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If you have published a science fiction or fantasy novel, you'll need to promote it on social media. I know the thought of engaging in yet more social media makes you cringe, but like it or not social media is here to stay. And you may, in fact, be pleasantly surprised at how effective it can be.

Here are some social media platforms that can help you promote your book for free. Although they allow promotion, most of these platforms are not strictly promotional. Their main purpose is to host discussion groups, book clubs, and writing critique groups.

In addition to the ever-present necessity of promoting your work, I would encourage you to take advantage of these non-promotional functions for two reasons: 1) As a writer, it's essential to participate in discussions about your craft and genre, and 2) You may make some valuable contacts with other authors in the course of those discussions. (I did.)

Facebook Groups

Facebook is a huge social media platform, which means it can produce dramatic results. First, set up a page for your book. (This is a must.) Then join writers' groups. The largest and most active writers' groups are listed here: 43 Facebook Groups for Authors. There are also several active Facebook groups geared specifically to science fiction and fantasy writers. These are:

Fantasy & Science Fiction Writers in America. (Closed group) This is for writers who focus their work mainly on science fiction and fantasy. The site is for writers to post small pieces of their work to get others' opinions on them, to offer or request advice about the art, craft, and business of writing, and to exchange interests concerning science fiction and fantasy writing with like-minded individuals.

Cyberpunk Science Fiction & Culture (Closed group) Group dedicated to all things related to cyberpunk: culture, literature, music, film, technology, games, fashion, lifestyle, etc.

Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors. This group is open for anyone who loves the genres of science fiction and fantasy. They welcome readers, writers, viewers and all lovers of the genres.

Science Fiction. (Closed group) For all those interested in science fiction and fantasy adventure reading.

Space Opera. Space opera is a sub-genre of science fiction dealing with stories of epic adventure and conflict on a grand scale. If you are a fan of authors like Poul Anderson, Peter F. Hamilton, Alastair Reynolds, E.E. Smith, David Drake, Neal Asher, John C. Wright, Iain M. Banks, Walter Jon Williams, Dan Simmons, Jack Vance, David Weber, Vernor Vinge, Stephen Baxter, Larry Niven, or Louis McMaster Bujold, this group is for you. Authors can promote their books through special promotion threads.

Science Fiction and Fantasy Books Fans. This is a virtual book club of fans of science fiction and fantasy.

SciFi,Horror,Endoftheworld,Truestory.,other,Books,Screen,Music,Writers. This group is for authors, novelists, screenwriters, and bloggers to share their pages and/or published work.

Goodreads

We PROMOTE Fantasy/Sci-Fi Writers/Authors - "If you need help promoting your work, my Sci-Fi/Fantasy Team can advertise your book in our active Facebook fantasy & sci-fi page with 117,000+ Likes, Twitter page with 20,000 Followers, and feature it in Fantascize.com. We can also help you reach thousands of readers through book reviews, author interviews, book trailers, and any other type of advertisment/promotion you may need. For more details, Email my team at fantasynscifi@gmail.com or me personally at berserkxxo@yahoo.com if you're interested."

SciFi and Fantasy Book Club (15669 members) - This is mainly a discussion group, but there is also a folder for authors to promote their books. Make sure to read the rules before posting. 

SciFi and Fantasy eBook Club (3538 members) - Self-promotion is allowed in the Authors' forum for active members.

Dystopia Land (2047 members) provides a folder where authors can post releases, giveaways, free books, and short stories.  

