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Thread: [Submission service] Authors.me

  1. #1
    figuring it all out
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    [Submission service] Authors.me

    I came across a site via Twitter called Author.me. It's almost like LinkedIn for writers. It's free to develop a profile, but to market a project requires some kind of fee. Has anyone used this tool, and can vouch if it's legitimate? Given the fee to market, and given that the agents/publishers who use Author.me aren't visible, it almost sounds scammy...thoughts?

  2. #2
    Someday. Kayley's Avatar
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    I tried searching for author.me, but was redirected to a landing page. The website is actually AUTHORS.me (their capitalization, not mine) and is available for viewing here:

    https://www.authors.me/

    I don't believe it's a scam, but I don't have much confidence in it. None of the staff members have a background in publishing and nothing on their website suggests to me that they understand the industry well. Their blog worries me. The most recent post talks about flying to New York to talk with publishers about the industry - why is this only happening now? All of the research should've been done before the site was even launched. The blog post focuses more on how "cool" the book industry is than what AUTHORS learned that will be useful to their business. Furthermore, the grammar is subpar - I wouldn't normally be nitpicky about grammar in a blog post, but at certain points it made the post difficult to read and understand.

    I will say, I like their idea of creating a system that helps agents and publishers manage the acquisition process. However, I think AUTHORS goes about it the wrong way. They should design a system that integrates with mailboxes to sort and classify submissions rather than relying on authors to create profiles and PAY to be visible. This type of system relies on having a large userbase and the registration requirement for authors will pose a hurdle that I don't think AUTHORS can overcome. Their platform should be designed like a CRM, not a social network. It's primary benefit is to the publishers, because it helps the publishers manage their submissions better. Authors won't see any benefit out of it unless AUTHORS can recruit the market's top publishers and agents and I'm dubious about their chances with their current business strategy.

    My first impression is that AUTHORS was created with good intentions, but is not designed well. It will be interesting to see what happens to their site in the years to come. In regards to your question, I don't think AUTHORS is a scam, but I wouldn't pay them a fee until they can prove their worth. At this point, they can't offer authors anything beyond what the author could get through a simple query.
    Last edited by Kayley; 11-04-2015 at 05:37 AM.

  3. #3
    This hat is getting too hot Chumplet's Avatar
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    Haven't come across it, but I have a profile on About.me.

  4. #4
    Born at sea Clairels's Avatar
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    Chumplet, I'm not seeing any evidence that Authors.Me is related to About.Me, aside from a similar name.

    What stuck out for me on the front page is this:

    AUTHORS.me has revolutionized the submissions and acquisitions process. Goodbye query letters. Hello, better.

    I'm not really sure what this outfit is set up to do, but it sounds suspiciously similar like the dozens of YADS that have shown up here over the years promising to "revolutionize publishing" and are now grayed out on the Index page.

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  5. #5
    Writer Beware's Faithful Igor Richard White's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kayley View Post

    ...I will say, I like their idea of creating a system that helps agents and publishers manage the acquisition process ... It's primary benefit is to the publishers, because it helps the publishers manage their submissions better. Authors won't see any benefit out of it unless AUTHORS can recruit the market's top publishers and agents and I'm dubious about their chances with their current business strategy.
    Kayley,

    What exactly do you believe is wrong with the current system? Apparently the publshers and agents don't see an issue with it or they would have redesigned the system years ago. This is simply preying on authors who "believe" if only the system was better, it would be easier for them to get accepted.

    The system is actually pretty simple.

    a) write a damn good story
    b) identify the agents who rep/publishers who publish the type of story you write
    c) submit to them following their guidelines exactly
    d) wait for either an acceptance or a rejection
    e) start the next book

    It's really hard to simplify that process.

    This sounds like a way to separate authors from their money. I see NO benefit to this at all because publishers and agents get enough submissions the normal way, they're NOT going to go to another site to get even more submissions, especially from a site that has no credentials in the publishing business.

    This sounds worse than useless because they're soliciting money from authors. I'd highly recommend avoid.

  6. #6
    figuring it all out
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    Thanks for the input. It's tricky because Authors.me asks for money and yet they have no way of proving the authors' queries will be delivered to any agents. I've paid for premium for querytracker.net, but at least that's for access to their agent info, to develop strategies for connecting with an agent, and its reputable. And they make no claims that a user will be exposed to any agents or publishers.

