Science Fiction Microstory Contest discussion


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message 1: by Dean (last edited Dec 03, 2015 06:13AM) (new)

Dean Hardage | 82 comments Science Fiction Microstory Contest (December 2015)
The theme for the month follows this note from the competition's Creator/Director, Jot Russell:

To help polish our skills and present a flavor of our art to other members in the group, I am continuing this friendly contest for those who would like to participate. There is no money involved, but there is also no telling what a little recognition and respect might generate. The rules are simple:

1) The story needs to be your own work and should be posted on the Good Reads Discussion board, which is a public group. You maintain responsibility and ownership of your work to do with as you please. You may withdraw your story at any time.

2) The stories must be 750 words or less.

3) The stories have to be science fiction, follow a specific theme and potentially include reference to items as requested by the prior month's contest winner. The theme for this month is posted below.

4) You have until midnight EST on the 22nd day of the month to post your story to the Good Reads Science Fiction Microstory Contest discussion. One story per author per month.

5) After, anyone from the LI Sci-Fi group or the GR Science Fiction Microstory Discussion group has until midnight EST of the 25th day of the month to cast a single private vote to Jot Russell () for a story other than their own. This vote will be made public once voting is closed. Voting is required. If you do not vote, your story will be disqualified from the contest. You don't need a qualifying story to cast a vote, but must offer the reason for your vote if you don’t have an entry.

6) To win, a story needs at least half of the votes, or be the only one left after excluding those with the fewest votes. Runoffs will be run each day until a winner is declared. Stories with vote totals that add up to at least half, discarding those with the fewest votes, will be carried forward to the next runoff election. Prior votes will be carried forward to support runoff stories. If you voted for a story that did not make it into the runoff, you need to vote again before midnight EST of that day. Only people who voted in the initial round may vote in the runoffs.

7) Please have all posts abide by the rules of Good Reads and the LI Sci-Fi group.

8) Professional comments and constructive criticisms are appreciated by any member in either group and should be posted to the separate thread that will be posted at the end of the month and all voting is complete to avoid any influence on the voting. Feel free to describe elements that you do and don't like, as these help us gain a better perspective of our potential readers. Remarks deemed inflammatory or derogatory will be flagged and/ or removed by the moderator.

9) The winner has THREE days after the start of the new month to make a copy of these rules and post a new contest thread using the theme/items of their choosing. Otherwise, the originator of the contest, Jot Russell, will post a new contest thread.

For the December contest:

Theme:The End of the World as we Know It. (This can be a literal end, a cultural end, a metaphorical end, or any other massive shift that could be considered an end to what we know...)

Required elements: a body of water, any size from a puddle to an ocean.

message 2: by Carrie (new)

Carrie Zylka (carriezylka) | 221 comments fab-u-lous

message 3: by Heather (new)

Heather MacGillivray | 581 comments Wow! Love the theme for December, Dean.
Very fitting for end of year too.

message 4: by Paula (new)

Paula | 835 comments Sounds good. In one sense.
Nice choice of theme, Dean.

message 5: by Jeremy (new)

Jeremy Lichtman | 247 comments Mine's up. It's a heavily cut down version of a much longer story, so hopefully it isn't too broken.

The story is intended as a humorous inversion of "Roko's Basilisk" (See:'...), which some have labelled the most dangerous premise in the universe.

