Braving Twitterland

Dear tweeting reader,

For years I wore a badge of honor – no social networking for me. I didn’t care how hard anyone, whether it be agent, editor, publisher, or friend, pushed me, I would resist. I would not become one of THOSE  people.

Funny thing, no one pushed. So then, like a reluctant toddler with a strange meal in front of her, I got curious. I started poking around on Facebook and Twitter. “Well, maybe I’ll just try it for a bit,” I thought. “But if I hate it, I’m quitting. No one can make me eat this if I hate it.”

So here I am. Tweeting. Blogging. Facebooking. And I have to say, it’s a lot of fun. But of all the new avenues I’m exploring, Twitter is by far the most surprising and weirdest. You’re limited to 140 characters, so it’s like a social networking haiku. And there are thousands upon thousands of possible listeners and speakers.

I started tossing one-liners out into the fray, not entirely sure who might be listening. I began following a few people, a few people signed up to follow me. Before I knew it I had a little community that includes me, my editor, my publisher, some fantastic writers, a few old friends, my mom, and a brown bear in Denali.

Some of my favorite comments are funny. DenaliBear tweets about his life on the tundra, at least I think it’s a “he.”

Denali Bear — Two inches of snow in the park today. Maybe I should go back to bed till next summer. 11 May

And I also follow Conan O’Brien on Twitter, since I don’t have television reception.

Conan O’Brien — Borders books filed for bankruptcy. How do you sleep at night, Angry Birds?

Twitter is also a great way to find out what other writers are reading, including Alaska’s own Don Rearden.

Don Rearden @nprbooks Favorite short stories? I’m a big fan of Jack London’s “To Build a Fire” and Tim O’Brien’s “The Things they Carried”

But there is a surprising, heartwarming aspect to Twitter that I didn’t expect. Fellow authors are encouraging me, and I have a chance to speak out for authors I’m enjoying.

Urrealism Luis Urrea — Missing my newspaper days while finishing up @petehamillnyc’s Tabloid City. Also loving @EowynIvey’s The Snow Child. #beaprep #fridayreads

Eowyn Ivey — Ditto @Urrealism Tabloid City @petehamillnyc made me miss my news days, too. Now at end of Queen of America — fantastic story! #fridayreads

And in some small way I feel closer to the crew at Little, Brown & Co., my publisher.

Little, Brown and Co — Team Little, Brown: Amanda made awesome PB/chocolate/cornflake/peanut brownie treats. They’re in her cube, while they last. #lbeditor

Eowyn Ivey– @littlebrown Hmm. It would go so well with my coffee. But I suppose 3,000 miles from AK to NYC too far for to go for awesome brownie treats.

Amanda T — @EowynIvey Don’t worry, I’ll have a secret stash of baked goods for you at BEA.

One of the reasons I resisted social networking is because I didn’t want to do the hard sell. I didn’t want to be out there pushing my wares like a street vendor with a trench coat. “Pssst. I’ve got some books over here. Cheap books. Come on, take a look.”

But I see that I can come at it from a different angle. It can be about supporting other authors, cheering on other people, making new friends, and sharing a few laughs along the way.

Logging out,



  • Sue Mathis says:

    Like you, Eowyn, I resisted the social networking for a long time. After opening the store, Lydia pushed me to do a Facebook page for it and had to do a personal page as well. And like you, I’m having fun with it. Reconnecting with some very long lost friends has been great. The Twitter thing though…

  • Jeff Abbott says:

    Eowyn: I’m also a Hachette author and approached Twitter with a bit of uncertainty (I did not want to be pushing my wares, as you said); but I enjoy that it serves as a news feed for me. I have a list of authors and a list of book people on my main Twitter page if you’re looking for more authors or publishing people to follow. They offer a steady stream of links and insights I don’t think I would find without Twitter (which can be a distraction, too, so I try and ration my time there). Good luck with your book!

  • Talei Loto says:

    Twitter does seem overwhelming at first but once you’re in, – you’re IN! It’s fun, you find other supportive writers, and it’s very informative! Social networking, its pretty much normal these days. Yes, I am addicted, can you tell? 😉

  • I resisted Twitter, too, and only signed up to “save” my name…I say this as I’m approaching my 2,000th Tweet.

    Twitter is a must for BEA!

  • Eowyn Ivey says:

    Wonderful to hear from some fellow authors! If your comments are any indication, this may be only the beginning for me in Twitterland. Thanks for reading! And Sue — you might just give it a try … 🙂