Would Teen Readers Twitter For 'Twilight'?

twittermadmenThe other day I caught this extensive list of YA authors who Twitter on readergirlz (an update on an earlier one started by YA author/twitterer Mitali Perkins on her blog.) It was a rad, encouraging list (go authors!), but what particularly caught my eye was the small subsection of “Character Twitters” at the bottom of the page from Micol Ostow’s Bradford series.

It made me think about how fictional characters could play a role in drawing teen readers to Twitter. Even though it wouldn’t be right for every book or every author, I feel like it could be a lot of fun for others. Protagonists, antagonists and supporting characters (the latter might be especially intriguing) would continue to gain depth and dimension in the intermittent period between books and meanwhile, readers would feel more connected to the world that the author created. Or, as connected to them as they choose to be depending on whether they simply read the tweets or actually respond to them and engage in dialogue. Who knows? It could even be a new frontier for fan fiction, in the way it was for the older viewers of AMC’s “Mad Men” who decided to anachronistically pen tweets by Don and Betty Draper and other characters from the show (those were brilliant by the way. Just saying).

I know I might be getting a little carried away here, especially since teens aren’t even on board the Twitter train quite yet. But still, I see a lot of potential. Maybe that’s because I can just imagine how much I personally would enjoy following some of my own favorite YA characters. The one who immediately popped into my head (probably because I am desperately awaiting the sequel in September) was Katniss Everdeen from Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games. What about you, Ypulse Readers? Which fictional character would you most like to follow? Leave your thoughts in comments.

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  1. Kristen O

    They’re already doing it.  There’s about four or five sets of them doing full character families.  How did you miss this???

    The Twilighters are ALL OVER Twitter.  The research that teens don’t twitter at all is erroneous.  I’m following hundreds - and that’s without making much effort to find them.

    The reason the Twilighters are on Twitter is because most of their fan sites are, plus actors Jamie Bower and Michael Sheen are confirmed to be on it.

    The news stories aren’t really going to hit on this until late June, though, so congrats on at least asking the question first. :)

  2. meredith

    Hi Kristen. Thanks for opening my eyes about Twilight and Twitter. I still think there’s a lot of Twitter literary territory to explore with non-blockbusters, but it’s exciting to hear that the teens who are on there have started to embrace the site as a creative outlet. I’m definitely looking forward to see what comes next in that space.

  3. Laura

    You’re kidding right?

    There are over 29,000 (mostly teens) who got suckered into following a fake Stephenie Meyer twitter account, every major twilight fansite has a twitter,rising author Kaleb Nation (AKA tthe Twilight Guy) reaches 1,000’s (mostly girls) on Twitter.

    I can’t imagine who thinks teens don’t Twitter.

  4. Shelly L

    I know I’m trying to find the real Twilight men and women. I’m 15 and I created a Twitter JUST to follow them.

  5. Micol Ostow

    Hey—thanks for the shout-out! It’s definitely true as Kristen says that authors are more and more using Twitter as a platform to help readers communicate with their characters, but what I personally love about Bradford is the way that the Tweets are meant as more than “just” marketing for the book—The Twitter feeds, combined with the blogs and the email accounts and websites really make Bradford a unique, immersive experience for readers (and for me!). It’ll be interesting to see, as the books are out for longer, how teen readers (who are indeed finding us on Twitter) respond to the Bradford-verse. :)

  6. meredith

    Thanks for all the comments. Lesson learned re: Twilight.

    I want to repeat that I think there is still a lot of territory for authors of non-blockbusters to explore on the site (Micol is a prime example of a forerunner).  While Twilight/Stephenie Meyer’s loyal following might be all about using the site for their fiction-related needs, I don’t think this is the case for teen readers across the board. 

    Finally, I would argue that while some teens may indeed be on Twitter (and they’re the ones that would be the most vocal about it), it still has a way to go to becoming mainstream with the age group (what I meant by “on board”). This recent Nielsen survey has the under 17 crowd composing 3.6% of Twitter users.  http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/online_mobile/twitters-tweet-smell-of-success

  7. Micol Ostow

    I completely agree with you Meredith, and I know it’s something the publishing industry has its eye on, as well. My editors (FlirtyGirl Productions) have made a cottage industry of imagining the possibilities of multimedia, multi-platform reading experiences and their vision really awes me.

    Thanks again for the mention!

  8. Kristen O

    My thought on the Nielsen report on Twitter is that they’re using pretty careless methods to create their stats - and to be honest, I wish someone would call them on it.  For one thing, look at how the numbers add up in their age bracket.  They’ve assigned 11.7% to age group 18-24 (the other groups add up to 88.3%) while admitting that their sample size is too small for that age group to be considered conclusive evidence!  This actually invalidates all of their other statistics, because if they can assign over ten percent of users to an age group but can’t get enough of that age group to respond to consider the statistic valid - they can’t assign percentages to the other groups!  Not to mention which if they can assign that much without getting enough of that demographic to participate, their methods of gathering data/participants are tremendously flawed.  I find it most curious that they have failed to publish the means by which they arrived at such numbers.

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    [...] media | Ypulse, a teen marketing blog, wonders if teens would follow Twitter feeds for characters from young adult novels. Apparently teens haven’t embraced Twitter (which surprises me … I figured they’d [...]

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