The Lesfic Bard Awards

On this episode of For Love & Money, Rae D Magdon Chats to K’Anne Meinel about The Lesfic Bard Awards – New Recognition for Queer Literature

This week, K’Anne Meinel joins me to talk about The Lesfic Bard Awards, an exciting new opportunity to get recognition for lesbian-themed literature.
We discuss:
  • K’Anne’s personal marketing strategy
  • How the Lesfic Bard Awards got started
  • The judging and awards process
  • How the Bard Awards can help you raise the profile of your book
Links to K’Anne Online
Listen to this episode here


please note this transcript has not been edited and is automatically generated meaning certain words will be incorrect

hello everyone and welcome to the lesbian talk show I’m Rae D Magdon and this is for love and money the podcast about marketing the most sapphic fiction you can today we have a very special guest that I’m excited to talk to K’Anne Meinel welcome K’Anne

thank you for having me I’m really excited to talk to you day today about several topics but let’s start with you so you are an author in your own right as well as a publisher how do you go about promoting your own works if you have a new release what’s the first thing on your to-do list I usually start with my blog because I’ve got nearly 20,000 followers there that I’ve built up over the years so 20,000 followers that’s a whole lot yeah that’s because that’s because I went into the street genre not just the low speck and my books crossover fairly well occasionally you’ll get some homophobe in there that’ll go this would be a great book if it didn’t have lesbians in it well read what I write don’t listen to the haters you know yes those kind of reviews and everything they do hurt a little to everybody you know anybody who says that it doesn’t must have a pretty hard show but then another thing I’ll do is I’ll post it all over social media you know Google+ and Twitter and Facebook Facebook is my primary one and then I’ve also set up different groups and different promoters who help me because I’m in over a thousand groups on Facebook alone Wow so you’ve really put a lot of your eggs in the Facebook basket why do you like Facebook is your social media of choice i I don’t know I think because I resisted it for a lot of years and then once I started getting the hang of it and understanding it better it just made sense and I can do it mindlessly and do something else while you know certain things are going by like you know Facebook has evolved over the years to where you can’t post in 40 groups anymore without getting put in facebook jail i’m in facebook jail enough that you know i know better but every now and then somebody dings me and that’s all it takes you know and then you get then you can’t post for a week to ten days i know facebook had facebook jail oh yes I’m the Queen only three minutes into the podcast and learning so much already okay so aside from social media how do you go about getting the word out about your books any other strategies when you have a new release well there are groups on Facebook that’ll actually help you they they have wonderful ideas and tidbits like bookbub and there’s there’s lots of other websites such as book bub or you can really spend a lot of money actually I’m all about doing it for free which is another reason why I did it on Facebook and which is another reason why Facebook is always dinging me because they would rather have me pay I haven’t had a lot of success with paid Facebook ads either they didn’t really reach the intended audience that I wanted I think it is because you’ve got thirty and forty somethings now and they they’re there’s very intelligent guys behind it but it is guys there isn’t as many women and I’m sure that fraternity mentality has something to do with it and if they are homophobic like attracts like so um let’s talk about shadow publishing why did you decide to start your own publishing house and how do you run it to help support your authors with their new releases well about six years ago I was approached by an author I’d been approached by many authors to help them because they saw me as successful as an independent publishing author and there were less independence then you know you either went with the major lesyk publishing companies or you didn’t publish and they kept asking well how did you do it how did you do it and it you rather than just give away free advice which was getting a little old one of them especially pleaded do it for me and I will pay you and well not everybody can afford to pay up front so I worked out what I believed was a reasonable trade as it were in exchange for my knowledge and expertise they would pay me a percentage of their income for five years now a normal a normal publishing contract is seven years from what I had researched at the time there are varying degrees of those publishing contracts out there and each publisher is different in exchange for that I got my percentage and I did what I was doing which worked for me it doesn’t work for everyone I would format their books I could do their covers unless they already had it done but when I first started the books were not edited unless it came to me edited I don’t know how to edit I am that is not my expertise since I started I have hired various editors over the years who now work for shadow publishing and they to get a percentage of the author sales I’ve actually cut back on the publishing side of things for lack of time I make more money at my own work plus you know not a lot of authors are as prolific as I am I’ve got a hundred works out now of my own and equally that many in various stages of completion a hundred works wow that’s incredibly impressive do you think that your productivity is one of the reasons that you’ve been able to build such a large audience I do because I don’t write it in just one genre I don’t just oh this is a romance or this is drama I do murder mystery I tried science fiction a year ago and that was very very lucrative it makes you want to write in that genre again and I do have other stories but it’s got a hit me and I got to be in the mood this year ice release two historical fictions as well as two dramatic fictions which were continuation all of the same story and that same story was only supposed to be a standalone book now there’s five of them and they’re clamoring for more but the bad thing with a series is each successive book sells a little less and that’s an awful lot of work to put in when you know you’re gonna sell less you’re listening to Lisbon talk show the newsmen talk show calm you’ll have a podcast information let’s talk about the less Vic bard Awards in the gay scribe Awards these are new awards that you started this year correct I started the less fat barred Awards a year ago so it’s got one year under its belt and we just started the gay scribe Awards so that we have an alternative because I don’t like the idea of mixing it what happens a lot of times as lesbians become intimidated or or gay fiction writers become intimidated by all the other scene what they perceive as somebody very successful at this and they think they can’t compete this way the way we have