  7. #7
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    "Exposed" at suggests you are just wandering around trying to 'catch' any agent/publisher. Rather than having a short list you actually want and a pretty long list you want to avoid.
    Emily Veinglory

  8. #8
    Writer Beware's Faithful Igor Richard White's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by veinglory View Post
    "Exposed" at suggests you are just wandering around trying to 'catch' any agent/publisher. Rather than having a short list you actually want and a pretty long list you want to avoid.
    Exactly, there's no way for a novice author to know if this service is submitting their information to a valid agent/publisher or a less-than-reputable one. Authors need to take responsibility for their own careers, do the research on what agents/publishers are best for them, and then submit requests according to the posted guidelines.

    Lots of people will offer shortcuts, but do you really know where they lead to?

  9. #9
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    If all the great agents were breaking down their doors to join and prioritizing their feed, and bad agents were being vetted and rejected, that would be a whole different scene.
    Emily Veinglory

  10. #10
    Someday. Kayley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard White View Post
    Kayley,

    What exactly do you believe is wrong with the current system? Apparently the publshers and agents don't see an issue with it or they would have redesigned the system years ago. This is simply preying on authors who "believe" if only the system was better, it would be easier for them to get accepted.

    The system is actually pretty simple.

    a) write a damn good story
    b) identify the agents who rep/publishers who publish the type of story you write
    c) submit to them following their guidelines exactly
    d) wait for either an acceptance or a rejection
    e) start the next book

    It's really hard to simplify that process.

    This sounds like a way to separate authors from their money. I see NO benefit to this at all because publishers and agents get enough submissions the normal way, they're NOT going to go to another site to get even more submissions, especially from a site that has no credentials in the publishing business.

    This sounds worse than useless because they're soliciting money from authors. I'd highly recommend avoid.
    You're misinterpreting what I said. When I talked about a "system", I was simply talking about the potential for a software that helps agents and publishers sort their submissions better. I could see publishers and agents benefiting from a system similar to Salesforce that lets them keep track of submissions by tracking when queries are received, where submitted materials are stored, how long materials have been in possession, etc. It has nothing to do with the submission process from the author perspective. With the type of system I'm proposing, the author would query like normal and the sorting would be done from the agent/publisher's end. With how busy agents and publishers are, I don't think they'd balk at a way to more easily track the submissions they receive, and the software would help authors by ensuring agents and publishers can stay on top of their slush pile (plus, the authors wouldn't be paying anything for it.)

    I mentioned it as a possible way for AUTHORS to survive as a business, because I don't think their current platform is viable. As I stated clearly in my post, I don't believe authors can get value from the current AUTHORS platform and I warned the OP against paying for the service. You and I are therefore in agreement.
    Last edited by Kayley; 11-06-2015 at 12:16 AM.

  11. #11
    practical experience, FTW Weirdmage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kayley View Post
    You're misinterpreting what I said. When I talked about a "system", I was simply talking about the potential for a software that helps agents and publishers sort their submissions better. I could see publishers and agents benefiting from a system similar to Salesforce that lets them keep track of submissions by tracking when queries are received, where submitted materials are stored, how long materials have been in possession, etc. It has nothing to do with the submission process from the author perspective. With the type of system I'm proposing, the author would query like normal and the sorting would be done from the agent/publisher's end. With how busy agents and publishers are, I don't think they'd balk at a way to more easily track the submissions they receive, and the software would help authors by ensuring agents and publishers can stay on top of their slush pile (plus, the authors wouldn't be paying anything for it.)
    I know a few agents online. And I think I can speak for them when I say that they are actually aware of what has been submitted to them, and when.
    From the (, rather more numerous than the agents I know,) people I know in publishing, they are also already capable of keeping track of submissions.

    The issue is really that it takes a while to go through submissions, as opposed to just putting any manuscript up for sale in your online store.*

    *Since I know this can be misunderstood; I am talking about the mechanical process here, and am not making any judgements about the quality of product offered by the two different approaches to publishing.
    Last edited by Weirdmage; 11-06-2015 at 02:45 AM.

