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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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 > The Basics > Any advice on choosing a Twitter username?

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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Q. Any advice on choosing a Twitter username?

Shorter is better. I sooooo wish I chose a username shorter than "inkyelbows." Why? Because people are less likely to include it in their tweets, because it takes up 10 characters. I wrestle with this myself, when I want to give source credit to someone in a tweet but can't without sacrificing the essence of the main tweet focus.

Use your real name. If you have a long name, then find a way to shorten it. Maybe use just the first initial of your first name but include your full last name. If you have a long last name, though, you may want to invent a nickname instead. Be aware that people will start referring to you as your username in Twitter conversations, call out your name in real-life social situations, have your username printed on nametags at conventions...so choose wisely.

I sooooo wish I chose "DebbieOhi" as my main inkyelbows user account instead of inkyelbows. Why? Because I'd rather have people remember my real name than my Twitter handle, for when they meet me in person, see my name on book covers, etc. Also, people who are already familiar with my real-life name are more likely to be interested in interacting with me on Twitter than with a stranger named "inkyelbows."

Yes, I could have cancelled inkyelbows and tried to get people to follow DebbieOhi instead. At the point I realized my mistake, however, I already had thousands of people following inkyelbows. I ended up creating my DebbieOhi account as a livechat/general Twitter account.

DON'T MAKE MY MISTAKES! Use your real name if at all possible. Or at least choose a short username.

Don't use your book title or character as your main Twitter account. There are exceptions, of course, but people are more inclined to be interested in YOUR tweets than the tweets of a non-human entity. I rarely follow Twitter accounts that are focused on just one book or a fictional character for this reason.

Related resources:

How to choose a good Twitter username - from Dummies.com

Last updated on February 26, 2014 by Debbie Ridpath Ohi