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Authonomy from Harper Collins
edited December 2013
Has anyone had any experience, good or bad, with Authonomy?
Yes, I put a children's book on there some time back and I had tremendously positive feedback which gave me a boost.
The trouble with it is, once someone has read your book, there's an unspoken rule that you should read theirs and comment. I was very diligent in the beginning, but then it became like homework I didn't want to do. There were some good books on there, but there were also a few dreadful ones!
The aim is that your book rises through the ranks until it gets to The Editor's Desk (or, at least to a reader for the editor). I know some writers were hell-bent on getting there and seemed to be omnipresent, commenting here, there and everywhere to get noticed. They must have dedicated a great part of their day to the site. In the end, I ran out of steam. I imagine my book has now sunk into oblivion.
There's nothing to stop you trying it, though, Centurion. You can drop out at any time.
Like Tiny Nell, I tried some years ago, and being a children's writer felt stupid being asked to comment on romance, erotic, murder and uncle Tom Cobley & All. It was also taking up my time and writing fell by the wayside. I tried to be constructive, but I was suspicious of some comments about my work, being nasty, unhelpful and being published within a couple of days of submission.I believe there are loads of frustrated writers out there dishing other folks work as 'revenge' for their lack of success.
Same here. Gave it a go, but it was too time consuming and really you're better off submitting the old fashioned way. If your work is good enough, an agent will get it to the editors' desks anyway and the effort (even though there is a lot of effort still) is probably a lot less painful.
I know plenty of feedback I got was genuine, but you can also tell when someone is just doing it to get themselves moved up the rankings. If I scratch your back...
Even with the genuinely positive feedback, reality can be harsh. I decided, based on my authonomy response (of people loving the present tense narrative, too, even those who admitted hating it used in other fiction) that I'd probably do pretty well with self-publishing. I didn't.
But I was lucky to get noticed by a publisher via Authonomy, who were interested up to a point but decided it wouldn't be marketable. And I can see the value of their feedback. So I guess I got a free editorial commentary out of Authonomy.
I suppose you have to decide if you really want to put the hours in, because Harper have found at least a couple of authors through it, but be aware of pitfalls too.
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