My guest today is Dag Rambraut, the owner of SFFWorld.com, one of the oldest genre websites on the internet. Dag established the site in 1997 and remains in charge of technical aspects, organization and conducting interviews.
SCy-Fy: The site has always been a hobby for you, Dag. Tell me about a typical day.
DR: There is no typical day really, or rather – what is most typical is to go to work, pick up the kid from kindergarten and life in general. Then hopefully I have some late night hours to spend on the website to handle incoming emails, technical issues and get some new interviews sorted out.
SCy-Fy: Amongst all that, do you find much time to read for yourself?
DR: I don’t have much time to read to be honest, but when I do I try to pick up books from the more unknown authors. Steampunk, time travel and apocalypse-type settings are probably sub-genres I’ll try to explore more this year.
SCy-Fy: What are your future plans for the site?
DR: I feel we have a good momentum on reviews and interviews at the moment. We have a really great review team with Mark Yon, Rob Bedford. N.E. White, Luke Brown and Mark Chitty. So basically it will be more of the same both for reviews and interviews.
The major change lately has been introducing a brand new discussion forum platform. We’ve also started up our Author Roundtable discussions again and will continue with more regular ones going forward.
There is also a very strong writers community in our Writers forum and the writers hanging out there have started the preparations for this year’s anthology, which I’m quite excited about. The featured author will be Tobias Buckell and previous anthologies have featured names such as Elizabeth Moon, Mark Lawrence and Hugh Howey.
SCy-Fy: Based on that very active community, do you have any advice for writers?
DR: I do have a tip for writers who want to promote their books – I can’t take the credit though, as I got these words of wisdom from an author in the SFFWorld discussion forum. “Give more than you get”. Basically, you won’t get people interested in your work by just mentioning your book in every other sentence. However, if you put effort into it and actually participate in a community, whether it’s at SFFWorld or elsewhere, that’s what will make the difference.
SCy-Fy: What do you think will be the major future challenges for genre sites?
DR: Not sure there will be many challenges as such. It all depends on what your goal is, I think. If you want to be the one with millions of readers, you will definitely face some stiff competition out there.
On the other hand, it’s an interesting time with huge changes in the publishing industry, as well as lots of new sub-genres popping up.
SCy-Fy: What has most kept you going all these years?
DR: The people that share their love for the genres and spend time moderating the forums, writing reviews and doing interviews.
SCy-Fy: I hope the site is still going another eighteen years from now! I will let you get back to it.
DR: Thanks for having me and I do of course have to use the opportunity to invite everyone to come visit SFFWorld, both to check out all the good content, as well as to join in on the discussions in the forum.
SCy-Fy: Thanks for your time, Dag.
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