Mostly I follow people because they have interesting or amusing things to say. After all, twitter is meant to be fun, right? The clue is in the name. And I especially love following writers. They're a jolly, supportive bunch and I've met lots in real life who are just as delightful as they are in the ether.
But I'm afraid that some writers need a time-out on the naughty step, for they've misunderstood the spirit of twitter and need to learn the error of their ways.
Yes, everyone needs to earn their daily crust, and twitter can be a great way to help writers engage with readers. But if you clog a reader's timeline with tweets that essentially say Buy my book buy my book buy my book buy my book buy my book buy my book buy my book buy my book buy my book buy my book buy my book buy my bo (140 characters, remember), you're probably aggravating potential readers rather than engaging them. That's certainly true for this reader.
Writers, I'm begging you: quit it with the harassment (and that includes retweeting every review you get, or worse, trying to be sneaky in doing so by thanking the reviewer and including the link to the review). We readers aren't stupid.
Please don't make me feel stabby.
Your potential fan
** How twitter works **
I can post status updates (like I would on Facebook). These are called tweets. I can use 140 characters including spaces to get my point across. Anyone who "follows" me (that's like being a Facebook friend) sees my tweets in their timeline. So people follow me and I follow them. That's it, really. Pretty simple. I can also post photos (like the time I made a lemon almond polenta cake, which an errant pit bull stepped on during my friend's hen party picnic, leaving his perfectly formed paw print in the middle of the cake - we ate around it ... and when they men joined us they ate the paw print).
I can post links to articles, etc. and I can repost tweets from anyone I follow. So when Stephen Fry outdoes himself in witticism, I might repost his tweet.