Not too long ago an O'Reilly author, Scott Berkun in fact, asked me if he should join Twitter now. Or, he wondered, should he wait until his next book lands in bookstores before jumping on the Twitter train. He writes in fits and starts, Berkun noted, without the added burdensome interruption of yet another medium.
Sure, Twitter distracts me every day. (That I function in my PR job at all despite the multiple daily distractions I face is a wonder...but that's another story). Yet Twitter offers a free, addictively easy way for authors to communicate with their audience and build their platforms.
Here at O'Reilly we're Twitter converts. Not that we've given up our Facebooking, blogging, emailing, and press releasing, but we're twittering, too. We encourage all our authors to join and participate in Twitter. And, at Tim O'Reilly's suggestion, we've also created a new Twitter group account just for O'Reilly authors. You can view it here--http://twitter.com/oreillyauthors--and find out what some of our authors are up to.
Here's how it works. O'Reilly authors follow the oreillyauthors Twitter group (and we follow them back). That way authors can easily send their tweets through this group account. All they have to do is send oreillyauthors a direct message when they want to share something. For example: "D oreillyauthors your message here." We're using GroupTweet (http://grouptweet.com) to automatically post the direct messages. Sometimes there is a bit of a delay. So O'Reilly authors please be patient if you don't see your message showing up right away.
Or, if you're like me, not an O'Reilly author but a fan who's interested in what this literary tech crew is up to, you can follow oreillyauthors and find out what they're twittering. We're hoping our new oreillyauthors Twitter group will be a great way for us to keep track of the cool things our authors are doing. And we intend to share those things with a larger audience.
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