If you’re at all involved in social media, or blogging, you know that leaving comments on other blogs can help grow traffic at your blog. But there is much more to comment karma than many commenters realize.
First, your comments show up in Google searches of your name. I know when my editor is considering a manuscript or deciding to invite someone to submit, she’ll search their name to get an idea of their writing style and the sort of person they might be to work with. Keep that in mind when you comment. Be certain the things you say on other blogs, on Facebook, and on Twitter are things that represent your best qualities.
Second, comments can land you jobs from places you might not have thought to look. Not long after I first started blogging, and right about the time I had signed my first contract with Ellora’s Cave, I commented in the RWA Online forum that I really wished game developers made romance video games. A member there pointed me to a thread at Smart Bitches Trashy Books where Sarah Wendell posted about game developer Darek Rusin and Orchid Games, who were committed to producing games for romance readers. They were offering up a free game to her blog readers, Heartwild Solitaire Classic (still free at this link), a really clever blend of a loved card game with short stories by loved romance writers. I tried the game, commented on how much I enjoyed it, and mentioned that ever since I played Plundered Hearts–an old eighties style text adventure game by Amy Briggs–I had been waiting for another great romance game to come along.
A few days after I commented, I got email from Darek asking me about Plundered Hearts and how he might track down a copy. I told him what I knew and wished him luck. He later sent me a free copy of Heartswild Solitaire (Author’s Edition) for helping him out and that might have been the end of it, but I mentioned I’d recently found another romance game produced by a new company, Passion Fruit Games–Tiger Eye, Curse of the Riddle Box, based on a novel by Majorie M. Lui. We struck up an email discussion about romance stories and video games. That eventually led to an invitation to submit. One of the stories I submitted, Spirit Walkers: Curse of the Cypress Witch was accepted, developed, and released by Orchid Games this month.
And that’s the story of how comment karma smiled on me. Here’s your chance to accrue some comment karma. Do you know any good romance video games? Tell me below. I’m always on the lookout for a new one.
Maybe now that romance readers are playing games more, more companies will finally invest in this extremely underserved market. Linden Lab, creators of the Second Life virtual world are preparing to launch a modernized version of text adventure games (the format used for Plundered Hearts) in the near future. It’s supposedly a platform that will allow players to write their own stories, so perhaps romance writers will be able to show their stuff and generate interest in games for romance readers.
In the meantime, let’s show Orchid Games some romance reader love for standing by us and continuing to put out the kind of games we love. They have a very generous free trial of Spirit Walkers: Curse of the Cypress Witch on their site. Download the trial, play and tell me in comments what you think. You never know when comment karma might smile on a lucky commenter.