Authonomy is addictive.
I am a goal-oriented chap. Authonomy is a like crack to an overachiever like me. The site dangles the huge, yummy carrot of making it to the Editor’s Desk in front of hopeful authors. And we claw after it.
When the month ends, the top five books on the site make it to the ED, and recieve a review from Harper Collins. That’s it. While a professional review is a good thing, biting into Authonomy’s Holy Grail is not a promise of publication. I read in one of the forums that only four of the past ED books have been picked up by Harper Collins.
Still, we strive.
That striving takes on many forms; forum participation, shameless email pleading, promises of read-swaps, the targeting of both newbies and high-ranking members, etc. My personal efforts have been mainly offering thorough, honest critiques of authors’ first two or three chapters. I enjoy the analysis, and it keeps my editorial eye keen.
At this point, after signing up thirteen days ago, I have read more than ninety chapters. Unless the writing is completely indecipherable–or utterly boring–I provide specific feedback on both the contents and mechanics. About 75% of the authors have responded with their own comments on my novel.
So, as far as addictions go, Authonomy doesn’t have a lot of noticeable side-effects. It does, however, have some positive ones:
- The more I read others’ writing, the better I am becoming at weighing the merit of my own
- While the many of the resulting comments offer platitudes, a few contain solid feedback i have already implemented to hone my manuscript
- The process definitely tightens up the self-marketing skills–which will be helpful once my novel is actually in print & e-reader format (YES! It will happen.)
- There are some amazing, quirky authors on Authonomy, and it’s great to connect with like minds
[Disclaimer: These are probably just the ramblings of an addict trying to justify his addiction…]
Comments, feedback, a six-star rating, and placing my book on your Authonomy shelf are all welcome.
[Damnnit! There I go again.]
As a recovering Authonomy addict, I can tell you that site can eat your soul. I've wasted hours on there…hours I could have spent writing. I've also met some really wonderful people whom I now correspond with outside of authonomy. Try to strike a balance. It's easy to get caught up in the politics of authonomy and the validation of having a numeric score next to your work. Though I still visit the site from time to time, I put my actual writing first. Authonomy is now a pleasant diversion when I have a spare moment or two. Good luck and see you on the forums.
Yes, balance is the key.If you convert the number of minutes on Autho into time spent writing, editing, querying… The time trade-off for campaigning on the site would probaly result in 1 dozen highly-polished, published novels in a single year! 😉