You have received this guide because you have been invited to be a guest in the Alliance of Independent Authors Twitter chat #indieAuthorChat. This guide tells you how to use Twitter during the chat and what the dos and don’t of the chat are.
To take part in the chat, ideally you should be on a desktop computer/laptop and be able to access Tweetdeck.com. You can run it on a tablet, but I don’t recommend it.
Here’s a brief video on how to use Tweetdeck.com to take part in a chat:
To sum up, you need to add a new Column to Tweetchat that searches on “#indieAuthorChat” – you then can monitor all the tweets using it in that column. Note that even if you reply to a tweet in this column you still need to ensure you add #indieAuthorChat to the tweet.
One of the biggest mistakes people make on Twitter chats is to forget to add the hashtag to their posts. The normal way to ensure this is to have in most cases #indieAuthorChat available to paste in to your tweets.
Now as a guest, things are more complicated than being a usual Twitter chat attendee, as you most likely want to have your answers pre-written so that you can just cut and paste them in at the right time (or you can schedule them, though be careful with this – see below).
I would suggest that you answer the questions by replying to the question tweets. So for example:
With this tweet, you would hit reply and then paste in your pre-prepared answer, like I did:
A5: The two major challenges for self-publishers are in my opinion, getting the book written in the first place and then working out how to get their book to sell in reasonable quantities. #indieAuthorChat— Tim Lewis @ Stoneham Press (@StonehamPress) April 23, 2019
Now I had this tweet pre-written in a text file (though you could use Excel or Word or OneNote/EverNote) and I pasted it in and replied to my question tweet. Remember to include A followed by the question number and then your answer and #indieAuthorChat at the end, like the following:
A5: The two major challenges for self-publishers are in my opinion, getting the book written in the first place and then working out how to get their book to sell in reasonable quantities. #indieAuthorChat
My reasons for suggesting you reply to the question tweet is that it means that your normal followers on Twitter won’t see all your answers in their tweet stream, If you don’t engage in Twitter chats much, then you don’t want to overload your existing followers with tweets – they won’t see replies by default.
So, to prepare for the chat, create a document with your answer tweet replying to the Questions I will provide you with before the chat and have that ready when the chat happened.
I would also suggest having two other things in that file – have #indieAuthorChat on a line on it’s own and also a line with a welcome tweet, such as “Hello everyone, this week I’m the guest on #indieAuthorChat”.
The reason for this is that for general replies it’s quite good to be able to just cut and paste #indieAuthorChat on the end of the tweet.
For the welcome tweet, this is to ensure that you know the process of cutting and pasting tweets in the chat (e.g you find out something is broken at the start of the chat rather than after the first answer).
- – Revision – you might find it easier to use a text replacement program like AutoHotKey, PhraseExpress or TextExpander to store your answers and the #indieAuthorChat hashtag than a text file. This is what I use now, but it can take a while to set it up.
#IndieAuthorChat specific rules
There are some specific rules to being a #indieAuthorChat guest. If you are an ALLi partner member then you can happily mention and advertise your services in your answers/tweets.
If you aren’t an ALLi Partner member, then please don’t mention anything about any services you provide. You can of course mention any books you are an author of, but limit yourself to promoting your books, not any services you may also provide.
If you are interested in becoming an ALLi Partner member you can join here – https://allianceindependentauthors.org/?affid=3370 – you will undergo a screening process to ensure you are an “approved” service process.
General common sense rules apply:
- Be polite to people. Just ignore people who are offensive.
- Try to keep answers relevant to the topic and the question asked.
- Do reply and interact with people outside the questions – but also ensure you do answer the questions in a timely manner. It’s very easy to get caught up in things.
- Feel free to have fun.