VFA UPDATES AND REQUEST FOR FEEDBACK

In place of the normal almost-weekly feature article, this post is a direct message to our membership from the VFA Steering Committee. It covers several administrative and informational matters of immediate importance. Please take time to read it through as it may require your response in several places. Member feedback is critical to ensure that the Steering Committee is headed in the right direction, that includes your input, as we plan the future of our alliance.

Access to New Site

As most of you know, we upgraded our website in December, 2015.  We understand that some users are still reaching the old site. This should not happen as the URL is supposed to automatically redirect to the new site, which looks like this (Home page): 

New Site Home Screen

New Site Home Screen

If you are using a bookmark or shortcut saved prior to the changeover, it could be causing you to land on the old site. In this case, delete all old shortcuts. Then in your browser, type in the link http://visionaryfictionalliance.com/ and make sure you land on the page that looks like the one above. From there create a new shortcut/bookmark for future use.

Blog Comments on the New Site

Some members have been having difficulty posting comments to the current blog even though they had no problem doing so on the old site.

To prevent spammers, a user has to be logged in to post a comment. Please do not let this deter you. If you are not logged in and you start to comment, you will see various ways to log on in the area below the “Leave a Reply” box.  

Comment Log In Area

Comment Log In Area

To log in with your Facebook, Twitter or other credential (easiest), click the desired icon (upper right). Otherwise, complete the three fields to identify yourself. Always click “Post Comment” at the end of the process.

If this is your first comment on the new site (after December 15, 2015), it will require admin approval before it shows in the Comments section even if you were approved to comment on the old site. Our admins keep an eye out for first-instance posters and aim to approve quickly. Once approved on the new site, your subsequent comments should post immediately.

 

“Contact Us” Glitch on Old Site

SorryDuring the recent upgrade, it came to our attention that, due to a technical and administrative glitch, we did not notice or respond to communications sent through the older site’s “Contact Us” feature. So, anything sent in by that method prior to last December 15, 2016, was missed completely, an egregious goof on our part. Messages were not lost but only the computer knew they existed. We apologize profoundly for this oversight and hope it is not too late to make it up.

Rather than trying to address everyone affected by this mishap individually—they go back to the beginning of the website in 2013—we are seeking out those who sent a message via “Contact Us” that still feel their communication requires action or individual response our part. If this is you, please either resend your message or let us know when it was sent, from whom, and what it was about. In the latter case, we will retrieve the earlier message and reply. Yes, use “Contact Us” to do this—it is now being monitored faithfully. If you feel you are still not getting through using the “Contact Us” feature, please email either Eleni Papanou (eleni@philophrosyne-publishing.com) or Vic Smith (vic@victoresmith.com) directly. They will address your concern.

Let Us Know Where You Want the VFA to Go

Like the production and popularity of Visionary Fiction itself, the Visionary Fiction Alliance is experiencing rapid growth, a boon for all of us. The Steering Committee fully appreciates your participation and encourages you to continue to read, comment and contribute to our joint effort to improve and promote our genre to an ever expanding readership.

For the past year, we have been discussing plans to make the alliance much more than a website. An anthology, representation at book fairs, and conferences, to name some ideas, are in the works. But we would like to hear what you envision as the VFA’s future. What do you see as necessary to make our genre and its works more popular with the reading public? What topics of broad interest on VF would you like to see on the site and in the blog? What services would you like to see the VFA offer its members?

Please take a moment to share your thoughts and ideas with the rest of us in the Comments section below or send them to us through “Contact Us.”

Visionary Volunteers Needed

The VFA Steering Committee, is an all-volunteer team of active writers like yourself. We conference monthly by phone to plan site content and other activities, like the recent site upgrade. During the month we stay in constant touch to share information and work load. We work with guest posters to make their articles fit our readership. We brainstorm for new ideas to develop and promote VF. We pitch in to meet expenses.

We get quite a bit done, but there is a lot more that could be done with more time and people power. We have to believe that, among our members, there are others who would like to be part of the team. Think about functions you are suited to perform in the alliance (blogger, editor, proofer, proofer, designer, reviewer, fund raiser, etc.) and let us know your preference and availability. We greatly appreciate any assistance we can get and promise you an experience with a dynamic team of authors, who are interested, of course, in their personal success as a writer but, more so, dedicated to promoting a genre that promises to be the most important literature of the future. For us, “In unity there is strength” is more than an adage; it is a daily practice.

Blessings, peace and splendid visions to all of you.

THE VISIONARY FICTION ALLIANCE STEERING COMMITTEE

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About Victor Smith

Victor E. Smith, a lifelong generalist with a diverse resume, sees himself as a scribe of the realm “in-between.” Writing largely visionary and historical fiction, he seeks to observe, absorb, and express those close encounters between the spiritual and material universes that form the unique adventure called human life. Vic is the author of The Anathemas: A Novel of Reincarnation and Restitution (2010) and Channel of the Grail (May 2016). He is a core team member of the Visionary Fiction Alliance. For further information, visit his website, victoresmith.com.
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23 Responses to VFA UPDATES AND REQUEST FOR FEEDBACK

  1. reanolanmartin says:

    Hi Vic, I will put some thought into your requests, but in the meantime, I think it’s more than reasonable to at least suggest an annual member donation amount. I would be happy to contribute to this amazing site and just to the movement in general. I’m betting others would also be happy to contribute to all your efforts.

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  2. Yes, we are reaching out for input and assistance. Our members are all so talented, and so great in connecting for Visionary Fiction networking, so we hope we’ll hear from you! The VFA well of creativity awaits you!

