Shoutout: Cross-Promotion April 1st Fiction Swap

Lyn Thorne-Alder and Wysteria have a cunning plan, which they’d like to share:

Lyn Thorne-Alder: I was thinking this week of the common complaint that most of weblit’s most active readers are, well, each other.

Well, why not use that?

When I started reading web-comics, they would often, on April Fool’s day, draw each other’s strips in a sort of round robin. Why not do that with weblit? Enough of us read each others’ work that it wouldn’t be that hard to write a guest post in their setting. We’re organizing this on a semi-random semi-by genre style, and hope to have participants lined up by the beginning of this week so we have plenty of time for organization and writing.

Wysteria: We have sixteen authors lined up so far, via Web Fiction Guide, and Crowdfunding Creativity. Everyone has been really enthusiastic about it, which is fantastic. We’re hoping to connect the circles of the venn diagram and reach as many authors as possible. We’re planning to close the gates at midnight at the end of Valentine’s Day, February 14th. If you want to participate, more details are available by emailing wsteria at gmail dot com. Please include:

  • Your name:
  • The name of your project:
  • The URL of your project:
  • Any other questions, ideas or special considerations:

Some questions that have been asked, in no particular order!

Who is eligible? You! If you are a web author and have an email address, anyway.

Will the guest story be canon? Not unless you specifically arrange that. It’s fun. There may be barracuda ninjas.

I would say, for the record, that this sounds like a ton of fun.

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Category: Web Fiction Writers
  • Lee

    Most of my readers don’t come from the weblit circle at all. My guess is, my fiction doesn’t fit within its conventions. But maybe it’s something else?

  • Jim Zoetewey

    The only convention I’m aware of is publishing online.

    My guess would be that the major reason is that you’re primarily promoting your writing in places other than Web Fiction Guide, and thus to a different group of people.

    That’s a good thing. Too many people promote themselves at WFG, and then stop.

  • Lee

    There are always conventions. And those who break with them do so deliberately – if their writing is any good.

    I rarely promote my fiction, and certainly much less than when I first started out. At most I just list it here and there, make an occasional comment (usually berating myself afterwards for procrastination). It’s hard enough just trying to write.


  • Dary

    I don’t have many readers from “the web fiction circle” either, and I’m also thinking there might be certain conventions within it that go unnoticed that explain why there are still “where are the readers?”/”why does no one comment?”/”my core readers are other web-fiction writers” comments. I’ve been at this two years now, and nothing seems to have changed!

    Probably a discussion for another topic though XD

  • Alexander

    Lee, I think that IS the convention, the whole idea of promoting stories is a new one. For the longest time, we all just posted on community forums to share our stuff with likeminded friends. This whole creating an audience and a draw thing is new.
    Well, I say new, I’ve been trying to do it for years, but I apparently sucked at creating momentum for the idea.

  • Lee

    Nonsense! Read some stuff other than so-called weblit. A good place to start would be Mary Gaitskill’s short story in this week’s The New Yorker:

    Or for a different approach, try Bob Thurber’s fiction, some of it quite short:

    Thurber wrote for 20 years before trying to publish. I’m beginning to wish I had done the same. It takes a long time to learn your craft. There are no shortcuts.

    Promotion doesn’t just come second. It comes somewhere around ninety-second.

    Worry about the right things.