it set up and by separating it not only do they only compete with their own sex but their own genres plus the way we have each of them set up with blind judging that’s unique in the industry no one knows who the author is who the publisher is or who the judges I coordinate all of that I’m the only one who knows who all three are and a lot of times I’ll have to look it up if it I was ever asked so I won’t remember anyways other than by how I have it set up so that we can keep track okay uh have you ever had a situation where one of the author’s recognized I mean one of the judges recognized the author or the book and like had to ask for a different one no not at this time I think we are too young for that they do put one of the they are asked in their questionnaire before they become a judge is if you recognize the book or or the author do you think you can judge this impartial e in it I’ve never had anybody say no okay it’s the blind process sounds like a very fair process to me if an author were to be lucky enough to receive an award from the lesbian bard Awards of the gay scribe Awards how would you guys help them advertise their book with this new award well with the less required Awards we were able to set up a bunch of coordinating blogs and websites and everything that are going to help us what we can do is we can coordinate with these blogs and websites not only to get the author’s name and win out there which will promote both us as well as the author and their book but we are looking at buying advertising as we grow that’ll become easier to do right now I’m doing this because there isn’t anything out there like that well I think it’s wonderful that there are more awards for queer fiction popping up I think a lot of times our community is overlooked for getting recognized for their very valuable and high-quality work and the more opportunities there are to recognize those authors the better for our whole community so as an author thank you for setting up an award system like this and forgiving authors a chance to be recognized well you’re welcome I hope it’s I hope the generosity behind this isn’t questioned because you know I mean I understand people being suspicious well you’re taking money well the awards are a crystal award and if you go to our website you will see the mock-up that I had made up that cost me several hundred dollars just the mock-up each award costs the same then on top of it you know we send out the seals and the acknowledgement and then we’re going to be marketing them that’s a lot of time and effort out of our pockets and we’re not making any money at this at this time eventually I hope it’ll be the premier award site that everybody goes did you see it on the Lestat Bart Awards or did you see it on the gay scribe award and enter accordingly because they know they’re gonna get fair and impartial judging and they’re gonna get the notoriety they need to get because let’s Vic especially is a very very small segment of the market and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in a lesbian group on say Facebook or on Google+ and people go I didn’t know even know there was lesbian fiction I’m sure the same thing happens in gay fiction but I have noticed there is more gay fiction out there and they seem to be making money at it more I want to change that so that the less fect community makes more money at their work so that there is more quality work out there absolutely I know for a fact that a lot of my readers weren’t unaware of even the major lesbian publishing houses before finding my free online stuff in my blog and then I I’ve had the pleasure in the honor of introducing them to like a whole new world I’m like if you go to these publishers and look at these authors you’re gonna find everything you ever wanted that you didn’t even know you wanted so I think there is an audience for this I think just not all of them know that this world even exists and I’m hoping to change that with my podcast a little bit and it looks like you’re trying to make a good good go of it as well with the less thick Bart Awards so I’m very happy about that well like when I when I started it you know I wanted to stay anonymous and that was my mistake because lesbians by nature seemed to be suspicious and I don’t blame them actually you know they do do due diligence they check out what they need to find and I immediately outed myself because the people I was that were posting for me were taking yet you know where people were well what’s this about you’re asking for money and you want to remain anonymous well I wanted to stay anonymous because of various factions in the less Vic field but the overwhelming response which was a big relief especially after the work I’d put into it because I didn’t do this on a whim I researched it for a very long time and it took me six months just to get the website ready to go and I set it up in the course of two days that’s a lot of work on your part well it is and it’s it’s continuing and we’re still evolving you know like we accidentally left off one or two categories which we’ve added since then and what amazes me is how many people haven’t heard of it yet and I take care of that in some of the groups that I post in but I also have on Facebook I have the less Vic reading group which has a couple thousand readers and writers in there where I do interviews and one of the questions I always ask them are you going to enter the less Vic part Awards and some of them said I’d never heard of it well I hope that after this podcast more people will hear of it and decide to enter their books because I like I said I think the more opportunities for recognition or community gets the better for all of us well they are running out of time for this year that what we’re doing too is we’re not doing it in sections of the year so if the book was published in 2018 you have until December 31st at midnight Central Standard Time to enter your book ok I’m not sure if this podcast will air before then but you are doing this award system next year yes yes right now we are already asking our judges if they wish to continue for next year so far we’ve only had one judge to climb because she had family obligation but the set of judges that we ended up with this year were fabulous so I’m hoping they will all continue and then we’re of course taking applications for new judges for the Lesley Bart Awards and now of course I’m setting up for the gay scribe Awards wonderful thank you so much for agreeing to be on the podcast with me and talking about all these great topics I really appreciate your insight well thank you for having me this was a wonderful conversation I really appreciate it thank you for listening to for love and money with the lesbian talk show if you want more content please check out our patreon where you’ll get to hear exclusive clips nobody else has heard yet and check out the lesbian talk show Facebook group and interact with other listeners thank you again to KN mine L for agreeing to be our guest and for discussing Facebook advertising shadow publishing the less fake bard Awards and lots of other topics thank you and we’ll see you in two weeks [Music]