15 Must-Follow Twitter Accounts for Self-Published Writers

by | Apr 9, 2014

Content marketing is the best way for writers to grow a following of dedicated readers and colleagues on the social web. The steps to achieving this goal are:

  1. Write the best book you can for a defined audience.
  2. Have your book professionally edited.
  3. Hire the best cover designer you can afford.
  4. Develop a WordPress website where you will host your blog and have information about your book and yourself.
  5. Establish your social media presence so you can reach your target audience.

Note: If you read Joel’s recent blog post, you may want to reorder the steps.

Another step to this content-marketing strategy – and it shouldn’t be the last step – can at best befuddle people and at worst frustrate them to the point they want to give up. Yes, I’m talking about Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram, and any other networks that can help your book to receive the recognition and sales it deserves.

When I first started using social media, I was overwhelmed by the emails overloading my inbox from LinkedIn groups I’d joined. The notifications from Facebook and Twitter where similarly exasperating. There were days when I would spend hours reading and responding to every comment left in a LinkedIn group. Before too long, I decided that there needed to be a more efficient way to manage my social media. So I set out to find experts were who could help me improve my marketing, teach me to become more efficient, and assist me in finding content that my followers would appreciate.

Over time, I discovered the people in the lists below and I’ve become their ardent follower.

Social Media Influencers to Follow

If you find social media frustrating or too time consuming, by following the ninjas of the social media world you will deepen your understanding of social media marketing and learn to become more efficient. Here is a list of some of the top people in social media who will teach you how to improve your social media marketing efforts.

Jeff Bullas
Jeff Bullas is on the Forbes list of the top 50 social media power influencers for 2013. His blog focuses on social media marketing, search engine optimization, and email marketing.

Ann Handley
Ann Handley is co-author (with C.C. Chapman) of Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars and Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business. She’s also the chief content officer of Marketing Profs, and a columnist for Entrepreneur Magazine. If you don’t have Content Rules, I highly recommend it. On her blog, she offers tips on how you can improve your content marketing.

Jon Loomer
The Social Media Examiner recently designated Jon Loomer’s blog as one of the top social media blogs. His specialty is Facebook, and he offers free webinars every week.

Sandi Krakowski
Forbes named Sandi Krakowski as one of the top 20 social media influencers. Once you see her picture you’ll never forget her: she has a swath of fuchsia colored bangs, a nose piercing and a bright smile. She has been featured in Entrepreneur Magazine, CNBC, USA Today and Mashable.

Social Media Today
Social Media Today publishes numerous articles from a variety of bloggers every day. This is a great account to follow because you will learn about every social media network on the web, search engine optimization, and search engine marketing. Don’t be put off by some of their posts that are directed at businesses. The information they provide applies to anyone using social media. You might want to subscribe to their newsletter so that you can receive their daily summaries.

Social Media Examiner
Although Social Media Examiner typically speaks to small business owners who want to improve their marketing results, the information shared on this website pertains to everyone who has a social web presence. Every Friday, Social Media Examiner shares changes that occurred on various social media platforms and during the week a variety of bloggers provide solid content on every social media network available to users.

Peg Fitzpatrick
Peg Fitzpatrick’s tagline is “rockin’ a positive attitude” and she does. She describes herself as a social media architect, idea girl and naturally caffeinated. Just by reading her blog you will learn a lot about social media and how to use visuals in your marketing.

Self-Publishing Bloggers to Follow

If you want to keep up on how to price your books and the latest tips in self-publishing, you’ll want to follow these people.

Passive Guy
Passive Guy is David Vandagriff, is a lawyer, a former tech executive and writer. He compiles a daily newsletter that lists some of the best posts on self-publishing, news about booksellers such as Amazon, the first lines of great novels and articles on self-publishing that are controversial. You can subscribe to his newsletter and follow him on Twitter to keep up with the latest news in publishing.

Jane Friedman
Formerly the publisher at Writers’ Digest, Jane now serves as the web editor of the Virginia Quarterly Review and teaches digital publishing and online writing. Follow her on Twitter to keep abreast of the latest news in self-publishing.

Joanna Penn
Joanna is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. Her recent blog posts tackled the subject of ebooks vs. printing, graphic novel adaptation and why authors might want to update their book covers. Her information is solid and geared for self-published writers.

Jeff Goins
Jeff posts include a mix of writing, social media and self-publishing tips. He’s been a guest blogger for more than 100 magazines, publications and blogs including, Write to Done, ProBlogger and Copybloger. You’ll learn a lot by following him.

Dana Lynn Smith
Known as the Savvy Book Marketer, her blog was named as one of The Future of Ink’s top ten Self-Publishing Blogs of 2012. Her blog is dedicated to issues facing self-published authors.

JA Konrath
JA Konrath writes comprehensive posts on the publishing world. He has sold more than three million books in twenty countries and written twenty-four novels and more than a hundred short stories. He’s often considered a pioneer in self-publishing.

David Gaughran
David Gaughran’s blog is Let’s Get Digital. He discusses a myriad of topics centered on self-publishing news and how to market your book.

One blog I left off the list (#15) is Joel Friedlander’s. The reason is you’ve already discovered his blog or you wouldn’t be reading this post. If you should forward a link to this page to friends, tell them that Joel’s blog was named as one of Writer’s Digest’s top 101 writing websites and is often listed as one of the top self-publishing blogs on the web. Anyone who is thinking about self-publishing will want to follow him on Twitter and subscribe to his blog.


