@SororityProblem: How this Delightfully Snarky Tweeter Turned into a Best-Selling Author

 @cavanshays
on November 14 2011 10:37 AM
@SororityProblem
This is the first book by @SororityProblem, "Sorry I'm Not Sorry." It is currently available for Kindle and the Nook. On Nov. 21, SP releases the sequel "Sucks to Suck." @SororityProblem

Brazen, unapologetic, and downright hilarious, SororityProblem (@SororityProblem) could very well be the voice of a generation. The anonymous tweeter speaks to college-aged students and twenty-somethings who party too hard, sleep too late, watch too much reality TV, and swear by their smartphones.

She tweets about everything from her hangovers, her relationship woes, and Beyoncé to coffee, fugly girls, and wanting to audition for The Real World. She is the every girl of 2011. She is moody, feisty, and full of hope and promise.

SP navigates through life with a sassy attitude and a keen wit. But, right off the bat, she makes sure you know that she is not like those other anonymous Twitter personalities who are actually fancy urbanites who get write-ups in Time magazine.

Let's be honest -- I do not see myself as being on any level close to those people. WGP is basically worshipped by every celebrity from Paris Hilton to Joan Rivers, and my biggest celebrity moment was when, like, some chick who was on the 'Bad Girls Club' for two episodes called me a talentless hippo or something, SP told IBTimes. Right out of the gate, she gets to-the-point. There will not be any sparkly sugar-coatings with this one.

When I make it into TIME Magazine or take down some huge company, I'll get back to you, she added. But until then I'll just continue writing on my $300 laptop with its missing dollar sign key while getting hated on by basic-cable reality show castoffs.

However, SP does not give herself enough credit. After all, she has really made a quite name for herself in the digital world, in spite of (or maybe because of) her self-depricating ways.

I'm an idiot- this morning it took me ten minutes to figure out how to work the gas pump. That's what I want people to see from all of this -- if I can do it, almost anyone can do it, she told IBTimes.

SP started the Twitter feed @SororityProblem because, well, she had a lot to say. On Facebook, the limit is about one or two posts a day before you start sliding into 'psycho with no life' territory, and on Twitter you can say whatever you want, however often you want.

Armed with her Twitter account, and over 220,000 followers, she is out to conquer the publishing world with her second book, Sucks to Suck, the sequel to her first hit novel Sorry I'm Not Sorry. Sorry I'm Not Sorry is currently available for both Kindle and the Nook. Sucks to Suck will be released November 21.

When the Twitter started to take off, I saw a chance to try something new and sort of bridge the gap between social media and publishing, and use it as an opportunity to release something that people might actually be aware of, said SP. It was total uncharted territory and I had no idea what would happen, but things are turning out pretty well so far.

Writing has always been something SP has wanted to do, she just did not know exactly how to go about doing it or if anyone would actually want to read what she had to say. After all, my last name isn't Hilton; I don't have a show on E!; I haven't been to jail five times like Lindsay Lohan; and unfortunately that's all that publishers care about these days.

In the beginning, the going was rough. Shopping her book to major publishers was not as easy as one might think it would be for a vivacious, popular Twitter personage. It was a disaster- every single one of them rejected me flat-out. But that's okay- the world doesn't owe me anything, and I knew I wasn't going to have success handed to me on a platter. Of course I got embarrassingly drunk and felt terrible about myself for a day or two, she told IBTimes. But after that, I thought to myself; I've got this base of people who might want to read my book.

After 17 New York City publishers denied her almost as soon as her foot stepped through the door, SP took matters into her own hands. She published the book herself after reading tutorials and watching countless YouTube videos.

And it worked.

I launched the book myself on August 31, and it hasn't fallen off Amazon's bestseller list since then. That was over 100 days ago.

SororityProblem, the little Twitter feed that could. SP may be condescending and crude but this girl knows what she is talking about when it comes to entrepreneurship. She even has some ideas on how to progress the publishing industry into the twenty-first century.

The bottom line is harsh and simple: kids my age just aren't reading books anymore, she said.We have Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, iPhones, Blackberries, iPads, and a million other distractions to entertain us and keep us busy, and the good old book has just become completely boring and old-fashioned in comparison.

But, she believes there is a silver lining. It's odd, though, because if you added up all the media we consume every day- Facebook posts, online news articles, blogs, etcetera- it would probably add up to more word-for-word reading than any generation before us.

