Did I get your attention in less than 140 characters? I hope so. My title is exactly 108 characters, well within the limits of a tweet.
Now that I have your attention, let me qualify my statement. I’m a fan of Twitter, despite its shortcomings, of which I’ve written about in a previous post here. Has it really helped improve my sex life? Yes, but only in the world of my writing.
Let me explain by talking about Twitter hashtags, specifically:
(1) What are hashtags?
(2) How one particular hashtag has helped sell my book
(3) How this hashtag has improved my writing about sex
If you’ve been on Twitter, you’ve seen this symbol. It’s included in front of a word or acronym. By adding (#), you have denoted it as a “hashtag.”
A hashtag groups tweets together on a particular subject and a link is automatically created. When you click on the link you will see the latest tweets containing that hashtag, making them easier to find. You can also do a search for a specific subject of interest by inputting a hashtag in the SEARCH field.
Hashtags are user generated, so it’s sometimes difficult to find the origin or reason for it. As a writer, I only use a few, but if you’re interested in what some of them mean, visit http://hashtags.org/
#Novelines was a hashtag created by friend and author, Al Boudreau (Follow him on Twitter as @threecifer). Here are a couple of tweets he sent out explaining this hashtag.
#Novelines has made author’s writing more accessible to potential readers.
The words “promotion” and “fun” seemed mutually exclusive until #Novelines changed the way authors present their books.
So, how does it work? Here’s an explanation of it to my followers:
Have a A+ line from yr book? Link 2 your sale site & add #Novelines to tweet potential buyers. TX to @threecifer 4 this ingenious hashtag
Below are a couple of my tweets using #Novelines. I write erotica, so these two lines are the tamer ones.
“She made sure no part of him escaped her fiery tongue.” FALL INTO WINTER http://www.edenbaylee.com/books.html #Novelines
“She yielded to him, feeling his heat as her breasts crushed up against him.” FALL INTO WINTER http://www.edenbaylee.com/books.html #Novelines
The idea is to take a great line from your book (or work in progress) and expose it to your followers. Include a link to your website or sale site, and you’ve essentially provided a “mini excerpt” to whet the appetite of readers.
From personal experience, this hashtag has given me great feedback on my writing and helped me gain new followers. From conversations generated out of these tweets, I’ve seen the sale of my book go up.
In trying to find about 20 lines from my book that I considered enticing, but not too explicit for the Twitter audience, I confirmed something about my writing. I write long sex scenes, and sometimes longer sexual dialogue—certainly more than what would fit in a tweet!
I realized that specific words could be cut out and would not compromise the integrity of the story, but in actuality, would improve it. It’s a difficult balance to write sex with enough to stimulate the reader’s imagination but not too much so it reads like a “how-to sex manual.” This is a lesson I’ve learned for writing all sex scenes, as I truly believe that “less is more.”
I’d like to thank Al Boudreau for his relentless drive to help authors promote themselves, and in this case, for helping me improve my sex life too … if only in my stories. 😉