  12. #12
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin Chipotle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kayley View Post
    When I talked about a "system", I was simply talking about the potential for a software that helps agents and publishers sort their submissions better. I could see publishers and agents benefiting from a system similar to Salesforce that lets them keep track of submissions by tracking when queries are received, where submitted materials are stored, how long materials have been in possession, etc. It has nothing to do with the submission process from the author perspective.
    This sounds like you're describing Submittable, which has been around a while and has attracted some fairly big-name customers (and some smaller ones). They only target the acquisitions side of the process, which makes more sense to me: I'm submitting through Submittable, but I'm submitting to Random House or The Atlantic or whoever. AUTHORS.me seems to be trying to compete in that space, but also to promise a "database of writers searched by agents and publishers," which it's hard not to suspect is being built in a cornfield in Iowa.

  13. #13
    The Aryan Arab Ravioli's Avatar
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    Would there be any harm in trying them? Can't see their fees without signing up I guess, so I'm wary. What do they mean by "submissions may not be obscene", does that mean no erotica/smut?
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  14. #14
    figuring it all out UnbearableLight's Avatar
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    So, my experience with Authors.me wasn't great. The query letter, manuscript, and synopsis for a novel my co-author and I were uploaded to Authors.me by Pandamoon without our knowledge or consent. Pandamoon created an account for us with personal information. You can read about my experience with that here: http://absolutewrite.com/forums/show...=1#post9503658

    Our stuff was uploaded in mid or late July. It took few days for me to get my account here, I think, so I didn't get to post about the snafu until the 27th. It took us numerous contact attempts before Authors.me would take down our materials, which happened sometime in mid to late August -- about a month. I am not confident that our stuff was actually deleted; I think our access was simply revoked. Writer B shared that suspicion with me, too.

    Pandamoon is/was Authors.me's launch partner according to Zara, the chief at Pandamoon. Both companies are located in Austin, TX, for what it's worth. Authors.me also had some troubling provisions in their TOS, like irrevocable and perpetual rights (nonexclusive, to be clear) to any content uploaded to their service.
    Last edited by UnbearableLight; 11-06-2015 at 07:12 AM.

  15. #15
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    I am the co-founder of AUTHORS.me with 28 years experience as a published cartoonist; television writer; and screenwriter. I am very familiar with the pains and woes, and suspicions of writers. They are much warranted. I wanted to pass along this letter from our CEO to help allay any concerns with AUTHORS.me service and objectives.


    Hi all. I’m CEO of AUTHORS. We’re such a new company that you’re the first people to post on us, so I couldn’t help noticing. A lot of your interpretation is right. A CRM like Salesforce.com for publishers is a great analogy. Every other industry has a technology tool to manage important work like this. It’s a helpful management tool for them, better than email, which they use currently. And safer for manuscripts.

    You’re right that we’re not from the publishing world. I believe this is one of the reasons we can solve this particular problem: we’re a team of systems and technology experts. Quite simply, we have vast experience building platforms like this which people in the publishing industry don’t have. We just want to make the work easier, smoother, better for agents, publishers and the writers submitting to them.

    We totally understand if writers don’t want to join or pay yet. Absolutely no pressure. We’re not even marketing it yet. The benefit to the writers that are there now is that they certainly stand out in the crowd. Not much competition, and as one publisher mentioned, she loves to “go shopping” in what we call Discovery. In the 3 months since our soft launch, 58 writers have had their projects “discovered,” and 11 book deals have been signed.

    We are a technical team trying to support an industry we love. Thank you Kayley for saying our intentions are good because we are really passionate about helping. Also, it’s important to know that writers don’t pay to submit directly to a publisher. This is a tool to support the publishers and they pay because it helps them. Writers only pay if they want us to proactively match them to agents and publishers looking for their type of work. So writers can get a lot out of the system without paying! In fact some of the writers got book deals without paying a cent.

    Writers are able to see which publishers are reviewing their work and can research and determine their credibility. We only service traditional publishers and only those who are carefully vetted to provide our writers good opportunities. Also, we match and filter on more than 60 pieces of data because no writer wants to be forwarded to an agent or publisher that isn’t interested in their type of work. Likewise, no publisher would want to work with us if we send them a bunch of junk.

