Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A Look at Publishing 2010, Sites of Interest

As I travel over the interwebs, looking for the right niche to publish my first novel, I've hit a few interesting sites along the way.

Forward Motion is the best site for beginning or fantasy writers! The support a newbie receives here is unparalleled in my (limited) experience. You have the option of open forums, closed forums, joining a critique circle or taking classes. The site is famous for the "Two-year Novel" course, where the writer learns to build worlds and craft out a novel in two years. New classes begin in January.

Created by Holly Lisle, owned by Lazette Gifford, this site is a great resource. FM was where I discovered the "Writing Breakout Novel" books by Donald Maas, and where "Let's Do Lunch" was beaten into shape.

Authonomy, a primarily British site, is Harper Collins' combination of slush pile and "Survivor." This site promised a lot when it went live, in the way of five books reviewed each month and publishing contracts. While the monthly reviews of the 'Editor's Desk' top five books do occur, they usually aren't worth the six months of read/backing swaps required to get them.

When I joined, in 2009, it was a great place to get feedback from other writers. Now it has devolved into an addicting, frustrating 'time suck' of epic proportions. Your writing career has an equal chance of taking off and vanishing down a black hole.

Harper Collins allows the site to run wild, so the crazies have run off a lot of the serious writers. There are a dozen or so books published as a result of the site, though none of the books that have made the "Editor's Desk" to date have been published by Harper Collins.

Avoid the Forums at all costs…well, visit at your own risk…expect rampant egos, literary and class snobbery, flame wars, racism, sexism, petty deal making, read/backing swap whores, trolls and sock-puppets.

On the lighter side, drunk Brits are pretty darn funny…if you have a twisted sense of humor, and no life, hang out on a Friday or Saturday night. Beware of minors, not everyone is over 18.

Insider's Tip: The ranking system is skewed towards new books. If you upload 10k words and take the book public you will rise fast for the first few weeks. Once the book reaches the top 100 be prepared to live and breathe the site. The longer a book is on the site the harder it is to rise in the rankings. Editors, agents and other publishing insiders troll the top 100 books.

Litopia is another British site but with more of an international flavor.

The podcast, billed as "a Literary Salon," was in two parts, Litopia Daily and Litopia After Dark. Litopia Daily has (sadly) ceased to exist, but Litopia After Dark is still kicking. Litopia podcasts are a great(!!) resource into the confusing and frustrating world of publishing.

I think that Litopia's Writer's Colony is very good, and the forums are very interesting. Somebody running that site doesn't take any crap from the crazies or the trolls.

The downside is both membership and site are a complex series of levels. I haven't been on it enough to understand how you get to post your work for feedback or post a blog.

Authors on Show is a new writer's networking site. A lot of the Authonomy crowd has come here to show case their work and hang out. I'm not active on the site, but I'm backing them as a good solid writer's network.

However, I'm confused by complex interaction of the Authors on Show blog and the dot com site of the same name. The above link is to the dot com. I get the impression that Lorraine's blog evolved into the dot com site and that both are currently active. The dot com site went live only a week or so ago, so I'm sure the confusion will be cleared up in a short time.

New and Interesting Sites:

Writer's Latte is a nice looking beta writer's networking site that could use some support. I like the look and the feel, however there isn't much action as yet. I've got an account and drop in once a week.

Indie Lit Worldwide is an e-publishing co-op site for readers and writers. This is a site to watch as publishing co-ops look to be the wave of the future. As a market, Indie offers to format a POLISHED manuscript into various e-formats and offer the formats for sale.

Only up a month, this is e-publishing site supports various genre and offers a 50% share of sales to writers. This is a ground floor opportunity with only three books currently posted, but a dozen readers are signed up.

I have an account there, and am reading one of the books for review.

LIWW is currently offering to re-format a manuscript into various formats, including Kindle, for free, upon acceptance. Don't assume that a manuscript is automatically accepted. As always, read the contract carefully before you agree to post anything.

This is it for now. I'm going to get back to work on other projects.

1 comment:

Ms Kitty said...

Two sites appear static -
Indie Lit World has authors, but no one but Black has a book up. This is after a week.

Writer's Latte - there have been no updates or changes to this site. It looks dead. Too bad, wish I had some extra cash - it looks like something I would like to run myself.

A couple of weeks ago I opened a studio and tried to post - but my forum post hasn't shown.