Twitter Hashtags

#SciFi
#SciFiChat
#scifibookclub
#speculativefiction
#fantasy
#sciencefiction
#DarkFantasy
#Fantasy
#Dystopian
#Paranormal
#PNR (Paranormal Romance)
#SteamPunk
#UrbanFantasy
#ScifiRTG or #SFRTG (Sci-fi Retweet Group)
#IFNRTG (Indie Fantasy Re-tweet Group)

General marketing:

#amreading
#indieauthors
#mustread
#kindle
#kindledeals
#BookMarketing
#IARTG (Indie Author Re-tweet Group)
#YA (Young Adult)
#indiebooksbeseen
#Amazon
#BYNR (Be your next read)
#BookGiveaway
#Free
#Freebie
#FreeBook
#FreeDownload
#FreebieFriday
#FreeReads
#KindleBargain

Google+

Google + communities are an ideal platform for book promotion. These communities are lively, and posting is effortless. (All you need to do is post a URL and a brief intro.) Before you start joining Google+ communities make sure you have set up an attractive profile on Google. It's easy to do, and I guarantee people will be visiting. (My profile has gotten over 5 million views.) You can also set up a page for your book. Don't forget to read the rules of the groups before posting!

Speculative Fiction Writers - This Community is a place where all writers of science fiction and fantasy, from brand new to published authors, can come together to share trials and triumphs in developing new worlds, human and nonhuman characters, and stories large and small. (No promos)

Science Fiction Writers - Any and all discussion related to science, fiction, or any intersection of the two is welcome. This community does not allow self-promotion, but feel free to post book reviews and announce the release of your latest work.
Science Fiction - Authors, please feel free to post information and links for your books, blogs or other promotions, but please be sure to do it into the correct category and be sure to limit your self-promotional posts to once per week.

Fantasy Writers - All active members who post and comment on writing-related topics are welcome to promo their work on Saturdays.

Reddit

Reddit is underutilized for promotional purposes, probably because the site actively discourages self-promotion and ads. Nevertheless, several authors have been "discovered" on Reddit, and have developed sizable fan bases, usually through r/books and its subreddits. (The trick to Reddit is knowing which sub-reddit is appropriate for your topic.)

r/books. This is a very active community dedicated to the world of books. There are no direct promotions allowed on this page, but they do have a “new releases” section where you can promote your book. You are allowed to promote your own writing in "new releases" as long as you follow these two rules:
  1. The books being discussed must have been published within the last three months OR are being published this month.
  2. No direct sales links.

All the sci-fi related subreddits have been collated into a Big list of SF-Related Subreddits. There are too many subreddits to list here, but if you take a quick look at the Big List you will find many in the "writing" section that will be useful. (Also make sure to check the genres list.) There are two sub-reddits that are particularly active, and which allow some self-promotion. (Please read the rules before promoting your work!)

r/scifi (238,420 readers) Saturdays “self-promo Saturdays,” so log in on Saturday to promote your book. If you look at the side bar you'll find numerous subreddits, and within those even more sub-subreddits. 

r/sciencefiction (34,189 readers) This reddit is for fans and creators of science fiction and related media in any form. 

Pinterest

Pinterest is a great tool for sharing information. You can set up a board for your own publications and include photos of your book covers, signing events, and anything else related to your writing. You can also set up a group board devoted to related science fiction or fantasy topics, such as self-published science fiction or your favorite classic science fiction books, and allow others to share their titles. You can join established boards as well. (This is a great way to get followers.) Here are some group science fiction and fantasy boards that welcome new pinners:

SciFi Books – Community Board

Sci-Fi & Fantasy Books

Bookaholics Anonymous

Indie Authors and Self Published

! Sci-Fi & Fantasy Books

For more detailed information about how you can make best use of Pinterest see:  How to Use Pinterest to Build an Audience (For Writers)

 
 
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These seven publications are currently open to submissions for speculative fiction, horror, erotica, poetry, general fiction and nonfiction. All are paying markets.

Before you submit, take a tour of their websites to see if your work will be a good fit.
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Timeless Tales exclusively publishes retellings of fairy tales and myths  in any genre. They don't accept original fairy tales or stories outside of their current theme. The next theme is "Perseus and Medusa." This is a family-friendly publication. No erotica. Length: Up to 2,000 words. Under 1,500 preferred. Payment: $15 flat fee. Accepts simultaneous submissions and reprints. Submission deadline: March 23, 2015. Read submission guidelines HERE.

