10 hashtags for writers – and how to use them
Hashtags for writers are more important than ever – yet can still be a confusing minefield if you’re new to social media. Here are 10 of the most useful. Plus a few more…
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Hashtags for writers are plentiful. But where do you start? Hashtags have not only endured in a fast-changing social media environment, they’ve become more important than ever. They started on Twitter, but they’ve since been adopted by Facebook, and especially by Instagram, where they’re essential for findability. They’re also used by Pinterest and LinkedIn – among other social media platforms. They’ve become so ubiquitous that no self-respecting conference or TV show would dare convene or broadcast without announcing an official hashtag.
What are hashtags?
Hashtags are simply words or phrases used in tweets (and other social media updates) with the # symbol in front of them. Make sure you don’t use any spaces or punctuation, and they become links that, when clicked, reveal a timeline of everyone whose tweets contain that hashtag.
You don’t need to register them anywhere, or use pre-existing ones – just make them up. However, the most popular hashtags catch on and become established. Start typing a hashtag and you’ll see a suggested tag in the autocomplete, possibly with the number of people using that hashtag, depending on the platform.
The default view in Twitter shows you the Top tweets using the hashtag you’ve clicked on – but you can also click on Latest to see the most recent tweets using your selected hashtag. You can also filter by People, Photos, Videos, News and Broadcasts. And you also can see which hashtags – and other topics – are ‘trending’ on Twitter.
Use media in your tweets
To make the most of your hashtags, include a relevant weblink where appropriate and where space permits. Images have become more important in Twitter over the last few years too – as have videos and GIFs (short looping videos and animations). You can share video or audio files (such a a link to a YouTube video), which will play directly in your Twitter stream. These all make your tweets far more visible than just a line of text, and you will see plenty of them attached to tweets using the following hashtags.
How many hashtags should I use?
You can use more than one at a time – but the received wisdom on Twitter these days is no more than two or three for maximum engagement. On Instagram, however, the more the better: you can use up to 30 per post, with at least 11 resulting in greater engagement. If you’re using social ads, however – such as Facebook ads – it’s generally best not to use hashtags at all, since you want people to click on your link rather than any hashtags.
Make your hashtags accessible
It’s best practice to write your hashtags in #CamelCase. Which means you should #WriteYourHashtagsLikeThis, with initial capitals for each word. It makes them easier for everyone to read – and it ensures that screen readers read them out correctly, for visually impaired people who rely on them. Read more about this in my post for Pilao Labs: 5 ways to make your social media more accessible.
10 hashtags for writers
There are many hashtags for writers that are useful to help you promote your books, connect with other writers, and – well – write. How do you use them, and which should you use? Click on a few of the following 10 hashtags for writers to get a feel for them and how you might use them.
Writing can be a solitary experience, and Twitter is a great way of connecting with other writers. It’s like a virtual watercooler. #AmWriting is the hashtag started by Johanna Harness in 2010 as a way of supporting writers and fostering a sense of community. Use it to tell us what you’re working on, support and learn from others, and share your experience.
Variations on #AmWriting include #AmEditing (if you’re at the editing stage) and #AmQuerying (writing a query letter or book proposal). If you’re at the editing stage, let people know and ask for any advice you need.
Every. Day. Almost… #amwriting #amediting #amquerying pic.twitter.com/xrOhbKoLu0
— Kimberly Hayle (@kimberlyhayle) August 1, 2017
Use this to offer an insight into your life as a writer, your writing process – or a wry comment on what it’s like to be a writer, of the ‘you know you’re a writer when…’ variety.
Writers never stop working, even reading counts as research… #amwriting #writerslife pic.twitter.com/UIp5f3KyFf
— Lacey London (@thelaceylondon) August 2, 2017
#WriterWednesday or #ww was originally intended as a way to give shout-out to writers / suggest authors to follow, or to share writing tips. In practice, it also covers pretty much anything else to do with writers or writing too.
I use it quite a lot (on a Wednesday), and even started a weekly paper.li online newspaper called The #WriterWednesday Weekly. This generates its stories from links shared by people on Twitter using #WriterWednesday, and tweets a link to itself. Weekly. On a Wednesday.