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  3. tuilorraine says:

    I’m trying to think of a way I might be of use as a volunteer. Being on the National Council of the New Zealand Society of Authors keeps me very busy when I’m not working on my second vis-fic novel, but this site is very dear to me so I’ll get thinking.

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  4. Gerald R Stanek says:

    I am new to VFA but am happy to help with proofing, editing, and web maintenance. I also would be willing to donate on an annual basis for the promotion of the genre.

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  5. Michael Neer says:

    Hi folks: I support the following ideas — 1) a membership fee or donation; 2) list of recommended services (web hosts, themes, cover designers, editors, artists, etc. 3) a conference with speakers and breakouts, and maybe an award program; 4) to make VF popular with public — send info to university literature professors and reviewers, using the logo widely (being done), and keep clarifying what VF is as that will help the public to appreciate; 5) topics for blogs i like are: science behind literature/reading, and discussions of consciousness, time, inner tools, etc. 6) take a VF booth in major book fairs rather than doing our own. That’s it for now. Thanks for all you do.

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  6. NadineMay says:

    Nice website. Ive been so busy with my graphic design business ( that hopefully earns me an income) since last year, and keeping up with my writing blogs and articles, I have not been able to support this forum. Sorry about that.

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  7. D. Thrush says:

    I agree with Michael Neer on points 2, 3, and 4, although I’m not sure about a membership fee. I’ve contacted several advertising sites to request that a visionary fiction/metaphysical/spiritual genre be added so their subscribers can find these books on sale. I figured there wouldn’t be a warm reception to this idea, but we must be vocal and start the seed of this idea that this genre has many interested readers. My biggest concern is how do we connect with these readers?

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    • Victor Smith says:

      Thanks for the feedback, D. Thrush, and for the work you are doing. All of this adds up to connecting with readers although that has to become more of a focus as we go forward. With the VFA now very visible, we have a base from which to reach out.

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  8. Thank you for doing such a wonderful job on this site, Victor! A membership fee or donation sounds good to me. And I love Michael’s idea of an award program. Visionary fiction needs to be brought into the mainstream genre discussion. Creating a contest (novels and/or short fiction) with decent cash awards (provided by entree fees), might stir up some noise. I’m finding it difficult to connect with “visionary” fiction readers. First off, they don’t seem to subscribe to “promo” sites, and I’m not sure they read newsletters. Secondly, I may be wrong but I think many are more inclined to read non-fiction. Has that been your experience?

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    • Victor Smith says:

      Thanks for the input, Robin. Looks like a strategy to reach readers is next up. Am going to propose it as a separate post (or series) in which we explore it mutually. We have accumulated a lot more data and experience on that over the years and our authors have a lot to share. Will keep you posted.

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  9. drstephenw says:

    I’d be up for a membership fee, especially knowing you guys are fronting all this wonderful stuff out-of-pocket. Perhaps it should start w a donation, since we don’t want to discourage any potential members at this point, but pave the way easily.

    My main hope is a generalization, since I don’t have any specific solution suggestions. I’d like VFA to focus on finding/expanding readers of VF. We’re doing a great job as author members of supporting each other’s books in many different ways, which is a great boost. But we’re all struggling to locate, secure, or expand our readerships, so how can we as a group promote that? I would guess that most readers don’t even realize they are VF readers, so they may not be looking for VF when they search for new books. On a basic level, many of us are self-published, or small-press-published, so we’re just trying to wrap our visionary brains around the practicalities of self-marketing. We do a bit of sharing of ideas in that arena, but perhaps there are ways of joining forces more to garner a readership. In terms of the website, which I loved before and love still, I wonder what kind of feature there could be to reach out to readers.

    I like all the ideas for a contest, representation at book fairs etc. Along with those, I’d love some face-to-face meeting/conference for VFA members. I know this is impractical, given how far flung we are (I love that we are all over the world!), but the rapport between the membership is so positive and lovely that I can’t help feeling that if a bunch of us spent a few days in a room we could brainstorm some amazing cooperative ideas for promoting the genre and reaching readers. Mini-regional weekend conferences, like micro-loans of our time?

    As far as volunteering, I may need a push here given my (and all of our) schedule/life. I have been happy to contribute blog articles, and would still be anytime; along with that I could probably help in the editing area. I invite you to ask me if there’s a specific task to be done. And if a new initiative for gaining readers arises, I’d like to help with that.

    Keep up the great work!

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    • Victor Smith says:

      Thanks for the input and contributions, Stephen. Read my comments re cultivating readership above. Yes, we have to brainstorm and focus on that going forward. We will be in touch.

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  10. I’m excited about the responses to our request for input so far. Rest assured, the VFA staff will take all your comments into consideration in the future plans for our site.

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  11. tuilorraine says:

    I thought of another way I may be able to help. I am an experienced web designer but my skills are out probably of date now. However, I have recent experience building one complete WordPress site and also currently working remotely creating pages for the WordPress site for the NZ Society of authors so those skills might be of use to the VFA too. Just let me know.

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  12. Sorry to be late. I’d be happy to volunteer. Just let me know what needs doing and if I can, I will. I’d be interested in a conference presence and maybe an anthology of short stories.

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  13. I agree with much of what you have all said, and Stephen’s comment in particular, when he mentions our need to reach out to readers more (this is possibly our most important issue, and not necessarily for commercial reasons).

    I also think yes, donations rather than a fee would be best.

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