Podcastle is an audio fantasy magazine open to all subgenres of fantasy: from magical realism to urban fantasy to slipstream to high fantasy, and everything in between. The theme for the next issue is Dirty Jobs. "All around us, hidden from view, people do the hidden jobs that no one knows about, the hard jobs that no one glamorizes, the secret jobs that everyone pretends do not exist. We prefer stories with strong pacing, well-defined characters, engaging dialogue, and clear action. As we publish primarily in audio, we strongly gravitate toward stories with distinctive voices that read well. Fun and humor are encouraged." Payment:  $100 for short stories between 2000-6000 words for weekly broadcast. 6 cents per word for original fiction, and 2 cents per word for reprints. For flash fiction stories under 1000 words, flat fee of $20. Submission deadline: March 30, 2015. Read submission guidelines HERE.

Sycamore Review, a publication of Purdue University, accepts unsolicited submissions of fiction, poetry, and non-fiction. No previously published works (except for translations) or genre pieces (conventional science fiction, romance, horror, etc.). Simultaneous submissions accepted. Payment: For unsolicited printed work, Sycamore Review pays each contributor two copies, and $50 per short story or non-fiction piece, or $25 per poem. Submission deadline: March 31, 2015. Read submission guidelines HERE.

Ladylit is an independent fiction publisher based in Hong Kong focusing mainly on lesbian erotica and romance. They are looking for stories for their upcoming anthology: "Summer Love: Lesbian Stories of Holiday Romance." Genre: Erotica. 
Preferred length: 3000 – 6000 words. Payment: US$45.00 plus 1 copy of e-book and paperback. Deadline: March 31, 2015 (the earlier the better). Read submission guidelines HERE.

Third Flatiron is looking for speculative fiction submissions to its themed anthology, "Only Disconnect." Presentism as a theme: the pitfalls of distraction, overstimulation, attention thieves. Too much to do, too little time, headlong into the singularity. Advantages of being bored or being "in the present." Are we becoming ADD? Should we disconnect - or connect even further? Length: Stories should be between 1,500 and 3,000 words. Payment: 3 cents per word, or 6 cents per word if chosen as the lead story. Submission deadline: March 31, 2015. Read submission guidelines HERE.

Another Dimension Magazine is the evolution of Wily Writers Speculative Fiction Podcast. It has a more focused theme, that of classic-style Horror and Dark Fantasy. "One thing, in particular, that we’re looking for in the stories is a strong, twisty ending—like they used to have on the Twilight Zone and Night Gallery shows." Word count: 1000 – 3000 (Firm. Do not query). Simultaneous submissions and reprints are okay. Payment: 3 cents a word. Submission deadline: March 31, 2015. Read submission guidelines HERE.

Kill Your Darlings is an Australian literary magazine that "is proud to publish writers at varying stages of their careers, from new and emerging voices to established and well-known writers." Payment: minimum payment for a lead feature commentary is $550, commentary is $200, fiction is $250, and reviews $200. Killings columnists are paid $90 per post, for a year-long contract. Submission deadline: March 31, 2015. Read submission guidelines HERE.

 
 
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Anthologies are themed collections of short stories and/or poems by various authors and published as a single book. In most cases, anthologies are put out by publishing houses, but sometimes anthologies are published by magazines as well. Anthologies are also printed by vanity presses. (Don't submit to those. Vanity presses demand payment, and they will do nothing but harm your career.)

It is a good idea to get your work into a (legitimate) print anthology for several reasons: 1) Publishing houses that put out anthologies generally get a wider distribution than magazines; 2) Print anthologies don't preclude publishing your story online, or on Amazon, later on;  3) Establishing a relationship with a publishing house may pan out later when you are ready to publish your book; 4) Anthologies are a great writing credit; 5) Many anthologies accept reprints, which will extend the life of your stories.

