Sunday, January 26, 2014

Open to new ideas

A while back I took some time to promote my story "Hearts Made of Stone", which was published in the original anthology Song Stories in 2013. Using the Nebula nominations in the SFWA as an excuse, I spent time going through the membership list and making an email list. I typed one version for Associate members - who can nominate for the award but not vote - and another one for full members, the Active members.

I sent the first email out Jan. 5, and the second Jan. 12. I included a link to a page on my blog where I had posted the story. Aside from the practical benefit of spreading the work out, I was curious to see if there was a different reaction between the classes of members.

The email to the Active members suffered from a flaw when I absent-mindedly posted all the names in the CC line instead of the BCC line (I sent the originating email to myself to check it). I mentioned that flub in a post here a while back.

Other than that, the emails were very similar. I thought what feedback I got was interesting. There were more bounced emails from the associate list, and a few "I don't write science fiction any more". A number of people asked me to read their stuff, which I am doing. It seems to have been a nice way to solicit some reading suggestions.

From the active members, a number of people told me what a mistake I made with the CC list, and some were pretty rude about it. There were also some very nice and positive replies, and some people understood the email flub was an honest mistake.

As you would think, the associate members seemed to be much more open to reading my story. The traffic to that web page the week after the email to the associate members was FOUR TIMES the traffic the week after the email to the pros.

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