Monday 6 January 2014

Should You Self-Promote for Awards?

I've been reading at lot of discussion about whether it's good form to self-promote during the awards season.

Some people think that you shouldn't. And that good stories should rise like cream to the top of the award's milk bottle. That self-promotion leads to awards becoming popularity contests.

Other people argue that there is so many stories published that if you don't self-promote you're likely to get overlooked.

Some people agonise over their self-promotion, feeling guilty and apologising.

I think that it's fine. People reading this blog are interested in me and my work. So I present two stories published in 2013 and available to read online, for your consideration. .

'Sibyl' a flash science fiction story first published in Nature
'Betrayal, Clear as Kanzai Glass' a science fiction story set in the shared Dark Expanse world.

I'd also like to give a shout out to Sylvia Spruck Wrigley's 'Alive, Alive Oh' first published in Lightspeed. 

What's your take on self-promotion? Do you do it?


  1. If you enter a contest which is judged by public vote, or number of reads, then you'll probably have to self promote to get anywhere. They do feel a bit like popularity contests to me, but that might not really be the case.

    All writers have to self promote to some extent and I agree that your blog is a good place to do it. As you say, your readers are likely to be interested in what you're up to and what you've written.

  2. Have I mentioned lately that you are amazing?

  3. Wait--what award is this for?

    I think you can do all the self-promoting in the world, but if people don't like your fiction, then they just don't like it.

  4. I have been reading a bit about this myself lately. If what you just did was self-promotion then you're pretty understated as far as I'm concerned. I'll check those stories out!

  5. I can't see any harm in it, unless you go too far and become a bore. So go for it!

  6. One of the best ways to promote yourself is to ensure that -- and note this carefully -- the websites that review _your_kind_ of fiction review your work.

    We have had working relationships with the big 5 SF imprints (and a couple of popular science imprints) in Britain but each work differently. Also the promotion staff change. Though we review principal British SF publisher SF, urban fantasy, fantasy horror etc (and not sword and sorcery, paranormal romance etc) some publishers occasionally forget to send us something that we would clearly review (say a hard SF or wide screen space opera). It is therefore worthwhile authors ensuring that their publishers publicists send review copies to those magazine, fanzines and website that are most likely to review their work. Most times the publishersof the major SF imprints will have this in hand, but sometimes a reminder is useful especially if they have a busy month with other titles or the publicists has been or is about to have a spot of annual leave.

    Authors might, as an on-going task, find it worthwhile building a list of appropriate magazines and sites most likely to review their work.

    (And to avoid those who are unlikely to review -- because if you push them to review a title just outside their area of interest you may end up with a bad review.)

    A good website that reviews a lot will have a reviews policy.

    Ours is here

    And of course some sites regularly publish SF author news.

    In Britain the main site is the monthly Ansible
    June issue here

    We ourselves are seasonal and so have a just a summary seasonal news page with an
    authors news (but alas due to space this is for established authors' major news only
    (You can see the links to the latest season's news page here )