"Mungo" comes from the Latin name for a meercat or mongoose, which is the traditional mythological enemy of a basilisk.

message 6: by Dean (new)

Dean Hardage | 82 comments Posted, comments welcome.

message 7: by Ben (new)

Ben Boyd, Jr. (bhboyd2012) | 39 comments Posted. Happy Holidays!!

message 8: by Jeremy (new)

Jeremy Lichtman | 247 comments Reminds me: we should all start talking about Anthology #3 soon....

message 9: by Paula (new)

Paula | 835 comments Good idea, Jeremy. Hopefully, this time we'll go back to the 2 (or 3?) stories per person model we used for the first anthology; making a number dependent on contest "wins" when there is usually only about a 1-vote difference between win and non-win in each contest makes no sense--and also tends toward de-motivating the bulk of participants from serious dedication to sales/p.r./marketing of the book. We also should ask Jot or Carol (or me or Carrol Fix, who together did the first volume) whether one of these wants to edit this volume, or whether someone else should step up to do the work. It's a big job for a couple of people.

message 10: by Richard (last edited Dec 03, 2015 01:04AM) (new)

Richard Bunning (richardbunning) | 1 comments I'll participate provided we don't have any fatuous and irrelevant and distracting to readers glorification of certain authors at the cost of others. Who the hell wants to be in a book in which some stories are labelled as better or by inference worse than others? Well some of you or else the format of book two would have been changed before publishing. The whole concept of book two was flawed and frankly insulting. All references to our 'competition' devalues any book.

message 11: by Andy (last edited Dec 03, 2015 07:02AM) (new)

Andy Lake I get confused when I see 'Stories Only' at the top of the page. Just under where it says 'Comments only' ...

Hmm, don't hold back, Richard, lol!

I won't be participating in the anthology this year if it goes ahead - haven't really written anything worthwhile this year, except maybe for one or two pieces which I'm wrapping up in another book. Hopefully.

message 12: by Paula (new)

Paula | 835 comments Richard is correct. It is particularly pointless to give preference to some over other authors work here when there are, as I think most of us recognize, a minimum of two partially conflicting aesthetics among our group/members. Generally, with literary contests leading to anthologies, people select which to enter based on their view of the judges' aesthetics and/or qualifications; here, we are a bunch of people who happen to write science fiction; our tastes are quite various. And yes, Richard is correct, the whole concept behind the second volume was distracting to readers and unfair among the authors. It also did little for morale, and morale here is needed.
Gotta run now, but good people are bringing up, airing, questions NOW re how the anthology should be, if any--rather than last-minute as happened with volume 2.
Andy, makes sense, especially since your "another book" looks to be terrific.

message 13: by Dean (new)

Dean Hardage | 82 comments Fixed it.

message 14: by Andy (new)

Andy Lake That's good - Dean. Now I know where I am!

On LI it was no longer possible to edit the introduction to a discussion, so this is another way in which Goodreads is a better platform.

message 15: by Paula (new)

Paula | 835 comments The intros too have an edit button here, then? Cool.

message 16: by Kalifer (new)

Kalifer Deil | 283 comments Posted a story as depressing as "Gloomy Sunday." If you are a person prone to depression please don't read it.

message 17: by Marianne (last edited Dec 16, 2015 01:08PM) (new)

Marianne (mariannegpetrino) | 352 comments My story is up. I have no idea where it came from.

Re a new anthology. Count me in. Grateful to have an opportunity to be read in an additional venue :)

message 18: by Ben (new)

Ben Boyd, Jr. (bhboyd2012) | 39 comments I haven't won this contest, but if I had, I like Marianne's reasoning regarding inclusion and would be all for it.

message 19: by Jeremy (new)

Jeremy Lichtman | 247 comments Ben already seconded Marianne's reasoning, but I vote aye as well.

message 20: by Paula (new)

Paula | 835 comments I'm not finding Marianne's comment re the anthology, other than "message 17" above, but I agree with Richard's (and my own) reasoning in messages 10 (and 9 and 12) above.

message 21: by Paula (new)

Paula | 835 comments Just loving these end of life as we know it stories! Fun holiday stuff for our times, indeed. Seriously, some good writing here.

message 22: by Marianne (new)

