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WackAMole
01-11-2007, 08:43 PM
Ok so, I was getting my daily dose of Snark this morning, and I see her blog about the novel contest at Gather.com. Looks interesting. Who's gonna try it and what do you all think of it?

PeeDee
01-11-2007, 09:14 PM
How very interesting. I'll be curious to see what other people around here have to say about this.

Julie Worth
01-11-2007, 10:40 PM
Their site seems too slow to support a contest like this.

PeeDee
01-11-2007, 10:42 PM
It's not "too slow," it's "less competition."

I almost consider entering. It could be fun.

Uncarved
01-11-2007, 10:53 PM
And how about this question :
Does Publish America count as self-publishing/vanity press?


Doug J. commented Jan 11, 2007




errrrr, YES YES YES.


I mean it states you can have a previously published full length book (excluding vanity and self pubbed books) so I assumed I'm out, even though my books were nonfiction and this is fiction. The PubAm people can get in through this vanity loophole.

PeeDee
01-11-2007, 10:58 PM
PA isn't even a vanity press. It's a gulag. It's a hangman's platform, and here's a pretty noose, and would you like the lever to pull? Here you are. Easy does it. There. Wasn't that nice?

victoriastrauss
01-11-2007, 11:15 PM
I blogged about the Gather.com contest (http://accrispin.blogspot.com/2007/01/victoria-strauss-in-wake-of-sobol.html) too.

- Victoria

PeeDee
01-11-2007, 11:19 PM
So you're hesitant, but not actively against it.

Hm.

I admit, I'm leaning toward sending them a chapter. I love a good competition.

I'm sorry to say, I know very little about S&S's boilerplate publishing contract. Is it bad? Is accepting it at face value the equivalent of indentured servitude? I know nothing on this.

katiemac
01-11-2007, 11:24 PM
I admit, I'm leaning toward sending them a chapter. I love a good competition.

I'm sorry to say, I know very little about S&S's boilerplate publishing contract. Is it bad? Is accepting it at face value the equivalent of indentured servitude? I know nothing on this.

I'm not sure I completely understand, though. It sounds like you send them the entire manuscript, but they'll only post the first three chapters for voting.

Sounds a little weird, actually. But I don't have a full, so I wouldn't enter anyway.

WackAMole
01-11-2007, 11:25 PM
I'm thinking about it. What would it hurt? I have a couple fulls actually, might as well get em out there, though from the different blogs I have read there's a lot of skepticism about this.

PeeDee
01-11-2007, 11:25 PM
The impression I got was you send 'em chapter one. In the second round, you send 'em chapter two. Third round, chapter three. Fourth round, whole manuscript. Then decision.

Beats me.

Probably, what I'll do is this neat trick where I barrage people with queries until someone buys it and publishes it that way.

victoriastrauss
01-11-2007, 11:30 PM
I'm hesitant mostly because I think contests are a waste of time. Among all the other things that can be said about them, the most important (IMO) is that they don't test your viability in the marketplace. Only submitting for publication does that. (A contest that offers publication as the prize doesn't truly test your viability either, because it's a closed pool of applicants. Offering publication to the winnner is not like selecting a manuscript on its own merits.)

I've never seen an S&S contract, but I assume its boilerplate is fairly similar to the boilerplate of other major publishers. No, it's not bad--certainly not in the way that contracts from amateur micropresses and scam publishers can be bad--but it's weighted to the publisher's advantage, and a good agent would do all s/he could to negotiate it so that things were more to the writer's advantage--for instance, holding on to certain subrights, or making the publisher agree to re-negotiate your compensation if it exercises certain subrights itself rather than licensing them.

The contest rules say that the winner must agree to sign S&S's standard contract, and do it within 5 days of receipt, which I imagine is S&S's effort to cut down on the possibility that the winner might try to negotiate him/herself, or use the contract to find an agent to negotiate. Even so, you might be able to work with them to change some things--it would be worth a try.

Edited to add: don't rely on impressions (most of you who've posted so far are wrong about the procedural details), or even on what people like Miss Snark and I say. Go to the contest itself and read the rules word by word. That's the only way you'll properly understand what you're getting into.

