For those on twitter (ie. most of the world, and a few aliens and trolls too), you must have been privy to the daily or weekly newspapers coming out from hashtags and tweeps on twitter. These are produced by the free to use paper.li service.
How Paper.Li Works
Any twitter user can sign up to paper.li and input some search hashtags, edition frequencies etc. Give it a title, and the edition will come out when you want, and post onto your twitter stream as an announcement.
Options for Reading paper.li zines:
- Most paper.li users setup an automatic tweet announcement through their own twitter stream, once a new edition is published. If you’re quick enough on reading your twitter streams from friends you will notice it, and can click on the shorturl link to go read the full paper.
- The edition can firstly arrive in an email inbox if somebody subscribes to it (via the subscribe button), which is the best way to catch daily news from the twittersphere on particular topics.
- Paper.li users (register with your twitter account or facebook logon) can also choose to favouritise papers (from the subscribe button) as they find them, and read them from the paper.li website). They will be available
- The third option from the paper.li website is to sign in, and go to the Newstand button on your menu. This brings up a page of all the papers published by your twitter friends – those you follow, and paper.li staff picks also.
How are Papers setup?
Setting up a paper is easy – either choose the twitter stream option, or customise a paper using hashtags, search filters, or choose a group of twitter peeps you follow.
What many people don’t realise (or remember, if you’re me) is that aside from search terms and hashtags, or choosing a twitter list of twitter users you know will be tweeting on a certain topic of interest , the editor or owner of the paper.li paper doesn’t have that much control over what appears on the zine from day to day.
You can’t choose not to have one tweet featured overtop of another. You can’t choose that brilliant tweet from your personal friend. The paper.li system pulls the posts in automatically.
So saying that, most of the current paper.li papers created, even when on the same search tags (such as #thriller #suspense) and frequencies publish with different features and posts on them. This happens because of international timings, and because every twitter user publishing will certainly have a different list of twitter people they are watching, and may have chosen to include into the paper.
When you come to create a custom paper you can search under a term, and through your twitter, facebook, google+, rss feeds and youtube channels for friends or feeds to provide sources for that paper.li feed. Some of these are more helpful than others, depending on how disciplined you have been with finding and following like-minded friends on the social networks. Note – the image to the right shows one search for “thriller writing# through twitter. I must point out that for all the thriller search terms I used in this example, Joanna Penn turned up as the top source for everything, overtop of ITW – the International Thriller Writer’s organisation, and other much better known thriller authors such as Harlan Corben. As an author and social media expert, Joanna Penn utilises her search terms, hashtags and keywords very well.
Paper.li also has a series of topics or hashtags which you can’t get rid of. You do have, in the custom options, the choice of what sources your technology and lifestyle feeds may come from. So every paper you read will have a technology section, for instance. And a photo section, a society section and a world news section – all of which may make some of your hashtag choices disappear surrounded by other news items. Adverts also populate the paper, naturally.
How to Get Published on Paper.li Papers
Firstly, Paper.li likes tweets or posts with pictures – using images in posts that then feed through to Facebook or Twitter is the way to go, if you’re hoping to have your own posts picked up in a paper.li paper. Along with hashtag and key term usage through posts and profile blurbs (see my note about Joanna Penn above).
Which introduces my finding of today. I just got a twitter mention from i-friend and author JC Martin, telling me that I was one top featured author on her paper.li paper “The Fighter Writer Crime Fic Daily”. Until then, I hadn’t known the crime fiction paper existed.
And the only reason I’m appearing there is because I chose to tweet about a link and pic I had posted up either onto facebook or bitly or pinterest (on an old Atlantic online article) and the excerpt must have had some kind of hashtag (like #crime or #fiction, or both) to be picked up by JC’s paper.li paper.
Bringing up my last point – I am a bad hashtag user normally, so most of my posts and tweets have little chance of showing up in somebody else’s newspaper. I must try harder.
The Benefits of Having Your Own Paper.li Paper
Paper.li papers are available for any topic under the sun, or make your own.
When controlling the paper, you gain a communication channel to find additional followers. Read: build your platform. I have a paper under my creative persona which has been going for well over two years now, and has a heavy following on a certain niche.
Authors of the paper have the additional advantage of having their profile pic show up on the paper as a sidebar – with the capability of putting down an introduction blurb (editor’s note) also. The author’s twitter stream also shows up to the side. In the image to the right, I’ve shown how JC Martin has used the editor’s note to best effect, with text introducing her debut book. However she needs to update her profile now – the book’s now out, JC.
Note – there is an upgrade option. For $9 per month, Pro Paper.li users have the option to add logos and branding, customise or remove ads, and manage notifications.
Some Paper.li Example Papers
Here are a few of interest to myself as a writer, and which I subscribe to:
Crime and Thriller Fiction
There are hundreds of others under search strings of #crime #mystery #suspense #thriller #fiction.
- JC Martin’s The Fighter Writer Crime Fic Daily (I now subscribe to it, since becoming aware of it).
- The #Thriller Daily (note that the #thriller hashtag is one of the most difficult to watch and stream – mainly thanks to Michael Jackson and fans, so it will be a mishmash of genre news and reviews, and a fair few dance moves and zombies also).
- Andy Rane’s The Suspense/Thriller Weekly
- krimiblogger’s very popular The Crime Fiction Daily
Writers and Readers
Or create one yourself using popular writing hashtags such as #writing #WritingTip #AmWriting #AmEditing #WriterWednesday #WW #LitChat #BookMarket #WritingParty #IndieAuthors #WordCount or #WriteChat . For more hashtags check out this post at AuthorMedia – 44 Essential Twitter Hashtags Every Author Should Know
- Nancy Hendrickson’s The Digital Writer
- Nick Gandolfi’s On #writing.
- Elsie Stills’ popular Readers and Writers United
For any interest there are many papers already created. For my own sideline interest in steampunk, some of the most popular paper.li’s are:
- Updated 27/01 with the missing link for On #writing. My thanks to Nick Gandolfi for pointing this omission out.