Why I love Authonomy

Run by Harper Collins, Authonomy is a cross between a publisher’s slush pile and a writing critique site, but one with a competitive edge.  You post a minimum of 10,000 words of your book and then try to attract the attention of other reviewers.  You can do this in a number of ways – you can start interesting or controversial discussion threads or if you just want to stick to discussions about writing you can read and review as many other books on the site as you can fit in.

You can post a work-in-progress if you are brave and want to get feedback on the ways to improve it – or you can post what you regard as a finished piece of work. After receiving a few reviews from fellow Authonomites, you might realise that you still have some editing left to do.  And there is no shame in editing – in fact, if there is one thing that distinguishes a writer who aspires to be professional about their work and an enthusiastic amateur, it is that the former will take constructive critique on the chin whereas the latter may take it personally.  Not everyone is going to like your book – just like in real life, but this is something we have to learn to get over if we aspire to have our work taken seriously.

If enough fellow authors put your book on a virtual shelf, you will win a free review from a Harper Collins editor.  It’s not like a paid critique, where the editor reads the entire book (how much of the book the HC editor reads is not generally disclosed).  How much of the book the editor reads depends on how much of the book that you post on Authonomy.

When I first joined the site I became rapidly addicted and worked really hard to get into the top 150.  However, I soon realised that I was spending far too much time on the site and far too little on editing the book.

Even though Revolution Earth is published, I’m still an active member of Authonomy.  It’s the kind of community, like most in life, where you only get out of it what you put in.  As well as first-time authors you will stumble across experienced, published writers who will give your work a thorough critique – if that is what you want.  I joined a couple of critique threads and this is where I hang out mostly, now.

Authonomy is a place where you’ll find writing advice, as well as glean marketing tips from your fellow authors who have already published.  And they’re an inspiring group of writers who really helped us get our work out there.  If real life gets in the way of your writing, as it does, sometimes, you can commiserate with friends who understand what that feels like when you’re feeling down, as well as share your writing successes – and have a few laughs along the way.   So why not check it out for yourself?

3 thoughts on “Why I love Authonomy

  1. Kay Lynn

    I think you’ve perfectly captured what I love about autho, too. I’ve been so busy with real-world things lately that I don’t rememeber the last time I critted anything there (and I’ve got plenty of books needing crits languishing in my watchlist), so most of my autho time right now is devoted to the forum in general and the Alliance of Worldbuilders in particular (now on thread number three! :)). I’ve gained so much useful advice from everyone in the AWB and made so many wonderful friends there; my book is really much better off for it. And the best part of the thread is that we’ve managed to scare away all the trolls, so it stays nice and friendly. Stop by next time you’re on! Have some cake! It’s calorie-free! 🙂

    1. Lambert Nagle Post author

      It’s great to meet a fellow enthusiast! I am currently in one thread that is drifting as our moderator is away, taking some much needed writing time, but then another thread that I belong to is now very lively so that, I think, balances things out. I will certainly pop in to the Alliance thread and check that out. And who could resist calorie-free cake!

      1. Kay Lynn

        It seems to be a love-it-or-hate-it kind of a thing, doesn’t it? Maybe some of that is just posturing – I have some trouble distinguishing how much of what people say in the forums is just blustering and how much of it is actually serious, but I tend to take people at their word. I really enjoy being on autho and I think it’s helped my writing improve a lot since I joined almost three years ago. And to think I read about it in my local paper (well, InkPop, anyway)… 😀

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