Summer Camp 2019: How To Get Noticed During Camp (And Beyond!)
How can I get more people to read my stuff?It is one of the most common questions that gets asked. Summer Camp is a great time to get some exposure for your world and your work, but it doesn't happen on its own unless you are extraordinarily lucky. Fortunately, there are things you can do to increase the chances of random readers stumbling across your world! But the most important thing to note about all of these things are: don't be cynical about it. Besides just being a jerk move, if you try to play people, they'll know. Nothing else will put your fellow writers off as the sense that they're being played for attention. Note: I'll use the term "casual reader" a bunch in this. People who have no vested interest in you or obligation towards your work. These are some things that help give them chance to become more than that, if you can help them along.
Use Cover ImagesCover images are great because they give an immediate visual impact that can help set the mood for an article. They also show up on blocklinks and on the summer camp summary pace. As an example, which of these first draw your eye?
Show spoilerEven banners or the like will help your article stand out from the rest. If you are using images remember the guidelines
Use ExcerptsYou can find excerpt under the Design tab - a short description of your article. These show up as the text inside a blocklink and as a tooltip pop-up in articles. In addition, they also work as tooltips in the summer camp summary pages. Ex:
Show spoilerA good excerpt can be purely formal and informational (i.e "A breed of wheat found in high altitudes") but if it is funny, evocative or surprising in some way, you are more likely to attract interest in the article's content.
Open StrongAs a general rule, imagine that a casual reader will only read the first paragraph or so of your article before deciding whether or not they will read the rest. Start your article accordingly. Quotes are good for this, as they can be funny, insightful or suggest something about your world that readers find engaging. An opening paragraph of some kind is another good idea, especially if you can make it very evocative or promising - something to keep them reading.
Formatting!A little bit goes a long way. If the casual reader is confronted with just a wall of text or massive paragraphs in a setting they have no prior engagement with, chances are they'll skip or skim it. Dense articles present a higher degree of immediate difficulty, so many will just pass. Use quotes, columns and placeholder images to make your article easier to read and chances are better that people will read them. If you want some tips and tricks on formatting, check out this article!
Engage the CommunityThis is where it can get tricky for some. But if you never engage with the rest of the writer community or pool of readers, they might never know that your work exists, no matter how grand it is. Not all of us are comfortable in going out there and marketing ourselves (and this article isn't really about that), so adjust according to what you are comfortable with. Even if it is just going out into the Camp page, reading random articles and leaving like & comments on the ones you enjoy. Put your name out there. And please refer back to the first rule: don't try to game people.
Share Your WorkIf you are more comfortable in sharing your work, the World Anvil Discord is an excellent space to do so. Come join us! And if you do, here are some things to keep in mind!
Give As Much As You GetPeople will notice if all you do is come in, drop links and never engage with their stuff. It's also a jerk move!
Beware Over-saturationThere's no shame in marketing yourself. No one will do it for you - but be careful how often you send those links! Too many, too quickly and people will begin tuning them out. But if you are asked or if sharing your work fits in with the flow of conversation, it'll work much better!
Use Article CritiqueIf you want to get feedback and critique, the Article Critique channel is an excellent space to get your link out in a visible space while also getting feedback and comment. Be sure to read the terms and leave good feedback to your fellow writers!