— Waking Up & Finally Learning How to Use Twitter – Important Twitter Dates for Picture Book Writers and Ilustrators

When I began painting and writing, hardly anyone had a computer, and the social media revolution came long after that.

In light of the fact that I still do 99.99% of my art by hand and not via the computer, I am a dinosaur artist, too. About ten years ago, I lacked only one class to have finished a master’s degree in Information Technology, but that study only began to bridge the gap between my generation and the rampant trends in social media. To say the least, learning to use social media has been a challenge for me, and I didn’t even begin to try to understand Twitter until this past week.

This past week, I stumbled into a Twitter campaign for marginalized writers and artists, and although I performed several Twitter faux pas in doing so, I jumped into the campaign wholeheartedly. Even though I’m no spring chicken, I picked up some rules and tips fairly quickly, and I thought that I’d share a bit of what I learned:

Twitter Really Is An Important Source for People Who Are Trying to Build A Platform

When I was in graduate school for information technology, I was assigned the task of creating a Twitter Account, and it appears that I have been an active Tweeter for ten years. But that is not the case. A couple of my blog and Facebook activity posts automatically to Twitter, but I venture to say that I have done very little tweeting personally. It seemed that my efforts weren’t going anywhere when I tried, but that is before I learned the importance of using hashtags.

 

Jacki Kellum’s Twitter Handle @jackikellum

You Must Use Hashtags on Twitter

Before last week, I had tried using twitter hashtags a couple of times, but I felt conspicuously stupid doing so. In fact, I felt like I was in a foreign marketplace and everyone else knew some unrecognizable language and were talking in code about me. Because I was overwhelmed by what I didn’t understand about hashtags, I simply bowed out of that effort. But on the afternoon of April 23, 2019, I luckily noticed that there was a Twitter flurry among some writing professionals that I had met, and those who were caught up in the frenzy were using the Twitter hashtag #DVPit

I performed a Google search and discovered that this event was exclusively for marginalized writers and artists, and I am about as marginalized as it gets. For instance, I am almost 70-years-old, and I only began seeking publication a couple of weeks ago. I am also create my art by hand and not by computer. I could continue adding all of the ways that I am marginalized, but suffice it to say that  I jumped into this event, with both guns blazing.

RULES for #DVPit Twitter Event

Unfortunately, in hastily joining this Twitter event, I broke a few rules. My most flagrant mistake was that as far as posting, I was pulling the trigger as fast as I could. Other participants quickly corrected me, saying that I could only post, using the #DVpit Twitter tag once per hour, and I immediately slowed down. It was a mistake, but it was not a fatal mistake. I am glad that I opted to do the best that I could and jump in with what I knew, until I knew better.

TWITTER ANALYTICS REVEAL HOW #DVPit ELEVATED MY  AUTHOR-ILLUSTRATOR PLATFORM

The following image shows that before the 2019 #DVPit, I averaged 1.4 K Twitter Impressions per Month

The Following Two Images Show That During #DVPit and Also the Day Afterward, I Received Over 3,000 Impressions per Day

GOOGLE OFTEN for TWITTER EVENTS RELATED to YOUR INTEREST

My most tragic mistake resulted from the fact that I did not know that this twitter event was coming down the pike, and the day that I most needed to pitch, the children’s book pitch day, was April 23. That day was half over before I jumped into the pool.

Shout Out: Twitter Events for Picture Book Writers and Illustrators

I googled for information about any other Twitter events in 2019 that were created for writers and illustrators, and I discovered PitchWars

Because of the list of participating agents, I am wondering if this Event does not include picture book agents.

Agents Participating in Pitch Wars

IMPORTANT DATES for PitchWars 2019

June 24 – Mentor Applications Open
July 8 – Mentor Applications Close
August 12 – Mentors Announced
September 11-25 – Mentor Wishlists Posted
September 25-27 – Submissions Open
November 3 – Mentees Announced
February 5-10 – Agent Showcase

PitchWars only happens one time each year, but the same organization also sponsors PitMad, which happens quarterly.

#PitMad is a pitch party on Twitter where writers tweet a 280-character pitch for their completed, polished, unpublished manuscripts. Agents and editors make requests by liking/favoriting the tweeted pitch.
Every unagented writer is welcome to pitch. All genres/categories are welcomed.
#PitMad occurs quarterly. Upcoming dates are:
June 6, 2019 (8AM – 8PM EDT)
September 5, 2019 (8AM – 8PM EDT)
December 5, 2019 (8AM – 8PM EST) PitMad

Learning how to leverage Twitter has been a bit of a learning curve for me, but it is not a hill too high to climb for anyone. As with everything else, there are plenty of tutorials and blog posts on the internet to bring yourself up to speed.

It is important to note that Twitter’s influence doesn’t stop with what happens on your Twitter site. The following is my Statistics Report on my blog site today: Immediately after I participated in the Twitter event, my blog site’s statistics shop up, too, and that is probably the best report of all.

 

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