Monty Python’s Upper Class Twit of the Year
I’ve been using Twitter for around a year now. Before opening my account I was a bit sniffy about it. I didn’t see the point. I didn’t see how it was different to a facebook status update (except shorter). It seemed a lot like shouting at strangers. But eventually I thought I’d give it a go anyway.
Although I soon realised that it works quite differently to facebook, and puts you in contact with a whole other bunch of people, for the most part it fulfilled the role I had expected. Namely, it gobbles up hours of my time in fairly useless browsing around, humourous links, daft pictures of cats, etc.
And don’t even get me started on the few twits I follow who drown everyone eles’s tweets in gallons of spammy bleh. Why don’t I un-follow them? Cuz every now and then they post something really useful! Also, such people generally seem to have around 20,000 followers, which makes me think, maybe they’re doing it right? Maybe it’s me who’s doing it wrong..?
Despite these frustrations, every now and again, Twitter really proves its worth.
Back in February, a convoluted trail of retweets led to my bf texting me at work (I only had a regular kind of mobile phone at the time), “Call this phone number NOW and be on the radio!” Ten minutes later I was chatting live on BBC Radio Three Counties to Ronnie Barbour about Darklands – which directly led to a spike in sales.
Last week, Ian Skye of BBC Radio Derby found me on Twitter and invited me onto his mid-morning show to talk about writing. The next day I went into the studio along with Tony Spencer, another Derby author and raconteur. We were live in the studio for almost an hour, chatting about writing, self-publishing and other topics between songs, weather and the usual radio stuff.
Having three in the conversation made it a far less daunting or nerve racking experience than my previous radio outings, and Ian was great at putting us both at our ease.
It’s too early to say yet whether I’ll see a similar sales spike from this radio outing. But these were both great promotional opportunities, which came about purely through Twitter. Hoewever, I’ve been having far less success with other areas of Twitter recently.
Since I did pretty well selling paperbacks at Celebrating Cromford, I want to visit some christmas fairs and markets over the next two months to sell Darklands. I’m not at all sure how successful it will be, so it seems a good idea to share the costs and efforts by joining forces with another seller.
I’ve been using Twitter to try and network with likely comrades for the past couple of weeks. I tagged local arts organisations and recieved plenty of retweets – but I didn’t make a single contact for stall sharing.
Having met Tony Spencer at Radio Derby, we’re now planning to join forces to sell at christmas fairs – which not only makes it less of a gamble financially, but if no one comes to our stall, at least I’ll have someone to regale me with tales of horse surgery, motorbike racing, emigrating to France, and all the other stuff he has up his sleeves (seriously, listen to the interview. The guy’s a goldmine of anecdotes!)
You can still hear the show on iPlayer, until Thursday 18 October. We’re introduced about 14 mins in. Ian talks to Tony first, and then more to me later on. I haven’t listened back to it myself yet. I suppose I should, but I find it quite excruciating listening to myself talk