Twitter Trends and Projects for Book Lovers

Hey, Elisa here, the newest member of the RT web staff. One of the things that I have taken over is the social media for the magazine and I am loving learning more about the genre fiction community. And my favorite ways to get news and connect with readers and authors? You guessed it, Twitter! Looking for updates from a favorite author? Want 'extras' from your favorite characters? Can't wait to join the chat about the latest book news? Its all on Twitter. But beware, the Twitterverse is wide and can be confusing, so I thought I would share some of my current book-related Twitter trends and projects:

A List of Hashtags

Hashtags are extremely useful for readers to connect with each other and other members of the book community. I have been following tags including #YAlitchat and #ebooks. Other fun tags are #fridayreads, used to share what users will be reading over the weekend, #bookreview for the latest reviews, and #shewrites, used to promote posts about female authors. Tags are also useful tools for writers and authors, including #amwriting which allows writers to share tips and their current projects, #pubtip which is a source for publishing wisdom, and #booktour where authors guide fans through their latest works.

Hash tags are also used to organize formal, scheduled “chats” centered on a certain topic. They usually take place once a week during the same time. Services like Tweetchat allow users to participate in “chats” by filtering Tweets based on user-specified hash tags. There are tons of scheduled book-related chats, including #ufchat (urban fantasy), #scifichat, and #fantasychat. There also appears to be a newly created #romancechat. For a complete list of scheduled Twitter chats, book-related or not, check out this handy public Google doc or this Twitter chat directory. A little warning about Twitter chats: Chats come and go, so don't be surprised if a chat you participate in is discontinued. Are the immense amount of hashtags on Twitter still overwhelming? Check out twubs or hashtags for a more organized approach to hashtags.

Thanking Borders

With Borders closing its doors, Twitter users, including pleanty of authors and readers, have been saying goodbye to the chain using the #thankuborders hashtag. From sincere to silly, here are some highlights:

Twitter Novels

Have you ever wanted to read an author’s work as they write it? Sometimes we might get a sneak peak, but often times we must wait until the release day. On Twitter users write full novels, live, 140 characters at a time, often using blogs or external websites to piece together the individual Tweets and form a cohesive story. Several Twitter novels have been started, but many get abandoned. Here are a few that are still going:

The Twitter Novel Project started in 2009 and is currently on its sixth novel. You can read the current progression, as well as past novels, here. To read their progress 140 characters at a time, follow @Tweet_Book.

Ryan Geddes has had an ongoing Twitter novel, Jaks, since 2009, and he's still working on it. All of his posts under his Twitter name @Phunnel tagged #Jaks are novel installations. He has a section on his website about it, too, which you can check out here. However, your best bet is to just follow him on Twitter for Jaks updates.

Characters Tweeting

Many authors use Twitter as a continuing voice for their characters. Jennifer Haymore regularly Tweets up a storm, and now the hero from Confessions of an Improper Bride has followed her lead, and somehow time traveled from 19th century England. Follow the charming Jonathan Dane at @EarlofStratford. Here are the top Tweets from the Earl so far:

Have a favorite Twitter trend of our own, or want your social-media related questions answered? Share it in the comments and I'll be sure to answer questions. And don't forget to follow RT Book Reviews on Twitter at @RT_Magazine and become a fan on Facebook!