14 August 2020

The Twitter #WritingCommunity - #AuthorToolboxBlogHop

I’ve been active on Twitter @tonyriches since July 2009. Eleven years ago, the great challenge was to craft something funny or even thought-provoking within the constraint of 140 characters.


One of the biggest changes for me has been the emergence of the Twitter writing community, a network which is probably more complex and valuable than some people realise. For me, the most important is the powerful support network within the historical fiction genre, and I’ve seen the same in most other genres.


Next are the collaborative, cross-genre groups of writers and authors, such as #AuthorToolboxBlogHop which help me keep up to date with emerging trends, ideas and useful tips.


A few years ago, the #amwriting tag was the one to use, then #WritingCommunity began to turn conventional wisdom about how authors use Twitter on its head. The rule used to be no 'shameless self-promotion', and only one in eight tweets to be about your new book.


Now I see #WritersLift tweets with many hundreds of authors invited to post their books. Is it worth it? A lot of Twitter users seem to think it is, and the range and variety of work being promoted in this way is in turns inspiring and bewildering.


It all started to go wrong when the tag somehow morphed into #WritingCommnuity and #WritingCommmunity. (You might need to check the spelling to see the problem.) I’ve no idea if this began as a mischievous prank or careless typing (but you know who you are). I’ve even seen authors using all three ‘variants’ with a tweet to maximise reach.


So where is all this leading? When I became a full-time author, I might have tweeted my new book, but with only a few hundred followers, I’m sure it didn’t make any difference. Now I have over 33,000 and the right tweet can double sales in a day – now that’s thought provoking.


Tony Riches

If you have any more ideas on how to make best use of Twitter as an author, please comment below

The #AuthorToolboxBlogHop is a monthly event on the topic of resources and learning for authors. Feel free to hop around to the various blogs and see what you learn! The rules and sign-up form are below the list of hop participants. All authors at all stages of their careers are welcome to join in.


  1. Hi Tony, I used to love twitter so much but then when it started making changes and adding more text, I found it difficult to break through again. I’m not sure. I’m glad it is working for you :)

  2. Okay, now I'm inspired. I'm also really curious about the misspelled hashtags. I was wondering about that. Thanks for the enlightenment.

  3. The writing community is probably the only thing that keeps me coming back to Twitter these days.

  4. I agree, the community is the best reason to be on Twitter these days.


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