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Best Practices for Publishing: Reddit

So you’ve decided to promote yourself as an author on Reddit. Let us commend your bravery in advance! Reddit can be effective for reaching a large audience, but it also can be a harsh platform for individuals, particularly authors and publishers, trying to promote themselves. To help navigate the rough waters of Reddit, follow these best practices, and you will be getting “karma” sooner than you can give an upvote!

1.Create an accountThis tip might seem a bit obvious, but you can navigate through Reddit without an account. That doesn’t

Picture of Reddit's front page
Reddit’s home page

mean, however, that you should; it’s important to create an account with an appropriate name that helps promote you as an author or publisher. You could try for something “punny,” as that will often garner more attention from users, but avoid the temptation to create a username that is inappropriate or unclear (many Reddit users do this, but it is not the best idea when using your account as a professional). If you have a Reddit account already, think about creating a separate one exclusively to promote your work.

2. Make sure you understand the site. Reddit, advertised as the “front page of the internet,” has some particular quirks you should be familiar with before diving in. There are several different tabs within Reddit, such as “hot,” “new,” and “rising.” Each one serves a different purpose, but the “hot” front page is the one that generally earns the most views. Users can “upvote” and “downvote” posts with the small arrow next to each post if they like or dislike what a user has created. Users also have the opportunity to comment on posts. These comments often spark discussion threads, which are all seen directly below corresponding posts (similar to a comments section on a blog), and comments can be up- and downvoted. The original poster (“OP” in the Reddit world) can also comment and respond to others’ comments. These comments and upvotes add to a user’s “karma”; the more karma you have, the more popular you are on Reddit. For all the ins and outs of Reddit, check out the Reddit FAQ Page.

3. Avoid blatant self-promotion. Redditors are a rare group of individuals: they use anonymity to their advantage and can be harsh and unforgiving because of it. One thing Redditors really hate? People who are obviously trying to promote themselves. If you do this, you will get downvoted into oblivion and lose all credibility on the site. Avoid phrases that make it seem like you are trying to promote yourself via the website, and make your posts look as natural as possible.

4. Join SubReddits. SubReddits are specific pages for people with common interests, and there are plenty of SubReddits for writers and authors. Some SubReddits to consider are r/Books,r/writinghub, r/selfpublish, r/books, and r/wordcount. 

5. Take Reddit as seriously as you take your other social-media accounts. Reddit may seem like a simple or amateurish way to promote yourself as an author, but users take the site very seriously, and you should too! There are cases of authors who’ve been published because people liked the writing they shared on SubReddits such as r/writingprompts, so regardless of whether you’re a new author or one with a bit more experience, taking what you do on Reddit seriously will help you to succeed

6. Look to Reddit for advice. You likely will not be the only author on Reddit. Reddit is a community of millions from around the world, so you might encounter other authors experiencing the same challenges and difficulties you’re facing. Look to SubReddits for answers to questions, or post a question yourself and start a conversation among users.

Reddit AMA
A Reddit AMA with Andy Weir

7. Do an “AMA.” An “AMA,” or “Ask Me Anything,” is an opportunity for users to ask questions of significant people who are normally hard to contact, or who have done something unique or interesting. An AMA is tricky because if you’re a new or lesser-known author, it may be difficult to garner attention for your AMA. If you have just published a book, or if there is something unique about you as an author, an AMA might be a good idea; if not, consider just participating in AMAs as a way to get to know some other, better-known authors.

8. Read each SubReddit’s rules and guidelines. Some SubReddits may endorse an author posting their published work, while others may not. Each SubReddit is different, so it’s important to read the Rules and Guidelines for every page you wish to use. Not following the rules of a SubReddit can get you banned (which would not be great for self-promotion).

9. Be an active member. It’s important to do more than post your own work on Reddit. Take some time out of your day to browse Reddit, see what is happening, and comment on links or upvote pages you like. Being an active Redditor will not only make you more familiar with the site, but will also make you more popular with Redditors who may be skeptical of someone trying to promote his or her own work.

10. Support fellow authors and publishers. Just as you hope other Redditors will be kind to you, it is important to do the same to them. Read their posts, upvote their work, and comment on what they are publishing. If you end up having a lot of karma, help promote others through your page as well! Part of being in a community is helping one another, and providing help now might be to your benefit in the future.

11. Have fun! Reddit gives authors the opportunity to explore their talents and have some fun. It’s not as professional a site as LinkedIn, and it’s not as image-heavy as Instagram. Don’t be afraid to try new things, practice your writing, support others, and have fun with your writing! Reddit On!

References

Alfonso III, Fernando. “Revealed: The secret to winning the game of Reddit.” The Daily Dot. http://bit.ly/1SFRjHf

Brown, Kennedi. “8 Useful SubReddits for Writers.” HubPost. http://bit.ly/1WClMaK

Weir, Andy. “Reddit AMA.” Reddit. http://bit.ly/1NNt8Uo

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