Marianne (mariannegpetrino) | 352 comments Paula: That some of my work would be seen and read was all I cared about for both books. I know I avoided much of the whole second anthology discussion because it gave me multiple headaches. I leave it to the reader to judge what they think is "good" or not, or to overlay assumptions. I think the virtue of the anthologies is a variety of style and approaches to topics. In an archival/librarial way, I think it is important to name the winning author for each month, and that each month's winning story appear. Even if a story only won by one vote, that is important to the history of the contest, for the books are a record of the contest, although an imperfect one. When the computers all get wiped, the anthologies will stand for what we all did together in a moment of time. Not too bad , if you ask me :)

message 23: by Andy (last edited Dec 18, 2015 06:41AM) (new)

Andy Gurcak | 91 comments Well, that tension between those of us who see the TFIS volumes as more or less a yearbook of what was written for our monthly contests , and those of us who see it as a commercial S-F anthology has always been a heatsource for the discussions here, especially for TFIS2. I'm curious as to how many copies of 2 have been sold - I see we're currently #7112 in S-F Anthologies sales on Amazon (LOL, there are over 7,000 S-F anthologies currently for sale on Amazon!) I've always been more for the yearbook end of that spectrum, but commercial sales is a fine objective too. From the comments I've seen posted , whenever there's a conflict between pulishing a story in any sort of commercial venture and publishing it in one of our anthologies, the choice seems always to go with the other venue. And that seems an entirely rational decision. So, I suspect if there's to be a TFIS3, we will again be having our spirited discussions, and it will eventually be published with a very professsional edit as well as a spiffy cover, and that, to my mind, will be a very pleasant outcome indeed.

message 24: by Richard (new)

Richard Bunning (richardbunning) | 1 comments Well Marianne and Andy- We will never agree about how to write books or even year books- is that some sort of American College thing?
Obviously then, the third book is going to be about patting 'winners' of this backwater competition on their backs. Needless to say, if that is the approach my stories won't be in even if by some quirk of voting I had a 'best' story- in fact I would never get in because there is absolutely no way I'm going to be in any book that tells readers what the 'best' story is- How arrogant of the compilers and winners and demeaning of the also rans to be in such an introverted book, and one with a sad lack of commercial ambition. It is totally wrong headed to tell readers what they should be enjoying. Editors either accept or reject stories- that is how anthology selection should works- and if only winners are accepted that's fine- but judgement of quality is private- not for the reader. The competition is a total bore to all the seven billion minus thirty not involved.

message 25: by Heather (last edited Dec 18, 2015 09:50AM) (new)

Heather MacGillivray | 581 comments I have to say I find myself agreeing with Richard on this one.

An anthology should not be a catalogue of a competition!

Rather, a competition should be simply a part of the creative process which can't help but have many outcomes.

Those many outcomes logically include things like the following:

*the competition is a way to hone our craft.

*the competition is a launching pad for new creative endeavours such as 'writing as a business' or 'showcasing our writing in some way. '

*the competition is actually just a type of story drafting, in that the Reader doesn't need to or want to know about that drafting process anymore than they need to know about any other of the authors' preparations (how many cups of coffee they had, how many times they, figuratively at least, screwed up a draft and tossed it in the bin.) A competition is just a preparation towards the final goal - which is the production of the best stories we can give people to read. (If we want to tell something about the development of the idea behind a story that is done in the 'authors' note.' A rundown of who got the most votes for a story, on the other hand, actually steps over a line, into 'telling the reader what to like and what not to like.')

An anthology without reference to the competition (other than perhaps in an introductory blurb where it could be briefly mentioned in passing) is a mature work of literature. But an anthology cataloging a competition seems more like an immature 'show and tell' kindergarten level endeavour.

message 26: by Marianne (new)

Marianne (mariannegpetrino) | 352 comments I will say that things turn up in unexpected places. The Fairfax County Public Library in Fairfax VA has four copies of the first anthology for circulation, to my surprise. I thank the mystery person who made the decision to add them to the collection. I am hoping the library system will add volume 2. I am letting the system know it exists. I think any reader will take note of the history of the competition, because history cannot be divorced from the output. The "winners" get to choose the themes, etc, so the "winners" do somewhat guide what will appear as output. The stories, most likely, would not exist without the competition. The idea of the competition may spur other writers to start their own groups and contests. Isn't that a good thing? Guess my take is just a librarial/archival one. It is my preference, but whatever gets done for volume 3, I will support it, as I did volume 1 and 2, because my voice can be heard.

