“How Can I Help?” #FictionFightsBack

Original post — A Call to Words: #FictionFightsBack

Thanks for spreading the word, everyone. We here at Bad Menagerie are grateful #FictionFightsBack is seeing so much support.

I’m getting a lot of questions along the lines of, What can I do if I don’t have that big of a fanbase? Or, How can I help if I’m not a writer?

First of all, if #FictionFightsBack doesn’t fit your options, there are many other ways you can stand up. But if you want to help this initiative in particular, here are some ideas. (This is just me spitballing! Adapt this campaign into whatever works for you.)

  • If you don’t think your writing will earn enough on its own, put together a bundle or anthology with other writers you know. We here at Bad Menagerie are looking at doing that ourselves, but we can never have too many. The more stories selling with these aims, the more impact it can have.
  • If you’re not a writer yourself or you’re otherwise not able to join in, signal boost. Continue to signal boost as authors start releasing work and during the weeks and months to come when the initial anger from many has died down. Particularly useful is if people can start spreading this idea to genres outside of SFF, since I don’t have many contacts in those communities.
  • If you have other skills, hook up with people who are writing and offer to donate cover design, editing, ebook formatting, or paperbook formatting to the effort. Feel free to use the comments section here to find people or to volunteer.
  • Write to, tweet at, or otherwise contact your favorite authors asking if they’ve seen it.
  • Ask the publishers or magazines you are a fan of if they’ve seen it.
  • If you are a publisher or a magazine and you want to participate, there are lots of ways! For instance, you could do a special donation issue or particular donation stories, whatever fits best with your framework. If you’re a press with the capability, you could reach out to your authors to see who might like to release works for which the royalties would be donated, or hook up with a group of authors to publish an anthology they’re putting together. Whatever fits your strengths and abilities as a business. By all means come up with your own way of participating, and publicize it with us.
  • Buy work that is being promoted with the hashtag.
  • Promote work being released under the hashtag.
  • If you see something that fits this — there are many people in fiction doing many good things right now — tag it with #FictionFightsBack so that others can find it. We want the hashtag to help signal boost and cross-promote everyone doing something similar. Also, if you’re someone doing something similar, feel free to cross-pollinate your project with this tag, too. It doesn’t have to be exactly like what we’ve suggested, as long as it’s fiction related to protecting people’s rights (which you can consider to have as wide a definition as you feel is right to you) and the proceeds are being donated to help protect people’s rights.
  • If you’re a writer but you feel like you don’t write along these themes, please consider that the objective here is very wide. This is not just about rebellion-against-tyranny stories, but stories about refusing to be erased from existence, or giving voice to marginalized experiences, or fighting against what makes us powerless. Play to your strengths as a writer, pledge to donate the proceeds, and join us.
  • Feel free to come up with your own method of participating or make other suggestions in comments. Or just donate directly to your organizations of choice.
  • Remember that this is a slow burn, not a one-time event. There’s no deadline. If you can’t participate now but want to do so a few months from now, please do. And please keep signal boosting.

I’m sure this will be one initiative of many among the fiction community. We want to support the others, not be the only one. Act in the ways you are able and join us if you can, but if you choose a different way of helping, I absolutely support you. I’ll be doing other things, too — this is a beginning, not enough.

And I absolutely know that there are writers who might like this idea but can’t participate right now for myriad reasons. Please stay safe and healthy if you can, and do whatever you are able to. That’s what I’m trying to do, too.

Coming soon, by request: A list of publishing resources for people who are looking at self-publishing something for the first time.

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About the author

SL Huang (aka MathPencil)
SL Huang (aka MathPencil)

SL Huang justifies an MIT degree by using it to write eccentric mathematical superhero books. Debut novel: Zero Sum Game, a speculative fiction thriller.
Website: www.slhuang.com
Twitter: @sl_huang

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