Like the nerdy kid who gets noticed by one of the cool ones for a second and then ditches her old friends to try to get noticed again, is . . . me. Huh. That sentence didn’t exactly go as planned. Kind of like my Authonomy membership.
In case I didn’t explain it fully or well enough before (possibly because I didn’t really understand it even as well as I do now, which isn’t very), Authonomy is a website where authors try to get noticed. Particularly by the powers that be within Harper-Collins publishing. It’s kind of like an author-farm site for author scouts for one particular company. If you’re one of the authors trying to get scouted, you create a profile and post some chapters (or all the chapters) of your book, and then you bop around the site asking people to read and evaluate your stuff if you promise to do the same to theirs. You hope that they will “back” it for you (any one person can only “back” 5 books at a time), so that it will go up in rank, so that more people will see it, read it, back it, raise it in rank some more, and maybe even make it to the “Editor’s Desk.”
Natasha, who told me about the site in the first place, claims the Editor’s Desk isn’t quite as necessary to achieve as everybody on the site seems to think, but still. You do kind of hope that your book will get more backings than, say, one. Like mine has. (It used to have two, but that was because one of the people backing it was me. I decided that was just kind of sad and pathetic, and plus it used up one of my five books I could back, and there really is some good stuff on there, so I wanted the wiggle room.) I’m still trying to figure out how my book’s rating went down after the other person backed it, and before I stopped, but . . . like I said, I don’t understand it all yet.
What I do understand is that it’s pretty great when people (whether they back you or not), say things like this about Favored One:
Whilst I haven’t read all posted, I have read enough to first of all commend you for your beautiful style of writing. It is completely unforced and a pleasure to read. You maintain the pace like a gently flowing river and I suspect this will greatly enhance your story. You create attractive imagery and I loved your use of the old names for Nazareth, Bethlehem etc. This is well worth supporting and I have starred it too. One tiny error spotted in what seems very polished work. First chpt. second para. Two ‘now’ in quick succession, apart from that I was too busy reading to notice.
Happily, although I only have three comments on there, they’re all kind of like that. Actually, that one has more of constructive criticism than the other ones, believe it or not. Less happily, although I have a number of new “friends” on this site, it would appear that my book is not exactly on the top of anybody’s “watch list”–or even on the list of most of these people so far. So, as in the days when I was on a new dating site and hoping someone interesting would notice me (which worked, by the way–just saying), I’ve been hitting Authonomy multiple times a day, clicking on random profiles, promising to read people’s work and requesting that they do the same. Or, sometimes, responding to similar requests. And reading. Reading reading reading–which, for a relatively slow reader is quite the feat, and maybe part of the reason I’ve been neglecting the blog the last few days.
I think, when I first signed onto the site, I was hoping I’d also drum up a broader blog-following, and so I’d be blogging more. But frankly, when other people on Authonomy post or recommend their blog urls, I don’t follow the link, so it’s not that shocking that people are probably not going to mine. After whining a few posts ago about how the Readership was disappearing, I have to admit that it is still the fact that you all are the Readership, and have stuck with me longer than any of these people I’m just meeting and, as I keep reading on other people’s blogs and tweets (and have felt, myself, previously), everything’s all about relationship. If I can write a nice book but can’t relate to you, well, it’s not worth much. Or, as another writer said once, “If I speak in the tonguesof men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.”
I fell prey to what I subsequently called clanging cymbalitis during my first year in London, and I’d really rather avoid the ailment in future if I can. So . . . I apologise, the Readership. I think trying out Authonomy is a good move for me and my book, but if I pause in blogging again, it won’t be because I can’t balance you with new friends. Thanks for reading.