Twitter, Tweet and Twit-twat
In this maddening world of author self-promotion something funny happened to me and I had to share the experience with you. If you are easily offended STOP READING NOW! NO keep reading, I’ll keep this PG-13.
I’m a writer and I use a pen name, and no, I didn’t pull the name out of thin air. I strategically picked the name based on several factors. After much thought, I decided on Elizabeth Marx. Now I didn’t go into this with blinders on, I searched for other authors with this name. I searched yahoo. What I didn’t do was explore Google, only the biggest search engine in the world. A complete knuckle brained thing to miss, no scratch that–let’s call it a knocker-brained thing to do. You’ll understand why in a few paragraphs.
I downloaded my books at Amazon and B & N and all the various places Indie authors seek readers. A couple of days later my husband took me to lunch to celebrate this momentous achievement. During the course of our conversation he asked in a nonchalant tone, “Have you searched your name on Google?”
“No,” I replied. “Why?”
My husband raised his menu to hide his expression, when I pulled the menu down he was beet red, so I asked again “What happens when you do?”
My husband now used the menu to muffle his response, “Play date center field.”
“What the heck does baseball have to do with anything?”
“No,” he said, “I said, playmate centerfold.” He cautiously eyed the other patrons, as if wondering if I was going to go all Exorcist on him, spinning my head and spewing irate words like rancid vomit.
I had no other choice but to chuckle. I mean, it’s my own fault I didn’t search the largest search engine in the known universe. So I shrugged and asked, “What does she look like?”
He was beet-red from the top of his widow’s peak to the bottom edge of his goatee.
“That perky, huh?” I laughed again.
I went to my office and Googled my pen name and what came up in the results was a bodacious red head with a gorgeous rack. She’s twenty-five and she should possess a fabulous rack right? This is America and if she wants to reveal said rack to the world for profit well it’s her prerogative and the American way. I chuckled until the giggles took hold of me, and then I planned in secret that one day I’d make my Elizabeth Marx even more famous than hers. We all know books are way more important than boobs, right?
Fast forward a few months. My website is going live and I had to join Twitter so I could have the little bird listed on all my pages. I’m not a big tell-everybody-what-you’re-thinking-all-of-the-time kind of gal but I understand how the web is actually a web and everything has to be connected to everything else. Of course, as you can imagine, my name, Elizabeth Marx wasn’t available. Of course not, probably because she had taken it! And because elizabethmarxbooks is too long, I settled on firstname.lastname@example.org.
I didn’t tweet a single word after setting up the account, but my phone started chiming right away and I checked my email and I had about 20 followers on twitter. I thought, holy crow this Twitter thing is incredible, cause I haven’t told anyone. How’d they find me?
The next morning I had 23 more followers, so I flew over to twitter to check out the phenomenon. I opened the profile of my first follower and her name was Kandi. Kandi, the name alone should’ve been the tip-off, but Kandi was a young woman who would be in the demographic of my young adult book All’s Fair in Vanity’s War and she looked like a high-schooler dressed in a private school uniform. I clicked on her picture and as it enlarged the first thing I thought was, why is Kandi’s sweater up around her navel? (I’m the mother of three daughters and none of them are going to school or anywhere else like that!) I thought why is Kandi wearing thigh high hose with lace edging? I thought, Oh My GOD, when I read Kandi’s web address: www.hotcollegecheerleaderorgy.com (I’d love to see how many of you’ve clicked on this, but for the record, I mashed up a couple of different web addresses of the candy girls, but I’ll admit, it was difficult to find a website that didn’t actually work!)
I continued scrolling through the list of names. I burst out laughing because Andi, Judi, Juli, Mandi, Ricki, Suzi, and every other female name ending in an I that you can imagine was waiting for me to say something profound with only 140 characters. Then there was a Levinia, why Levinia hadn’t changed her name to Levi, or Ninni, I had no idea, maybe she didn’t get the monthly Porn Goddess Newsletter with the cover article: Porn Names for Profit. I went through their website addresses too and for the most part they ran from funny to vulgar, but mostly vulgar. But then I started wondering, why would they want to follow me?
The thought hit me like a lightning bolt, email@example.com is awfully close to firstname.lastname@example.org I mean the difference between the “k” and the “b” in the minds of these babes is minute. But to make matters worse, among these 7 lovely coeds they had over a 1038 followers and were following 1919 people, but the best part was the number of tweets: 17! I’ll do the math for you, 2.43 tweets each. They are no longer teaching spelling and writing in college, just how to market yourself on Twitter with 140 characters or less!
Granted, I was using Twitter for marketing too, but I was selling books not boobs. And books are more important than boobs, right? It could all be a coincidence, but it’s certainly funny that the God’s of advertising had gotten a hold of me.
If you’re wondering what twit-twat is, pull your brain out of the gutter I just submerged it in. Urban Dictionary defines twit-twat as those who use twitter in every aspect of their lives, endlessly spamming you until you snap and do something horrific to them.