We interrupt this previously scheduled vacation discussion yet again for something more interesting. Avon FanLit.
It’s Tessa’s fault. She set me off with a question on her blog. Not that anyone would be surprised. I have lots and lots of strong opinions about the way Avon FanLit was run.
First, the question of where they should advertise – they should put a large ad in Romance Writer’s Review at least a month in advance. I know, easier said than done, but they would bring out a lot of dedicated writers who are eager for community by doing it. I would certainly recommend another article in Wall Street Journal as I too found out about it that way. From the question I asked on the boards over at Avon it’s clear that writer’s blogs brought in the largest slice. They could probably put notices in women’s magazines fairly readily. Maybe they could get something on the news wires. From there you’re talking big bucks for TV ads and such.
The absolute most important thing they could do to build a spirit of community on the site is to become far more proactive about cheaters. The zero bombers and .5 bandits devastated us. We had no way of knowing who we could or could not trust. I do NOT think they should put meters on everyone so you can see what kind of voters they are, as the sock puppet accounts keep the bandits from paying for their bad behavior and meters would encourage lying out of kindness, which is a disservice to those taking the scores seriously.
I think the best way to give the participants a strong connection to the authors would be to set up a workshop forum on the same level as the introductions, chapter discussions, etc. and have the authors offer their responses to participant’s how-to questions. If at all possible, it would be fantastic of the editors would drop an occasional comment into the forums as well.
The blog was a good idea, but I hardly ever went there because it never looked like anything new or fresh was going on there. Then I would hear back later that something was on the blog that I’d never heard about. It makes me wonder if the blog link I was looking at was the right link.
Ok, you’ve got me going again. This is already getting out of hand, and likely to get worse, so I’ll call it good here. Thanks for putting up with me, Tessa.