Independent authors don't need to deal with the mainstream media anymore to promote their books or themselves. It is now viable and easy to do this exclusively through independent media outlets that lie outside the mainstream, thanks to YouTube and its competitors (as well as similar companies like SoundCloud) to replace TV and radio as well as blogging to replace magazines. I'll refer mostly to YouTube, but this also applies to other such outlets.
YouTube channels, like blogs, need to release content on a regular basis to attract and retain an audience. This means that they are always on a search for sources that they can turn into content that they can release through their channel to serve that audience. The audience for a given channel can be small, in absolute terms, but that audience is far more likely to be friendly to what you write; the trick is to scout out a channel before you decide to approach them, because not every likely channel is actually good for what you want- to grow your audience and expand your reach.
With that in mind, I want you--my fellow independent SF/F authors, #pulprev and #superversive and #noblebright--to consider the following:
- When creating our SF/F works, we come up with a lot of material--lore--that is necessary to get the work done but doesn't get a lot of attention in the presentation of the narrative. This is usually set aside in your Notes folder or junk drawer, until you get a hit like Uncle George and decide to publish all the ancillary materials to satisfy the audience.
- There are YouTube channels that focus their content production on the lore of a given property, some with more narrow focus than others, and we're now seeing some of these channels collaborate. These channels tend to be very hungry for content, and are likely to be open to collaborating with creators like us.
- If you do your part and know how to appeal to the focus of a channel, you can reach out to their audience and promote your stuff to their audience while giving them new and exciting lore content to do videos about. You win. They win. The audience wins. Everyone benefits. If you can find an alliance of channels and can work with the alliance as a whole, the synergy really takes off.
We have three channels that are now in an alliance that are likely to be favorable to us: The Templin Institute, Spacedock, and Eckhart's Ladder. Templin likes to talk about factions, locations, notable people, and so on; they're the big player of this three-party alliance. Spacedock is a gearhead-focused channel, and has already done paid collaborations to promote properties (New BSG and The Expanse). Eckhart's Ladder is mostly Star Wars, but open to others, and his "Battle Breakdown" series is fantastic for adventure-heavy creators.
We should reach out to this alliance and offer to collaborate with them. We have exactly what these channels are hungry for, and if we can successfully reach out to them then the win-win synergy will become apparent as we take the material we otherwise would never get the full benefit from and put it before the audiences that want exactly that sort of thing.
The goal is to drive more people to our email newsletters, and convert those subscribers to regular book buyers and readers in turn. This is not a one-time affair; this is going to be an ongoing relationship, one that can (and will) turn into opportunities to return the favor as these channels in turn want to begin producing original content- opportunities we would be in a prime position to exploit. (Spacedock is doing this now, "The Sojurn", and Templin's been making similar noises; Eckhart will follow presently once the bug bites him.) If nothing else, being in position to readily offer to do the novel adaptations is invaluable and serves to keep the relationship healthy via returning value for value.
Yes, I will do this once I am ready regarding Star Knight, but some of you are already in position to hit this hard here and now. Go to their YT pages, hit up their contact emails, and introduce yourselves. You've got lore; they want to talk lore. Start making it happen. (Good God, if Nick & Jason did this all three channels would explode yet again and thrive.)