Monday, June 16, 2014

Sci-Fi Romance Quarterly Seeks Review Copies, Plus A Few Thoughts About Promotion

Sci-Fi Romance Quarterly seeks review copies

Authors and publishers, if you've got a forthcoming SFR release as of June 2014, please consider submitting a review copy for possibly review in the Sci-Fi Romance Quarterly. We accept the following digital formats: PDF, EPUB, and MOBI.

Send files to me, Heather, at sfrgalaxy "at" gmail DOT com and I'll forward them to the editor.

Promotion of SFR & reader-centric spaces

I read something today which made me wonder if some authors of SFR have concerns about reader-centric SFR sites not having a promotion-friendly policy. Maybe this person was unaware of the reader-driven aspect? After all, that's been the philosophy behind a number of sites in the online SFR community. In fact, I've told many an author that I don't go for the hard sell here at TGE since this blog's main goal is being a resource site. And if anyone's going to aggressively hand-sell the genre on TGE it's going to be Super Fan me, gosh darn it! ;)

I can understand an author's frustration about the limited promotion venues available for SFR. Or should I say, affordable promotion venues. Given SFR's niche genre status, even readers know there's value in marketing because it translates to more choices. Alas, the opportunities have been perilously few.

But no one site can be all things to all readers/authors. I wonder also if maybe things get a little fuzzy--and hence frustrating or puzzling--when some authors are blogging, with their reader hats on, for an audience of readers.

I can't emphasize enough the importance of readers having their own spaces. Readers discover new titles by talking with one another and they also need a space to discuss SFR (or any genre, really) without the clutter that promotion can sometimes be. And while many SFR sites have heavy author participation, that aspect doesn't invalidate their reader-centric focus. Authors being pro-reader doesn't mean they're anti-promotion. They're simply respecting and cultivating reader spaces.

That said, there are promotional opportunities for authors of SFR. I'd going to highlight a few. Starting like, right now!

Sci-Fi Romance Quarterly

For years, SFR didn't have a dedicated place where authors could obtain affordable ads and which also provided free SFR-specific content for readers seeking information and books in this genre. However, that changed with the Sci-Fi Romance Quarterly (of which I'm a founding member). Ads aren't inherently problematic--execution is everything. Many readers are fine with ads as long as they get access to quality content at the same time. Therefore, SFRQ delivers columns, reviews, release news, interviews, and at least one free short story per issue.

Here are a few things authors can do to promote their books in the Sci-Fi Romance Quarterly:

* paid advertisements. Read the FAQ for more information.

* Submit new release book information for a cover and blurb highlight (Details in the SFRQ FAQ.

Sci-Fi Romance Quarterly has highlighted a diverse number of book releases via covers and blurbs. Stories range widely in terms of settings, characters, and heat level. The releases section so far has included books such as Jael Wye's ICE RED, Christie Meierz's THE MARANN, Cara Bristol's BREEDER, Reesa Herberth's IN DISCRETION, Christine D'Abo's GILDED HEARTS, Rachel Bach's HEAVEN'S QUEEN, and Lyn Brittan's LANA'S COMET--all at no cost to the authors.

* Write a short story--SFRQ is a paid market--and submit it for consideration.

* Do a free link exchange with SFRQ. Details here.

SFR Brigade blog

Authors of SFR can apply to join the SFR Brigade, a consortium of authors dedicated to raising the visibility of SFR. Membership is free. My understanding is that authors can blog about their books on the condition that their posts contribute in a meaningful way to the community.

SFR Brigade Midsummer Blog Hop

Now in its third year, the Midsummer Blog Hop is a great way to get one's book(s) in front of readers. Authors can contribute books and/or other prizes.

Here's some information about this year's forthcoming event:

Midsummer is fast approaching, and boy do we have a celebration for you! The SFR Brigade's 3rd annual blog hop will take place in just one week, on the 21st to the 25th June. What's in it for you? Well, 46 participants offering stellar excerpts and posts on the chosen theme of Starry Nights. Want more? How about the FIVE grand prizes on offer?

Click here for complete details and prize information.

Pippa Jay

Author Pippa Jay (TETHERED) has author promo opportunities available via her blog. This is a free service.

If you're an author who offers a similar type of support for fellow authors, let us know in the comments!

Indirect ways advocates are promoting SFR

Earlier this year, Laurie A. Green organized SFR prizes for the Brenda Novak Annual Online Auction For Diabetes Research. This was a huge undertaking and Laurie did it all without any kind of compensation. SFR Brigade authors had a chance to contribute prizes for a great cause and it was another way to get one's books on readers' radars.

While Veronica Scott's Sci-Fi Encounters column (USA Today Happy Ever After blog) is a signal boost rather than a promotion venue, authors can help spread the word about her widely-read column. Consider paying it forward--you never know where such efforts could lead.

Follow @vscotttheauthor on Twitter.

Also, each month here at The Galaxy Express I highlight a number of new SFR releases by featuring covers and blurbs so readers can learn about them. Here's a link to the 2014 new release roundup. See my sidebar list for past years.

It's a work in progress and I update the list on a regular basis. I'm a one woman operation so it's not comprehensive, but authors are welcome to send me news of their new/forthcoming releases so I can include them.

FWIW, Amazon's new category for science fiction romance has helped me immensely in discovering new titles.

Promotion opportunities are out there. Have faith and help venues like the Sci-Fi Romance Quarterly and others like it to grow by plugging into existing opportunities. Or start a new venue yourself! Different readers like different types of SFR, and not only is that okay, it's nice when a particular site is tailored to their interests. The more, the merrier.

Here's another promotion opportunity: if you're part of an SFR group/site that promotes the genre, tell us about it in the comments!

Joyfully yours,