Photo: bigstockphoto.com. Amazon links contain my affiliate code.

tbd advanced publishing starter kit


  1. Frances Caballo

    Tom, I only check my email a few times a day. That helps me be more efficient with my time. On days when I break that rule, I don’t accomplish as much. Good luck! (I love your attitude!)

  2. Tom Bentley

    Frances, it does help. At least in theory, since I have to overcome the habit of my scattershot wingings through the ether, and commit to a new habit that’s more orderly. I’m working on the same issue with not checking my email every 10 minutes. Onward!

  3. Frances Caballo

    Tom: Thank you so much for catching that error! This is how I deal with social media’s potential for sucking time out of my day. In the mornings, I curate and schedule my posts and tweets. In the afternoons, I check back and socialize. Once a week, I check my analytics. I wrote a book on this topic but basically these are my four daily steps: Curate, Post, Schedule, & Socialize. I’ve written about this issue on Joel’s blog in the past so you can probably find it in his archives and I write about it on my blog too. I hope that helps!

  4. Tom Bentley

    Frances, good stuff! I frequently check out (or am subscribed) to a number of these stalwarts, and will check out the unfamiliar ones. One question: how do you deal with the time-sucking vortex that social media can be?

    One minor fuss: Ann Handley’s last name carries that “e,” so if you want to stay in her good graces (and she has many), better slip that baby in.

    • Shelley Sturgeon

      Tom: I’ve fixed the spellling of Ann Handley’s name. Thanks for pointing that out.

    • Frances Caballo

      Thanks for mentioning those sites, Laurence. They are a great addition to the list!

  5. Lynn Millar

    I’ve worked on many of your steps – though stuck on staying with the second draft of the book. I also follow many of the ‘influencers’ already. Now to find the rest. Thanks.

    • Frances Caballo


      It’s so great to see you here! I’m so glad you like my new book and this list. Maybe I’ll see you at a Redwood Writers meeting one of these days.

  6. Frances Caballo

    Thank you for your comment. I follow these influencers because I learn so much from them. By following them, even if they don’t follow me back, I can keep track of their blog posts, continue my education and keep up with innovations. Reciprocity isn’t necessary to build your Twitter following — or any following on social media. There have been several posts at Social Media Today on this very topic Here’s one: https://socialmediatoday.com/ambernaslund/261890/fallacy-social-media-reciprocation I hope this addresses your concern.

  7. Ellis Shuman

    Frances, while it can be very helpful to follow these social media influencers and self publishing bloggers, there is a concept called reciprocity that is key to building a Twitter platform.

    Why should I follow an “influencer” who has 120,000 followers, but who has only followed 200?

    • Joel Friedlander

      Ellis, it’s also important to realize that Twitter isn’t just about gaining followers through reciprocity or any other concept. A lot of what authors accomplish on Twitter—staying current with trends, learning about new marketing or educational opportunities, networking with peers in your field—are goals that don’t depend on amassing a large following. Understanding the many ways to use Twitter, and how to handle the various “streams” of people who help with our goals, are both part of maximizing your use of this social tool.

      • Ellis Shuman

        Hi Joel and Frances,

        I am going to restate my comment from a different direction, so that it will be understood. Many of the “influencers” on this list have valuable information to share with self-published writers = including teaching the tricks of the trade, trends, and such. That is why I regularly visit their blogs = to read their insights. And when there is something that interests me, I share it with my friends and followers. And when I find something I don’t totally agree with, I will leave a comment (similar to this one).

        Twitter, as I see it, is a platform of give and take, of sharing and interconnecting, of tweeting and retweeting, of meeting new people and having them meet you. I am glad to connect and follow, however, I won’t follow someone if there’s absolutely no chance that he/she will follow me back. That is because: 1) I don’t want to be his/her ‘fan’; and 2) I am looking for that back and forth.

        This doesn’t mean that I won’t read and learn from these “influencers” – because I will. I just refuse to become one of their many, many non-reciprocated “followers”. Sorry, this goes for Beyonce, President Obama, and a lot of other famous people as well = I am not going to follow you guys.

        • Frances Caballo

          Ellis: You seem to have a strategy that works for you. You can certainly continue to learn from these influencers by subscribing to their blogs and receiving updates by email.

        • Ally B.

          “Twitter, as I see it, is a platform of give and take, of sharing and interconnecting, of tweeting and retweeting, of meeting new people and having them meet you.” Yes and no. When I see someone with a high number of followers and people they follow, that signals a spammy account to me. Another red flag I notice is when someone follows me and if I don’t immediately follow back they unfollow. It is bizarre to say the least. I think a lot of these people become influencers because the content is coming first, not the push to have the most followers.

          • David S

            Twitter imposes a limit on the number of people you can follow. A lack of following back therefore imposes a ‘tax’ on the follower – that’s one less person they can follow. Since it costs nothing at all to follow back, someone that doesn’t follow back moves to the top of the unfollow list. I wouldn’t follow back an a$$hole or someone who is selling something, posting all the time, or writing in another language but mostly I follow back. Unless you are a celebrity, not following back will lead to social isolation.

        • ace

          People who are movers and shakers are too busy actually accomplishing things to read the tweets of 50k people. That’s why they don’t follow back unless it’s one of their friends or someone equally accomplished. That’s how they got so successful in the first place: budgeting their time wisely.



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