- Victoria

PeeDee
01-11-2007, 11:33 PM
Winning publication contests (much like winning American Idol) always struck me as....cheating, I guess. You got to where everyone else is going, but they're walking and you took the taxi.

The masochist in me says that I'll just keep doing the Query Jitterbug. I think I'd be happier in the long run than saying "I won a contest what got me published."

Edited to reply to Victoria's edited (this is just silly): I read what they had on their site before I read your blog entry. I haven't read Miss Snark's take on it, I don't wander over there very often. I read it and go "neat," but I'm not sure I go any further than that.

Julie Worth
01-12-2007, 12:12 AM
The impression I got was you send 'em chapter one. In the second round, you send 'em chapter two. Third round, chapter three. Fourth round, whole manuscript. Then decision.


No, you send the entire ms plus the first three chapters in a separate file. They'll then post those first three chapters (2-10k words total) for 14 days so that all your buddies there can vote for it...or at least that's the worry expressed in the comments--that it's a popularity contest.

skelly
01-12-2007, 12:35 AM
I entered the short story contest, never saw my story posted, couldn't contact whom-the-hell-ever is in charge, despised the manner in which they posted stories (once you drop off page one, your basically done ... oh, wait ... the people on page one when they broke for the holidays stayed there for nearly four days! Yay for them!), and saw nothing but complaints about the contract from people on this board (somewhere). I think I'll skip it.

Anonymous Traveler
01-12-2007, 12:38 AM
In a kind of Peoples' Choice Awards for the literary set, New York publisher Simon & Schuster plans to choose first-time authors in a contest voted on by online fans.

The announcement of the First Chapters Writing Competition (http://www.cbc.ca/arts/story/2007/01/11/first-chapters.html)was made Wednesday, just two days after the cancellation of the Sobol Prize for unpublished writers, also backed by Simon & Schuster.

Is there a thread going on this already? If not opinions?

paprikapink
01-12-2007, 01:25 AM
Victoria Strauss covers this pretty thoroughly in her blog. She provides a link in her post on the thread about the gather.com contest, which is the same as this one.

Anonymous Traveler
01-12-2007, 01:43 AM
Victoria Strauss covers this pretty thoroughly in her blog.

I'm blond today, a link would help TIA

paprikapink
01-12-2007, 02:30 AM
There's this one (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=51596). I saw another thread too, but now I can't find it again.

Oh, and look, I happen to have Victoria's blog (http://accrispin.blogspot.com/2007/01/victoria-strauss-in-wake-of-sobol.html) open in another window.

(I'm blonde every day.)

The Lady
01-12-2007, 03:12 AM
I can't see what's in it for the readers. Who on earth is going to read and mull over 201 plus first chapters. I wouldn't. No one will. What if there's a thousand entries. It's craaazzy. Are they seriously going to post them all? I reckon it's a popularity contest, at least in the early stages.

Oh well, if that be the case. Who ever pms me first and promises me loads of rep points from now till eternity will get my vote. I'm sure all your writing is equally good so consider this a speed contest. Bear in mind though, I have a fondness for fantasy so in the event of two pms coming in at the same time, genre will decide.

TwentyFour
01-12-2007, 03:49 AM
The thread is listed under Novel Writing.

Anonymous Traveler
01-12-2007, 03:57 AM
The thread is listed under Novel Writing (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=51642). Link added

PeeDee
01-12-2007, 04:46 AM
Three threads for something that everyone's going "Well, I just don't know" about. Wow. :)

Chumplet
01-12-2007, 05:38 AM
Plus, they say you can't have the MS in circulation for publication elsewhere. Therefore if you have queries or partials out there, you're out. I'd like to know if you can pull it from the contest if you get an offer for it elsewhere.

Romance Junkies had a similar contest a few months ago, but they had special software in place that prevented people from voting multiple times, even from different email addresses. Plus, they didn't want you advertising yourself on the net to get people to vote for you.

The other difference was that you didn't have to sign up to be a member of the site in order to vote.

