My officemates think I’m nuts. For the past few months, I’ve been (to greater or lesser degrees) addicted to Twitter. For those of you not in the know, Twitter is a microblogging site that allows users to post 140-character messages (the same length as a text message) for others to read. It’s pretty simple. I’m not the most prolific tweeter. Others are much more dedicated to posting. And, it’s those people who make Twitter such an important part of my day.
As my life become more hectic, I find it harder to stay on top of fast-breaking news. With all the reading and emailing, I find that I’m only visiting my RSS reader and favorite news sites a couple of times a day. But Twitter is always open, and the people I follow are always posting interesting things, like links to news articles or new blogs. More importantly, I found out more breaking news on the Mumbai attacks and the US Airways accident on Twitter than anywhere else – including an amazing photo of the plane rescue unfolding from Janis Krums, who took a picture with his iPhone (another obsession of mine, but I digress). While there can be a lot bad information to wade through, it’s worth it for me to have up-to-the-second reporting on current events.
It’s also a great, fun way to network with other publishing folk. When I was looking for a writer for a project, I sent out a message to the Twitterverse, and my authors and even other agents re-tweeted my original message. I wound up with several leads in just a few minutes. Even a self-professed Twitter-geek like myself was impressed. I also have fun learning what my authors are up to, whether it’s revising their novel or writing 140-character movie reviews. And, I like being able to share with my followers (that’s what they’re called – I’m not that narcissistic!) what I’m up to and thinking about, whether it’s the Time article on the future of publishing (so right, but also so wrong) or my bran muffin obsession. (I’m noticing an obsession trend here.) It’s a fast and easy way to keep in touch, and I recommend that authors at least give it a shot. It can be a great way to reach out to other authors, publishing folk and even fans.
You can find me at http://twitter.com/michaelbourret. But I’m not the only agent or publishing pro on Twitter. Editor Unleashed has a good, but not definitive, list here. Many of our clients are on Twitter, and it would be great if they would add their info in the comments.
And if you join, be sure to send me a Tweet!