Page 1 of 1

authonomy

Posted: December 14th, 2009, 9:30 pm
by Terry Towery
I'm interested in what everyone thinks about HarperCollins' website, Authonomy. I've gone so far as to become a registered user, but I freeze up at the thought of actually uploading my manuscript. Just. Can't. Do. It.

Is there an upside to putting my work out there? Downside? I read the terms of agreement, and it seems pretty straightforward in saying the site in no way owns my work. Still, it feels like publishing.

I'm particularly interested in Nathan's opinion. As an agent, would a prospective client's work being displayed on Authonomy concern you?

For the rest of you, would you upload your ms?

Re: authonomy

Posted: December 14th, 2009, 9:55 pm
by Matera_the_Mad
No flippin' way.

Re: authonomy

Posted: December 15th, 2009, 6:25 am
by poptart
I've heard too much bad stuff about Authonomy which sounds more like a popularity contest than a peer review site. Seems you have to spend all your time networking to get to the top of the pile, time you'd be better off spending on your writing.

Re: authonomy

Posted: December 15th, 2009, 8:34 am
by casnow
I went through the trouble of registering, uploading a book, filling out a profile, etc.

What you get:
About 10 messages a day from people wanting to "trade" a review with you. I went through and read the first 1-5 chapters on many books and left feedback/criticism/suggestions/praise - most of the people only wanted the praise and for you to "Back" their book (i.e., help it move up the rankings).
People leaving over-flattering comments, and no serious editorial feedback. I have yet in any of the "review trades" gotten a single negative word of feedback - even though I know the manuscript needs work
***If you are very, very lucky, and put in tons of hard work and make lots of e-Friends, you migh eventually get your manuscript into the top-5 and then someone from Harper Collins will read the whole thing and give you feedback. There are currently about 5-6 thousand novels loaded.

As a test i loaded up two novels, one that I wrote that was serious and one that was a horribly written joke. On the joke account I messaged about 100 people and guess what? i got nothing but praise for a novel that I intentionally made bad (i mean 3rd grade level writing, lots of typos, bad grammar, etc) and that book made it much farther up the scale, much faster than my serious book.

I have pulled the joke account, and will soon pull my other novel. Just not worth the hassle.

Re: authonomy

Posted: December 15th, 2009, 4:52 pm
by Scott
It's unfortunately true that books reach the top of the pile through tireless hawking and trading. It's enough to make you hide, and I can't believe people read as much as they say they do on there. The forum interface is also very awkward, and books load into block style paragraphs, which I think is hard to read. I've met some lovely people on there, though.

Re: authonomy

Posted: December 15th, 2009, 6:23 pm
by shadow
Does not sound good to me. Good luck though and I suggest posting on Absolute Write.

Re: authonomy

Posted: December 17th, 2009, 7:20 pm
by senseiseth
I have registered with authonomy, and uploaded my book onto the site. and on the plus side, I have received a lot of positive feedback for the novel, and the worst critiques that i've received so far was that I needed to edit a bit in the work (which i'm having someone else do to give the a more objective look through).

the ranking system does get a bit old after a while, so now i'm just using the site to interact with other authors and the like. plus, i have the copyright for the book, so i'm not too worried about someone stealing the work for their own.

Re: authonomy

Posted: December 18th, 2009, 1:11 am
by Richard A Kray
Unfortunately, I was fooled into thinking authonomy was a great website.

I spent about a month and a half there and I have absolutely nothing good to say about it.
-The Editors Desk "race" is, as you guys have said, a popularity contest.
-All of the "feedback" you receive is simply gushing praise in an attempt to make you look more favorably upon their book and vote for it.
-There is just a very backwards idea of how everything works going on there. So far as I've read from the forums, at least.
-99.9% of the books listed on there are literally unreadable. I couldn't get further than page 1.

Re: authonomy

Posted: December 18th, 2009, 1:58 am
by casnow
I will say that the other day I read a book on there that was ABSOLUTELY brilliantly written. I'm not usually one to read online, but I made it through a 100 pages in one sitting... sadly, it was about #2500 in the ranking.

Re: authonomy

Posted: December 18th, 2009, 4:13 am
by Eric C
Richard A Kray wrote:Unfortunately, I was fooled into thinking authonomy was a great website.

I spent about a month and a half there and I have absolutely nothing good to say about it.
-The Editors Desk "race" is, as you guys have said, a popularity contest.
-All of the "feedback" you receive is simply gushing praise in an attempt to make you look more favorably upon their book and vote for it.
-There is just a very backwards idea of how everything works going on there. So far as I've read from the forums, at least.
-99.9% of the books listed on there are literally unreadable. I couldn't get further than page 1.
I think "absolutely nothing" has to be an exaggeration, Richard, given I see you on the message board over there routinely, including yesterday, if I'm not mistaken. I don't disagree with what you write here, except that it's possible to get useful feedback on Authonomy, more on what works than doesn't, I'll admit, but you will get actual negative comments too.

I too recommend not playing the game over there, i.e., chasing the ed's desk, for the reasons already cited. But you can get a lot of feedback on your work fast and it's as good as any other writing site to shoot the shit, talk shop, and procrastinate.

Re: authonomy

Posted: December 18th, 2009, 4:55 am
by casnow
After bashing Authonomy on here I got a message from a guy that did a very good review of my work - so you can get good critical feedback, but you have to wade through a lot of crap

Re: authonomy

Posted: December 18th, 2009, 3:31 pm
by Terry Towery
It seems the consensus is that it's not worth it to post there. Advice taken. That said, I agree that there's some good stuff buried amongst the garbage. And it seems like they are always low-ranked. Weird.
Thanks!
Terry

Re: authonomy

Posted: December 20th, 2009, 7:41 am
by Rik
I posted some chapters of my first book on Authonomy over the Summer. I'm shallow enough to admit that receiving the gushing praise was excellent therapy at a time when I was going through the process of drafting query packages and sending them out to victims ... oops, I meant agents. I also discovered some excellent reads while on the site, and came across a few people who were willing to take the time to give honest feedback on my opening chapters - just in time for final corrections before the query packages went out.

The downside of Authonomy, for me at least, is that it distracts from the task of writing - it's too easy to get caught up in the reading/commenting/forum chat when I'm supposed to be writing stuff.

Even so, I posted the early chapters of my current work-in-progress to the site in November, and at the beginning of this month a group of eight of us got together to form our own critiquing circle, taking blood oaths to read and comment on the first 4 chapters of each other's novels, and to offer detailed feedback on each read. Once that's finished, I'll probably take down my chapters and get on with the job of completing the book.