Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Muse Online Conference Twitter Chat--And a Bit of a Nag!

This transcript comes to you with a plea for enrolling for the 2010 Muse Online Writers' Conference in November of 2009 this year. Lea Schizas, guru of the conference was overwhelmed with last-minute requests this year and I'd like to be sure you all have a chance at all the free seminars available. Lea and I founded this conference to help those who can't travel or can't afford or aren't ready for the real live conferences. But all are welcome. So, you get this little after-the-fact freebie to urge you to sign up early! In fact, put a prompt on your calendar for November 15th.

Full Transcript of Carolyn’s Muse Online Writer's Conference Chat
Tuesday, October 13, 2009

LeaSchizas: Carolyn Howard-Johnson's chat is on right now
carolynhowardjohnson: Good morning my hard-working Lea! And everyone else who has come to Talk Twitter!
Mindy: seatbelt on and ready
carolynhowardjohnson: And, yes, Linda Morelli, our moderator, is here.
LeaSchizas: yep
carolynhowardjohnson: I'll start with a brief into on Linda and some resources so here goes...
LindaM: You’re in Chat Room 1 for “The Frugal Book Promoter Talks Twitter” with Carolyn Howard-Johnson.
LindaM: SHH! I am posting the rules of the chat so please read: Only the moderator and the speaker will change ink color and/or font/bold. Everyone else must keep to the black ink.
LindaM: If you have a question for the speaker please do this: ? and I will put you in the queue. That’s it – the chat will show your name. Once you have placed your ? begin typing your question and be prepared when I call your name. Please do not post your question until I call upon you.
LindaM: Only one question per writer but you are allowed to post a new ? and I'll put you in the queue again. When Carolyn’s done answering your question, she’ll type: NEXT
LindaM: At that point, I will type the name of the next person in the queue for questions.
Please don’t post cross-chat comments, hellos, goodbyes (until the end of the chat), or other items that distract.
LindaM: To copy, hit copy on the document, then put your cursor in this box, then hit "Control V"
carolynhowardjohnson: I love being part of the Muse Online Conference as a co-sponsor and love giving seminars here. Applause here for all that Lea does to put it together. My part is one of creating some buzz and taking credit for nudging her into starting something she'd been thinking about anyway. And applause for Linda Morelli, our moderator, too.
LindaM: Remember, you are one of many people eager to hear the presentation, and staying focused helps us keep on track. Keep the sound effects down to a minimum, please
LindaM: Once the chat is over, please exit to allow the next guest speaker and moderator to begin their workshop. Click on the Red Arrows to exit. A transcript will be posted after the chat, in the Transcripts section of the Forum. Let’s begin…
carolynhowardjohnson: This is Linda's second year helping me with my seminar. She is a romantic suspense and historical romance author--just plain romantic--and you'll find ads for her award-winning books on my Web site along with a whole sections of Resources for Writers: . Find her at
LindaM: Thanks, Carolyn.
LindaM: Carolyn Howard-Johnson has won so many awards, we’d use up the entire chat just listing them. She’s the award-winning author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and two how to books, The Frugal Book Promoter: How To Do What Your Publisher Won't and The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success.
carolynhowardjohnson: Here are a few resources to get you started with Twitter. "Getting You Past the 'I don't get Twitter" stage: ....
LindaM: If you don’t own these last two of Carolyn's books, you should. J She is also an Audio Diva at .
LindaM: Carolyn is offering a special surprise during this chat: a free copy of her e-books. One attendee will win a copy of Frugal Editor, one her Frugal Book Promoter and one will win a copy of Carolyn’s Amazon short, “The Great First Impression Book Proposal." We'll break mid-way through the chat to announce the winners. If you win, please post your name and email after you’re announced so I have that information for Carolyn.
carolynhowardjohnson: Onlinemarketing guru Dana Lynn Smith's guest post on my Sharing with Writers blog: is another article you'll want to read. Leave a comment, too. It's good publicity for everyone! (-:
LindaM: We’ll pause five minutes before end time for final comments from Carolyn because Lea really wants us outta here on time! : -) Okay, Carolyn, the floor is yours.
carolynhowardjohnson: And information on author and marketing guy Tony Eldridge's book on using Twitter to host contests is another resource for you. The contest is past but his e-book is still available:
carolynhowardjohnson: E-mail me at to receive a battery of Twitter applications to help you organize Twitter. Please put MUSE TWITTER LIST in the subject line so I can find you among the hundreds of messages I get each day. ...
carolynhowardjohnson: OK. I hope that helps you with some background information. When we're all through with this. Welcome everyone. (-: Love you to death for being here.
carolynhowardjohnson: Linda, do you have anything else to tell the group? next
LindaM: Carolyn's promo materials are great!
