Are you a newcomer to Twitter? Or else the realm of young adult publishing? Or both? Don’t be intimidated—you can learn a lot about the YA book world AND the way it uses Twitter by following a number of great people and conversations.
In my experience, Twitter provides a great happy medium between the kind of industry news stories you get from Publishers Weekly and the here’s-a-video-of-my-cat minutiae of Facebook—often focusing more on real discussions, opinions, and networking. I remember hearing someone say once that the difference between Facebook and Twitter is that Facebook is where you follow people you already know, and Twitter is where you follow people you want to know more about. While some of the folks linked below will already be familiar to you, following them can be a good starting point—from there, check out the profiles of the people they reply to, and check out the links they post. The rest, of course, are definitely worth knowing more about.
Authors: In addition to favorites like Maureen Johnson, Libba Bray, and John Green, you’ll find authors who often work a particular angle on Twitter: Cheryl Rainfield often talks about bullying, Ellen Hopkins and Laurie Halse Anderson address censorship, and Cynthia Leitich Smith offers great writing and reading resource links. Want to follow current and forthcoming Whitman Teen authors? Deborah Blumenthal, Anna Perera, Irfan Master, and Jon Blake are on Twitter now.
Editors and Agents: While publishing company Twitter accounts usually consist of announcements and promotional tweets, YA editors like Stacy Whitman, Molly O’Neill, and Andrew Karre offer more personal insights and represent a range of perspectives from both big and smaller houses. (As for the Whitman editors, I’m on Twitter, too, and so is Kristin!) And there are plenty of agents, including Sara Crowe, Laura Bradford, Jill Corcoran, and Nathan Bransford (who is no longer an agent, but still an inspirational guy to follow if you’re an aspiring writer), who talk about craft as well as industry trends.
Reviewers and Booksellers: For straight-up book talk and a great look at new and upcoming titles, check out 4EverYA, YABookShelf, Chasing Ray (aka Colleen Mondor, Bookslut columnist and soon-t0-be author, and does she ever sleep?), and Mitali Perkins (also an author, and a force for good in the book world). And some of our favorite booksellers on Twitter include Melissa from Pudd’nhead Books and Stephanie from Word Brooklyn.
Hashtags: You can also search hashtags (to find more about how they work, here’s a guide), for YA-related posts and links. There’s #YALitChat, which is an ongoing weekly Twitter chat organized by Georgia MacBride, and #YASaves, which has its origins in an online protest against objections to “dark” content.
Finally, here’s our own Twitter List of more than 50 folks (and organizations) who are dedicated to YA. It’ll never be a complete list, of course, but we’ll keep adding to it over time.
Happy reading (and tweeting)!