Tools for Writers: Reddit

Reddit is a social bookmarking site, allowing its users to post URLs that they think other users will enjoy. Other users can comment on or otherwise discuss the links. It is organized in terms of interests, also known as subreddits. Reddit has been around since 2005 and is well-established in terms of users and comunities. It is volunteer run.

Reddit is a free service, but you can pay for additional functionality, such as the ability to turn off advertising, the ability to add notes to friends, and access to features being beta-tested.

Users can upvote or downvote both links and comments that they like or dislike. To see your Reddit score, click on your name in the upper righthand side.

Reddit Users

Reddit users, or “redditors,” are a diverse group, but tend to slant male and yound to middle aged.

Reddit has seen its share of controversies, usually around users posting pictures of women, but it also has its share of amazing efforts: collaborative projects, such as the world’s largest Secret Santa project.

How do Interviews Work on Reddit?

IamA (I am a) and AMAs, (Ask Me Anything), are sessions in which one person (or possibly a team) answers any and all questions posed by the reddit community. Many communities, like reddit/Fantasy, host such events on a regular basis and include information on how to sign up to participate in an AMA. At Worldcon in 2013, the Reddit table in the dealer room provided mini AMA’s where passing writers answered questions for 15 minutes.

Subreddits:

Reddit is organized in terms of communities around a particular interest, such as science fiction, movies, politics, etc. Reddit communities can range from the very small and specifically defined community to much larger and broader communities, such as Gaming with its close to four million members.

Here are some of the Reddit communities that may be of specific use to speculative fiction writers, with numbers as of early September, 2013.

  •  Booklists (From the community description: for sharing reading lists. Whether it be academic reading lists, Amazon listmanias, reading lists in the news, or discussions of specialized libraries.): 4,160
  • Books (From the community description: focused on discussing books, authors, genres, or everything else book related.): 582, 381
  • Cyberpunk (From the community description: if you think it’s cyberpunk, you can post it.): 36,302
  • Fantasy (From the community description: science Fiction, or Speculative Fiction if you prefer. Fantasy too.): 40,775
  • Fantasy Freebies (From the community description: a place where anyone can post news about free copies.) : 412
  • Fantasy Writers (From the community description: this reddit is dedicated to those of us who are writing in the fantasy genre. Anything related to creating your own works of fantasy is acceptable.): 5,100
  • Paranormal romance (From the community description: all flavors of PNR, explicit or non, including the traditionals like psychics, witches, shapeshifters, and vampires, as well as the less common like superheroes, steampunk, futuristic/science fiction, etc.): 660
  • Post Apocalyptic (From the community description: a subreddit for anyone interested in post-apocalyptic literature and art.): 3053
  • Science Fiction Book Club (From the community description: the Science fiction book club – every month we pick a book, classic or new and discuss it. Posts of all sorts are encouraged: links to reviews, interviews, and links to related material about the book or author.): 1692
  • Sciencefiction (From the community description: for fans and creators of science fiction and related media in any form): 2381
  • Scifi (From the community description: science Fiction, or Speculative Fiction if you prefer. Fantasy too.): 164,642
  • SF Books (From the community description: a place to discuss published SF—novels, short stories, comics, images, and more. Not sure if a book is SF? Then post it! Science Fiction, Fantasy, Alt. History, Postmodern Lit., and more are all welcome here.): 12,267
  • SF Stories (From the community description: science fiction and fantasy stories): 2356
  • Speculative fiction Book Club (From the community description: a readers’ club for books about ideas.): 3739
  • Steampunk (From the community description: images, stories & events related to infernal machines, alchemical contraptions, and clockwork beasts.): 23, 781
  • Time Travel (No community description other than “Timetravel”)): 2816
  • Tolkein Fans (From the community description: a space for the nerds of reddit to debate and discuss the Tolkien mythos.): 14,399
  • Urban fantasy (From the community description: modern day magic, monsters, and mayhem.): 852
  • YALit (From the community description: a place for both the young and the young at heart to discuss books, news, movies based on books, and everything else related to YA): 2487

A writer can use Reddit to share links that include blog posts, book trailers, contests, interviews, reviews, etc. As with any community, you will fare badly if you join simply to sell your books. Here is one of the places where helping to promote others will help you promote yourself better than anything else.

My advice to someone starting out on Reddit would be not to self-promote but post a link or two a week with other interesting stuff. Build a relationship now as a good contributor to the community and you will find people are more receptive later on to hearing about your own work.

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Cat Rambo’s most recent short story collection, Near + Far, appeared last fall from Hydra House. Find links to her fiction as well as her upcoming online classes on her website, http://www.kittywumpus.net.

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