How to build an email list- Finding the Followers You Want and Need on Twitter


They say Twitter is the author capital of the world. Not really, but Twitter really is the place for Authors and Readers. Without hesitation, let’s just jump right in and start building followers.

  1. First, make a list of authors whose writing style and genre are similar to your own. Think about when your WIP is published; which authors would you want to endorse your book with a back-cover blurb? Brainstorm and try to come up with a list of 5-10 authors.
  2. If you can’t think of any off the top of your head, go to amazon and do a quick search for your WIP’s genre, and look at the top 100 bestselling books. Any names you recognize? Better yet, any authors you’ve read?  Great, add them to your list.
  3. Next, go to Twitter and search for those authors. What are they tweeting? What are they commenting on? Which of their tweets have the most engagements? Now, how many followers do they have? See where I’m going with this? Keep reading.

lt anderson, authorsLook at the people who are following the authors on your list. Ultimately, you’ll want to follow those author’s followers. There are a couple of ways you can go about determining who to follow:

You can go balls-out and follow EVERYONE, but that might be slightly frowned upon by Twitter and may get your account suspended.

You can follow the first 20-40 followers at the top of the list and leave it at that. You never know, random selection works well for some people.

Or, you can use our approach which requires a lot more time, effort and thought, but works.

Here’s what we do:

Ratios- We follow people who have a 10:1 following-to-follower ratio, or better. Why? Because people who are following more than they have followers tend to be more easy going when it comes to reciprocating. These are the people that are actively engaging and trying to work the system to get out there and be a part of the social community.

Original Content- We tend to follow people who post mostly positive, humorous or informational original content. It makes it more enjoyable for us to not only scroll through their feed, but positive, humorous and informational tweets make it easier to engage with that person by liking, commenting or retweeting. Original content can also give you an idea or two for a future website or blog post.

Retweets- We just mentioned how we like people that post original content. That’s true, but we also like people that retweet. This is a great asset in a potential follower, because if they retweet other people, they might just retweet you. That one retweet can take your original tweet from an engagement of 500 people to an engagement of 5,000 or 50,000 people. All you need is one retweet to get the ball rolling.

Shout outs and Praises- This is huge. This is something we love to see, and you should too. One thing every author should understand is by shouting out, recognizing, praising another author, you’re doing both of you a favor.

Here’s an example: If we retweet Craig Wesley Wall, while giving him a @CraigWesleyWall shout out, we’ve just reached all of our followers. If Craig Wesley Wall likes, comments on, or retweets our retweet, now we’ve reached not only all our followers, but all of Craig Wesley Wall’s 1000+ followers as well. See?

If a person has all these factors, we follow them. So now what?

Now you have to be social.

This is where some people might drop off. Yes, you have to be social on social media. Following new people will boost your followers. However, if you leave it at that and only follow but don’t actively engage afterwards, you’re going to lose your followers. You have to engage them.

Engaging followers is simple. A simple like, retweet, comment, original tweet, they all work wonders. Just make sure you’re not flooding your new followers with too many engagements.

We tend to stick to a one engagement per 15-minute rule. After 15 minutes, your previous engagement is buried somewhere in the Twitter-verse, which is very deep.

The easiest way we’ve found to keep this momentum going to by setting a schedule. If you love working social media, you shouldn’t have an issue. If you’re like us, and social media is what you consider “work”, a schedule might be the way to go.

Monday – Friday is our “engagement” time. We like, tweet, retweet, comment, etc. typically only at night since we both work full-time jobs.

Saturday’s are when we look for new followers. We try to follow 10-20 new people while continuing to engage our current followers.

Sunday, we review our followers from the previous Saturday. If someone hasn’t engaged us with a comment, like, retweet, etc. we unfollow them. Yes, you will have to unfollow people that don’t follow you back. Don’t worry though. You’re not losing anything. If after a week someone isn’t following you, odds are they’re not going to. This isn’t always 100%, but it’s a good rule of thumb. Plus, we don’t hold it against them – they have their thing and we have ours. No hard feelings.

Then, just like your shampoo bottle says, Rinse, Lather and Repeat. Every week. Give this plan a good solid try, and let us know how it’s working for you. Give us a shout out in the comments below, and be sure to sign up for our email list for next week’s article on How to build an email list- Finding Your Future Readers on Other Author Websites.

Editing Babeesty


Sometimes editing is a bitch. Damn! Even at this late stage in the game we’re finding issues with continuity and spelling.

About spelling: Watch out for ‘global search and replace’. I think we really did have all the spelling issues covered. We’re good spellers, so all the spelling errors we found were either fat-fingering or light-fingering. Then I just had to go and do a ‘global search and replace’ on a specific word I didn’t like. While reading through what I thought would be one of the last – if not the last – edits, I come across the word “babeesty”. So I’m going, What the heck did we mean by that? Never mind the details, it was irritating. It’s bad enough to catch accidental mishaps. But the self-inflicted errors are trying my patience.

About continuity: A character is last heard from at a particular location. Two chapters later, the same player appears 370 miles away with no mention of how she got there. It would have been optional rather than mandatory, to just have the player in the new location, because that kind of thing happens all the time. The reason we thought this might be an issue is because the events in the three chapters at issue were taking place concurrently. We had to insert a short scene to justify this player’s presence elsewhere within the three-to-four-hour timespan. It actually worked out neatly. We like the addition.

I read a critique online where a reader said, “Gosh, didn’t you even edit this?” We don’t want to come off with, “Thank you for reading our book with typos and continuity errors. We’re hoping you don’t notice, because we didn’t.”

So back to work. You know what they say about babeesty!

Chapter Chat

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chapter chat

There came a time when we took a look at what we had named our chapters. The book-writing software we used made it easy to keep things organized. Looking back, it seems we may have taken for granted how easy it was to create new chapters, and create new scenes within the chapters. It was so easy in fact, we found our 89,000-word book had sixty-three chapters. What?! How’d that happen?

This became one of the editing phases of the book, just like finding problem words, or renaming our players. We had to ask ourselves if the story needed so many chapters. After trying to keep our thoughts organized, and trying so hard to keep the story itself organized, sixty-three chapters gave the book a feeling of disorganization. Wow, that’s the opposite of what we thought was happening.

We discussed the issue. We were split. Sixty-three chapters seemed high, but if it made sense, why not? As long as each chapter stood on its own and was relevant to the flow, okay. We also talked about how having fewer chapters might be less distracting to the reader. Ultimately, we trimmed the number to twenty-three chapters, with five additional no-name mini chapters that were phone calls between players. It actually tightened things up, and tight is good in this case.

In the end, we rolled Chapter Forty-one, “Drew and Sydney Go to Visit the Punks and Try to Convince Them to Help Find Out About the Disappearances”, into a scene within Chapter Fifteen, “Two Joeys”. Sounds about right.



Problem Words?

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Bad word

As, ly, ing, turned, glanced, muttered, suddenly, looked, then.

Bad, bad, BAD!

It’s amazing how many problem words can creep into a super-awesome story.

I asked, “Do you want to tighten things up?”

“Of course,” they say.

“Then stop resisting. Resistance is futile.” (Did I just say ‘then’?)

It all depends on how a word is used, and how often. You don’t have to swear off certain words – except words like ‘turd’. I don’t like ‘turd’. But make every word count. And don’t overuse any word. It gets boring and sometimes seems lazy.

We did a word count and I won this one. Tone down the “looked”s, the “glanced”s, the “then”s. And the “as”s! Holy cow, enough “AS”s already!

We’re getting there! Tighten, tighten, tighten! And then tighten some more.