carolynhowardjohnson: You make me laugh. (-: next
LindaM: Also, if you have any questions, don't forget to use ?
carolynhowardjohnson: I just love Twitter. But I started because it seemed easy and fast!
carolynhowardjohnson: Just let's start by saying it isn't--not if you're using it to promote and build a writing following. next
carolynhowardjohnson: So now don't you all drop out now I've told you that. (-:
KarenCV: What's the best twitter tool to use - to draw traffic?
carolynhowardjohnson: Karen, I'm going to give you a list of applications after this--you'll e-mail me for them. But for now, know that the important thing is not lots of traffic but targeted traffic...
carolynhowardjohnson: thus you'll want to literally choose people who will be possible readers of your book...
carolynhowardjohnson: and you do that by using
carolynhowardjohnson: It uses keywords. Example. I use it to find people who are talking about book proposals and literary agents and invite them to follow. Writers are one of my audiences...
carolynhowardjohnson: and I use it to find retailers for my other account (for my retailing book) @frugalretailing. next
DonnaMcDine: With tweetbeep if you write for children should you look for parents too? Since they are the ones who initially buy their children's books.
carolynhowardjohnson: Donna, I think you should primarily look for parents. Kids rarely buy books. And grandparents!!! So think of keywords you'd use to find them! (-: next
kidztales: What can book reviewers do to help promote a book?
carolynhowardjohnson: Another thing is that if they don't follow you back, you'll want to unfollow them. I'll answer how to do that in a minute.
carolynhowardjohnson: Kitztales, you want to promote your book on book reviewing?
carolynhowardjohnson: Or a book you've reviewed?
kidztales: No. I'd like to help promote books that I review
carolynhowardjohnson: BTW, an aside. Reviewers---all of you really--can use to promote your books with reviews. The guidelines are in the left column. ..that would work for you, too, Kitztales...
carolynhowardjohnson: So, Kidztales, you'd post your review and then post to twitter with a link to the review and a little teaser. Don't forget the teaser!!! next
Franny_Armstrong: I'm finding it difficult to decide my target audience since it can be so wide ranged. Older people, (my Mom's 73) tend to be uncomfortable with sex scenes. No one under 18 is permitted. Yet with men now reading online, it's possible to include them. What is the drop off point?
carolynhowardjohnson: Fanny, you know Twitter is so huge. I think you might be better to decide on one of those audiences, at least at first. And target to them. Probably the one you'd get the most mileage out of is the group interested in sex scenes. LOL. It has a huge audience! next.
Cathy_Bryant: What are some other ways to promote your book besides Twitter and Facebook and blog tours?
carolynhowardjohnson: Cathy, this workshop is on Twitter, so I want to stay targeted. And the world is full of a number of ways to promote. Can't help but tell you here that my The Frugal Book Promoter ( ) is full of dozens and dozens of ways. next
Gypsea: What about connections to Wordpress, Facebook and other websites? Is Twitter capable of reflecting links to your other websites? GA
carolynhowardjohnson: One of the applications I like for getting more information out on twitter is one called You can put up videos, pix and entire media releases (also called press releases) with it. And do repeats of your tweet with it. next
Kate: If you write in different genres, i.e., dark fiction vs form poetry vs YA ~ do you establish one Twitter or individual accounts to invite readers as well as editors & publishers to your blog(s) or website?
carolynhowardjohnson: Plus twitter is best connecting to other social networks with links. Though you can get Twitter FED to your Facebook. Caution with this. Kate--I'll be with you in a sec...
carolynhowardjohnson: Because if you tweet often enough, you may really bug your Facebook people. Now to Kate..
carolynhowardjohnson: Kate, yes. Keep yourself narrowly focused. Both my twitter accounts are marketing. But one is to retailers @frugalretailing and one is to authors @frugalbookpromo. next
dorcaswalker: I missed part of the beginning chat. How can I retrieve that? sorry
carolynhowardjohnson: Everyone, if you have your questions just ready to hit enter, that will speed things. BTW, I type fast--but inaccurately. Thanks.
LindaM: A transcript will be posted later.
carolynhowardjohnson: Dorcas, I think Linda has that handled the transcript thing. (-: Yay Linda
carolynhowardjohnson: Also, if you want just that part specifically, e-mail me. HoJoNews @
ChrisChat: I've seen & joined @wefollow but honestly not 100% sure what it is...thought I was putting myself in a search group? Twitter help confuses me
carolynhowardjohnson: Yes, some of those applications designed to get followers are WAY to general That's why I advocate using the keyword thing through Tweetbeep. There are probably others, too. There are thousands of applications designed for Twitter. But I think handpicking your audience works best...
carolynhowardjohnson: I find that because my audience is handpicked it works and people who complain that Twitter doesn't work is that their audience is full of people who may not even read--much less be interested in their genre. It's not that I don't have a few SEO guys and gals on my list...
carolynhowardjohnson: I can learn from those SEO guys, too...but I WANT authors. So please recommend @frugalbookpromo! Another lesson here. In 140 characters, you need to ask for what you want--at least on occasion. (-: next
Aleesha_Nash: How do you ask people to follow you while on twitter? without having to follow them first?