Wishing you an awesomely productive #WriterWednesday! ???? #amwriting pic.twitter.com/SxGpjADF7p
— Heather Macht (@AuthorHMacht) August 2, 2017
While #WriterWednesday is often used to share writing tips, if you specifically want to share or find writing tips, use #WriteTip, #WritingTip or #WritingTips.
A story is a series of acts that build to a story climax which brings about absolute and irreversible change.#writingtips #amwriting
— Robert McKee (@McKeeStory) July 30, 2017
For some people, regularly sharing your word count in public can be a great way to stay focused. Use it to share your successes (and failures!) and motivate yourself and other writers.
Total #wordcount for July: 20,064 words! Met my goal! #amwriting pic.twitter.com/ilTqSUwrAu
— Amianne Bailey (@AmianneB) July 31, 2017
#FollowFriday or #ff is used on a Friday to suggest people to follow to your followers. Ideally, don’t just include a list of @usernames – tell us why we should follow the person or people you suggest. You can do them one at a time, or include a list of people grouped together by topic or reason.
#ff can help raise your profile too, if people return the favour, or at least thank you in public. This isn’t why you should do it – but it’s an added bonus if it happens. You also use #ff to thank people for helping you in some way.
👩🏼🏫 Meet some of our 2021 masterclass speakers – and give them a follow! @anitasethi @liz_fenwick @allegrahuston @nicolamay1 @jonreed @writersclub @meandmybigmouth @Eva_Bec @mollyflatt #FollowFriday #FF #WritingWorkshop #WriteTip #FridayReads https://t.co/4DQLnABo7P pic.twitter.com/dYKgmiMhHt
— Publishing Talk (@publishingtalk) April 30, 2021
Another thing you can do on a Friday is tell us what you’re reading. This is a great way of name-checking other authors your admire, often with a picture of the book and short review. You can also use #AmReading any day of the week – but #FridayReads is more often used for book reccomendations.
Ideally, include the Twitter @username of the author and official hashtag for the book if either exist; and a buying link to the book. If you have an Amazon Associates account, you might even earn a few dollars (pounds, euros etc.) if people click through and buy your #FridayReads recommendation.
If someone else gives a shoutout to one of your books – whether one that you’ve written, or one that you’ve published – like and/or retweet it on your own Twitter account.
Publishers can use #FridayReads to promote books. I often see them suggesting a Friday Read that happens to be a book that they’ve published that week – sometimes also combined with a giveaway.
You can use #FridayReads to share mini book reviews – whether your own, or quoting someone else’s review.
“#AWrinkleInTime is this beautiful example of creating this other world..” –@TimothyAnne, Curatorial Museum Specialist @NMAAHC✨ #FridayReads pic.twitter.com/dHUdvaioD6
— AmyPoehlerSmartGirls (@smrtgrls) July 28, 2017
Use #WritingPrompt as a way of engaging with other writers by suggesting a trigger for a story; or to look for writing inspiration yourself. Also check #WritingPrompts (plural), since this is used too; and maybe throw in an #AmWriting for good measure!
Write out the best or the worst day of your life. #writingprompt #amwriting
— Hope N. Griffin (@HopeNGriffin) July 28, 2017
Running a book giveaway on Twitter? Use #BookGiveaway to help people discover it. This can be used by publishers or authors. The entry criteria are usually as simple as ‘follow and retweet’ with a closing date. If you win, the person running the giveaway will usually DM (direct message) you to ask where you’d like your book sent.
????GIVEAWAY????????RT + follow for a chance to win 1 hardcover copy of You, Me and Empathy – ends 15/08. #kidlitart #kidlit #bookgiveaway #giveaway pic.twitter.com/1xqzHBRvIH
— Sofia Cardoso (@sofiagcardosoo) July 31, 2017
You know that you should never pitch to an agent on Twitter, right? They really don’t like it. However, you should follow them, and many are prepared to give advice on Twitter. #AskAgent is the hashtag to use, which some agents will seek out to answer your questions. #AskPub and #AskEditor are variations to ask questions of publishers and editors. You can also use #AmQuerying to send your 280-character pitches out into the world.
