Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and reading resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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Creative Commons Licence

Writer comics by Debbie Ridpath Ohi are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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Twitter Guide For Authors & Illustrators > Site Admin > Will you tweet about my giveaway/launch/etc? All it takes is for you to do one RT!

Index of topics: Main Twitter Guide For Writers & Illustrators page. To go back to my blog for kidlit/YA writers and illustrators, see Inkygirl. You can find me on Twitter at @inkyelbows (focus: writing and illustrating children's books) and @DebbieOhi (livetweets, chat, photos, personal ramblings). Also see my list of Other Useful Twitter Guides For Authors And Illustrators and Twitter Lists of: agents who represent kidlit/YAkidlit/YA editors, children's book art/creative directors and K-12/teen librarians on Twitter.

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Will you tweet about my giveaway/launch/etc? All it takes is for you to do one RT!

I've been receiving an increasing number of requests each day to help promote other people's book events, book giveaways, book news, prize draws, book launches, etc.

Some of these requests point out that all I have to do is to one RT/retweet of their promo tweet. Some have been fairly aggressive ("I clicked through to a link you posted to one of your illustrations and looked at it. Now it's your turn to look at my illustration. And I want you to critique it, too" -- yes, someone actually did say this to me).

But back to the book giveaway/promo requests...

In most cases, I have to decline. Why? Because if I promoted all the books etc. for which I received requests, I would be tweeting book promo giveaways etc. nonstop all day, every day. This is not the kind of person I'd want to follow on Twitter (see my own Twitter follow/refollow thoughts), and I try very hard to avoid doing that in my own Twitter feed.

As for the "all you have to do is one RT and it would really help me" request, please keep in mind that I also very rarely do straight RTs. This is not a condemnation of people do who straight RTs most of the time. Like the rest of my Twitter Guide For Writers, it's a personal choice about how I use Twitter.

I suspect I spend far more time deciding how to word a tweet than many people. With only 120 characters to work with (I try very hard to leave room for others to add a bit of editorial comment when sharing), I know that every character counts. I also have found that people are far more likely to share or respond to a tweet if I personalize it, especially if the original headline for a link is dry and/or uninformative.

I also get turned off by Twitter feeds that are just straight RTs of other people's tweets. I'd much rather be reading a Twitter feed that includes editorial comments or opinion, or a personal glimpse into that person. Again, this is just my personal preference.

So...that's why I usually decline when people ask me to RT something. There are always exceptions, of course.

I also don't react to giveaways the same way as other people. I would far rather pay for a book that I know I'm probably going to like than get a free book with unknown enjoyment value. I already have way too many books on my "to read" pile, both in print and in digital format. That combined with the fact that there are many Twitter feeds out there that use the phrase "free Kindle book" or "GIVEAWAY" in 80% of their tweets that I don't think the word has as much publicity/marketing impact as some people may believe.

Again, there are exceptions: if there's a writer or illustrator I admire who rarely does giveaways and suddenly DOES offer a giveaway, I'm all over it. :-)

What makes me want to promote books by particular writers and illustrators in my @inkyelbows feed? The most common reasons:

- I read their book and loved it.

- They're friends. I've probably met them at conferences and liked them. They could be fellow members of a collab group or a local writing group.

- They've helped promote me and my work in the past, and I can tell they're genuinely interested in me or my work.

- They've shared my tweets or said nice things about me or my work before they had anything to promote/sell.

- I've noticed how supportive or encouraging of other writers they are or have been in their Twitter feeds. I like the personality that seems to be behind their tweets, even if I've never met them nor have we had any interaction. This is a biggie for me.

- I'm excited about their books because I've enjoyed their books in the past.

If we've met in person and have a good rapport / share a collab group / etc. and you'd like me to promote your new book and I haven't already:

- Then please do nudge me nicely! I may have missed seeing your announcements or posts. Or I may have noticed and then gotten distracted or forgotten. Seriously....please do nudge!

- Please understand that when I do promote you or your book, it will be in my own way. I usually try to make promo as personal as possible, and have an aversion to the hard-sell approach. This means, however, that timing and context are crucial.

What if we've never met in person or had any interaction? Does that mean you WON'T promote me?

No, but it's far less likely (again, there are always exceptions). 

What turns me off and makes me NOT want to help promote a book:

- Being requested to promote someone's book when we have had zero interaction in the past.

- When I go to your Twitter feed and discover that you've tweeted the same request to a ton of people, over and over again.

- Being requested to promote someone's book with a lot of specific requirements ("I need you to RT about my book on xxxx particular date" etc.).

- Getting a request from someone who has clearly only joined social media because they have a book to promote.

- When the other person tries to make me feel guilty about not promoting them. There are nicer ways of asking.

Thanks for understanding.


Last updated on April 22, 2013 by Debbie Ridpath Ohi