Twitter Wit

Perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised that my very first words published in print are in the form of a “tweet” I posted on Twitter on April Fool’s Day this year.

This particular savory morsel of bite-sized brilliance is in Twitter Wit: Brilliance in 140 Characters or Less, a brand new book from HarperCollins filled with several hundred very clever, witty, and pithy tweets. It is the very first Twitter-based book from a major publisher (of many to come, I’m sure). While my contribution (on page 73) only takes up roughly .15% of its content, its very inclusion proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that I must be one of the most interesting people on Twitter.


Jason Weaver 08.26.09 Reply

Ooh, nice one! I’ll look out for it. Do you get a royalty? Or does Twitter ‘own’ all material posted to it?

Ben 08.26.09 Reply

Thanks Jason. Alas, no royalties, but contributors did receive a free copy of the book.

Twitter does not claim ownership over the content of individual twitter-streams (rightly so) and writers still own their own material, though by submitting, one grants Nick (the editor) and HarperCollins these rights:

By submitting information to Twitter Wit, you grant Twitter Wit a perpetual, royalty-free license to use, reproduce, modify, publish, distribute, and otherwise exercise all copyright and publicity rights with respect to that information at its sole discretion, including storing it on Twitter Wit servers and incorporating it in other works in any media now known or later developed including without limitation published books and related items and in the advertising and promotion thereof. In every appearance of your message, you will be credited by your Twitter username.

So they can do whatever they want with submitted tweets as long as they credit the author. Then again, a ten dollar book for 140 characters I wrote anyway is a decent deal in my mind.

Doug R 08.31.09 Reply

Ben, very cool. I’ve wondered when I’d see such a book on the shelves. Got a link for us? Thanks! @Brevity24

BTW, I’ve thoroughly been enjoying your midnight stories as well as the ones published on picfic.

Ben 08.31.09 Reply

Thanks for the kinds words, Doug!

There’s a link to Twitter Wit on Amazon in the post (it’s the underlined book title—just realized that might be confusing by itself since book titles are always underlined or italic. Oops). I’m still working my way through it, but I plan to post some more thoughts on this entertaining Web 2.0 bathroom reader.

David Shrock 09.01.09 Reply

Neat. A ten-dollar book for a few words is not a bad deal at all. I’ll have to check out the book. Keep those great tweets coming.

Ben 09.03.09 Reply

Agreed. Besides, the point has been made that a $10 book is actually “worth” more than the royalties of the book would be when split between several hundred people, and that could very well be true depending on how well the book sells.

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