I have three followers on my Twitter account (unless that changed sometime today).
On the other hand, I am following 21 people and growing. I created the account to accomplish one thing only: to help me get published.
Before last week I found Twitter annoying, overwhelming, and uninteresting. It wasn’t for me: I don’t update with my every thought (I don’t have any followers anyway, so that didn’t matter x2), I don’t have many RL friends that visit/update, and those who do simply aren’t interesting to me. So why did I set up an account?
To stalk people. I would add maniacal laughter after that, but the medium simply won’t allow for it. I am “following” all the agents I have submitted to in the past, or plan on submitting to in the future. On the surface it’ll probably seem like a step sideways: I don’t get my name tothem(it’s not like they noticed my little “click”) and they are busy people constantly tweeting about upcoming events, how-to-write seminars/blogs/novels, and the release of their clients’ work. You might ask yourself:where do I fit in? I know I did when I stared at the “sign up and follow The Rock or Barack Obama!”
Because it shows you care. It seems (I might be wrong) that start-up writers are 20% writing, 75% resume/public face, and 5% luck/masochism. How does it show you care? When it comes time for me to query a letter to XYZ at CoolAgency, I can, with authority, say, “I’ve been following your releases, and believe X Author’s Y Title Urban Fantasy novel is very similar to mine, and while the styles are different, I think you’d like the similarities.” Boom. Fireworks. Maybe.
If you’re a reader, or if you’re just starting out, reading about these agents’ workshops and releases will also help get you involved with the scene. You can read what they’re publishing (as a fun hobby) and possibly find a workshop taking place in a city near you (you’re bound to have them). When you’re confident enough with your WIP to send out, you might be surprised how far a little “connective” comment in the query letter will go.