Twitter may prove indispensable for collecting new first edition signed books these days. An aspiring author can sacrifice hours hunched over their keyboard and they often take breaks to “microblog” on the popular social media website.
Just as with regular blogs, they share everything from the consistency of their gnocchi to what they just said in traffic. But for a book collector, the inane babble provides valuable insights into the personality, writing, and business practices of thousands of aspiring authors all from one page.
Many of the authors who use Twitter will remain as unknown tomorrow as they are today. But others just radiate their potential like author Jeremy C. Shipp.
He never fails to draw people into his ingenious fantasy world filled with garden gnomes and diabolical attic clowns. Authors like him use Twitter to promote their books with free contests. Book collectors can often acquire these first edition signed copies through these contests if they’re brave enough to explain they want to keep the book rather than just read it.
As bibliophiles know, anyone can find adequately famous authors’ books for a dime a dozen at yard sales, but the first book an author publishes in excellent condition is most likely found on the shelf of the author’s mom…or the person who acquired that book directly from the author through Twitter. Hmmmm… Sound time consuming? It isn’t. You can fumble your way into the possession of some soon to be highly prized books in less time than it takes to scour estate sales each week where the hoards of collectors patrol around hoping to walk away with a small fortune from the unsuspecting family deep in grief. Did I mention it also feels good to show support for new authors by collecting their books?
How to acquire the best authors’ books early in their career:
•Do a search for “writers” and “authors.” Follow everybody. Many authors and fans do this using the tags: #ww or #writerwednesday to designate that the Twitter user is an author they recommend. You can also follow author @DanMcNeil888 who posts quality recommendations for writers each Wednesday.
•Then check back for tweets offering free PDF copies or free books or follow links to websites of authors that impress you. Entering often requires nothing more than a click to “retweet.” As I type this article I’m sipping my coffee, waiting for a knock from the UPS man delivering my novel from @JeremyCShipp. This author of bizarro and thriller fiction permitted me to exchange the value of a PDF copy toward a hard cover copy. He even agreed to make an inscription about my bribery attempt and his price: one titanium spork.
Authors sit hunched over their laptops for months in order to generate a manuscript, which readers finish with in a day. As a collector, I hold onto those same books much longer. That’s why the authors on Twitter don’t just put up with me, they even refer to me as friends sometimes.
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