message 27: by Andy (last edited Dec 18, 2015 10:24AM) (new)

Andy Gurcak | 91 comments Richard / Heather - Understand that I am in no way advocating any particular set of acknowledgements of winners/ votes/ procedures/ e-mail addresses / photos/ line - drawings or any other editorial/ artful touches. I do think it would be a worthwhile instance of Truth in Advertising to mention in a sentence or two on the Preface/ Acknowledgements page why this partiuclar anthology exists. Beyond that, the more commercial the better, and I surely hope that by so doing we get bumped into the vicinity of the #5,000 position on Amazon's S-F/ Anthologies sales. Well, a boy can dream, I suppose.

message 28: by Paula (new)

Paula | 835 comments Reality checks here. First, if some writers here get extra stories in the anthology, there will be fewer among the group intensively participating in the marketing than if all writers here get equal treatment/space. Second, the decisions/votes in this group, whether by one vote or even two votes' difference, pretty much divide into likers of "darn good story" vs. likers of "more literarily skilled piece," (the former group being usually in the majority), and thus an anthology based on vote count will skew toward "darn good, plain story" and away from "literarily skilled," also limiting the potential audience. Third, we can chat how we like on this, but, rightly or wrongly, won't it be Jot who makes the decision.

message 29: by Carol (new)

Carol Shetler | 11 comments Hi, everyone, I had to re-register under one of my other email addresses, as I lost my password for this group and Goodreads did not send me the instructions to replace it. I think the topic and element this month are excellent and will do my best to get a story in by the 22nd. I am, as Paula mentioned above, one who likes a "darn good, plain story" about 90% of the time. As I read more of the writing of this group, I am finding that some of the more "literarily skilled" stories are commanding my admiration so I vote for them.

message 30: by Carol (new)

Carol Shetler | 11 comments Aha, the discussion about TFIS3 is afoot! I have already volunteered to edit Volume 3, and would appreciate a partner to share the load. I am going to subscribe to Adobe Acrobat for the PDFs so I can make changes to the stories once they are in PDF format. I regret very much having to leave all that intensive labour to Jot last time. So, please feel free to join me on the editorial team...

message 31: by Paula (last edited Dec 21, 2015 07:01PM) (new)

Paula | 835 comments Okay, I volunteer as co-editor of Volume 3. With the understanding that, of course, all authors regularly participating in the contest will have an equal number of stories in the volume (unless an author wants fewer), and each editor, designer, coordinator, etc. will receive credit for the role, and no more than the role, each does. And that we'll work hard to make this volume a major success.
Thanks, Carol. I think we can work together well--especially you like the "darn good" ones and I like (those and) the "literarily skilled" ones---should give the anthology some form of balance, maybe.

message 32: by Heather (last edited Dec 19, 2015 01:55AM) (new)

Heather MacGillivray | 581 comments An interesting discussion - which I like very much - seems to have arisen here on the merits and de-merits of both 'the darn good yarn' and 'the literarily skilled piece' (where I take it that 'literarily skilled' means the same as 'literary fiction' or 'writerly fiction.')

There's a fascinating result of a study at this link which claims that "Reading literary fiction improves empathy, study finds"

It says that "reading a good book makes you better able to connect with your fellow human beings ... a scientific study [found] ... but only if your reading material is literary fiction – pulp fiction or non-fiction will not do."

The study was carried out at the New School for Social Research in New York.

"us[ing] a variety of Theory of Mind techniques to measure how accurately the participants could identify emotions in others. Scores were consistently higher for those who had read literary fiction than for those with popular fiction or non-fiction texts."

