30 January, 2011


I have to confess, until recently, I didn’t quite understand what all this fuss about Twitter was.  I felt I had to tell authors to do it because I knew that publishers consider it to be a critical part of their platform and a key to marketing their books when the time comes. So I told my authors: you have to tweet.

In the meantime, my colleague Jacquie Flynn, best known as @BookJacquie, kept bugging me.  So about six months ago, I bit the dust and decided to join the fun.  Periodically, I’d get emails from Jacquie gently but firmly coaching me.  For example, one thread of my tweets has been “insider” publishing tips, about what agents look for, how to prepare your proposed project for submission, how to approach and interact with an agent, platform-building, etc.  Jacquie suggested I add a hashtag, #pub tip, to these particular tweets.  I knew she wasn’t referring to something I could smoke, but good girl that I am, I added the hashtag to my puttips.

Twitter is great for sending out quick bulletins of agency news.  I started tweeting about great reviews our books got, author events, fun facts about our books, and retweeting some of the tweets from our authors.

Soon, I found a wonderful community of like-minded people—writers, editors, agents, book enthusiasts—and with the passage of time, I began to feel as if I knew some of them and even liked them a lot.  Bethane Patrick, @thebookmaven, is awesome, a savvy and hilarious writer who is such fun to follow, and I so look forward now to her #fridayreads, in which readers and writers share what they are reading each Friday. @history-geek is right up my alley, as well.

Now I follow many publishing houses, learning about their latest releases, triumphs and challenges, and the news media, which appeals to my news junkie side.  I watch over my authors, such as the brilliant Dr. Michele Borba, Parenting expert for Today, whose constant wisdom helps us to raise more empathic and healthier children, Dr. Thomas Armstrong, who put the term “neurodiversity” on the map, pointing to the hidden gifts of autism, ADHD and other so-called mental “disorder,.” and Margaret Heffernan, former CEO and BBC producer, whose WILLFUL BLINDNESS, which deals with why we sometimes refuse to see what is right in front of us, and what it means, releases on March 15 from Bloomsbury.

We’re adding a “live’ twitter feed to our website, and folks, I’m on a roll. So join in the party, and follow me @jldelbourgo.  Let me know how I’m doing and what you’d like to know.

–Joelle Delbourgo