This is a sort of open letter to the anthology editors out there looking to get a new anthology noticed and get the attention of writers.
Twice in the last few weeks I’ve found anthologies have started following me on Twitter. Now, I don’t for a second believe that the editors of either are pouring over each of my tweets and finding them fascinating. Not at all. But there are multiple ways of using Twitter. As a social media platform it lets users keep up with friends, acquaintances, and the occasional celebrity. However, it can also serve as a self promotion tool through the power of the Follow button, and proper application of the Who to follow feature.
Neither anthology was one I had heard of before. Both are now anthologies that I am considering future submissions to. The purpose of the follows was not to engage in direct interaction on Twitter, but to serve as a sort of advertisement for the anthology in a hopes of generating submissions or sales. Now, I’m not going to claim to be an expert on Twitter or have some sort of inside knowledge on how best to market an anthology looking for submissions, but from the perspective of a writer who has been successfully targeted, here’s what I want to see:
- Follow me. Don’t make me find you on Twitter, I don’t go looking frequently enough, and you’re probably hiding somewhere in the noise. This can be accomplished by following a known circle of writers, and looking at the names “Who to Follow” brings up. Look at the bios. Look who calls themselves an author. And to writers: call yourself an author in your bio!
- @Reply. Even if I haven’t directly inquired you, I like to look at feeds of anthologies and see a lot of @Replies to other people who have. It means the account is actively updated by someone and isn’t just there to be followed and link to submission guidelines. So keep an eye on that @Mentions tabs, and answer questions when asked.
- Don’t spam. If your only posts are daily or weekly “hey, these are our submission guidelines!” posts, I’m unfollowing. Let me know what’s happening to the anthology, news about new artwork, notes about similar anthologies, even the occasional non-anthology note that can let me better get into the mindset of the editor and know what they might be looking for.
- Link to your page in your bio. It’s that simple.
I like to see this, I really do, and I hope that anthologies will pay attentions to what writers want out of them on Twitter, because that’s the best way to leverage it as a tool for getting a broader selection of submissions.
Oh, and as a bonus, here are the markets that followed me:
The Memory Eater. Hurry up, the deadline for this one is coming up fast. In concept it strikes me as similar to the Death Machine anthologies, in that every story must be tied to a piece of magic tech. In this case it’s the technology to erase memories. Deadline is July 15th, and payment is a profit split among the authors.
One Buck Horror. One buck is the price point for the serial anthologies, not the payment rate to the authors. Oh no no no. This is a pro-rate anthology, nickle-a-word for up to 3,000 words. First issue is due out at the end of the month.