Be you an aspiring writer or publisher, could you imagine producing a real, living and breathing book in a month?
Well, the team which brought us comedy writing collection, Twitter Titters, did just that – thanks to the medium of Twitter. Two of the organisers, Louise Bolotin and Christina McDermott, explained at last night’s Social Media Cafe Manchester (#smc_mcr) how the book, produced to raise money for Red Nose Day, wiped out a month of their lives in a good cause.
The idea was getting aspiring comic writers to send their work via Twitter to be judged by a panel (also sourced via Twitter) for a book that would be downloadable online (and promoted via Twitter), with all proceeds going to Children in Need.
In the end, the judges, including Sci-fi writer, Martin Millar, had to select from 70 comic submissions for the book – including exclusive new writing from Phoenix Nights co-creator, Dave Spikey, which was made available either as a download or “print on demand”.
Christina, who lent production expertise to the job, said: “If anybody else plans to do something like this, then whatever time you think you need, double it! But despite all the heartache it was worth it – we made a book.” Since then sales of the book have raised £700 for Comic Relief.
But in the midst of being charitable, a rogue Twitterer was being distinctly uncharitable, accusing the team of “spamming” on Twitter, not being “transparent” and generally slating the project. Though experienced social networkers, the team was unprepared for a negative backlash – a potential by-product of the social medium that needs to be managed.
The book remains on sale at least until the end of April. Go on, have a laugh while assuaging your charity conscience.
Update: for an in-depth analysis of the Twitter Titters project, visit Real Fresh TV’s blog.