If there is any hope for the publishing industry to continue existing in any form close to what it looks like today, we have got to get people my age reading again.

SP thinks books just need a little face lift. If they are going to survive, digitalization is the way to go. SP believes that books via smartphones is ideal for Generation Y.

Anyone, anywhere, can download the book and read it from almost any brand of phone, computer, or tablet, and the downloading process takes about one minute and costs only five dollars. The second I started reading on my phone I was hooked, and I knew I'd never read a traditional book again, she said.

It's the most convenient thing ever. And the feedback has been great -- people love reading on their phones, and they seem really excited about the books. That has become my goal in all of this -- to make the book exciting again.

While promoting her first and second books, SP has been working with a marketing budget of zero dollars. I didn't really have any other options. My whole business plan was that I had no business plan.

So, she decided to use what she knows best - social media.

I kept things really simple -- I posted the cover image and excerpts on Twitpic; I made my book's website in the form of a Facebook page.

Of course, with this comes an influx of not only praise, but also criticism. Although SP has oodles of aficionados, she also has some haters too. Such is the life of a Twitter star.

These days anyone in the world can get on a computer and completely tear you apart from top to bottom, and be completely anonymous while doing so, and there's absolutely nothing you can do about it, she said.

Prepare yourself for pure, unadulterated hatred to come at you from all directions, all day, and if you can't deal with that, then maybe you should go into finance.

SP certainly knows how to dish it, but she can take it too. She has developed a thick skin and those haters will not be stopping her any time soon. SP believes her modus operandi is working just fine for her. It might even possibly be better than the outlined plans big publishing companies operate on.

Honestly I don't think many publishers are doing a very good job at adapting to the digital revolution, said SP. I don't consider myself an expert on the industry by any means; but I'm young; I'm in my early twenties; I use and consume media every day, and I can see what's going on.

It's kind of like a ship in a bay and the tide's going out, and they're so stubborn and set in their ways that they're going to try to keep treading water and risk hitting the bottom rather than just go with the flow and see where it takes them.

Of course, the issue is more complicated than that. SP would obviously consider working with a major publisher if given the opportunity. She also would not mind having a team of assistants who get her lunch and drive her to film commercials or shoot a billboard or go on a publicity tour and get inappropriately drunk with Kathie Lee and Hoda at ten in the morning.

But at the end of the day, it is about her love of writing and her goal to do her part to revamp the industry for the next generation.

I love books, I love the publishing world, and I want to see this industry survive so that my grandkids can read terribly-written romantic melodramas about vampires and werewolves just like my friends and I did, SP said.

They're [publishers] just going to have to streamline themselves; become more digital-friendly; and get better at adapting to the new circumstances of this crazy new world. Change with the marketplace instead of trying to change the marketplace.

Oftentimes when an individual swims from a pond into an ocean, they try to catch bigger fish. Branding, for instance, is a typical subsequent step for those looking to trademark their persona. SP is not one of these people. And Branding is not really her thing.

I think the whole 'brand' thing is weird and annoying and a buzzword that aging 'Good Morning America' commentators use to sound young and hip, she said.

Everything is 'brand' this and 'brand' that, every D-list reality star with a tacky lingerie line is calling themselves a 'brand'. Clearly you need to get yourself out there and create a platform for yourself, but don't let someone worry you and tell you that everything from your hair color to your Facebook profile picture or whatever is part of your 'personal brand.'

You are not a clothing line. Create good content, and people will come, she added.

Content is what SororityProblem is all about. SororityProblem is just a compilation of delicious daily tidbits that everyone thinks but SP has the nerve to actually say.

With a solid game plan, and a fearless attitude, the possibilities are endless.

In three months I went from getting rejected by 17 NYC publishers to releasing a book that has been on Amazon's bestseller list for 100 days and counting, said SP.

The economy might suck until we're thirty; there might be zero jobs waiting for us out there for years to come; but we have an opportunity that our parents and grandparents never had -- social media and the digital world.

It won't be easy, or overnight, and I had to work my butt off for months and months to get here, but if you take matters into your own hands, work hard, and don't take no for an answer, success is definitely possible, she added.

If things aren't going your way, all you need to turn things around is a laptop, a Wi-Fi connection, a strong work ethic, and a boatload of caffeine. So get out there and start designing your destiny -- one blog post at a time.

We'll cheers to that.

Follow Cavan Sieczkowski on Twitter @cavanshays

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