Anonymous Traveler
01-12-2007, 06:41 AM
Three threads for something that everyone's going "Well, I just don't know" about. Wow. :)

Don't forget the Blogs. I asked Elana Rabinovitch if it would affect my chances since I should be published by a Canadian house. Told "not to worry".

PeeDee
01-12-2007, 08:08 PM
As a popularity contest, I would be heartily uninterested. I haven't the time or the inclination to go harrass people into voting for me.

(Though if I got 7,000 people on AW to all vote for me. Hah. There's some power. ;))

CrankItTo11
01-12-2007, 10:45 PM
I'd vote for you, PeeDee. If I remember correctly, I really liked the concept for your novel.

I am debating entering a trunk novel. I gave up on it long ago, so there isn't much to lose. Only problem is that it was edited down from novel to novella. I don't see any word count requirments in the rules, though...

Julie Worth
01-12-2007, 11:05 PM
No, you send the entire ms plus the first three chapters in a separate file. They'll then post those first three chapters (2-10k words total) for 14 days so that all your buddies there can vote for it...or at least that's the worry expressed in the comments--that it's a popularity contest.

Their rules seem to be a bit fluid. Now the chapters are posted individually during the first three rounds, and must each be 2-10k.

CrankItTo11
01-12-2007, 11:27 PM
So... OK, I've read everything on their website again. I think my brain is melting.

...

Anyhoo, it looks like they post your chapters for 14 days for voting. It seems to me, then, that the sooner you submit, the better. I mean, right now there aren't many submissions so you'll be getting more votes. Um... right?

If I submit this will be my first contest EVER. That's why I am even more confused than usual.

Julie Worth
01-13-2007, 12:11 AM
I mean, right now there aren't many submissions so you'll be getting more votes. Um... right?

If I submit this will be my first contest EVER. That's why I am even more confused than usual.

They say: 20 Round 1 winners are announced, 15 based on the highest number of votes and ratings from members of Gather.com and 5 selected by the Gather editorial team.

Votes and ratings--who knows how that's to be calculated. When I looked this morning, only one entry had been posted, and had received exactly one rating (4 out of 10). This is after being up for 12 hours, not a good sign. Other not so good signs: the site is very sluggish, and the contest is not prominently displayed.

Edit: Two hours later they're up to three ratings on the first submission, even though the piece is way too short by the rules (just 700 words). The second piece is three chapters instead of one, and even then barely makes the 2000 word hurdle. Apparently the lack of submissions is forcing them to post submissions that don't meet the standards.

CrankItTo11
01-13-2007, 01:37 AM
Thanks for the summary, Julie. So this contest is off to great start, eh?

I can't even find where the entries are posted. Could you post a link, or point me in the right direction? I don't know why I am having such a hard time navigating on gather.com.

Julie Worth
01-13-2007, 01:58 AM
http://www.gather.com/first%20chapters

They now have 3 submissions...nope, back to 2.

CrankItTo11
01-13-2007, 02:09 AM
The entires aren't too strong. Gather.com folks aren't shy about letting the authors know, either.

I am having serious doubts about this contest resulting in anything publishable. But... who knows. I think it's a great trunk novel contest (as in, one you are no longer submitting elsewhere) and a good opportunity to toughen up your skin. At least it is free.

triceretops
01-13-2007, 02:21 AM
Crikey, let me get this straight.

1) put your synopsis and bio in the body of the email

2) Put chapters 1,2,3 (in one document and make sure chapters are numbered) as an attachment

3) Attach each chapter seperately as an individual document.


Am I reading this right? So that's four attachments all together?



Subject line=First chapters competition Entry, and send all of this to firstchapters@gatherinc.com

Help!!!

Tri

Julie Worth
01-13-2007, 02:28 AM
According to the rules: http://www.gather.com/viewArticle.jsp?articleId=281474976883192


A) You should submit four (4) total documents. One (1) complete manuscript, and the other three (3) are each of the first three chapters, respectively. See the Submission Guidelines (http://www.gather.com/viewArticle.jsp?articleId=281474976881664) for additional requirements.

triceretops
01-13-2007, 02:33 AM
Thanks, Julie.

