Some further lessons, thoughts and misc wotsits on the Little Fears Sunday collabs. It’s a long, but maybe an educational post for any bloggers wanting to collaborate with each other. Some links to start with, for reference.
Straight up, I screwed this up so badly. On the initial posting, I had over 100 people email me. I reckon about 20 will follow through, but I got lost in the first barrages of emails. I know of at least three people that I’ve left hanging that I need to speak too. Liz, I was meant to send a story. Anonyole and Willow I was meant to send an image for approval. One of them has been waiting for two weeks. I just keep forgetting to do it because my I took on too much. I tried noting names on pen and paper. That only worked for so long.
This was confounded because I initially said, hit me up on social media or email. So I had messages coming from every direction. It wasn’t like I could just search my emails because I had DMs everywhere. Doh!
I’ve come to the conclusion I should use a spreadsheet. Four columns, name, email, website and collab progress. I can’t do that on previous collab contacts because then I’m collecting data. To do that I’d have to include a GDPR notice in the initial email stating what data I’m collecting, what I will do with it and how will I protect it. That’s something I’ll definitely do going forward.
Usernames, pen names and real names
My focus on always referring to peoples pen names has confused a few folks. It’s another thing I need to add to the initial email.
People post under pen names for a variety of reasons. The embarrassment that they write fan-fics. Not wanting family or friends to see their art. Hiding from a nutty ex-partner. Or sometimes, they just want to be identified as someone else. An imaginary online-persona. All valid reasons to respect someone’s username.
Privacy is darn near non-existent, online and real life, nowadays. What little control we have over privacy we should try to respect.
So if someone leaves comments on my website under the username AlphaDog345 but emails me under the name Robert, I’ll do my best to refer to them as AlphaDog345 unless corrected.
I was asked by Nobbin how we could synchronize posts and link to each other’s stories ahead of time. Well, in WordPress Gutenberg, when you make a post you get a little link icon next to the post name. Click on that, and you can copy the URL of scheduled posts.
I’ve explained why I’m sticking with WordPress Gutenberg before, despite my straight up hate for it. But one issue that’s been noticed is that I can’t schedule videos that haven’t been published on YouTube already without resorting to classic blocks. There is no workaround in current Gutenberg because it’s crap. So I end up with classic blocks in my HTML or I leave it until 9 am, then post everything.
This has meant, when one collaborator copy pasted my entire post it came out janky as heck on their own site. It’s also meant most of my posts are never bang on 9 am.
I think in future I’ll change my initial email to read “around 9 am,” unless someone wants to sync posts. Then I’ll pre-post the video so the URL is usable in WordPress.
Oh man, haha. Yeah. We had a laugh there. I’m flexible on the 512 character limit. I just didn’t want people writing essay-length stories. Not only would they not fit or work on the Little Fears, but I want the collaborations to be fast and fun. Not tireless hours of work.
This was taken to an extreme by an ex-subscriber, who sent me a chapter of a book he claimed was a short story. Some back and forth and he ended up saying he was trialling me to narrate his entire novel. For free. In the spirit of collaboration.
Got a bit pissy when I said I’d have to charge for that amount of work. Anyone who’s ever done audio work will tell you, it takes a staggering amount of time to record, edit, re-record and check through even short stories. A novel would take me a full working week. At least!
I find a lot of folks are up collaborations when asked. But try to be respectful of others time, aye?
Already published stories
I was asked by Ederren on the briefs post if I’d do stories that were already published. Eventually, yes. I’d love to narrate some of the funny stories and creepypastas I’ve read. Especially if they fit well.
Right now though, I’m getting my feet with collaborations. As you can see from this post, I still have refining to do. The initial email explosions died down now, but I got a lot of people submitting any old random story. Out of 40 stories sent to me without an email convo/brief first, maybe 5 worked for the Fears.
Taking submissions for pre-written poetry and fiction is something I need to work into the initial email. It all comes down being specific from the start. Otherwise, writers sending submissions and I are just wasting each others time.
So, pre-written stories. In the future, yes, but not yet.
Some collaborations, already published
I think that’s everyone…
Want to collaborate?
As you can see, I’m still refining my process. If you’re interested in collaborating with me, drop me an email to Peter at email@example.com
Want to support me in some way?
In the mean tie, if you love what I do, and fancy supporting me in some way, you can buy me a cuppa on Ko-Fi. Nobble one of my tees on Threadless. Buy one of my books on Amazon. Grab an original art or a print on my Etsy. Or, hit me up on Patreon for as little as $1 a month.