24 hours of #AuthorDay

24 hours of #AuthorDay

Inspired by a tweet from Waterstones University of Birmingham asking about authors on Twitter, I decided to tweet a few of my favourites. In my opinion, authors are some of the best Twitter users. Giving, what can be a fairly solitary pursuit, an instant connection with fans, bookshops, librarians and publishing folk and a great way of conducting research for their books.

There are several author superstars with HUGE numbers of followers and use Twitter brilliantly to communicate with them. (@neilhimself @margaretatwood @breteastonellis spring to mind).

However, the vast majority of authors haven't garnered such follower numbers, yet. So, whilst lying in my bed on Saturday morning, I tweeted this:

Crazy idea - why don't we all give a shout out to authors we love on Twitter today. Bit of discoverability in action? Hashtag #authorday?

To say this caught the imagination is an understatement.

In 24 hours, this is what happened:

- my original tweet was RTed 125 times

- the hashtag #authorday was used 1500 times (with favourite authors attached)

- Tim O'Reilly and Margaret Atwood both promoted their favourite authors using #authorday (to 1.6m and 330K followers resp.)

- The Bookseller, Waterstones and World Book Night gave it a huge push

- #authorday became the number 1 Twitter trend in the UK

- 2.5m unique Twitter accounts were reached with #authorday 

- #authorday had over 4m impressions (in website terms, equivalent to page views to the 2.5m unique visitors)

I am hoping that all of the authors mentioned in these tweets gained lots of followers. Unfortunately, there is no way of finding this out (unless you let me know).

The main thing that got me really excited about #authorday was the reaction from so many tweeps. Here are a few favourite tweets I received:

Really big thanks to  for . Just pressing follow, follow, follow all the time. Best wishes from Latvia!

Happy  to all fellow writers. And to readers - to celebrate author day, take some time and read a book today:) 

 Amazing! It was fun too and on a micro level we are now tweeps with  top-selling author in . Thx!

 Way to go! I found tons of authors that I didn't even know were on Twitter! And I'm a reference librarian!

I love the fact that  caused my goddaughter, age 7, to ask if she could be a highwayman when she grew up  

I like the idea of a special day for all those people who have worked really hard to give me the pleasure of reading their books  

 Yup, that was a good one. Forced me to look up a few authors I wasn't already following, too, which was nice!

Quite a few people suggested we roll #authorday out again, possibly regularly. I'm very open to suggestions with this. There are many great hastags in use for the literary world and would love #authorday to find a place here too.

So, what started as a tweet from my bed on Saturday morning rippled through the author-loving community around the world. How bloody brilliant is that?