Dear writers, editors and publishers:
The Ficlets site is about writing, creativity and literature — and so we want it to be a place where published writers can be part of the site, and benefit through the promotional opportunities the site can afford. To make that happen, I’m instituting a number of ways to help authors get the word out about themselves and their work. Click through the cut to find out some of the programs we’ll be instituting, and how to be part of them.
To begin, a little information about Ficlets and myself.
What is Ficlets? Ficlets is a Web site run by America Online, devoted to collaborative fiction. Visitors may read, comment on and post short pieces of fiction, and those fiction pieces may then be added to by other visitors. Work posted is licensed via Creative Commons to allow sharing.
Who is John Scalzi? I am one of the principals of the Ficlets site, at which I contribute ficlets and post on the Ficlets Blog about writing and publishing. When I’m not doing that I am a published novelist. My books include the Hugo-nominated novel Old Man’s War and its sequels The Ghost Brigades and The Last Colony.
How can I promote work on Ficlets? Right now, we have two primary ways for authors to promote their work:
1. Author Interviews. In these authors of newly-released work answer half a dozen questions about themselves and their work. These interviews will be run on the Ficlets Blog and will be promoted on my personal site (Whatever, 20k – 30k daily readers), my AOL blog By The Way (~10K daily readers) and on the Ficlets site itself. These Author Interviews take the place of the Wednesday Author Interviews, previously appearing at the By The Way blog; previous interviewees include bestselling and award-winning authors such as Joe Hill, Charles Stross, Jo Walton and Ellen Kushner. Authors of non-fiction and fiction (all genres) are welcome.
2. Guest Ficlets. In these, authors contribute three ficlets for the readers of the site to enjoy and expand upon; the presence of these Ficlets is promoted via the Ficlets Blog. Please note that authors, like anyone, are able to create ficlets at any time — “Guest Ficlets,” however, will be specifically promoted. Authors of non-fiction and fiction (all genres) are welcome.
The goal is to have at least one author interview and one guest ficlet spot per week, and hopefully more per week than that.
Publishers and editors, Ficlets is also open to other promotional possibilities including book giveaways and themed ficlets.
If you’d like to be interviewed/have an author you’d like to have interviewed:
1. The author should have a book either coming out in the timeframe you’d like the interview to occur or that has been in stores no more than three months at the time of the interview request (interview slots are focused on connecting readers to new and intriguing titles) and have an ARC/review copy available for us;
2. The book must not be self-published, solely electronically published or published via PublishAmerica or its equivalents. Small presses are welcome to query and will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
3. The author must have an e-mail address and be willing to answer questions via e-mail, with a turnaround of no more than seven days.
Authors, editors, publishers and publicists are welcome to e-mail interview queries to “email@example.com”. In your e-mail head, please put “AUTHOR INTERVIEW REQUEST:” and the name of the author. In the e-mail itself, please include the name of the book and author, a brief description of the book, and the release date. I’ll respond with instructions on how to send along an ARC/review copy. I will also respond to general queries to add me to mailing lists for ARCs/review copies.
(Note: If you have already contacted me about an interview prior to 3/13/07 and I’ve said I’ve scheduled you, you do not need to query again — we’re good, I’ve just been busy helping to set up Ficlets. Likewise, publishers/editors/author/publicists who already have me on their mailing lists for ARCs/review copies, you need do nothing additionally — all this stuff still goes to the same place.)
If you’d like to/have an author you’d like to contribute Guest Ficlets:
1. The author should be previously published. Authors with books should not have the books self-published, solely electronically published or published via PublishAmerica or its equivalents. Short fiction writers should be published in established, paying short story markets. It is not necessary to have a book or story newly-released to be a Guest Ficlets contributor.
2. The author must be able to create an account on the Ficlets site, via an AOL/AIM account or OpenID account, so as to post the ficlets.
3. The author must be willing to provide three ficlets, written solely by the author and able to be licensed by the Ficlet site’s Creative Commons license.
4. The author must be willing to post these ficlets before or on the date of his/her Guest Ficlet appearance.
Authors, editors, publishers and publicists are welcome to e-mail Guest Ficlet queries to “firstname.lastname@example.org”. In your e-mail head, please put “GUEST FICLET REQUEST:” and the name of the author. I’ll respond with date availability.
Please Note: Authors who are willing to be interviewed and contribute Guest Ficlets at the same time will be given scheduling priority.
If you’d like to query about any other promotional possibility:
Authors, editors, publishers and publicists are welcome to e-mail promotional queries to “email@example.com”. In your e-mail head, please put “PROMOTIONAL REQUEST:” and the name of the author. In the e-mail itself, please include the name of the book and author, a brief description of the book, the release date and the promotional vehicle you are suggesting. I’ll run it past AOL and see if it’s doable. Be aware that all potential promotions must conform to AOL’s promotional specifications and that it may take time to get approval (and that some promotional suggestions might not get approval at all). Thus the earlier you supply your promotional idea, the better.
If you have any questions about any of this, please don’t hesitate to send me an e-mail. I’ll try to respond as quickly as possible.