""What great writers do is to turn you into the writer. In literary fiction, the incompleteness of the characters turns your mind to trying to understand the minds of others," said Kidd [one of the researchers.]"

They also said that one of the difficulties was having a measure of what constituted 'literary fiction.' (They ended up using work from an anthology of winners of the PEN/O Henry Prize 2012 and the work of finalists in the New York national book awards, as some of the examples of 'literary fiction' the study participants had to read.)

The article also says ""Some writing is what you call 'writerly', you fill in the gaps and participate, and some is 'readerly', and you're entertained. We tend to see 'readerly' more in genre fiction like adventure, romance and thrillers, where the author dictates your experience as a reader. Literary [writerly] fiction lets you go into a new environment and you have to find your own way," Kidd said."

And, "[t]ransferring the experience of reading fiction into real-world situations was a natural leap, Kidd argued, because "the same psychological processes are used to navigate fiction and real relationships. Fiction is not just a simulator of a social experience, it is a social experience.""

(Then it goes on to say that not all academics agree with the results and talks a bit more about the techniques used in the study.

It also added that "There are likely benefits of reading popular fiction – certainly entertainment. We just did not measure them."

They only "proved that literary fiction improves social empathy, at least by some measures" and added,

"In Great Expectations, Pip is embarrassed by Joe, because he's crude and Pip is on the way up. Reading it, you ask yourself, what is it like to be Pip and what's it like to be Joe? Would I behave better than Pip in his situation? It's the spaces which emerge between the two characters where empathy occurs."

That last sentence is what draws me to literary fiction ... having had a front row seat - in my own life and family circumstances - of watching what happens when one person is absolutely determined to not permit any space whatsoever between the character that is another 'real person' and 'the character-role that that real person is constantly pressured to play'. (The 'pressured person' becomes 'an appeaser' and hence becomes complicit in the shutting down of their own curved space to the extent that that space becomes constricted to 'the straight line that they ultimately walk.' Its a little bit different to 'the space between two completely distinct characters' that the study speaks of ... but still 'the space between' ('the negative space' in art terms) is an amazing 'place' to ponder ... despite the tragedies that occur there when it is not allowed 'its own curvature.'

(Its interesting though that the study found that 'non-fiction' does achieve the same stimulation of empathic understanding and questioning that literary fiction does.

I find that 'interesting' because I am somewhat underway with a memoir - based on my experience and observation of my mother's life ... and what happened in the space between who she really was - a deep and sometimes a bit crazy creative, in the field of interpretation and execution of song - and, the sensible, age-appropriate, conservative, responsible person some in my family exhaustively and exhaustingly pressured her to be. (Its not that she wasn't those things. Its just that she was those things in her own way, rather than in the ways demanded by her more conservative-thinking oppressors.) I want to call that memoir "There Are No Straight Lines in Nature." I really hope that I can find, within myself, the capacity to write 'a good literary description' of that space between Mum's apparently 'well meaning' oppressors-of-her-creative-space, and, Mum's real self. (She did used to say that she and I "understand each other" so I think I am the one who observed 'most accurately' what was occurring. )

(Also, IF I really can achieve that thing that 'literary fiction' achieves - opening up the spaces where a greater empathy can breathe - some in my family might feel less inclined to sue me! I won't be meaning to criticize them for the sake of it. I just want to show a more healing truth that they constantly repressed ... a repression that never let up, even when the chips were really down (ie when I had cancer and then newly diagnosed heart disease which meant that I wasn't able to provide Mum with enough of 'the counter-balance influence' I normally did) ... a hard line of next-to-zero empathy and support that they displayed at the time that led Mum to a final catatonic depression and from there to a failure of her physical health and death before it might otherwise have arrived.

message 33: by Paula (new)

Paula | 835 comments Marianne wrote: "I will say that things turn up in unexpected places. The Fairfax County Public Library in Fairfax VA has four copies of the first anthology for circulation, to my surprise. I thank the mystery pers..."