    When we created accounts for writers to save them time (which we only did once and will never do again!), we had our first batch of writers who wanted their content removed. Not only did we remove it, but we wrote some pretty complex code to pull it out of all the various systems that it’s stored in the platform. It’s not as simple as just deleting a document, and we now have an automated way that cleans everything permanently from the system.

    Thank you guys for taking notice. I do understand everyone’s suspicion. Writers have been through a lot! We’re always open to your ideas. Let's keep the conversation going. We are here to help writers and will continue to improve with your input.

    Best to you all,
    Monica Landers
    CEO AUTHORS, Inc.


  16. #16
    figuring it all out UnbearableLight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by screenwriter03 View Post
    When we created accounts for writers to save them time (which we only did once and will never do again!), we had our first batch of writers who wanted their content removed. Not only did we remove it, but we wrote some pretty complex code to pull it out of all the various systems that it’s stored in the platform. It’s not as simple as just deleting a document, and we now have an automated way that cleans everything permanently from the system.
    That does make me feel a bit better, thank you.

  17. #17
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kayley View Post
    I like their idea of creating a system that helps agents and publishers manage the acquisition process.
    Most of the agents and publishers I know have these systems in place already, and have no need of a third-party site to deal with it for them. In fact, the ones I've spoken to about sites like this were concerned about the security. With good reason, bearing in mind the Pandamoon fiasco where authors' works were put up without their knowledge or permission.

    Quote Originally Posted by screenwriter03 View Post
    I am the co-founder of AUTHORS.me with 28 years experience as a published cartoonist; television writer; and screenwriter. I am very familiar with the pains and woes, and suspicions of writers. They are much warranted. I wanted to pass along this letter from our CEO to help allay any concerns with AUTHORS.me service and objectives.


    Hi all. I’m CEO of AUTHORS. We’re such a new company that you’re the first people to post on us, so I couldn’t help noticing. A lot of your interpretation is right. A CRM like Salesforce.com for publishers is a great analogy. Every other industry has a technology tool to manage important work like this. It’s a helpful management tool for them, better than email, which they use currently. And safer for manuscripts.


    Hello, screenwriter03 and Ms Landers, CEO. Welcome to AW.

    I've worked with a lot of publishers, editors, and literary agents, and they all already have good systems in place for dealing with their submissions. Why would they need yours? What makes it so much better than the systems they are already using, which have proved effective for them?

    You’re right that we’re not from the publishing world. I believe this is one of the reasons we can solve this particular problem: we’re a team of systems and technology experts. Quite simply, we have vast experience building platforms like this which people in the publishing industry don’t have. We just want to make the work easier, smoother, better for agents, publishers and the writers submitting to them.
    It shows that you're not from the publishing world, as you don't seem to be aware that most publishers and agents already have these systems in place. When you automatically signed up all the authors who had submitted their work to Pandamoon, and put their work up on your system without their prior knowledge or permission, and then gave them no way to remove that work, you showed to me that you don't understand rights and don't treat writers with proper respect. This alone makes me very wary of the services you offer. When you couple it with your apparent lack of knowledge of how publishers and agents work, I get even more wary.

    We totally understand if writers don’t want to join or pay yet. Absolutely no pressure. We’re not even marketing it yet. The benefit to the writers that are there now is that they certainly stand out in the crowd. Not much competition, and as one publisher mentioned, she loves to “go shopping” in what we call Discovery. In the 3 months since our soft launch, 58 writers have had their projects “discovered,” and 11 book deals have been signed.
    Which publishers and agents are signed up to your site? Who is actively reading there? Do you have any major publishers or agents, or is most of your current client-base smaller publishers and start-ups? I don't see a list anywhere. Also, if I hadn't learned what you were offering from this thread I wouldn't be sure of it from reading your website: you might like to consider that.

    We are a technical team trying to support an industry we love. Thank you Kayley for saying our intentions are good because we are really passionate about helping. Also, it’s important to know that writers don’t pay to submit directly to a publisher. This is a tool to support the publishers and they pay because it helps them. Writers only pay if they want us to proactively match them to agents and publishers looking for their type of work. So writers can get a lot out of the system without paying! In fact some of the writers got book deals without paying a cent.
    I'm sure you have good intentions. I am convinced that most people are good at heart, and want to help. And I have no objection at all to you making some profit out of the services you offer: that's only to be expected. However, I know from my years (decades!) in publishing that good intentions are not nearly enough; and I am not convinced that writers will get value from your site. Why should they pay for your services when they can use the established submissions process which has been successful for years?