Tri

PeeDee
01-13-2007, 02:34 AM
Tri? Are you submitting? Crank?

If you guys do, I will. :)

Julie Worth
01-13-2007, 02:35 AM
That's it. You guys go first.

triceretops
01-13-2007, 02:36 AM
Here's what screwed with me:

You must also break out the first three (3) chapters, sequentially, in a separate document so that they may be posted on Gather.com.

My take is that this is not three seperate documents, but one document with three sequential chapters. Not...three attachments. One attachment.

Comments?

Julie Worth
01-13-2007, 02:39 AM
Dang, tri, I just posted that it was four! And that's copied from their FAQs.

triceretops
01-13-2007, 02:40 AM
Tri? Are you submitting? Crank?

If you guys do, I will.

I don't see any harm. It's free right? I've got one manuscript left. It just so happens that my agent is sending it around. I'll have to have a talkie with him about this, though. Heck, it doesn't matter where it gets picked up.

But...I have had pro non-fiction books published. Does that exclude me? I thought this was concerning genre fiction only.

Tri

PeeDee
01-13-2007, 02:45 AM
Right. Then when I get home tonight, I'll get the files and bits in order and figure out whether I'm submitting three files or eight or four or what, and I'll submit.

Which means if you guys chicken out, I'm coming for you.

*ahem*

Come on in, Julie. The water's fine... :)

Julie Worth
01-13-2007, 02:45 AM
Tri, the way I read it, if you've only published non-fiction, you're okay, or if you published vanity fiction, fine. But if your agent is submitting your ms, you're not.

triceretops
01-13-2007, 03:05 AM
Gak! Double Gak!

Tri

CrankItTo11
01-13-2007, 03:08 AM
OK, I'll do it. I'll submit it tonight. I'm submitting a book that I wrote about five years ago and I haven't looked at since... so I don't feel like I am risking much. It's so craptacular, but this will be it's last hurrah before it is electronically buried forever.

I think (I hope) it's OK if you've been published, so long as it isn't novel-length fiction.

As for the number of files, I don't think they are consistent in the instructions. I'm doing two because that is how I understand the submissions guidelines... if I'm wrong (which I realize the FAQs state say I am)... I'm wrong. I'll let you guys know if they write back to me and say I need to break it into seperate documents.

Here I go. Someone hold my hand....

*ieeeeeee* (sound of me jumping into contest)

PeeDee
01-13-2007, 03:11 AM
I'll be right behind you tonight. :) we shall storm the contest together.

You know. Unless we don't, or something.

Siddow
01-13-2007, 03:23 AM
You guys are nuts.

I'm waiting until at least two weeks before deadline.

Scrawler
01-13-2007, 04:21 AM
Last year, I was under the impression that Gather was a site for writers ready to post their work for critique, and polish their craft. I soon learned that it was nothing more than a "myspace gone bad" with flame wars, character assassinations against other members, circulating hate-list to new members via private email, false accounts created to slam other members, cliques campaigning behind the scenes to pump up ratings and votes for those in the circle, and bombarding "outsiders" with low ratings and harassing comments. Twenty word "articles" (many cut/pasted from Wikipedia or online newspapers with no sources sited) were posted to earn comments, which translated into points, which translated into gift cards or cash. I don't recommend anyone participate on the site, and would certainly be wary of entering into any agreement with Gather.com. Be afraid, be very afraid.

Besides, if you haven't spent the last year politicking on the site, building your "network", joining the appropriate cliques, and proclaiming your undying love to the ringmasters by faithfully offering lavish praise for their every misspelled and grammatically incorrect word, your work will be rated low and dismissed with negative comments. Or worse, ignored completely.
I'd rather get a legitimate agent rejection then go anywhere near that site again. I'm just glad I used a pseudonym there.

Julie Worth
01-13-2007, 04:35 AM
Besides, if you haven't spent the last year politicking on the site, building your "network", joining the appropriate cliques, and proclaiming your undying love to the ringmasters by faithfully offering lavish praise for their every misspelled and grammatically incorrect word, your work will be rated low and dismissed with negative comments.

Could be. "The Travel Clinic" seemed to be decent, interesting writing, but the first person to come along slapped it with a 1 out of 10.

