to take a shortcut.

There are no shortcuts.

 I see everything people tweet @me.  I don't run one of those fancy programs that sorts people by category. I don't follow gazillions of people. I use twitter on the web so everything you tweet to me, I see.

Which means my choices for NOT seeing you are limited: blocking you.

Now, I'm going to assume you'd rather that didn't happen.  There are several good ways to get my attention on twitter but the direct shout in my face "read my stuff" isn't on the list. It's a good way to get blocked.

When they call this social media, the implication is social niceties are needed. Be smart. Understand how twitter works before you start tweeting.

And if you want me to read your stuff, just send a damn query letter. I'm one of the few agents left in this world who will actually reply to one.