Have a Fiction Blog? Try Sharing on Reddit

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Image Source: Eva Blue. Check her out on flickr!

Like any blogger, I’m always searching for new ways to grow my audience. Nevertheless, as a fiction blogger I understand my needs are quite different from others. My target audience is readers who love fiction. While several social media sites have allowed me to connect with other writers and feel like I’m part of a community, there’s always that challenge to attract visitors to my latest posts.

Enter Reddit. I only started using Reddit this year, and found this to be a great place to share my latest stories. If you’re unfamiliar with Reddit, it’s a social networking site where users can submit links and posts. Everything submitted is organized under categories called “subreddits.” Trust me, you can find a subreddit for anything. Looking for world news? There’s a subreddit for that. Want to join in-depth discussions on the Pokemon universe? There’s a subreddit for that. See where I’m going with this?

I sought out Subreddits that I thought targeted the same audience I wanted for my fiction. While the number of visitors is relatively small (alright, very small), I highly recommend Reddit for fiction bloggers starting out. Furthermore, Reddit allows users to leave comments, so you also benefit from direct feedback.

Disclaimer: Reddit is very strict about spamming subreddits with your posts. The general rule, according to kissmetrics, is that only one out of ten submissions can be of your own content. Overposting can result in your account being banned, so it’s important to adhere to this rule. It’s also important to read the rules of each subreddit and structure your post accordingly.

With all that being said, Below are a two subreddits that I’ve used to share my stories:

  • r/shortstories

    For people who enjoy writing and sharing short stories, I highly recommend this subreddit. Users have the ability to share stories as a text submission or through a link. You are required to tag your post with the appropriate genre (e.g. Horror, Science Fiction). This subreddit does ask you to comment on three other posts before leaving one of your own, and I think that’s completely reasonable.

  • r/fiction

    This is very similar to the short story subreddit with the added ability to post longer works of fiction such as novels and plays. While there are fewer subscribers than the short stories subreddit, there are no comment requirements.

I know I’ve only listed two subreddits, but the advantage is that these subscribers match my audience. I’m continuing to explore other subreddits, and I’ll post those I find are useful.

Has anyone had any good or bad luck using Reddit? Does anyone have any other advice for us writing blogger? Leave a comment below!

This post is part of a new series I’m dedicating to sharing my experiences as a fiction blogger. Feel free to leave any questions or suggestions on what you’d like my next topic to be!

Hot Wheels

I went for a walk on a Saturday morning and found a yard sale. Working the yard sale was a woman. She had her hair in a ponytail and talked with her hands. I overheard her say how excited she was to be moving to Virginia.

“I’ll be closer to my sister and mother,” she said to another woman holding an infant in her arms. The other woman nodded and bounced in place.

There were two tables across the lawn. Everything spread on the first was junk, at least to me. Little porcelain figurines of pigs and cows and elephants. Plastic plates and glasses that shone in the sun. My eyes burned from the glares.

The second table was different. I looked at Pearl Jam cassettes and withered Hardy Boys books and Hot Wheels cars. Behind this table was the house’s porch and sitting on the steps was a man with a bottle of Coke in his hand. He watched the woman and the infant.

“How much are the Hot Wheels?” I asked.

He looked over to me and shrugged his shoulders. “I’ll give you the whole container for five dollars.”

I considered it. My nephew was turning six next month. I also thought about keeping them for myself. I liked Hot Wheels as a kid. I remembered how me and my neighbor would race them across the wooden boards in his basement. We both would cheat and then accuse the other of cheating. We would fight and I would storm off only to come back the next day.

“There’s some good stuff in here,” I said. I picked up one – a white ferrari with a red strip down the center. I had one just like it.

“That one’s my favorite,” he said. He stood up and walked over to the table. He shoved the books and cassettes to the side, picked up the Hot Wheels container and dumped them on the table.

“Honey, what are you doing?” the woman said. The other woman with the infant had left.

“I’m keeping these,” he said. He then looked to me, “Sorry, these aren’t for sale.”

I shrugged my shoulders.

“We agreed to leave all this behind,” the woman said.

“I changed my mind,” he said. He looked to me again. “You’ll back me up, right?”

“I really should be going,” I said.

He scoffed and shook his head. “You’re an asshole.”

“We’re not keeping these,” the woman said. He looked back to her and started ranting. I turned and left.

The man was mad at me, I knew that. I also didn’t know him, or her. I wasn’t going to take sides. I wasn’t about to pull myself into the argument that was about to happen, that was happening, as I walked down the street.

Home is at the Coffee Shop

This morning at the coffee shop your upper back aches, along with your right shoulder. Your left thumb hurts too, but not so much. The chairs at this coffee shop don’t do much in the department of supporting backs. Then again, you suppose the owners never expected people to spend all their days at the coffee shop.

People like yourself. There are others like you – a few others. You often find yourself with these others at the table in the back of the coffee shop. You nod to each other and then go about your business. Programing or making calls or writing in WordPress.

You go to the coffee shop every day because you need to get out of your apartment. You live alone in a one bedroom that’s empty except for the television, to which is connected an original Nintendo. You haven’t played that Nintendo in years, but you brought it to college and then to Philadelphia and now to Denver.

“Live” is a peculiar word, at least for you, like the word “home.” The scale has tipped so that you now spend more time at the coffee shop than you do at your apartment. In a sense, you “live” at the coffee shop.

This almost changed once, when for three days in a row you sat across from this young woman with red hair and blue-framed glasses. You nodded to each other on the first day then got to work. The second day you talked with each other for two hours. The third day you fucked.

The morning after you joked about fucking at the coffee shop. She laughed then said she was glad you came over. She lived on the other side of town and she drove a beat up forerunner. It was a gift from her father, she said. Otherwise she wouldn’t have a car.

You said in that case, she was meant to find you. Without the car, she would have stayed closer to her studio and not have explored the rest of town.

She smiled and then told you she would no longer be visiting the coffee shop. She just moved from Seattle and had some time off before her job started. She took a software engineer position at a start-up and would be working long hours.

That was fine, you said, because you had a plan. You could see each other after work. You both could trade off making dinner, one night at her place and one night at yours. For that moment, the thought of being in your apartment didn’t seem so bad. And if you happened to spend the night at her place, you could take the bus back to the coffee shop. You knew it would work. She said it would work too.

Nevertheless, you haven’t seen her in months. You stopped texting her to make dinner plans or grab a drink at a happy hour because she stopped responding. Your body aches because you fell asleep yesterday at the coffee shop. It was only six – closing time – but you fell asleep anyways. You find it harder to sleep at your apartment and you’re afraid you’ll fall asleep at the coffee shop again. You assured the barista it wouldn’t happen again but you’re still unsure.

But that doesn’t matter at the moment – someone’s walking to the back table, and you’re ready to nod and treat them like a guest.