PeeDee
01-13-2007, 04:37 AM
Whoa.

I'm very glad you posted that. That's interesting, in a worrying sort of way.

Carrie in PA
01-13-2007, 04:50 AM
I thought it looked interesting (got the info in my Borders newsletter), but I decided to forego it. It's an interesting concept!!

victoriastrauss
01-13-2007, 07:23 AM
Could be. "The Travel Clinic" seemed to be decent, interesting writing, but the first person to come along slapped it with a 1 out of 10.Its rating has gone up. I agree with you, it reads pretty well (certainly compared with the other two entries, which IMO are one-paragraph rejects). Just one problem: it's NONFICTION. The rules say the contest is for novels only. Then there was the entry with three chapters posted at once, when the rules say first chapter only for Round 1. What's going on with these non-appropriate postings? Are the Gather folks not vetting the entries, or is the submission level so low that they're worried?

Very interesting about the networks, cliques, etc.

- Victoria

Julie Worth
01-13-2007, 07:55 AM
Right, not a single entry on the first day seemed to meet the criteria. The initial posting was supposed to be chapter one of a novel, 2000 to 10,000 words.

Submission 1 was under 700 words.
Submission 2 was 3 chapters.
Submission 3 vanished.
Submission 4 was about 1600 words of non-fiction.

PeeDee
01-13-2007, 08:46 AM
Perhaps some brave and enterprising soul, who is braver than this wyrm, would care to e-mail them and see what their deal is.

You know, I wonder if Simon & Schuster will just back out of this deal, either quickly and quietly before it goes anywhere, or just by announcing that there were no suitable entries.

Athena
01-13-2007, 09:15 AM
I'm trying to decide if it is worth it for me to enter or not.

I'm working on polishing my manuscript, so it is in its third draft. Re-writing is a process that is never finished until things are typeset and printed.

I read the rules about the 2 - 10 K chapters and immediately went to my manuscript. I've chosen to use short chapters that have cruel cliffies. So they don't fit that specified length, but I could always combine them for the sake of this competition.

Such as adding chapters 1 and 2 to make a new and longer chapter 1. Chapters 3, 4, and 5 would become the new chapter 2.

I like short chapters because it lulls readers into thinking that "I'll just read one more chapter before I go to sleep. It's only four pages." Then they get to a cliffie and fell they can't stop there.

So, my response to the four souls who broke the competition ice and submitted is that you shouldn't judge too harshly that their chapters are short, but I do feel that the contestants should have paid more attention to the rules and tried better to follow them.

I've got several concerns and questions about entering this contest. If lightning were to strike and I actually won the competition - would I be able to have someone like Robert Pimm (http://rgpimm.com/RGPLaw/Home.html) be able to help me negotiate altering the boilerplate terms? I've heard him speak at writers conferences and his opinion is the stock, standard publishing contracts are written to benefit the publishers and take all the rights possible from writers. I don't want to sign something I might rue for years to come.

On the flip side...I have a weak sense of knowledge about Gather.com. One of my friends in my writers club finally took my advice and started to plug his joke books by doing a Joke A Day (http://rjploughran.gather.com/) entry. He chose Gather.com to be his entry into cyberspace fandoms, and he cross posts these jokes into dozens of gather communities. Basically I just go and read his jokes and will comment.

It's not my playground. But, I'm wondering...

If I posted a portion of my novel in the contest, and it generated good reviews based on the strength of my writing and not on politicking - might this be a source for a new fanbase? One that would be interested in reading the rest of my novel? If I had good ratings and good reviews, would an agent be interested in hearing that even if I didn't make it into the final round? If I generated good buzz?

Just wondering. I'm trying to think of all kinds of ways to increase a fanbase for my writing.

Athena

PeeDee
01-13-2007, 09:23 AM
If I posted a portion of my novel in the contest, and it generated good reviews based on the strength of my writing and not on politicking - might this be a source for a new fanbase? One that would be interested in reading the rest of my novel? If I had good ratings and good reviews, would an agent be interested in hearing that even if I didn't make it into the final round? If I generated good buzz?


