Left Coast Voices

"I would hurl words into the darkness and wait for an echo. If an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight." Richard Wright, American Hunger

Twitter Genius

Matt Stewart is the author of The French Revolution which was awarded the best novel of 2010 award from the San Francisco Chronicle.

Matt works in marketing which tells you that he is going to be cutting edge with regard to social media. When he wasn’t able to get the attention of publishers in the traditional sense, he launched his new novel over 3,700 tweets on Twitter.

Matt came and spoke at the California Writers Club last month and, firstly I must say, if his writing is as sharp and funny as his banter, his book is going to the top of my ‘To Read’ pile which sits next to my bed, mocking me as I invariably fall asleep after a couple of pages (because I am tired at the end of the day, not because of the great books i am reading!).

In his own words, Matt chose Bastille Day, not only because it is relevant to his topic, but because nothing happens on July 14th!

Again in his own words:

“Starting on Bastille Day – July 14, 2009 – I started broadcasting The French Revolution via @thefrenchrev and thefrenchrev.comI braced myself for widespread ridicule (“What kind of moron’s ever going to read a novel on Twitter?”) – and was accordingly astonished when the feedback was overwhelming supportive. I wound up making headlines worldwide and landing a book deal with the ballsiest publisher of them all, Soft Skull.

Lessons: Go for it. In literature as in life. What’s the worst that’s going to happen? Nothing. And then you’re no worse off than when you started.”

Couldn’t have said it better!

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Alon Shalev is the author of The Accidental Activist (now available on Kindle) and A Gardener’s Tale. He is the Executive Director of the San Francisco Hillel Foundation, a non-profit that provides spiritual and social justice opportunities to Jewish students in the Bay Area. More on Alon Shalev at http://www.alonshalev.com/and on Twitter (#alonshalevsf).

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2 thoughts on “Twitter Genius

  1. Alon,
    I agree, Matt gave a very good, entertaining talk. Still, I find it difficult to accept that a writer must resort to what almost seems like a child acting out in class just to get attention.
    Then, on the other hand, it worked pretty darn good, didn’t it. So I have to give Matt kudos for having the brass to do it as well as the brains for thinking of it.
    But somehow I still wonder if it wouldn’t be more civilized if we writers could be recognized for our writing instead of our promotional gimmicks?
    John Putnam
    http://www.mygoldrushtales.com

  2. Couldn’t agree with you more, John. But unfortunately this is the way – either find a gimmick or choose a marketing strategy and stick to it.
    Don’t give up.
    Alon

    http://www/alonshalev.com/

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