  18. #18
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    Right near my place there is a wonderful modern bus station, beautifully landscaped with all the mod cons. But for various geographical and political reasons none of the major bus routes stop there so it is all for naught.

    The reason to know about publishing is that how well your site works matters a good deal less than who uses it. It has to meet the needs agents and publishers themselves feel they have.
    Last edited by veinglory; 11-08-2015 at 04:46 AM.
    Emily Veinglory

  19. #19
    People are not wearing enough hats JJ Litke's Avatar
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    JR did a blog post about them today: http://jetreidliterary.blogspot.com/...y-service.html

    tl/dr: It's a solution to a problem that doesn't exist.
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  20. #20
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    I've been seeing variations on this scheme since '92 (in the days of CompuServe, GEnie, and Prodigy). It has yet to work.

  21. #21
    Christine Tripp ctripp's Avatar
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    JJ Litke, thanks for finding this and linking to "the Shark". Janet makes mention that no Agent would pay to read submissions from this site but I'm not clear they are asking the Agents to pay (because of course a good agent would never pay for this service) just the writers as far as I could tell. Of course the vanity Agents (who then sell on to vanity publishers) would certainly be willing to pay a small fee for being fed new Authors.

  22. #22
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    The last post here is nearly a year old. Anyone else have experiences to add?

    I'm considering entering an Authors.me contest, and my concern is: Is it legit and is it safe to upload my work there?

  23. #23
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    I don't think it's going to be dangerous to enter the competitions (although I haven't read their full T&C, so check those first for rights grabs and other problems), but I have to ask: what do you think you might get out of it? The prizes don't look very exciting: this is the top prize from the Romance competition:

    • $200 cash prize
    • Featured Submission to Partner Publishers and Agents
    • Query Consultation
    • First Chapter published on Romance Junkies
    Their "featured submission to Parter Publishers and Agents" probably means your work will either be posted on their website with the hope that passing agents and publishers will see it there--and the chances of that happening are slim--or that your work will be sent out to the agents and publishers who have signed up to their service. I've not seen a list of those agents but based on other similar services I've seen in the past, you wouldn't want your work sent out to the agents and publishers it attracts.

    If you know which agents and publishers might see your work then that would be helpful for those of us giving you advice here: but as you are free to submit your work to agents without these competitions, I don't see what benefit you get from this.

  24. #24
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Authors Me

    Quote Originally Posted by Elvin-Bala View Post
    I came across a site via Twitter called Author.me. It's almost like LinkedIn for writers. It's free to develop a profile, but to market a project requires some kind of fee. Has anyone used this tool, and can vouch if it's legitimate? Given the fee to market, and given that the agents/publishers who use Author.me aren't visible, it almost sounds scammy...thoughts?
    There is no fee to make submissions to agents. Editing requires payment but that's not unusual. It provides a very useful tracking page and sources potential publishers based upon some algorithmic matching of the work to the potential publisher. I can't comment on how accurate that is but regardless it's free. I found it a lot better than charting reviews on an Excel spreadsheet and looking at it from an agent or publisher perspective, the synopsis, hook and premise of the novel are nicely presented. Nothing admittedly, that couldn't be done by most competent writers but the point is that it's done for you and, as I pointed out, it is free.

  25. #25
    practical experience, FTW Denevius's Avatar
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    I'm using Authors Me as another tool to submit my novel. It is free (I guess at one point it wasn't), so it doesn't hurt to use it. I originally joined it because Night Shade books had stated that they accepted unsolicited manuscripts on Authors Me. This proved inaccurate, as they don't. I submitted to two other publishers through them, and for four to five months my submissions has been listed as 'In Review', whatever that means. But again, it is free, and you never know what random attempt will be your breakthrough moment.

    If anything positive comes from using this site, I'll post it here.
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    TRANSUBSTANTIATION (Expected publishing date September 2017, Issue #104 of Aurealis Science Fiction & Fantasy)
    GWI'SHIN (Published September 2016 in Eastlit Journal)
    MOMENTUM (Published 2014 & 2015 as Issue #3, and as part of an anthology in Tokyo Yakuza.)
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