I needed advice, I needed help and I trawled the internet like a fisherman casting his net into the ocean of the online world, hoping every haul would bring me something useful.
There is so much information out there you can end up feeling as if you are on a very fast merry-go-round that makes your head spin, and ache at the same time.
After a week or so of looking I had joined two online communities for writers which I hoped would give me an insight to what I needed to do to take my manuscript to the next stage.
The first web site I joined was www.authonony.com .This is run by the publishers Harper Collins and is a gate way to them for new authors. They don’t take in my new submissions and you have to use this portal if you are unpublished, and looking for a publishing house. It’s a very competitive website. You can upload your manuscript and ask others members to read, and then rate it. The more people who give you a positive rating the more you move up the ladder. The hope being that whoever ends up at the top will get noticed Harper Collins, and are then taken on.
You can get and give feedback, and they have a community of fellow new (and some published) authors who you can talk to. The one drawback I found is that most people are happy to give you a positive feedback as long as you do the same to them. I got the impression that a lot of people on this site just wanted to get up the ladder as quickly as possible, and would say anything positive to get it. I started to read some manuscripts that had been flooded with positive responses, but were just a pile of dribble. No one seemed to give any negative feedback because they were too scared you would do the same to them.
Negative feedback was what I needed. I needed somebody to tell me the truth of why I kept getting rejected by agents!
The second site I joined was www.createspace.com .This is part of the Amazon group and again had an online community. Most of the users were American and I found them to be more truthful with their answers which was very refreshing. Create space run a yearly competition for unpublished authors which I entered. It was during the entry period in which you still had the chance to edit you manuscript that I started to learn where I was going wrong. It was also the point where I started to make major changes to my story, and where I learnt another important lesson.
That lesson is?
Well I will save that for Friday’s blog.