I read a lot about how important it is for a writer to 'market' their work, to 'put their name out' so they are recognised and all of that sort of malarkey. So, how do you do that exactly?
There are several useful ways of marketing yourself. Even if you have an agent then you'll have to do this as well so it's a good idea to get your head around it.
Twitter appears to be full of publishers (some of whom will follow you back so they can hear you're 180 characters worth of whatever you feel like announcing), agents, writers, editors etc. Great I hear you say. I've written a novel in an evening, I've showed it to my dog and Jack at the local off licence and they both love it.
Can I ask an agent/publisher to look at my blog/web site/youTube video for the trailer of the movie for my novel in the hope that they will represent me/print my book.
Agents and publishers are lovely people (mostly). They use Twitter but they also don't like it when people pitch their novels on there. Each agent and publisher has a web site, it annoys them when people try to cut corners so it's highly likely that you will be told to stop being so lazy and submit properly (I'd say it like this, but they are a lot nicer and will point you in the direction of their web site for the correct submission guidelines).
What about guiding new followers to your web site/amazon page for easy access to my novel?
Please don't. Would you jump into bed with someone within 30 seconds of meeting them? I imagine most of us wouldn't. It's rude and it's pushy. Buying a novel, like buying perfume, is a complex thing. Not everyone is going to like your novel, we all have different likes and dislikes. I wouldn't want to sit and read an autibiography so I certainly don't appreciate being directed to a site so I can buy one by someone I don't know at all. If you're going to go down this road then make an effort to build up a relationship with your followers first.
Why should I use Twitter?
It's a very useful tool, there are links to blogs that will help you improve your writing, tell you when the writing competitions are, give you examples of really bad submissions so you know what not to do, but mainly, writing is a lonely job. Having a 180 character conversation can ease the pain. There's far more reasons to use Twitter but I'm too busy to think of more now, I'm off to check out some more submission guidelines. Aplogies for any spelling mistakes, my spell check isn't working.