I was asked earlier today why I retweeted one review of Snowbound With The CEO, but not another. The last thing I want to do is hurt anybody’s feelings because a reader enjoying a book enough to talk about it is one of the greatest compliments an author can receive. So here’s my personal policy for Twitter (written out so I can link to it in the future).
First, these are my personal guidelines for myself. Everybody can tweet however they want because I’m not the boss of everybody. And, second, most of these personal guidelines came to be because of an experience I had on the other end of the stick. Also, sometimes I miss things. Twitter’s fast moving and tweets are easy to miss, especially if I’m scrolling on my phone.
My personal rule of thumb is that if you at-reply me, you’re talking to me. If you don’t, you’re talking about me.
“I read Snowbound With The CEO by @shannonstacey last night.” <---talking to me, or at the very least making sure I see the tweet, which invites me into the conversation.
“I read Snowbound With The CEO by Shannon Stacey last night.” <---talking about me and I’m not injecting myself into the conversation.
I don’t put myself into conversations like the second, either by replying or retweeting. The exception would be, for instance, if Harlequin tweeted about me/my book without using my Twitter @name, but for general conversation, that’s my rule. I don’t have my name or my title as a saved search for two reasons. One, my writing space isn’t big enough for everybody. And two, readers are free to talk about my books without me jumping on them.
I once mentioned buying a book on Twitter and within minutes the author was telling me how much I was going to love it. I felt like she was looking over my shoulder and it was awkward, so I try not to do that to others.
That guideline applies even if I follow the person and that person knows I’ll see it. If you use @shannonstacey, you’re talking to me. If you don’t, you’re talking to somebody else about me.
And since I’m yapping about my personal Twitter policy, here’s a BIG one I’m careful about because I’ve had this done to me and I seriously hate it:
If I’m having a conversation about somebody, I don’t insert their @twittername or a hashtag if the others aren’t using it. For example…
Person A: “I read Wild & Wacky Romance by Abigail Author last night and totally hated it.”
Person B: Ohmigod, how could you hate Wild & Wacky Romance? @abigailauthor is my favorite author EVER!”
This would be like hanging out with a group at a party, talking about how awful Sally Snowflake’s new haircut is…when suddenly one of the group goes and drags Sally Snowflake over by the arm. “We’re talking about how awful your hair looks. Join in!”
Person A: “I think Hot New Show is stupid. I don’t get it at all.”
Person B: “Ohmigod, #HotNewShow is awesome! I think @thewriter and @theactor are so awesome!”
This not only drags people into reading negative comments about themselves and makes Person A uncomfortable, but also invites the hashtag-following fandom to rain down on Person A’s head.
I know how Twitter works. If I wanted to use the @twittername or a hashtag, I would have. It’s extraordinarily uncomfortable to have somebody do this to you, so I never do it to others.