As the social media coordinator for RT, I spend a lot of time on Twitter. Not just Tweeting for the magazine, but following the conversation had by the many authors, readers and industry people each day, every day. And let me tell you, you think some of your favorite authors are creative? Go take a look at their Twitter feeds. I’ve honestly never laughed so much while on the job, and I think I’ve learned the most about publishing by reading the back-and-forth between authors. Twitter is a wealth of information and entertainment for anyone in the booklover community, and to celebrate this fantastic tool, I present you with my picks for the Best of Twitter 2011.
Although not outright raunchy (most of the time...), Victoria Dahl (@victoriadahl) wins this one. From her sexual innuendo laced with plenty of humor to cursing like a sailor, I’ve grown accustom to this author’s Tweets, but she still never fails to surprise me. Case in point:
Honorable mention: Sarah Wendell (@SmartBitches). Nowhere near as dirty as Dahl, but I do enjoy her “spot the phallus” photos.
“I Wish She Was My Mom”
When they’re not Tweeting about their writing, many authors Tweet about their kids. Ranging from the downright adorable to Tweets that make me thankful I don’t have “spawn” of my own, Tweets from authors about their children are some of my favorite. With so many mommy authors to choose from, I couldn’t decide, so RT’s Liz French nommed Isabo Kelly (@isabokelly), saying that she loves the way she talks about her son. I couldn’t agree more:
Honorable mention: Shiloh Walker (@shilohwalker) for her realistic look at motherhood. Shiloh readily admits that patience is not one of her virtues.
Obviously, anyone working in the publishing industry is (or should be!) well versed on its ins and outs, and many of them have a lot to say about it. Who has the most memorable 140-character opinions about publishing practices and trends? Jane Litte (@jane_l). Editor, blogger and lawyer, Jane looks at pressing publishing issues from all sides, and isn't afraid to engage in heavy debate with other Twitter users.
Honorable mention: Mark Coker (@markcoker), founder and CEO of Smashwords. He keeps me up-to-date on all things related to the self-publishing revolution.
Authors aren’t the only ones making the most of their social media skills. Plenty of editors, publicists and literary agents are using Twitter to promote their books and clients — and do some of their own brand management. I think it’s safe to say that Carina Press editor Angela James (@angelajames) is one of the most social media-savvy publishing professionals. James definitely knows her way around the Twitterverse. She has done an exemplary job of collecting an audience and always engages with authors and other people in the business flawlessly.
Honorable mention: Pamela Jaffee (@pamjaffee), Senior Director of Paperback Publicity: Avon Books, HarperVoyager, Harper paperback. Pam can be counted on to report on the real life an editor leads. (And she is also great at letting readers know about the best giveaways!)
Best Publisher Tweets
It can be hard Tweeting for a company. You have to curb what you say, remove any sort of personal bias and keep things interesting without getting controversial. You have to promote your product, but not too much, and also maintain a fun personal demeanor that creates discourse and draws followers. Whoever is driving the Twitter over at Penguin Books (@penguinusa) is doing it right, and with so many imprints and genres to cover, they’re doing an impeccable job.
Honorable Mention: Del Rey/Spectra (@delreyspectra), if only these guys Tweeted more!
When asked about whom they enjoy on Twitter, the RT editorial staff agreed that Ron Hogan (@ronhogan), John Scalzi (@scalzi), and Rachael Herron (@rachaelherron) all have entertaining, thought-provoking Twitter feeds.
Did we miss one of your favorite authors on Twitter? Care to disagree about one of my nominations, or have a suggestion about who RT should follow? Leave it in the comments below! And you can follow RT on Twitter at @RT_Magazine.