My three favorite print-book authors are Terry Pratchett, Jim Butcher, & Elizabeth Bear.
I can’t remember when I started reading Pratchett; I think it’s likely I picked up his books at a library or a used book store because they looked interesting.
I started reading Butcher because my friends thrust them upon me and demanded I read them (this is often the case – LKH, RR Martin)
And I started reading Bear because someone linked me to a post in her livejournal.
What’s this have to do with Weblit? It’s an old discussion: How do we get more readers? And there’s a lot of flailing about, and some anecdotal research.
Flyers at cons appeared to garner me almost no new readers – TenaciousN’s commentary is about the same on that one. Ads seem to work, but there’s always the trick of where to post them; the most effective ads are also the most expensive. Word of mouth is slow but very effective; that’s where some of my most
rabid energetic fans of Addergoole came from.
So my current thought is – how can I take what I know about where I find new authors and devote it to how do new readers find me?.
C. is both easy and hard. A web presence is easy; an inviting and engaging web presence is much harder. I’m slowly working on it, but there are people out there who have mastered it.
B. is hard to do anything about. The only thing I can do there is engage my readers on the forum & on twitter, and continue to produce a good, solid, and engaging story.
And A… well, site redesign. We don’t have covers, but we do have a landing page. Before that, we have the thumbnail that shows on sites like Web Fiction Guide. I need a more engaging cover.
This isn’t meant to be definitive, by the way, it’s just the opening salvo of discussions for 2011.
How do you find new webfiction? How do you find new print fiction?