It was delightful to be around 120 other people focused on the profession of writer. There weren’t any sighs about being blocked, or the muse being scarce — everyone knew that writing is work, just like truck driving, and that as a rule, truck drivers drive every day whether or not they encounter the muse hitchhiking along the way.
It was also one of the friendliest workshops I’ve ever been to. People were kind and chatty and it did feel as though it was — as billed — Tribebuilding.
I was there in part to learn but also to represent SFWA. And most of the SFWA-related questions were one of two things:
- How do I join/do I qualify for SFWA?
- Why should I join?
- The Featured Book section of the website appears on the righthand side of the website’s front page and is open to new books at the time of their release. While filling that out, you might also fill out the Featured Author section.
- The New Release Newsletter is a recent addition that lists forthcoming publications by SFWA members. It is not limited to books, but can encompass shorter fiction and alternate forms. Backlist books being newly released can be listed in the newsletter.
- The SFWA Discussion Forums have multiple ways to promote your book. Mention details in your personal thread, list interviews and reviews in the Self Promotion section, where you can also find a link to Don Saker’s The Dealer’s Room, where SFWAmembers can list free book promotions.
- The Discussion forums also hold a repository where you can upload or point to new published works to make sure they are considered by fellow members for the Nebula Awards.
- Sign up for the SFWA Authors Twitter steam in order to promote your book-related blog posts on it.
- SFWA also maintains the SFWA Youtube Channel, including a playlist of member book trailers.
- If you’re in one of the areas that hosts a SFWA reading series— or traveling through — sign up to read. Each quarterly session features three or four authors.
- SFWA maintains tables at events like Worldcon, the Baltimore Book Festivals and others throughout the year. Volunteer for the table and let your fans know you’ll be there to sign and sell books.
- You can list your book for reviewers using the SFWA NetGalley program at a cost significantly less than buying an individual membership.
- List yourself in the new Speakers Bureau so libraries, schools, and other organizations looking for a writer to speak at their events can find you.
Cat Rambo is the President of SFWA. Her 150+ fiction publications include stories in Asimov’s, Clarkesworld Magazine, and Tor.com. Her short story, “Five Ways to Fall in Love on Planet Porcelain,” from her story collection Near + Far (Hydra House Books), was a 2012 Nebula nominee. Her editorship of Fantasy Magazine earned her a World Fantasy Award nomination in 2012. Her most recent book is her debut novel, Beasts of Tabat. For more about her, as well as links to her fiction, see http://www.kittywumpus.net.