Aleesha_Nash: you mentioned inviting people to follow you - GA
carolynhowardjohnson: When you get a tweetbeep, you click. There is a place under their picture (avatar) for you to click to follow. Then you keep your fingers crossed they will follow back...
carolynhowardjohnson: After a little while you want to clean out those who haven't followed. You do that with There are others, too. Don't be afraid to ask your followers for tweeting info, too. They'll have tons of ideas for you. LOL.
carolynhowardjohnson: Which brings me to asking questions. It's a good way to keep your audience engaged. next
KarenCV: Twitter automatically has me following people - some that I have no interest in following. I do unfollow, but how do I stop the auto follows?
carolynhowardjohnson: Karen, click on their links and unfollow on their pages. next
LindaM: Let's break for just a minute to announce the winners of Carolyn's freebies...
Be sure to send Carolyn your email, or contact her via email
LeaSchizas: congratulations
Gypsea: HOLY COW, Thank YOU!
ChrisChat: TY
gloriaoren: So what you are saying is basically to follow different audiences, for example I follow authors, agents, editors, media sources related to the publishing arena, publishers and...
carolynhowardjohnson: But do be careful about unfollowing people who follow you. It's hard to understand why someone might follow you. Maybe they are into tech but they also have kids who read children's literature, as an example. So, be cautious about who you unfollow
gloriaoren: so on to keep up with what is happening in the field. But my WIP book is on adoption (my life as an adoptee, search and reunion) so I should be going after adoption triad members as well? GA
carolynhowardjohnson: Gloria, yes, basically. But if you write romance, your best audience may not be other authors. Your best audience may be people who just READ or who have mentioned romance. So if I were you, I' d be going after primarily adoption. next
carolynhowardjohnson: Though your point is well taken--to follow publishers, etc-- if you want to keep up with the industry.
Mustanger: I found a number of followers by doing a genre Search right through Twitter. Some follow, some don't. Should I unfollow those I have chosen to follow? unfollow those who don't choose to follow me?
carolynhowardjohnson: Yes, Mustang. (I have a poem on mustangs--the cars (-: , not the horses!) I do unfollow. You don't want your stats to be follower heavy. It looks to others like you aren't popular. (-:; There are millions of other fish to fry. So unfollow and follow others. next
Jo: Is there a way to time your Tweets?
carolynhowardjohnson: Let's talk other ways to engage people, too. We can come back to that afterward. Yes, Jo. Go to (now calleded socialoomph) so you can use it for more than tweets. I love it. Hint: Word each dated tweet differently or Twitter may block it as spam. Next
AbigailBeal: what would you suggest for a writer in several genres under the same Twitter name? how to follow and have people understand? or to follow well?
carolynhowardjohnson: Class! Try to have your questions ready to just hit the enter button when called upon. (-: You can tell I'm also a teacher (UCLA writers' program).
AbigailBeal: sorry mea culpa
carolynhowardjohnson: Abigail, yes. Different accounts for different genres. BTW, setting up a second account was tricky for me. You need a different e-mail address. next
carolynhowardjohnson: Abigrail, a couple are a bit slow, here. Rap you on the knuckles with a ruler. Ha! No problem. (-:
LindaM: Cindy is next.
Cindy: This may be a really stupid question, but what does one use to twitter? A phone? If so, then baically it's phone texting right? If not, can you explain
TameraKraft: I've been using the same account for everything. Should I DM those who follow me and let them know I'm going to have separate accounts? I do children's ministry and write, so I'm thinking I need one account for each.
TameraKraft: Whoops didn't mean to hit enter. Sorry.
carolynhowardjohnson: Cindy, not stupid. No stupid questions. Twitter can be used with a phone--text. But I just use my computer. I'm not phone techy! And yes, I wouldn't mix ministry with unrelated genres. There is a huge Christian community on Twitter. next...
