I know I said I’d never do it again but…

picture of a paper boatI’ve loaded a book to Authonomy. Yes, I can see you pointing your finger at your temple and drawing tight circles in the air. Why, you ask?

I’ve written this book – or should I say I haven’t quite finished it. The genre isn’t my usual SF Romance or a hist fic. And I’ve kind of ground to a halt. I know it needs a few more chapters to round off the conflicts but I’m beginning to wonder if it works at all. Have I expanded something that should never have been expanded?

Sure, I could ask the usual crowd and to some extent, I have. A few new folk have seen the opening chapter and given approval. But everybody’s busy, so I figured I might get a different audience on the Big A. Besides, a few other people I know have tested the water since the latest reorganisation. What the hell. If it’s awful I’ll just run away.

So. Book is up, low-key profile created. Yes, things have certainly changed. I was not set upon by a squillion people fighting to be first to back a book they could not possibly have read. I was not inundated with spam (a couple – but I can live with that). I set about reading and commenting on other people’s books, I admit books I knew were there. When the first comment appeared on mine, it was a long and thoughtful consideration of the blurb and the first chapter. The writer did not back the book and assured me a return read was not required. How very different to the last time I splashed about in this puddle. I was surprised to see how many folks from the Old Authonomy (said with the same respect as the Old Republic in Star Wars) were still on the site.

I shall not be wasting my time on the forums. I never did like the endless sniping and rudeness. To be sure, there’s still plenty of gaming going on and the same spectrum of quality from excellent to unreadable. I received a message from one person whose book is highly ranked, urging me to read and back and reinforcing the message with an extract. I cringed. To me, this person would fail writing 101. The misuse of grammar, mixed metaphors and overwriting meant I wouldn’t be reading that book in a hurry. But obviously, others don’t agree. Me, I still can’t be bothered with the desk nonsense. That’s not why I’m here. Just want to see what people think of my work.

Hey ho. I’ve floated my little MS boat on the Authonomy ocean. Let us see where the venture takes me.

ADDENDUM 12 Oct 2012.

The experiment turned out to be something of a failure. Comments on the first few chapters only, comments from people who don’t read the genre so wouldn’t really be aware of the expectations. BUT I met a few more fellow writers and made some more connections off the site. I soon stopped going back to Authonomy and deleted my account after a few months. I won’t be going back.


About Greta van der Rol

I'm an author of fast-paced, action-adventure novels, mainly space opera - although I've been known to write in other genres. I live not far from the coast in Queensland, Australia and enjoy photography and cooking when I'm not bent over the computer. I have a degree in history and a background in building information systems, both of which go a long way toward helping me in my writing endeavours.

Posted on 20 November 2011, in On writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I had never heard of Authonomy. I just spent about 30 minutes there. Very interesting. I may dip in, but I will keep the cautious tone of your post in mind.

  2. That is the most positive review of Authonomy I’ve read in years. I’m delighted, because I liked the site when I was active there, and felt I got very valuable critiques. (However, I never had the time to put in to get to the Editor’s Desk.)

    I’ll definitely go back when I have another unfinished manuscript… and more time!

  3. Another day, some more time. It’s much, much better than it was, Robin. Well worth another try. The editor’s desk is still a waste of time.

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