It's very hard to say. Fanbases, especially internet originated ones, can be transient things that are only interested in you as long as you're on the pixels are in front of them.

Except for the times when they won't forget you, even if you've fallen off the radar altogether.

Mostly, I would suggest not worrying about building a fanbase. It's not a writerly concern that need be very high on your list. Produce the best story you can, and do it several times in a row, and a fanbase will build from there.

Athena
01-13-2007, 09:33 AM
PeeDee,
I have a fanbase from some online Harry Potter fanfiction that I wrote several years ago. I have several hundred different people who wrote positive reviews for my novel posted on three different websites.

I'm now going back and trying to contact them via email to let them know that I've completed a book and am going to be shopping it around soon.

The bad part is, many of their email addresses no longer work. There are hundreds that still work, and hopefully I'll get them to read my new literary blog and be excited to read my work once I get it published.

Several other HP fanfic authors have signed contracts with publishers and have books coming out. Part of their appeal was they had a fanbase prior to publication.

I'm just trying to think of all bases to cover. Of course, if I generated a lot of YOU SUCK comments on gather.com, I wouldn't mention it in a query letter to agents.

Athena

PeeDee
01-13-2007, 09:39 AM
I'm not trying to be a wet-blanket. Honest, I'm not. I don't now if I'd mention anything at all in your query letter. I mean, if you have this online fan base and you say, in your query letter, "I have 400 people online who have steadily read and enjoyed my online stories" then what does this do for the agent? How can they look at this as a substancial claim, a concrete number which they could use to sell your book to the publisher?

They can't really. It's nice to know, personally as an author, that you have a potential audience who is familiar with your work and your name. That's great. But it does nothing very much for the selling process.

Just sayin'.

CrankItTo11
01-13-2007, 07:30 PM
Last year, I was under the impression that Gather was a site for writers ready to post their work for critique, and polish their craft. I soon learned that it was nothing more than a "myspace gone bad" with flame wars, character assassinations against other members, circulating hate-list to new members via private email, false accounts created to slam other members, cliques campaigning behind the scenes to pump up ratings and votes for those in the circle, and bombarding "outsiders" with low ratings and harassing comments. Twenty word "articles" (many cut/pasted from Wikipedia or online newspapers with no sources sited) were posted to earn comments, which translated into points, which translated into gift cards or cash. I don't recommend anyone participate on the site, and would certainly be wary of entering into any agreement with Gather.com. Be afraid, be very afraid.

Besides, if you haven't spent the last year politicking on the site, building your "network", joining the appropriate cliques, and proclaiming your undying love to the ringmasters by faithfully offering lavish praise for their every misspelled and grammatically incorrect word, your work will be rated low and dismissed with negative comments. Or worse, ignored completely.
I'd rather get a legitimate agent rejection then go anywhere near that site again. I'm just glad I used a pseudonym there.

D'oh! I knew I should have checked back with AW one more time before submitting last night. Well, this is all good to know. Comments I get, if any, I will take with a huge grain of salt. I am an outsider to the community and defintiely not one sitting at the popular kids table at lunch.

I think I submitted the only thing I would be willing to submit to a contest such as this. My more recent novels are in the hands of agents (no contact signed, but hopefully someday soon!) and the novel I submitted is one that I let go of a long time ago. Athena - I would honestly suggest you go the more traditional route (submitting to agents) before you enter your new novel in this contest. I mean, I don't want your novel to be held up for several months or a year before you can submit it again.

PeeDee - Did I take the plunge last night alone?

victoriastrauss
01-13-2007, 08:51 PM
II've got several concerns and questions about entering this contest. If lightning were to strike and I actually won the competition - would I be able to have someone like Robert Pimm (http://rgpimm.com/RGPLaw/Home.html) be able to help me negotiate altering the boilerplate terms?I think that the 5-day requirement (the winner must sign the S&S contract within 5 days of receipt) is intended to head off just such a possibility--to make it really hard, if not impossible, for an author to run out and get an agent on the strength of the contract, who'd then want to negotiate contract clauses and a bigger advance.