Agents will sometimes announce when they’re available for questions using #AskAgent, with a date and time – or simply if they have a few minutes to spare!
I can do a quick #askagent while kids are in wave pool if anyone has questions?
— Jenny Bent (@jennybent) July 30, 2017
More hashtags for writers
While most of these hashtags can also be used on Instagram, there are a few Instagram-specific ones you should be aware of:
Consider the following daily hashtags to make yourself more visible on specific days of the week:
- #TuesdayMotivation, #CharityTuesday, #TravelTuesday, #TuesdayThoughts; and and #TuesNews, which is used by members of the Romantic Novelists’ Association (@RNAtweets)!
- #WriterWednesday, #WednesdayWisdom
- #ThursdayThoughts, #ThrowbackThursday / #tbt
- #FollowFriday, #FridayReads
- #SampleSunday (for sample chapter giveaways)
Some hashtags work well during specific months or seasons. #SummerReads is a seasonal alternative to #FridayReads. And if you’re doing NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) in November, find tips and support with #NaNoWriMo or #CampNaNoWriMo.
Genre and topic hashtags
It can sometimes be useful to specify a genre in your tweets – particularly if combined with a #bookgiveaway – such as #CrimeFiction / #CrimeFic, #ChildrensBooks / #KidLit, #YAlit, #ScienceFiction / #SciFi, #RomanticFiction, #RomCom, #thriller etc.
You can also use hashtags to talk about publishing topics such as #SelfPublishing / #SelfPub / #IndieAuthors or #ebooks.
You can find various genre and topic-based discussions on Twitter, which sometimes take place at specific times. Try, for example, #YALitChat, #LitChat, #SciFiChat or #ScriptChat.
Share your favourite hashtags for writers
What other hashtags for writers have you come across or found useful? Do add them to the comments below.
This is an update of a post that first appeared on this site on 03 Aug 2011, 03 Aug 2017 and 03 Jan 2021.
62 thoughts on “10 hashtags for writers – and how to use them”
Thanks. You brought up important tips on using hasgtags for marketing.
Phew. Finally I know what all these things are and what to do with them 😂
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As a writer I am using #writerslife to promote my tweets. Apart from this now I will also use few of the other hashtags which are mentioned in this article.
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Well done, Jon. Most useful. Thanks indeed.
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Thank you for the information. It’s really helpful. I finally know how to use all of the hashtag(s) metioned. Since, I’m an amateur writer. Best of luck!
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Thanks for the info. It helps to know when and how to use the hashtags.
#sffwrtcht has a pretty good sci-fi and fantasy writers chat every Wednesday night at 9pm EST.
This is certainly one of the most useful article on twitter usage for writers and authors. Thanks for the info.
Really useful – thank you. I had just about realised how hash tags work, but there are so many of them that I had no idea which were the most useful. Now I know!
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There are also hashtags for #selfpub #self-pub #selfpublishing and #self-publishing. Generally the first seems to be most common, but they’re all used regularly. Haven’t figured out yet if there’s a general theme or topic trend for each. Anybody know?
Just wanted to say thanks to Publishing Talk. Your book is awesome and you have helped me so much. Sharing with all of my author friends. This will be regular site for me. I wish I had found you long ago, but so happy that I have found you now.
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This really good information. I’m still trying to figure out how to use hastags.
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For more writing/book related hashtags take a look at http://bookhashtags.com and if you are an author add your book/hashtag at http://bookhashtags.com/addbook
Every Thursday from 4PM to 5PM EDST there’s a chat about book marketing that uses the hashtag #bookmarket. Here are some details about a recent one:
Please note that it is a non-promotional chat and the hashtag is NOT to be used except by people promoting the chat or taking part it in (this has been a problem recently). Follow @BookMarketChat on Twitter for details of upcoming sessions.
