Self-Promotion Websites – Still Iffy
Here I sit, an author of one finished novel that I’m currently self-editing for grammatical errors before going on to the process of fixing character consistency and finally looking into the massive number of rewrites I need to do to get its plot holes filled. After that, I plan to send it out to a few beta readers or proof readers or whatever else you want to call them. (I’ve heard crit partners as well from the NaNo forums, but I don’t use the term myself.) Then when all is said and done, I’ll put it together in pretty packaging, make it a nice PDF, make sure to have all my i’s dotted and t’s crossed by doing such things as title pages and page numbers, and send it off to CreateSpace for that fabulous, free proof copy.
So why, do you ask, am I looking at websites like Authonomy again? Simple: I found a new one. It appears HarperCollins is cashing in on these new-fangled means of getting manuscripts to read. Through Joana’s blog post, I realized that HC has yet another of these wonderful self-promoting websites.
What’s this new website? inkpop – a place where, you guessed it, you can post your manuscripts for review and hopefully make a hallowed Top Five place one month and get a review from the distinguished editors of HC.
How is inkpop different from Authonomy? There are a couple of ways, actually. First, Authonomy is actually run by HarperCollins UK division while inkpop is run by HarperTeen, the division that covers all YA books. And that leads me to my second point: inkpop is geared specifically towards finding those talented YA writers that are out there. Last difference that I noticed? Authonomy only publishes 10,000 words to an entire novel manuscript while authors on inkpop can post their poems, short stories, and YA novels.
You can see the difference even in the logos. inkpop shares a similar format with Authonomy. Become popular, interact with other authors and readers well enough, get your name out there, and you, too, can get your book on the Top Five list for the month. If you do, the HC editors will read and review your poem, short story, or the first 10,000 words of your novel.
Get really lucky and you could win a publishing contract!
Or so they imply. I’ve been reading around, and even in older posts on the subject (of Authonomy – reviews are out on inkpop for now), the reviews are mixed. People complain of not getting good reviews by the HC staff and knowing from other “top” writers that HC did not request full manuscripts. In fact, for a while, HC was merely offering authors the wonderful ability to offer their novels as Print On Demand books from Authonomy’s website.
Apparently at least one author received various requests from agents perusing Authonomy. He heard back from five agents who wished for a copy of his manuscript. So the inkpop and Authonomy communities might be worthwhile after all.
However, what started as a website billed as a way to “beat the slushpile” has become the virtual slushpile where HC can peruse the talented authors that are out there without being forced into offering any kinds of publishing contracts. Doesn’t sound very different from the old version if you ask me.
Authonomy now asks this at the top of its page:
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to make it on-screen if it’s not paying off. Give me that publishing contract any day over the cliques of these new social networking sites for writers.
P.S. I’m seriously considering getting a Twitter account for my blog and setting up a few other odds and ends for my own form of self-promotion. Good idea? Bad? Think it’s hypocritical to do that when I just lambasted Authonomy? Let me know!