Best Practices for Authors on Curious Fictions

By Curious Fictions
Mar 8, 2019 · 1,540 words · 6 minutes

Photo by chuttersnap via Unsplash.

From the author: A list of best practices that we’ve put together after observing how successful authors have used the platform. Feel free to improvise or improve on any of these items as you use the platform and make them your own.


If you have any questions about these items (or anything else!), please don’t hesitate to let us know by sending an email to support@curiousfictions.com.

Building Out Your Author Profile on Curious Fictions

  • Add an author photo: Readers browse the author page all the time to find their next read so make your profile stand out with a high-quality author photo. Not sure where to start? BookBaby has some tips on thinking through photos that might help. We also recommend taking a look at Effie Seiberg’s photo on Curious Fictions — multiple readers have commented that they have landed on Effie’s profile because her profile photo is so dynamic.

  • Add a one-line description of your writing: If your name is the headline, this is the subheadline, or an opportunity to quickly let readers know what you write about. Keep it simple, brief, and clear. If you’re committing to posting regularly on Curious Fictions to draw subscribers, mention your expected schedule of stories and posts here e.g. “Michelle writes speculative fiction inspired by current events and shares stories on Curious Fictions weekly.”

  • Add an author bio: Now that a reader has landed on your author page, the author bio is an opportunity to give readers more information about who you are, and a great place to highlight your writing achievements. Consider listing awards you have received for your writing, mention your participation in prominent writing workshops (e.g. Clarion West, Iowa Writers’ Workshop, etc.), and list books you’ve professionally published.

Sharing Your Work on Curious Fictions

  • Don't publish all your work at once!: We suggest starting with one story or post, sharing it with followers, and then teasing future posts or stories you will add to your page. If you have a particularly long story, consider breaking it into chunks and doing a serialized release to keep readers coming back.

  • If your goal is to attract subscribers, publish at least once a week: We've noticed that authors who share something on Curious Fictions consistently (at least once a week!) tend to get more tips and subscriptions so consider making a schedule of stories and posts and stick to it. Of course, maintaining a schedule isn’t for everyone! Some authors share work when they can (and that’s okay too!) and focus on getting tips and story views over subscriptions.

  • Share stories and posts: On Curious Fictions, you can share all kinds of work. In addition to short stories, you can also share longer work in a serialized release over multiple chapters. Consider also sharing "posts" — these can include excerpts from books, deleted scenes or chapters, introductions to the real people who inspired your characters, your thoughts on the publishing industry, the highs and lows of writing, etc.

Making Your Work Stand Out on Curious Fictions

A lot of work gets added to Curious Fictions every day. Here are some ways you can make your stories stand out when readers are looking for their next great read:

  • Add descriptions to your stories and posts: Make it as easy as possible for readers to discover your work by adding a brief description of the story, chapter, or post. After talking to readers, we’ve compiled some examples of successful story descriptions here.

  • Add high-quality photos and artwork to your stories: We just launched a new integration with a photo library called Unsplash so authors can add beautiful photography to all their stories and posts. In addition, authors can now upload original artwork.

  • Add audio to your stories: If a story of yours has an audio version, you can now include a link to it from your story page (example here), or upload the audio to SoundCloud to embed an audio player on the page (example here — we recommend this option so that readers stay on your profile). Readers can also now filter stories by audio availability.

  • Add custom tags to your work: You can now add any tag you like to your stories. You can use tags to place your story into a more specific genre (e.g. "light satire" or "cozy mystery"), capture a mood (e.g. "melancholy" or "strange"), or tag it as part of a group of stories or collaboration. We're excited about this from a reader standpoint. Browsing through stories this way feels a little magical, and makes it really fun to explore--for example, here are the most viewed 'strange' stories. We're looking forward to seeing what authors do with it!

  • Add your books: As part of our goal to support authors' publishing careers, we've created a book section so authors can showcase their published books, as well as link to them from any related stories or posts. For example, Edward Ashton shared an excerpt from Three Days in April, and Fonda Lee posted an interview with one of her characters from her upcoming novel.

Promoting Your Work on Curious Fictions

Think of Curious Fictions like a bookstore holding a signing. We help bring readers into the store, but you have the best connection to your own fans and ability to speak to them. Here are some tactics to build your audience and get the most out of the Curious Fictions platform:

  • Communicate with your readers: We find that email is much more effective than social media for sharing well, anything, but that includes your Curious Fictions page (some estimates say email newsletters have a 34% higher conversion rate than social media posts). So if you have a mailing list or group of people you think might be interested, let them know directly.

  • Share your Curious Fictions page on social media: If you do share your page on Twitter or Facebook, we recommend pinning it or putting it in your bio so people have quick access to your writing.

  • Be explicit! Share a recommended action with your readers: When you share something on Curious Fictions, or when you share your author page, make sure to tell people what you'd like them to do (e.g. sign up and subscribe to you!). If it looks like a publication announcement, people often hit 'like' or send you excited gifs and move on without realizing there's something else they could/should do. So for example, you could say something like this: "I've recently joined Curious Fictions, a place where you can subscribe to me to support my work and read my stories and updates about [rad stuff]. Subscribe to my author page to get updates when I share new stories and posts."

Engaging with the Community

  • Engage with other authors: Curious Fictions is a place to connect with readers and also other writers. Here’s how you can see what your fellow Curious Fictions authors are up to:
    • Curious Fictions - engagement starts right on Curious Fictions. Browse authors or stories on the platform and show some support for your fellow authors by following them, liking their work, or leaving them a comment.
    • Facebook - Due to popular demand, we just created a Facebook group for authors to connect with each other and share tips and tricks on using the platform and on writing. If you'd like to join, you can do so here.
    • Twitter - We created a group of Curious Fictions authors on Twitter here so we can connect with authors on the platform and connect you with each other (note: this list is by no means complete!). Did we miss you? Let us know and we’ll add you to it.
    • Instagram - Yup, we’re here too! Connect with us here to see when we post about authors and stories on Curious Fictions and everything in between!
    • Practice “literary citizenship”: Now that you’re connected to other authors, the best way to practice literary citizenship is to do the following (credit: publishing expert Jane Friedman):
      • Spread the word about the writers and publications you enjoy or appreciate. Spreading the word can be as informal as writing an online review, posting pictures on social media, or buying books as gifts.
      • Support those who make such literary activity possible. Supporting those who make literary activity possible includes patronizing your local library or bookstore, going to readings, and subscribing to literary journals.

    Ask for Help

    • Don't be shy: We're here to help you. If you have fun updates come up (do you have a new book coming out? did you just receive an award?), remember to update your bio but also let us know (email is great!) and we'll do our best to spread the word far and wide. And if you ever just want to talk about what we can do to make Curious Fictions better, send us a note: support@curiousfictions.com. The whole reason we exist is to help authors, and we take feedback seriously.

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