Friday 3 July 2015

Jane Holland on Managing Different Twitter Accounts

Jane Holland has kindly accepted my invitation to be a guest today. I've met Jane at Romantic Novelists' Association ("RNA") events, and last year discovered her fantastic blog '52 Ways to Write a Novel', which Jane has now transformed into a must-read for all writers looking to be published, '21 Ways to Write a Commercial Novel'. I'm a huge fan of how-to-write books, and Jane's advice is up-to-date, valuable and witty. I wrote an Amazon review here. Jane included many comments from the original blog posts in this book, and three of mine are included.

Jane's bio:

Award-winning author Jane Holland is known by many names, most notably Victoria Lamb, Elizabeth Moss and Beth Good. The middle daughter of 80's Mills and Boon star, Charlotte Lamb, Jane also writes and publishes women's fiction herself, both contemporary and historical, besides running an editorial service for writers ( WITCHSTRUCK won the RNA Young Adult Romantic Novel Award 2013, and her rom com novellas as Beth Good have won multiple All Stars Kindle awards for top UK sales. Her combined traditionally published and self-published titles number more than ninety, and her popular Creative Writing blog, 52 Ways To Write A Novel, was recently turned into a Kindle chart bestseller. She is now developing her own digital publishing house, Thimblerig Books, across a range of titles. 

Jane somehow manages Twitter accounts for Jane Holland, Victoria Lamb, Elizabeth Moss and Beth Good; amongst many others, including those for hheditorial and Thimblerig Books

And here's how she does it:

Managing Multiple Twitter Accounts as a writer, by Jane Holland
As an author who writes under numerous pseudonyms, including Victoria Lamb, Elizabeth Moss and Beth Good, I have a Twitter account for most of my names. Publishers expect it, and so do readers now. But maintaining multiple accounts can be time-consuming. And how to generate high follower numbers with numerous accounts?

Firstly, decide which account will be your main priority and focus on building followers there. This could be your most popular account so far, or your most successful writing name. Later you can migrate followers to your other names by asking directly or putting links to your other accounts in your profile. To attempt to tweet from all accounts equally could lead to exhaustion, and make your tweets seem flat and repetitive.

Secondly, tailor each Twitter profile carefully to its genre, to attract the right followers. If there are other names you admit to writing under, link to them in your profile. This encourages cross-following. Or link groups of accounts if you write under several names for romance, for instance, and others for Young Adult fiction. Then retweet between those linked accounts. Try to develop a special flavour for each account or group, akin to brand identification, that will help your name(s) stick in readers’ minds.

Re apps, I have used Tweetdeck in the past, which allows you to be logged into all your accounts at once, and post to them simultaneously. It’s fantastic for scheduling early hours tweets for global markets, or repeats, or for hashtag trends. But followers may get annoyed by tweets that appear on several accounts simultaneously, so I don’t advise using that too often. I also find that once I have all my accounts on screen, Tweetdeck becomes unwieldy. So it’s best for those with fewer than four accounts.

Personally, I use my usual browser, and log in and out of accounts as I need, or my iPad, where I can be logged in simultaneously to all my accounts, just like Tweetdeck, but see only one account at a time on screen. (One flick, and you can shift accounts.) This is far easier to deal with visually when you have, say, eight accounts in hand, and less likely to lead you into errors. Managing multiple accounts requires multi-tasking, which means speed and agility of mind as well as fingers. Forgetting who I am, or which book I’m promoting, is not unknown! So the iPad is one I would recommend for larger numbers of accounts, though there are probably interesting alternatives out there.

Jane at the RNA Conf Gala Dinner last year
When time is short, use your default, follower-rich account – mine is @janeholland1 – to retweet promo from your other accounts, if you admit to them. This means you are not neglecting your other names, but can promote them without trebling your time online. As long as you don’t over-promote on subsidiary accounts, and remember to chat with followers occasionally, you can maintain a friendly presence on all accounts without abandoning your latest manuscript.

Twitter isn’t only for pseudonyms, of course. I have accounts for individual books, for series, and even characters. This was a very successful ploy used by Sylvia Day for her Crossfire series, which I emulated for my own books (with rather less success, ahem). You tweet as the character or post quotations from the book, either single lines or extracts in a rolling series of tweets, and it really brings the book alive for fans. Be inventive with multiple accounts, and see where it takes you.

Whatever kind of account you have, it’s important to make each ‘voice’ sound different from the others. To be that person. Don’t just sound like the same person under another name, or someone whose only aim is to sell books. Twitter is about connecting, and we connect more easily to people who are genuinely interested in us and the world. Not just in selling novels!

Thank you, Jane for writing such an interesting and informative post for my blog! I use Tweetdeck to schedule tweets for clients, and for the @neetsmarketing Twitter account. Tweetdeck is handy for adding search and hashtag columns, but I agree that for more than four accounts, the number of columns can become overwhelming! I try to keep columns for each account together and slide them along the screen, so I can only see one account at a time. Sometimes I may see a tweet which is better retweeted from a different account, and Tweetdeck is useful in this case because it gives you the option to choose which account to retweet from. The iPad is great for switching between accounts, as you say, and if I've been sitting at the computer for hours, it's nice to be able to switch to a comfortable chair with my iPad, and still be able to monitor tweets for each account individually.

Jane's latest book, 'The Oddest Little Beach Shop', by Beth Good is out now

Here are Jane's links:

Thimblerig Books: Jane Holland Editorial Services:  

My next guest post will be on 11 September: 'Julie Stock on Book Covers' 

Read more neetsmarketing guest posts from Sue Moorcroft, New Romantics Press, The Romaniacs, Talli Roland and Alison Morton here.

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