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Point of View: Testing the Waters

Huffington Post

Two years and some months ago, I re-commited myself to writing.

I’ve now published a few things, and have set up several blog tours for my books and the anthologies I have been in. I’ve hit all the normal places – the romance blogs, the LGBT reviewers, etc. But I’ve decided that it’s time to do more.

I want to move beyond the romance blogs.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want to leave them behind. They are a huge part of our community, and it’s important that we support each other. They should be a part of any marketing strategy.

But for the blog tour for “A More Perfect Union”, we also tried tapping some other outlets.

It all started with a meeting with Poppy Dennison, Dreamspinner’s marketing guru, last March in Orlando. She recommended we try to get the book into USA Today’s romance blog for a cover reveal, and into the Huffington Post’s Queer Voices section.

So we gave it a shot.

Guess what? We got into both (and I gotta thank Poppy for helping to make both happen). The book got a shitload of exposure in these two outlets, and although it’s too soon to know what impact that had, it can’t be bad.

Beyond these places, there’s a whole network of gay news sites that we as queer authors should be tapping. It’s not going to be easy. I compiled a list of these (sites like The Washington Blade, Joe.My.God, Towleroad.com, etc) and started contacting them one by one. Of more than twenty sites, I got commitments from three to showcase the book, but many didn’t reply at all. It’s not an amazing victory, but it’s a start – and now I have all those contacts for next tour.

My point (and I do have one) is that we, as authors who write romance and/or speculative fiction need to start thinking outside the usual promotions box. There’s a whole world wide web out there – LGBT news sites and blogs, speculative fiction blogs, and… dare I say it… the “mainstream.” (apologies to Angel, who HATES when I use that word).

So let’s think big, people!

How have you marketed your work outside the box? What sites do you recommend that we might usually overlook?

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