Below are eight publishers looking for speculative fiction short stories. Their requirements are fairly narrow (please read their submissions pages carefully). All of these are paying markets, ranging from pro (6 cents a word, minimum), to semi-pro.

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World Weaver Press is publishing a second edition of the Far Orbit science fiction adventure series.

Deadline: March 31, 2015.

"We are once again looking for modern space adventures crafted in the Grand Tradition. We are not looking for slavish imitations of past classics. Rather, we would like to receive stories that establish a new tradition in the much maligned Scifi adventure genera — smart, modern stories built around the classic traditions. We are looking for adventure stories that are creative, readable, and memorable. We are also looking for midnight indulgences; exciting stories that transport you from the everyday grind and leave you wondrously satisfied. All adventure-based sci-fi genera are welcome but stay away from fantasy elements unless they are genetically engineered or cybernetic. Stories can begin on Earth but the major action should happen out there, beyond the edges of our blue marble. Dystopia (Mad Max) and fantasy-like adventures (John Carter of Mars) have to be very special to be included in this anthology. Please, no fan fiction."

Rights and compensation: Payment: $0.01/word. All contributors will receive a paperback copy of the anthology. For previously unpublished works: Seeking first world rights in English and exclusive rights to publish in print and electronic format for twelve months after publication date after which publisher retains nonexclusive right to continue to publish for a term. For reprints: Seeking non-exclusive right to publish in print and electronic formats for a term. Previously unpublished stories preferred; reprints will be considered. No previously anthologized stories.

Open submission period: January 1 – March 31, 2015.

Length: Under 10,000 words

Submission method: Paste the story into the body of the e-mail message. Include the approximate word count. Subject line: Apogee – [Title]. Send submission to: farorbit [at] worldweaverpress [dot] com.

Simultaneous submissions = OK.

Multiple submissions = No.

For more information CLICK HERE.
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Crossed Genres Publications is publishing Hidden Youth: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History

Deadline: 4/30/15

Who can submit: "We welcome stories by authors from all walks of life. We especially encourage submissions from members of marginalized groups within the speculative fiction community, including (but not limited to) people of color; people who are not from or living in the U.S.A.; QUILTBAG and GSM people; people with disabilities, chronic illness, or mental illness; and atheists, agnostics, and members of religious minorities. The protagonists of your story do not have to mirror your own heritage, identities, beliefs, or experiences. We also especially encourage short story submissions from people who don’t usually write in this format, including poets, playwrights, essayists and authors of historical fiction and historical romance."

Submission deadline and publication schedule: Submissions are due April 30, 2015. If it’s still April 30 in your time zone, you’re good. Acceptance notices will be sent by October 1. The anthology is tentatively slated for a January 2016 release.

Pay and rights: USD 6¢/word for global English first publication rights in print and digital format. The author retains copyright. Payment is upon publication.

For more information CLICK HERE.
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Meerkat Press is currently seeking short stories for their next themed anthology, Love Hurts.

"Dazzle us with stories of love, and make it hurt! Slow, dull, unimaginative stories need not apply."

Deadline: 4/30/15

Genres accepted: Speculative Fiction, Science Fiction and Fantasy. This includes all sub-genres: Dystopian, Steampunk, Paranormal, etc.

Payment: .01 to .04 per word for short fiction.

For more information CLICK HERE.
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Pop Seagull Publishing is publishing the anthology: ‘Robotica.’

Deadline: March 2015

"Wow us with your take on the intersection between eroticism and robots or other artificial life forms! This could take the form of a look at robotic self-replication, humans in love with robots, robot courtship, or anything your imagination can come up with! Just take ‘Robotica’ and run with it. We’re not necessarily looking for pure erotica, but more solid science fiction that examines the intersection of sexuality and robots in a unique way. Having said that, have fun with it! If a sexy, sexy scene suits the story, go for it."