An IP lawyer can certainly help you with a contract, but as a long-term career choice, an agent is a better bet. An agent doesn't just negotiate publishing contracts; she knows publishers and editors, and works to sell subsidiary rights.

If I posted a portion of my novel in the contest, and it generated good reviews based on the strength of my writing and not on politicking - might this be a source for a new fanbase? One that would be interested in reading the rest of my novel? If I had good ratings and good reviews, would an agent be interested in hearing that even if I didn't make it into the final round? If I generated good buzz?I don't think an agent would be at all impressed by something like this. No offense, but a bunch of strangers giving you votes on Gather.com doesn't say anything about the marketability of your work. Even if every one of those voters signed a pledge to buy your book once it was published--and in reality, no one can say how, or if, votes and ratings on a social networking site might translate into actual book sales--a few hundred readers is a drop in the bucket when you're talking sales expectations of many thousands for a commercially published book.

S&S appears to be hoping there's some kind of fan base possibility with the contest, or at least that it'll generate word of mouth (very important to book sales), but I'm skeptical. Especially given everything I'm hearing about vote trading and cliques at Gather.

Several other HP fanfic authors have signed contracts with publishers and have books coming out. Part of their appeal was they had a fanbase prior to publication. Like this woman (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/6245333.stm)? This is the only one I've heard about.

- Victoria

PeeDee
01-13-2007, 09:17 PM
Several other HP fanfic authors have signed contracts with publishers and have books coming out. Part of their appeal was they had a fanbase prior to publication.

No, part of their appeal was that they had previous experience writing for audiences, which in turn affected their ability to write for the better, which in turn was the bit that the publisher was interested in.

As is the case with something like Snakes on a Plane, a rabid internet fan base frothing at the mouth doesn't translate into sales numbers. Not even a little bit. They can be going nuts over you one second, and then go "eh," when you actually release something.

Several Star Trek fanfic authors have sgined contracts and have books coming out. Likewise, Party of Five fanfic authors, Baywatch, and so on. The fact that they may have written these things at some point has next to nothing to do with the contracts and publishers. It just means they've been doing writing.

Crank: You did take the plunge last night alone, because I wound up staying late at work and not getting home until a very silly hour. If you've submitted, then I said I would, and I shall. I have to be at the bookstore very shortly, but I will send my submission in tonight, no matter what silly hour it is. Otherwise, it'd make a liar outta me. :)

Manat
01-13-2007, 11:02 PM
Hmm, only open to residents of the US. End of debate for me.

CrankItTo11
01-13-2007, 11:10 PM
Crank: You did take the plunge last night alone, because I wound up staying late at work and not getting home until a very silly hour. If you've submitted, then I said I would, and I shall. I have to be at the bookstore very shortly, but I will send my submission in tonight, no matter what silly hour it is. Otherwise, it'd make a liar outta me. :)


Please don't feel like I need to submit your work just because you said you would! You know what? I think there is another step that needs to take place before I am "officially submitted" - I think they send you some link that you need to click on and actually post the work yourself. So... I am kind of thinking I may not do that second step. Really - go for it if you want to, but please don't do it if you have serious doubts. I won't say your pants are on fire. I swear.

Scrawler
01-13-2007, 11:20 PM
I recently received an invite to join a newly formed Gather clique called "'No Fighting, Whining or Putting Things Down"
When I asked what had prompted the new group, a friend wrote to say "Oh, man! The blood was running deep over the floorboards in November."
I imagine things got even worse than what I remember.

Manat
01-13-2007, 11:36 PM
On second look it seems to be getting stranger. Theres an entry fully of glaring typos of the OUCH! variety that has scored 10 out of 10 and is from the UK, even though they say only US residents. Seems there's no entry fee, no vetting, ergo no rules. It makes one wonder if there's a real publishing contract at the end. I'd give this one a little more time to see how it plays out.

PeeDee
01-14-2007, 12:00 AM
HAS this been confirmed at all with S&S? I mean, I can't imagine them pulling this without vetting it with the publisher first, but stranger things have happened. Do we know that S&S is really involved with this?

