It's a tradition, although one I almost skipped this year because of the different set up for the conference. Still, there were gems to be had. Thus, here are ...
Things I learned from SiWC online
1. Video and audio are on the rise!
I knew Audiobooks were on the up and up. I had no idea how powerful video was becoming! With Google now indexing video and audio content, Podcast content shows up on searches and adds to an author's searchability. And now we can link videos to Amazon and websites. YouTube videos show up and bump your ranking up.
I guess this means people will be seeing a bit more of my bedraggled haircut in the weeks to come! I'm hoping to do a 'launch' for Dragon's Talon and a bit of a reading. I already have a reading of 'Someone,' a new short story!. Let's be honest; going audiovisual is an exciting new adventure: a terrifying one, but an exciting one. With modern technology, it's not as tricky as it once was.
I'll see you out there soon!
2. Blogs can tie to Amazon and Goodreads.
Now that I'm present on Goodreads (yay!), I had to do up the author profile. But it took a lecturer pointing out that it was possible to link the blog to the profiles for me to look at it again. I had seen the spot to put the link but failed to make it work. Now I've figured it out! Ok, small victories, but hey, I'll take what I can get.
Want to see more of me on Amazon? Follow here: DLambertauthor
Goodreads? Follow me as the author here: Author page
Or just friend me as a person (but know I'm not great at keeping my lists up to date!)
3. Taking a more in-depth look at the worlds we write, fictional or not
One talk I thoroughly enjoyed was "Decolonizing Fiction" with Erin Roberts. It challenged authors to look at many layers of their writing, even when we were not making a conscious effort towards a statement. Sometimes, even NOT making a statement may be making a statement we are unaware of. We don't see the scaffolding of the world we are accustomed to. It takes effort to see beyond that and make conscious choices about what we are putting out there.
It doesn't have to be big things. It can be simple as the type of stockings someone wears (Nude stockings: are they really nude for everyone? Clearly not!). But we can be active in our writing. We have to be deliberate in the choices we make.
4. Be afraid and do it anyway.
Eileen Cook's final speech spoke right to my heart. I'm getting doubts about the Sands of Nanterac series. It features so many new ideas and concepts, so far removed from the World of Espar and the familiar. I love it, but I don't know how to pitch it. I fear it's not good enough. It doesn't belong.
The thing is, the characters are black. Sort of, at least. They are more alien than just that, but it's based in a desert, and the people are pitch-black skinned. I researched lots of African themes and cultures to build the world and the peoples. I had to; building the world in the environment drove the culture. It makes sense.
What do I do with it? Shelve it? It has a place, I'm sure, in reaching broader adult audiences.
Even with a blue pencil last year with the lovely Cat Rambo, I haven't gotten any requests. Probably because I stopped querying it in 2019 though!! I lost my nerve.
So it's time to face the fear and, as Eileen said, do it anyway.
And that, my friends, is the final motto for SiWC. Be afraid, and do it anyway. Push the limits. You never know what will come of it.
So what project have you held back on?
D. Lambert, author
Fantasy novels that entice, inspire, and entertain.