Payment: For short fiction, 1 cent per word, plus three free copies of the book and a discounted rate on future purchases.

How to submit: Microsoft Word files (.doc and .docx), PDF and Open Office (.odt) files only. If you send anything other than these formats, they may not be able to open it. E-subs only. Please send all queries and works for consideration to lizmclean(dot)artist(at)gmail(dot)com.

For more information CLICK HERE.
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Science Fiction and Fantasy Publications is publishing their Unbound anthology “Lost Friends

Deadline: March 31st, 2015.

Genre: Science Fiction.

Payment: All short stories are paid at $0.01 per word (after editing) up to a maximum of $150.00. All payments will be made via PayPal and in the first quarter of publication. Then, if the issue your story is included in breaks a profit, 50% of the net profit will be shared between the contributors on a per word basis for two years after the publication date.

How to submit: You only need two things – Your short story and a small two paragraph bio of yourself. This should be supplied with your manuscript. Attach both to an email entitled “Short Story Submission” indicating which anthology you are submitting to and send it to our submissions email address. This email address is set to delete emails with no attachments.

For more information CLICK HERE.
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Eldritch Press is publishing "Steampunk Horror: The Lost Worlds"

Deadline: Extended until filled.

Genre: "The Lost Worlds" will be a anthology in the Steampunk Horror Genre devoted to the post-apocalyptic theme. Send us worlds rebuilt by steam powered engines and mechanical marvels. Send us characters we can root for as they fight the good fight. Send us worlds our readers can romanticize about, characters that jump off the page. We want to set the Steampunk world ablaze with "The Lost Worlds."

Payment: Eight cents a word.

How to submit: Email with Attachments: submissions@eldritchpress.com

For more information CLICK HERE.
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Strange Musings Press is accepting submissions for their new Anthology, Alternate Hilarities 3: Hysterical Realms

Deadline: March 10th

Genre: Short funny fiction about fantasy worlds of all types. They are looking for Flash Fiction between 500 and 1500 words. Short Fiction between 1501 and 6000 words.

Payment: Flash Fiction - a half cent a word paid on publication as well as one E-book and 1 share of royalties. Short Fiction - One cent a word paid on publication as well as one E-book and 2 shares of royalties.

How to submit: Submissions@StrangeMusingsPress.com

Simultaneous submissions: Yes

Reprints: Yes

For more information CLICK HERE.
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Emby Press is publishing Monster Hunter: Wasteland

"The wars are over. The monsters have won.There is nowhere monsters don’t stalk anymore; not the burnt out cities or desolate countryside. The monster’s endless search for the last of humanity grows intense as the number of people dwindle and the legions of hungry creatures swell.

The battle between life and death is constant. No place is safe. But, the people who have survived are the fastest, the strongest and the most resourceful. Among them are the last monster hunters: individuals that have visited the depths of nightmare and survived. Individuals that have become the things that haunt those nightmares…

They will never submit, no matter how large or small the gain. Their purpose is clear… Hunt the monsters. Reclaim the WASTELAND."

Deadline: 3/1/15. Acceptances will be announced 4/5/14

Tentative Publication Date: Fall 2015

Payment: $25.00 and electronic copy of the book upon publication.

Word Limits: 2000 to 8000 words. Please query if longer.

Format: Submissions should be .doc (.docx is fine) or .rtf formats. The entire text will be reformatted, so no need to worry about margins, spacing, etc. Please use a standard font.

Genres Accepted: Dark Fiction, Horror and sci-fi.

Reprints Accepted: Yes. Please include a history of publication with your submission.

Simultaneous Subs: (submitting to Emby and another press at the same time) can be avoided by requesting an early response.

For more information CLICK HERE.

 
 
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Reading periods are closing for several speculative fiction and fantasy publications.

All of these magazines are open to submissions right now.

(Don't worry, if you miss the deadline, there will be other opportunities to submit. See their submission guidelines for future reading periods.)