The lack of useable entries (thus far, they're tripe.) Would incline me more to submit. I can write complete sentences, and I spell more gooder than them.

On the other hand, if it's solely a popularity contest and there would be no judgements made on quality, why submit? I'm not going to campaign the internet, for Pete's sake. I have writing to do, writing I would much rather do.

Julie Worth
01-14-2007, 12:06 AM
On second look it seems to be getting stranger. Theres an entry fully of glaring typos of the OUCH! variety that has scored 10 out of 10 and is from the UK, even though they say only US residents. Seems there's no entry fee, no vetting, ergo no rules. It makes one wonder if there's a real publishing contract at the end. I'd give this one a little more time to see how it plays out.


Maybe it hasn't started yet?

Q) When will the first entries be posted?
A) The first entries will be posted Monday January 15th, 2007.

PeeDee
01-14-2007, 12:14 AM
Maybe it hasn't started yet?

Q) When will the first entries be posted?
A) The first entries will be posted Monday January 15th, 2007.

......So what's this stuff that's appearing and looking very entry-like?

This is bamboozling. this is also the kind of thread I'd be expecting to find in the Bewares section of the forums, for that matter.

Bartholomew
01-14-2007, 12:26 AM
Um, this contest raises so many red flags for me that it isn't even funny.

PeeDee
01-14-2007, 12:37 AM
Um, this contest raises so many red flags for me that it isn't even funny.

But what are they? I find things about it disquieting (like the suspicion that the guy on the corner isn't selling you a REAL Rolex) but I can't find anything overtly WRONG with it. It's not a PublishAmerica sized scam, for example.

Julie Worth
01-14-2007, 01:21 AM
......So what's this stuff that's appearing and looking very entry-like?


I think the problem is with the tag first chapters, which appears on works that aren't intended for the competition. Adding the word competition takes care of the problem.

Try this link: http://www.gather.com/first%20chapters%20competition

See, no entries so far.

victoriastrauss
01-14-2007, 03:43 AM
I think the methodology is flawed, but I wouldn't discourage anyone from entering. The only thing that's possibly not so wonderful is the presumption that you won't be able to negotiate S&S's boilerplate, but that doesn't change the fact that there may be a real publishing deal with real advance money and real promotion waiting at the end of the contest. I stress that I think most contests are a waste of time, and writers are better off submitting for publication. But this one has more to offer than many.

Suspecting that S&S isn't involved is way too paranoid, IMO. Touchstone's VP and publisher has been quoted in the NY Times on the contest, and there's been other news coverage; plus, Gather.com isn't some fly by night outfit; it's a big commercial website and it would be very much NOT in its interest to fabricate something like this. You've gotta put this stuff in context before you start hauling out the conspiracy theories.

That's not to say that Gather.com, aided by what sounds like a rather dysfunctional social scene over there, might not make a mess of it. Again, though, it's in their interest to run things right, or they'll have trouble getting anyone else to partner with them for something like this. So far the postings are weird, but maybe they'll get it together.

- Victoria

PeeDee
01-14-2007, 04:01 AM
Suspecting that S&S isn't involved is way too paranoid, IMO. Touchstone's VP and publisher has been quoted in the NY Times on the contest, and there's been other news coverage; plus, Gather.com isn't some fly by night outfit; it's a big commercial website and it would be very much NOT in its interest to fabricate something like this. You've gotta put this stuff in context before you start hauling out the conspiracy theories.

I wasn't hauling it out, I was just quietly worried and hoping someone knew better than I did. Sorry it sounded like I was hauling out conspiracy theories. My tin foil hat slipped down over my eyes a bit, I must have typed badly.

Julie Worth
01-16-2007, 01:25 AM
The first twenty real submissions have shown up. See:
http://chaptersadmin.gather.com/ Click on "view all."

Unfortunately, they appear to have posted one novella in its entirety. Dead Man's Canyon clocks in at about 34,000 words.

Pamster
01-16-2007, 02:12 AM
I am thinking of entering, I am looking into it now and have anovel I can work on now that could easily be whipped into shape, it's a long first chapter too but I am editing it now to see if I can fix that little problem. It will be interesting to see how this works out won't it? :)