To date the blog posts have discussed mostly aspects of writing, the how and why’s of creating a narrative or a product. I’ve also delved into events, how to prepare and go about running a stall and getting on the program. But that’s not the be-all and end all of getting yourself out there. There are a couple of things I have done (or hope to do/am about to do) that can aid your visibility as an author/personality and, once people know your name, they are more likely to buy your work. This article is going to talk about some of the ‘other’ opportunities that have arisen for me during my time on the event circuit and avenues that I intend to pursue to increase my visibility as an author.
Social Media; Now, I have discussed this before. Back at the beginning I met an editor who espoused the opinion that both publishers and editors want you show that you are prepared to do the work promoting yourself. I have since met people in the industry who have different views but, the key thing is, it doesn’t hurt to do it anyway. Whether and agent or publisher want you to have a pre-existing online footprint or not, they’re not going to mind if you do. The only way it can hurt is if you’re actively alienating broad swathes of the target audience/demographic, or straight up being offensive/bigoted toward others. Most reputable publishing houses want nothing to do with that kind of drama.
Vlogging; Video-Blogging, now I’m not about to start a channel, the powers know I struggle enough just maintaining this blog and my other social media sites. What I’m talking about is doing interviews and speaking about things that you are passionate about on other people’s channels. You can’t just approach a vlogger and say ‘Here, talk about this!’… well, you can but I doubt the success rate is going to be high. My first interview occurred when I donated a set of my books for a charity auction. The auction was going to be held as a live event on YouTube so the crew wanted material to pad out the run so they interviewed anyone who donated stuff. More recently I took part in a charity event and just got chatting to the guy who was recording the event, in the end he offered to do a review and I passed him a book. Remember, while some people who buy your work will review as a matter of course, be prepared to give books away, it won’t always result in a review, but it can be written off as a ‘promotional expense’ for tax purposes. Most recently, as a result of a panel item at Fantasycon, I was approached by a vlogger looking to do a piece on the topic we discussed at the panel. It’s yet another bonus of getting on the programme circuit.
Industry Publications; Now this one came to my attention just recently. There is nothing stopping you from submitting articles to industry magazines, both print and electronic. As well as the short-story publications there are a number of genre specific magazines and web sites catering to Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Horror, Romance and every other genre. The British Science Fiction Association itself prints four titles covering interviews, reviews, tips of the trade and short fiction. They’re always looking for material and they’re just a quick web-search away