Boosting the Signal

What is Boosting the Signal?

When you’re an author, promotion of your work is hard–particularly in this day and age when it’s very easy for anyone to get a book out into the world on the various self-publishing platforms. This is even more true for the self-published, the indie authors, the authors published via small imprints, and those published via digital-only ones.

“Boosting the Signal” is my small effort to give a bit more visibility to the authors I hear about whose works need that extra boost to call attention to them, people who I’ll hope my own readers might find interesting too. You may expect folks I feature to come from my various author circles: fellow Carina Press authors, fellow former authors who used to be pubbed via Drollerie Press, fellow members of NIWA, and other folks I know who’ve opted to tackle publishing their works themselves. You may also expect that when I have a chance to do so, I’ll be featuring QUILTBAG-friendly authors as well.

What will be in a Boosting the Signal post?

Every Boosting the Signal post will include the following things:

  • The name under which the author publishes
  • Title and genre of their work (genres will usually be called out in the tags on the post)
  • Cover art
  • Links to where the book can be bought
  • Author’s site and social media links where readers can go to find out more

And most importantly, each post will feature a piece from the point of view of one of the author’s characters, in which that character describes a goal that they need to accomplish. These pieces will be up to 1,000 words.

The authors may write about any character in the story, too–not just the protagonists! If a story’s got a particularly awesome villain, I want that to get called out. Shameless villain appeals to readers are highly, highly encouraged. Authors should basically give the character of their choice a chance to lay down their stakes to the reader and encourage folks to come check out the story to see if they get to pull off their personal goal.

Boosting the Signal pieces can take a variety of forms. I’ve had excerpts from the works being promoted that happened to fit the theme, brand new short prose pieces as supporting prose for the main work, character interviews, pieces written directly in the character’s voices talking to the reader, letters written by the various characters, and more. Within the general scope of “character goals”, authors are encouraged to get as creative as they like with the type of piece they submit.

How often will Boosting the Signal posts go up?

I will post them every Friday, assuming I have posts to share. Depending on the level of response I get, I may even have more than one post. Authors who’d like me to run a post for them are free to pick and choose their dates, particularly if they have forthcoming releases they’d like to call attention to.

Posts will appear on this site, but will also be mirrored out to Dreamwidth. Links to them will appear as well on my social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Tumblr. Other places that mirror my blog should also pick up on the post, so that’ll include my author page on Amazon and my author page on Goodreads.

I’ll notify the author of each piece when the piece is live, and what the URL is so that they can promote the piece themselves. Readers are also highly encouraged to share the links to any posts for books they think sound awesome! Because, after all, boosting the signal on books is the entire point.

What books will be featured in Boosting the Signal?

Pretty much any books that come across my radar by self-pubbed, indie, small press, or digital authors. Since I myself am an SF/F author with a light smattering of romance on the side, titles compatible with my own genres are likely. However, I’ll be open to running pieces about other genres, in no small part because I’m interested in giving visibility to genres I like to read as well as write. So expect a lot of SF, fantasy, SF/F romance, actual romance, and possibly also mystery and horror.

(Note also: I’m finicky in my romance tastes, so romance posts I feature are likely to be subgenres of romance I specifically like to read: to wit, historical, paranormal, Gothic, and romantic suspense. I can and already have made exceptions for Carina authors who write contemporaries, even though I don’t normally read contemporary romance.)

I will also periodically feature authors coming out with big presses, if they’re needing that extra boost–for example, if they’re debut authors, or if they’re mid-list authors whose backlist sales have fallen and need a bit more love. I’ll take these on a case-by-case basis, since I primarily want to feature the types of authors mentioned above.

Also, I request that authors who might like to run a piece with me give a bit of thought to whether their work is likely to fit well with my own target audience. If in doubt, ask me.

Who can submit to Boosting the Signal and how?

Anybody can submit to Boosting the Signal, and I am in fact currently open for submissions. Most of the submissions I receive are by my invitation out to authors through channels I already know. But I’ll take direct submissions as well.

If I don’t already know you and haven’t already talked to you about sending me a piece, then you should email me at annathepiper (at) gmail (dot) com and send me the things that I describe above that go into every piece. Don’t forget your cover art!

Where can I see the previous Boosting the Signal posts?

All the previous Boosting the Signal posts are right over here! Check them out for examples of previous pieces, not to mention potential ideas for awesome things for you to read.

If I’m sending you a Boosting the Signal piece, should I send you my book for review?

That is entirely up to you! Please keep in mind that Boosting the Signal is NOT a review column. It’s a promotion column, offering you as the author a chance to get a little creative with attracting people to come read your book. And while I am a voracious reader with a presence on Goodreads, my To Read pile is so huge that I can’t guarantee how fast I’ll read any given book, much less write reviews for it.

That said, I always will be happy to receive a free book, so if you have a digital review copy to spare, by all means, send it to me. I can take any DRM-free format of book, although I prefer EPUB.

If you have print review copies, though, you should save those for actual reviewers.

What if my book is non-fiction?

I am not adverse to running pieces for non-fiction titles. But Boosting the Signal does have a theme of “show a character’s goal”, and I fully grant that it’d be more difficult to write a piece for that theme for a non-fiction work.

However, if your book is non-fiction and you’d still like to send me a post to run, and you can give me a creative way to still address the theme of the column, talk to me! We’ll work something out.

Is there anything else I should do for a Boosting the Signal spot?

That’s pretty much it! But one last optional thing is that if you can give my books a bit of signalboosting in return, that would be very much appreciated. If you’ve read any of my books that you particularly like, tell people about them. Review or rate them on Amazon or Goodreads, or point them here to my site. Send them either to my main homepage, to my Books page, or to the individual pages for Faerie Blood, Bone Walker, Valor of the Healer, Vengeance of the Hunter, Victory of the Hawk, or the Short Stories!

Or, send folks over to say hi to me on the various social media networks!