Every other Thursday at 9 PM Eastern Time, we host a #bookcountry chat, which usually consists of one big name writer and one publishing professional discussing one writer-focused topic, and answering questions. Usually by the end of the chat, we have several other publishing professionals in there taking questions on the topic as well. About a week later, we post the chat transcript for the people who missed it.
The next one we have coming up is Thursday, August 25th, at 9 PM EDT. Our guests are @LawrenceBlock (who needs no introduction!) and book PR professional @erinfaye (part of the team behind #fridayreads!). The topic is “connecting with readers”.
Here’s a link a transcripts of one of our previous chats.
Great info! So nice to keep in touch with other authors during this solitary pursuit.
Thanks for the list. Regarding #FridayReads, don’t just think Amazon. There are many other places that sell books. Link to an independent bookstore, the publisher, B&N, Kobo, Sony, etc. Amazon is just one retailer and others need support too.
Agreed! Let’s support those independent bookstores. Great list of # for writers–thanks.
Thanks for the write-up.
I thought accountants were the only ones who use #WIP. Work-in-progress. I see it all the time in writers’s tweets.
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Some great advice. Many thanks.
Much needed info! Thank you very much.
As a writer/new Twitterer this is extremely useful, thank you 🙂
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Aww, now I know some writing hashtags.
Fabulous to see #amwriting right at the top. It is such an amazing community built by the tireless work of Johanna Harness.
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This is a great resource for writers who are new to twitter. As one of those new writers, I thank you.
More: #engchat #followreader #journchat #langchat #scriptchat #yalitchat #storyappchat #wjchat (web journalists) #pubmedia (public media)
For fun: #booksmissingaletter For example: No Country for Old Me (ex-pat senior, looking for place to retire?)
Yes, very helpful. I especially love #amreading and #amwriting. I have to say, though, that #ff is one of the most annoying and misused “features” of Twitter. Most people just throw out lists of people with no explanation of who they are or why anyone should follow them. It makes me want to say, “Just because someone follows you doesn’t mean I need to follow them, so stop cluttering my feed!”
This is really useful. I am fairly new to twitter and this will help no end in trying to establish links with other writers.
You have helped to de-mystify the hashtags and given me some useful pointers – many thanks!
THANKS! Loved this , so useful and informative.
what a great way to learn,highly appreciated. would make twitting easy.
wow – thank you so much for this. I’ve been asking questions and trying to figure it out – but this was a really clear, concise explanation. MUCH appreciated.
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Thanks for this list. I have found #NaNoWriMo and #CampNaNoWriMo of use when they are on!
Thanks for sharing this.
Gotta love HTML. All the *examples* in this piece have live links in them. Very cool.
I Follow you on Twitter now. Or should I wait until Friday? ;-D
#samplesunday is a good one too. Link to where there is an excerpt of your writing for people to read.
Yes! I like this. Thank you. Looking for a good hash tag for in progress and maybe another to share an excerpt.
You forgot to mention that #FF has a website followfriday.com that tracks the hashtag. But PLEASE don’t recommend more than 50 people. You eliminate yourself from the tracking AND your recommendations don’t count towards the tracking of those you recommend.
If you want more Twitter tips: http://rebeccatlittle.blogspot.com/2011/01/what-ive-learned-about-twitter.html
Things are definitely clearer now and I can get more out of using twitter. Thanks!
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Thanks John. I only recently became active on Twitter. I was seeing a couple of those hashtags all the time and didn’t realize the significance of them until I read this.
Another hashtag you might consider adding is #selfpub for “self-publishing” although I’m not sure if there are more popular tags for that topic?
All the best, Gary
Thanks much. Very useful to any writer and especially to mkamysterylady.com #writer #mystery #Nook #mysterywriter #ebooks
Thanks for this great round up of hashtags! I use some of them regularly, and misuse one of them regularly, lol, and I didn’t know about a few of them. Like #bookgiveaway! I give books away every month, so I’ll definitely tag that now.
Hey cool. I was trying to figure out what #WW and #ff are, so thank you very much. 😀
Let’s now see if I can make use of them in a Twitter-friendly, and helpful way. 😀
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