Authors using Twitter as their main storytelling platform

This year Twitter will run the #TwitterFiction Festival. It's a chance to use Twitter and Vine to tell stories and engage with readers. Some writers will land a role as  Featured Storyteller and benefit hugely from the audiences that follow.

The project is being backed by Penguin Random House and the Association of American Publishers. It runs internationally.

The Festival was launched in a blog post by Andrew Fitzgerald, who works at Twitter and with news organisations, journalists and authors. Andrew is an author and participated in an interview at Geek Native. I tucked in a few Zebra Eclipse-specific questions at the end of the geeky-book interview.

How do publishers tend to use Twitter?

For publishers, Twitter is a great way to find communities of readers on their interests.

The book industry has embraced Twitter to bring fans of literature closer to novels and the people who write them. From Alexander McCall Smith’s Tiny Tweets short story to the team behind the Man Booker prize (@ManBookerPrize) announcing their 2013 shortlist on Vine, we have seen many creative uses of the platform by the people who write and publish books.

To what extent does Twitter enable some authors to bypass traditional publishers altogether?

I think the two operate relatively symbiotically. Twitter empowers authors to connect directly with their readers in public and in real-time, and we've seen many very talented authors use that so effectively to build a following for their work. But equally traditional publishers are using their influence and reach on the platform to help authors reach new audiences.

Have platforms like Twitter effectively made us all publishers now?

Twitter certainly enables writers to find an audience for their work. We're particularly excited to see authors using Twitter as a primary platform for telling stories as well. I'm personally a very big fan of the novel, though, and I suspect that format's not going anywhere anytime soon.

Please note that this blog post was published on Zebra Eclipse in 2014 but relocated here in 2023. 

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