Good and surprising place for it to turn up (4 copies!), Marianne. Cool!

message 34: by Paula (new)

Paula | 835 comments Heather wrote: "An interesting discussion - which I like very much - seems to have arisen here on the merits and de-merits of both 'the darn good yarn' and 'the literarily skilled piece' (where I take it that 'lit..."
Heather, this will be a potentially important memoir if you can pull this to the level you're thinking to, yes. A good book/memoir authors' group, preferably actual rather than online, can be wonderful with that---if it's a good fit. In all events, sounds like a major work.

message 35: by Jot (new)

Jot Russell | 1093 comments Mod
I'll have to wait until late January to start up on the anthology. Someone asked about the sales from last year. Here is the list of printed books sold via a xls report from CreateSpace:
CreateSpace Royalty Report
Member ID 792755
Start Date May 1, 2015
End Date December 31, 2015

Title Name Product Type UPC/ISBN EAN/ISBN-13 ASIN Title ID Units Royalty USD Royalty GBP Royalty EUR
The Future is Short - Volume 2 Book 1514151510 9781514151518 1514151510 5532383 13 $43.56 £1.99 €0.00
13 $43.56 £1.99 €0.00

So we made about $46 on the printed book. Let me check the eBook sales from SmashWords.

message 36: by Jot (new)

Jot Russell | 1093 comments Mod
Looks like we sold 5 eBooks via SmashWords at a $15.27 profit:

sale The Future is Short - Science Fiction in a Flash - Volume 2
(9781311010322) Jot Russell (JotRussell) $3.99 1 $3.99 0 $0.56 $0.00 $0.27 0 $3.16 2015-08-25 Immediately
sale The Future is Short - Science Fiction in a Flash - Volume 2
(9781311010322) Jot Russell (JotRussell) $3.99 1 $3.99 0 $0.54 $0.00 $0.42 0 $3.03 2015-07-30 Immediately
sale The Future is Short - Science Fiction in a Flash - Volume 2
(9781311010322) Jot Russell (JotRussell) $3.99 1 $3.99 0 $0.54 $0.00 $0.42 0 $3.03 2015-07-01 Immediately
sale The Future is Short - Science Fiction in a Flash - Volume 2
(9781311010322) Jot Russell (JotRussell) $3.99 1 $3.99 0 $0.54 $0.00 $0.42 0 $3.03 2015-06-15 Immediately
sale The Future is Short - Science Fiction in a Flash - Volume 2
(9781311010322) Jot Russell (JotRussell) $3.99 1 $3.99 0 $0.54 $0.00 $0.42 0 $3.03 2015-06-15 Immediately

message 37: by Paula (new)

Paula | 835 comments So we sold 13 printed copies, Jot? I think I bought 4 of those--and probably some others here bought multiples. Were any createspace ebooks sold, then? But maybe people preferred the smashwords sales outlets, let's hope.
Btw, renewing my offer, as posted above re Carol's request, to co-edit volume 3. Volume 1, as Carrol F. and I edited/produced it, worked well, I think. The sales problem was true with that volume too, of course; it's an issue endemic to US booksales (by non "major" publisher-pr-outlets), and the one way to overcome it is by lots of leg and kb work by everyone involved, which requires good strong morale--requiring everyone getting a sense of fairness--and everyone doing the needed work, not just a few.
Jot, if you--people, if anyone here--have a serious sf publishing or known-author or sf-scholar contact, this will be a time to use it, to blurb this book. Last year's was good, but do you know someone even more known?

message 38: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Alleson (goodreadscomjjalleson) | 105 comments I'm working on some local non-library initiatives to plug the anthology (libraries are fighting for dear life round my way) - but very conscious I have more stories in the last anthology than the two I submitted. After querying it in discussion and email twice I put it down to editorial page fillers and sat down again.

