Twitter: The Necessary Evil for Indiepub authors

On a panel at Planet Comicon this year, I was asked by one of the attendees my opinion for the best social media platform for an independent author to be on. Without hesitation, I answered, "Why, Twitter of course." Twitter is the primary meeting place of journalists, literary agents, and other media influencers. Not Facebook, not Instagram. Twitter. Sending out a well written tweet with just the right hashtag or commenting on the right agent's post could get you noticed, get you sales, or get you a three-book deal.

Grateful for my concise answer, the attendee asked me for my handle so she could follow me.
My actual facial expression
I had no Twitter. I was not on "the Twitters" as my mother would say. And why not? It was a reasonable question and it caused the Q&A session to momentarily derail. But I felt I owed the lady an honest answer.

1. Almost everything on Twitter is about politics now. Ev. Ry. Thing. No thank you.
2. There are multiple cases of people, regular people... not celebrities, getting fired and losing their livelihood because of a single tweet.
3. I have difficulty compressing my thoughts into short, pithy statements.
4. I am a classic introvert and can get easily overwhelmed.

These are all good reasons to stay off Twitter. But here's the deal for an independent author. If you want attention for your writing, you have to be where the eyeballs are. And that is Twitter.

So this week, I actually opened a Twitter account. And I have followed a few writers, some agents, and some indiepub folks who create good content, retweet relevant articles, and I've even tweeted a few times myself.

Since this is new to me, I'm not super into it. But I'm giving it the old college try. I am actually very interested in what other people use Twitter for.

Who do you follow, and why?
 Are there any hashtags I should be using?
How much time do you spend on Twitter per day and does it help get engagement on your posts?

I'd love to hear any tips or just stories you have.

BTW, my Twitter handle is @KristinMagoo