Author Stephen King holds up a pink Amazon Kindle 2 electronic reader.
Author Stephen King holds up a pink Amazon Kindle 2 electronic reader.

Best-selling novelist Stephen King has at last taken to Twitter but finds himself lost for words.

According messages on The Shining author's Facebook page and website, he wanted the Twitter handle @StephenKingAuthor, but this was too long.

The horror author can now be followed on the account @StephenKing. Marsha DeFilippo, King's assistant, said the Twitter handle was authentic and revealed that the writer's publisher, Scribner, had encouraged him to go on the social media website.

The writer of Carrie and The Shining is a fan of eBooks and other digital media platforms. In 2000, he published what is generally thought to be the world's first mass market commercial e-book, Riding the Bullet. Later that year he distributed a serialised online work, The Plant.

In 2009, King wrote a novella called UR, specifically tied to the launch of the Kindle 2. However, he has been a late adopter of Twitter - until now.

His opening tweets were: "My first tweet. No longer a virgin. Be gentle!"

But the author of over 50 books found himself struggling for 140 characters in which to express himself, saying: "On Twitter at last, and can't think of a thing to say. Some writer I turned out to be."

His tweets may be few and far between, but King has still notched up over 80,000 followers within six hours of joining the microblogging platform.

King's books have sold more than 350 million copies and have been adapted into a number of feature films, television movies and comic books. King has published 50 novels, including seven under the pen-name of Richard Bachman, and five non-fiction books.

Stephen King joins many other popular authors on Twitter, including Margaret Atwood (@MargaretAtwood, 450,000+ followers), Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself, 1.9 million followers), Salman Rushdie (@salmanrushdie, 650,000+ followers), Anne Rice (@annericeauthor, 73,000+ followers), John Green (@realjohngreen, 1.9 million followers) and many others.

High-profile authors use Twitter to connect directly to their readers, responding to Tweets, sharing news about tours or promoting upcoming works.

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