Superstar author and all-round literary genius David Mitchell (the guy who wrote Cloud Atlas, not the chubby British comedian whose wife plays poker for a living) has been persuaded by his PR company to open a Twitter account.
And to celebrate, he’s written a short story which is being published sentence-by-sentence, a few tweets at a time over the course of the next few weeks.
Mitchell freely admits that it’s a gimmick and that he won’t be taking up personal residence in the Twitterverse any time soon (the PR company is posting the tweets on his behalf), but it’s an interesting way to use social media to promote his up-coming book, The Bone Clocks, not least because you have to scroll down to the bottom of the feed to find the start of the story, then scroll UP the page to read the sentences one by one. On top of that, you only get a handful of new lines each day, so you need to remember to keep coming back for more.
Well, maybe not. It appears to be working because in the past few days he’s gone from a standing start to over 12,000 followers.
Not bad, I thought. Why not give it a try myself, I thought? Why not set up a Twitter account and put a short story on it? Or maybe a few short stories? A new one each day? I wonder how many followers I would get?
“Twelve thousand? Pfft! I’ll shave my head if you get half that…” chimes in my dad sarcastically over his newspaper.
Let me repeat that.
“I’LL SHAVE MY HEAD IF YOU GET 6,000 FOLLOWERS…”
Doubtless David Mitchell will have hundreds of thousands of followers by the end of the month and by the time his book comes out in September he will already have a another best-seller on his hands from the Amazon pre-orders alone.
But I just need 6,000 to stick it to the old man and take him down a peg or two… and with his big nose and wing-nut ears, a bald head would make him look like a freshly-hatched parrot.
Who’s with me?
You’ll find David Mitchell’s story here:
And you’ll find mine here:
UPDATE: I posted my short story just over an hour ago — it’s only 13 tweets long — and I’ve managed to get 100 followers so far. That’s a long way from 6,000 of course, but I’m in no hurry… I’ve got all summer.