NoteAll of these are paying markets.
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Midnight Breakfast 

DeadlineNovember 30. 

 "We’re open to loose genre, though we tend to skew more towards literary and speculative fiction. We also love a good, well-written humor piece. What we’re not looking for: fan-fiction, erotica, or anything that requires excessive world-building (as much as we love Game of Thrones in these parts, that kind of work isn’t for us)."

Payment: $50 per accepted work. Read submission guidelines here.
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Lakeside Circus 

Deadline: November 30 (?) 

"We want speculative fiction, particularly science fiction (hard, soft, near-future, etc), urban fantasy, magic realism, mad science, and apocalypse tales. Whether prose or poetry, we’re looking for the same kind of almost-weird fiction we publish in our anthologies. We like fiction with layers of meaning; stories that are odd or different without being too strange to understand. We enjoy interstitial, genre-bending, and “literary SF/F” writing. Your work has to encapsulate a complete moment; more than a vignette, each submission must have a beginning, middle, and end. Something has to change along the way, but parts of the story can happen off stage. As always, we want beautiful, dark, unusual, and meaningful." 

Payment: 2 cents per word (fiction or non-fiction), with a minimum of $10 US, payable on publication. In addition, Authors will receive a one-year digital subscription to the magazine. Read submission guidelines here.
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Crossed Genres 

Deadline: November 30.  

"It’s the mission of Crossed Genres Publications to give a voice to people often ignored or marginalized in SFF, which has led us to publish titles focused on older women, overweight women, immigration, skilled laborers, QUILTBAG families, and people marginalized throughout history." Crossed Genres Magazine is an official SFWA Qualifying Market. 

Payment: 6¢ per word for fiction. Authors will also receive a gratis print and ebook copy of the anthology in which their story appears. Read submission guidelines here.
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Betwixt 

Deadline: November 30

"Betwixt publishes speculative fiction of all sorts—fantasy, science fiction, speculative horror, slipstream, weird fiction, steam/diesel/cyber/etc.punk, you name it. We particularly like stories that smash genre boundaries to smithereens, but we also love fresh takes on established genres and in-depth explorations of ultraspecific niches. Experiments in form and style are welcomed enthusiastically—but a straightforward narrative with tight, crisp language is just as beautiful." 

Payment: $0.03 per word up to $225, payable upon receipt of completed contract and author questionnaire. Read submission guidelines here.
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Urban Fantasy

Deadline: November 30

"Urban Fantasy Magazine is a professional fantasy magazine publishing fiction, articles, and reviews.We are looking for urban fantasy fiction of up to 4000 words (we may accept longer stories, but only the first 4000 words are paid). We like to read stories set in the world where we all live, albeit with fantastical elements. We’d like for our readers to imagine that our stories are taking place in the city next door. We do accept stories about vampires, werewolves, and zombies, but keep in mind that you’ll be facing strong competition from other writers, including established writers whom we solicit directly." 

Payment: 6 cents a word. Read submission guidelines here.
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Shock Totem 

Deadline: November 30

Shock Totem Publications (commonly referred to simply as Shock Totem) is an American small-press publisher specializing in dark fantasy and horror. Shock Totem’s main goal is to promote and support new and established authors by focusing primarily on fiction, but also through editorials, essays and interviews. "We’re not interested in hard science fiction, epic fantasy (swords and sorcery), splatterporn (blood and guts and little more), or clichéd plots." 

Payment: 5 cents per word for original, unpublished fiction; 2 cents per word for reprints. There is a $250 cap on all accepted stories. Read submission guidelines here.
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Sci-Fi Romance Quarterly

Deadline December 1.  

The Sci-Fi Romance Quarterly is an online magazine devoted to science fiction romance. Each issue includes news, reviews, opinion columns, and an original, exclusive short story. 

Payment: 2 cents/word (US) paid upon publication, promotional biography with two links, and a complimentary quarter-page advertisement. Read submission guidelines here.

 

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