I'd like to talk about Author Promotion, what it is and how it works.
As hopefully everyone is aware, here at GA we have a number of authors with either the Promising, Signature or Classic status. These are authors that we have "promoted" after a review by the Author Promotion Team (APT). The APT is a group of members whose job is to evaluation authors that have been nominated to see if they're reached the "next level" of writing.
What do Promising, Signature and Classic mean?
Well, that's an interesting question in it's own right. The details are to some extent subjective and each member of the APT has their own guidelines that they use but roughly:
Promising Author: An author who has demonstrated a quality above the norm, that shows promise of the sort of writing that we want to showcase at GA. Because they're prominent, we're also looking for a combination of other factors, such as how they interact with their readers, signs that they want to improve, and a willingness to help make GA the place on the Internet for quality gay fiction. We don't expect a Promising author to do all of these things, but we're looking for indications that a Promising Author is going to help promote GA, predominantly through their writing, but maybe through other means, as well.
Signature Author: An author who has demonstrated a high level of craftmanship with their writing. SIgnature Authors can still have areas that they need to improve, but this status is an acknowledgement that the stories they're producing are amongst the best at GA and indeed the Internet overall.
Classic Author: Essentially, a Signature Author that has either retired, or only infrequently publishes new works. Sometimes a new author can become a Classic Author if they're posting their collection of stories previously posted elsewhere.
So how does an author becoming a Promising, Signature or Classic Author?
It all starts with a nomination. For various reasons, we only accept nominations via PM, not public posts. If you wish to nominate an author, or even if you want to nominate yourself, send a PM to the APT Lead (currently myself), providing the details of the author you wish to nominate and maybe a comment or two as to why you think that author deserves promotion.
The APT Lead will then schedule a review for that author. Because the members of the APT have other jobs (and are generally authors themselves), and reviewing an author is something that's needs time and effort to do the job properly, we typically only review one author a month. Thus unfortunately means that it can take some time before an author is reviewed, so please be patient.
Reviewing stories is an important task that the APT takes very seriously. Each member of the APT has their own views on the details of what makes a Promising/Signature/Classic Author, which can mean that we end up with a variety of opinons. Reviewing stories and documenting observations, followed up by discussing the differing opinions to come up with a decision, isn't something to be rushed.
The outcome of the review is then shared with the author. This could be an offer for promotion (cue fireworks!), usually to Promising, but occasionally directly to Signature (cue massive fireworks!!!). If an author is not deemed ready for promotion, the APT team will provide some suggestions on areas in which the author needs to improve. Even if an offer is made, the team will usually comment on areas that we feel the author could focus on for improvement. Our goal is, after all, to encourage the authors nominated, as we'd all love to see more Promising and Signature authors.
Once an author has been promoted to Promising, the process doesn't stop there. The APT will also review our current Promising Authors on a semi-regular basis to see if they're ready for promotion to Signature. With reviewing not only new nominations, but existing Promising Authors, and only being able to review one author a month, you can see why the process can take some time. Just be patient; we'll get to everyone eventually.
What are the benefits of becoming a Promising/Signature/Classic Author?
There are several benefits to becoming a Gay Authors Promising/Signature/Classic Author. These are:
- Each Promising Author gets a banner displayed above their stories. The banner size is 848 pixels wide by121 pixels tall. We can create one for you if you like, or you can supply your own.
- Your name, bio and banner will be listed on our Authors page under your new Author group.
- Your story updates will be listed in the weekly wrap-up blog.
- Story topics can be placed in the Promising Authors Discussion Forums. Upon becoming a Signature Author, your story topics can be placed in the Signature Author Discussion Forums. In some cases, you can also get your own forum, though that usually requires an active fan-base to keep the forum active.
- Signature Authors with published works, if posting regularly and above a certain word count, can place off-site buy links to their eBooks available for purchase on other sites, such as Amazon.
- Signature Authors are eligible for extra promotion through periodic featured blogs during our Signature/Classic week each month.
- Signature Authors may also use individual story banners for their stories, rather than their author banner, if they wish.
What are the responsibilities of the Promising/Signature Authors?
What we ask of GA Promising/Signature Authors in return:
- Post your stories on GA first or concurrently with other sites.
- If you post on other sites or a personal blog, link back to Gay Authors.
- Please do not remove your stories from GA for publication elsewhere. Should you later intend your work for publication, your story can be reviewed for possible inclusion in GA's Premium stories section.
- Actively participate with your readers by answering reviews and being an active member of the site.