Saturday, 25 September 2010

Authonomy

Authonomy is a site set up by Harper Collins for writers to upload their books in order to get comments and a possible review. It is also where people hope an agent or a publisher will see them. It is a mixed baggage on there. Like all things in life, it comes with the good bits and the bad. The bad is the forum. It used to be great fun and still can be and I have met a lot of really lovely people on there. The sad fact is, there are some pretty nasty people on there too. Only a handful, but it can be enough when it gets very nasty.

One of the other problems is lack of communication. Due to the enormity of the site and the amount of people on it, we don't tend to get answers to e-mails. I never received my review and never heard why. Who am I to complain. Mind you, complain I did at the time and quite right too. They should have said why and I wouldn't have kept waiting for months. When I started Authors on Show, people were told they'd get a review and they didn't. We were let down by our reviewer with no warning. These things happen. Our authors were unhappy about it, as was I about my own review and the ones on my site. The one difference is, our authors were told, they tend not to be on Authonomy. Then again, we only had about twenty at the time, they have thousands.

 Fact is, the majority of people understand these things happen. If we complain about these small bits, it doesn't mean we hate the whole concept. Trouble makers being what they are, like to twist things and pretend otherwise though. Yes, I have complained about things that were wrong and likewise, people will complain about my site too. That's fair enough. It's those complaints that help us know where we're going wrong. Due to what people have said, AOS has changed several times until we found what we think is now the right blend. Authonomy are about to do the same. Those who say our complaints are causing trouble are silly and just love an argument and falling out with people.I now ignore them.

When I signed with my agents they advised I get myself seen and become as pro-active as possible. I decided to set up a site, as you know called, Authors on Show (AOS). Now no one in their right mind could think I'm in competition with Authonomy. AOS is tiny. We promote six authors per month and a published guest author. We have interviews, editing help, blog posts and flash fiction competitions. How can that compare with a site where you upload a book with about 14,000 other people? It doesn't, but for some reason, some of the ones I mentioned from the forum, decided to start twisting things I said and pretend I hated Authonomy and set up in competition to them.

I didn't and the fact they think I did is laughable. I think Authonomy is a super place to be and I still send loads of people there and tell them to put their books on there. I do, however, warn them about the forums and empty backings that are now rife on the site. That in no way says anything bad about Authonomy. The warnings reflect on some of the writers on there. In general, it is an excellent site and one that has served me and a lot of other writers well. I have met some brilliant people through it and continue to do so.

There are a lot of writing sites. I am not in competition with any of them and in fact, some of the smaller ones such as mine, all support and advertise each other's sites as well as the large ones. The big guns are in a totally different league and are doing a completely different thing than we all are. My aim is just to help promote, support and help as many fellow authors as possible to get seen. My site may not be very brilliant, but in my small way, I feel I, and the others now working on it, do something meaningful to try and help us all. The fact that top agents and publishing houses are starting to look at us must mean we're doing something right.

To those who always look for trouble, I leave them where they are, moaning about something or someone. I am too busy and too happy to worry about them, but it is sad they might be stopping other people from coming to visit the site just because they know they aren't welcome themselves. Authors on Show is a happy site, where we all help and support each other. The one thing I learnt from being on Authonomy was the need for moderation. So far, because they all know we won't stand for nastiness in any way, the trouble makers that try to blacken my name on Authonomy's forum have stayed away from us.

I am more than happy to tell any of you who write, or are considering writing, to go and place your books on Authonomy and if you'd like us as a bit of secondary support, we'll be only too pleased to be of assistance. As I tell everyone, just be selective on the forums and don't get excited by the mass backings when you first start. They do it to everyone now and sadly, they mean nothing, just a way to get themselves higher in the rankings. All that is about to change and I for one look forward to seeing what changes are afoot.

2 comments:

  1. I think you are doing a brilliant job. I like the intimate style and caring attitude - the site is most welcoming and gives authors a 'community' through which to share their passion and their work.

    I cut my teeeth on Authonomy just a short year ago and have no regrets. As with you, I made contacts and friends that I would never have encountered otherwise. But yes, the forums are rife with riff-raff [sorry about that but it seems apt] and the scoring system is, in a word, broke.

    I'm not sure why everything must be cast as a competition. Why can't we all support each other, use the resources at our disposal and simply do the thing we love to do ... write.

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  2. Agreed!
    I have made some wonderful friends and contacts on Authonomy and have bought books from fellow writers (with several others on my 'wanted list'). This isn't to patronize those writers, this is because their works are excellent. Authonomy is generally fine as long as you keep out of the forums, although the constant spamming can be irksome. I long ago ceased feeling guilty about ignoring them. It says I will do this in my profile so anybody who spams obviously hasn't taken the trouble to read it.
    What gets me is, that if the forum 'nasties' spent more time writing and less time dominating and point-scoring in the forums, they might improve their publication chances

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