Gypsea: Have any advice on what followers want to read from as yet unpublished authors of romance/paranormal? GA
carolynhowardjohnson: You could use DM to let people know. But you can also use general tweets. When I opened @frugalretailing I just let my @frugalbookpromo people know in general they could follow me there. I was surprised at how many decided to do that, too. Not even sure if they were all retailers. LOL.
carolynhowardjohnson: Gypsea...I think one way to do that is to start giving hints about other paranormal books. Maybe mini reviews. That way people who love paranormal (or some other genre) will be attracted AND you can talk about your own
KarenCV: My question was answered - different email address for 2nd twitter account
Cathy_Bryant: Is there a way to send an automatic thanks to people who follow? What should it say?
carolynhowardjohnson: To get people involved in your dialogue, use retweets...pick up interesting posts from others and retweet them using their twitter address. They are grateful and becomemore avid followers...
carolynhowardjohnson: Yes, Cathy. Be sure to avoid having your autofollow message appear too sales oriented. There is lots of DM spam going around. I think has a function for that. next
Mustanger: You may have already answered this - the words are all going by so fast - but how many times a day do you tweet for each account? Is once a day enough or should there be more ?
carolynhowardjohnson: A general ruler, mustanger, is to tweet about 10 times a day. The only time I do less than that is when I am on vacation or catching up. Caution here, though. CONTENT, not what we had for breakfast. If you want a personal account, make that separate...
carolynhowardjohnson: truly...I can't believe how many of my marketing-savvy writer friends are tweeting in "goodnight!" That could be saved for a direct message (DM). next
KarinaFabian: For Tweetbooks: start a new account? just have a short hash? (#bk)
liz_jones: ?You may have ans'd this, but how do we find the communities like 'Christian', etc.
carolynhowardjohnson: Karina, Hi! Not sure about the question. But I think you're referring to people who want to tweet books. I'm not sure they are all that effective. For one thing--like blogs, they get read backwards. I really think a better ploy is to make a blog using your protagonist--as if your protagonist is the tweeter and you're filling out the character with teases about what happens in your book... does that answer your question? Sort of? next
JoLinsdell: I've seen on blogs where there is a link to retweet the post. How do I get this gadget? (I use
carolynhowardjohnson: Liz, yes. it was a long answer. please go back to the transcript Linda is providing. Linda. how do they get that? next
Mindy: Is there a way on twitter to tweet audio messages to the followers instead of typing a 140 character message?
joanyedwards: How often should you tweet to keep interest up, but not be aggravating? \JYE
JoLinsdell: My question?
carolynhowardjohnson: Oh, yes. Jo. I can't remember the name of that application. Only used it once! LOL But yes, and you can also get one with a cute little bird that says "follow me." You'll find it on my blog at the end of each blog
carolynhowardjohnson: Joany..if your posts are full of ideas and content, you won't get too aggravating. Space them a bit, though. 10 is a good guideline.
carolynhowardjohnson: Mmmm. not sure about audio messages, Mindy. That would be a good conversation starter. As I say, tweeters tend to love to help others learn to tweet. I don't think so, though. Some 3,000 applications for Twitter and growing every day so one could have been introduced yesterday! LOL next
joanyedwards: Is that 10 a day?
carolynhowardjohnson: Joany, yes, 10 a day. (-:
LindaM: ChrisChat is next. Last question. Sorry if we couldn't get to everyone's question.
ChrisChat: simple probably,noticed followers who seem more spam/vol sex ads, blocking them so they don't show as followers-check who you don't want following you?
carolynhowardjohnson: Don't forget that Twitter is not a one way conversation. Try to keep it open instead of exclusive, too. You never know why someone chooses to follow you. To unfollow because you don't like their politics is kinda silly. THEY may like YOUR book!
LindaM: Just email Carolyn after this session to find out more about this great deal. She can also help you set up an online promotion campaign--she can help you a lot in a 1-hour consultation.
carolynhowardjohnson: Oh, what a sweetie. Find me a
DonnaMcDine: Carolyn: You Rock!
I also do one hour consults. But it's TRULY cheaper to buy my books.
KarinaFabian: for Carolyn for Linda. Great chat!
Mustanger: Fantastic stuff. I'll definitely be visiting your sites!
Franny_Armstrong: Thank you Carolyn and Linda. I appreciate your time and knowledge.
carolynhowardjohnson: Thanks to all of you for coming. Linda, how do they get the transcript?
Kate: Thank you ~ I learned so much ^_^
LoriLea: Wow. I have a lot to learn! Thanks.
Lea, thank you for this opportunity. How I love our Muse conference.
Mustanger: How to get the transcript?
Julia: I'll post transcript later in the forum.
carolynhowardjohnson: Linda Morelli, romantic author extraodinaire, thank you. I'm leaving to make room for the next group. Love you all!
Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and two how to books for writers, The Frugal Book Promoter: How To Do What Your Publisher Won't and The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success. Her FRUGAL book for retailers is A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. She is also the author of the Amazon Short, "The Great First Impression Book Proposal". Some of her other blogs are, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor blog.

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