I'm not sure I know anyone who buys via Create space - but certainly someone in my circle has purchased TFIS via Amazon. Will keep plugging and expanding the science fiction contingent at this end. It's a very small group at the moment - which means optimistically there's room to grow...

message 39: by Marianne (new)

Marianne (mariannegpetrino) | 352 comments I think I recall from a Publishers' Weekly back around 2006 (?) that sales of print books averaged across all parameters sales of around 800 copies? That was before digital sadly took over. Lord only knows what it is now. Anyone think to involve/pitch Booktrope?

message 40: by Jeremy (new)

Jeremy Lichtman | 247 comments 800 average - for books from major publishers. It's lower now. And that's the average. The median is probably about 10 copies, once you factor out bestsellers.

message 41: by Andy (new)

Andy Lake @Jeremy: "Median is 10" - or about 10% of Facebook friends for an average author ...

message 42: by Jeremy (new)

Jeremy Lichtman | 247 comments I wish 10% of my Facebook friends would purchase. It's hard enough getting them to click "like".

message 43: by Andy (last edited Dec 21, 2015 06:43AM) (new)

Andy Lake Maybe we need to redefine friends if they don't buy our books :-)

Tho actually I've tended to give books to friends rather than sell them. So those 10 books we probably buy ourselves

message 44: by Jeremy (new)

Jeremy Lichtman | 247 comments Unfortunately, most of my friends have little interest in SF.

message 45: by Andy (new)

Andy Lake Ah, normal friends. A good sign.

message 46: by Jeremy (new)

Jeremy Lichtman | 247 comments For anything other than book sales, yes.

message 47: by Carrie (new)

Carrie Zylka (carriezylka) | 221 comments And we circle back to my original point about having a public facing website.

People can't buy it if they don't know about it.

Good Reads or LinkedIn, either platform is limited in searchability or even in social media sharing strategies.

I'd love to promote these stories to my considerable social media following (1/2 of which are writers/readers) but I can't do that if you tie my (and everyone else's) hands by making them private.

message 48: by Jeremy (new)

Jeremy Lichtman | 247 comments The monthly competition and the book are two different issues though, aren't they?

The books are on Amazon, and I'm guessing everyone here with their own website links to them. A single point of reference (i.e. website) with a "books" page might help a little bit with sales, but probably not too much.

A website (in addition to LI/GR? Replacing them?) might help a little bit with "SEO" for the competition. I think the main problem is that there's many other similar websites out there, so we'd have to do more work to differentiate ourselves from them, as well as the legwork involved in promoting it. I'm not opposed to that idea at all, but I don't think it's a magic bullet.

message 49: by Marianne (last edited Dec 21, 2015 10:10AM) (new)

Marianne (mariannegpetrino) | 352 comments I pinned the current anthology to the top of my Twitter feed.

I think the reality is that self-published work falls into the "too many fish in the sea" category regarding sales. However, perhaps a partnership with an organization like Booktrope might provide more punch?

message 50: by Paula (new)

Paula | 835 comments I can link here from my fb page, which has what fb calls 2000 "friends", so not quite what you mean re this GR page/site being private, Carrie--? Otoh, most of my fb friends, too, aren't interested in sf.
Marianne, can you handle the booktrope connection for us, since you're familiar with it?
Another thing we can--each--do is send a notice, link, and press release (or letter version) to sf blogs and book reviewers, especially if we've connection of any sort with them. But it really requires either a couple of people f/t for a couple of weeks when the book first comes out, or everyone putting in a few hours in those early weeks--followed by continued plugging.
My understanding is the average "self-published" book sells somewhat under 200 copies.
Thaddeus has the most extraordinary website, and beautifully, powerfully designed. If we do decide to move to a "private" website, then he would be ideal to design and handle it--with Jot, if Jot wants; that could be fine. However, we lose lots of visibility by such a move, at least for the first months--some good ideas here of how to regain it, but yes it would take time, need lots of work from each of us.

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