#TheBookies: A Hashtag Game for Bookworms

~Guest post by Phillip T. Stephens




It doesn’t matter if you’re a hashtag game fan, or you’ve never played. #TheBookies (@BookieWordGames) offers bookworms a Twitter playpen to launch verbal jousts, puns and tongue twisters. Readers meet Indie Authors face-to-face and authors find new followers for their books.

Bookies Logo Take a look at this weekly game, sponsored by Authors Professional Coop in partnership with IndieBooksBeSeen, and you’ll find a new weekly passion. @stephens_pt (me) posts the topic immediately after the previous game and once a night for the following week.

Players tweet all day Wednesday. I declare the winner at 6:30 pm EST and e-mail an eBook by a Coop author to the winner.


Join the #TheBookies a hashtag game for bookworms every Wednesday. The moderator @stephens_pt highlights his favorites starting at 4:30 pm EDT, and announces a winner at 6:30.


Booking #TheBookies

When I suggested that the Facebook group #AuthorProfCoop (Author Professionals Coop) promote their books with a hashtag game, I was surprised to discover how few writers actually played hashtag games on Twitter. After all, writers make a living from verbal jokes and puns, right?

If you’ve never played a hashtag game, the rules are simple. The moderators post the hashtag. The players respond with a joke, and often a related pic.

For instance #MyWorstNightmare might prompt:

  • My ex returned and now she’s pregnant
  • Mother called and said she’s coming to visit
  • The election’s over and (Trump or Hillary) won
  • I dieted for three straight months and gained ten pounds

or a simple image



In the case of #TheBookies, this doesn’t mean players can’t stray from books with their entries, but the judge prefers entries that play on fictional characters and titles. (More about the judge later). Past games included:

  • #FastFoodActionThrillers
  • #DrunkTweetsFromOz
  • #FairyGodmotherBadAdvice
  • #RomComWesterns
  • #ShakespeareAfterHours
  • #2016ScarlettLetters

Here are some of the Tweets from #FastFoodActionThrillers:

  • Dial M for McDonalds
  • The French Fry Connection
  • Midnight in the Olive Garden of Good and Evil
  • 007: For Your Fries Only
  • Men in Baby Back Ribs
  • True Fries


I’ve heard every excuse in the book not to play, and most of them revolve around not knowing what to say.

You’re readers and writers. Words are in your blood. Even so, here are some things to remember:

  1. Don’t know any detective novels? (Or Sci Fi, or fairy tales?) Do what you did in school when you partied instead of studying. Google. “What are the most famous detective novels?” “Who are the most famous fictional detectives?”
  2. Don’t worry about the rules. Hashtag games don’t have rules. Seriously. Don’t know any novels? Tweet movies and TV shows. In a recent serial killer installment #SerialKillersInTherapy (I’m Okay, You’re Delicious), players tweeted real serial killers.
  3. Check out other hashtag games. Download the Hashtag Roundup app. It lists dozens of hashtag games you can play besides this one just to see what others are doing (with a lot more players than we have).

My favorite games are: @FriMemeGirls, a meme spoof, on Friday Nights at 9pm EDT and @HashFakeFacts, a liars game, at 1 pm EDT on Sundays.


Ignore the man behind the curtain…

Yes, currently I’m organizing, running and judging the event. I never intended it to happen that way, but as often happens with volunteer organizations, if it’s your idea, you get to run with it.

That being said, if I didn’t feel that this was a real opportunity to introduce readers to writers, I wouldn’t invest my time.


Why should readers play?

You’ll get to read humorous tweets about your favorite books and characters and meet new authors who play regularly, such as Les Lynam, author of the Time Will Tell series, Karina Kantas, author of the, Karina Kantas, author of the Outlaw Series, Elizabeth Newton, author of Riddle, and Jessica Wren, author of Ice.

You can enjoy a hashtag game targeted at books and book readers. If you follow me on Twitter, you can even DM me with suggestions for game names. Best of all, of course, you earn a chance to win a book by some of the best indie authors writing.


Why should Indie Authors play?

This is a great chance to promote your books by interacting with players. I follow a number of players and they follow me back. They get all of my feeds and book promotions.

The game offers more promotional opportunities, however. Every game links players directly to the #AuthorPromoCoop and IndieBooksBeSeen Facebook page. If you have a book promotion you want players to see, or if you want to run a promotion for the game, join the group and post the promotion on the site.

You can also contact me directly and offer your book as the prize for a game. I will add a direct link to the title’s Amazon page at the beginning of every game, and mention your name and the title when I award it at the end of the game.

Currently, I select the titles for prizes and pay for them, so who gets promoted is up to me and who I happen to feel like giving away that day (and it might be one of my books if I’m cash poor). So you’re wasting a shot at getting your name out there by ignoring this opportunity.

I’ll see you on Wednesday’s.

See also:
Raising Hell by Phillip T. Stephens
An Interview with Phillip T. Stephens
Books I Read in September


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