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Authonomy: A reaction to my selection

September 5, 2008


So I had a interesting reaction to my Authonomy selection of Red Sky Dawning.

You can find my original selection post here if you care to read it.

Here is the comment that was left and sparked this particular post.

I’m curious how you selected ‘Red Sky Dawning’.

I’ve read the start of it (and it is complete on the site – it says in the book details) and it’s very readable, but it is ranked 319th on the site, is on no one’s bookshelf, and is quite near the bottom of the chart.

Perhaps you should have chosen a book from the top twenty, to get an idea of the sort of novel that readers on Authonomy actually vote for?

Lexi
Her web site:
Lexi Revellian

Initially I responded to her comment by leaving a answer on the same post but I still keep running her comment around and around in my head so to clear the brain cells I’ve decided to turn it into a blog post. So here in more detail is my response:

I’m curious how you selected ‘Red Sky Dawning’: I logged on and spent time looking around the site. I briefly glanced at the book chart and editor’s desk on the front page but wanted to find something to read off the beaten path in a genre(s) that appealed to me. Pretty plain and simple if you ask me. So off I went to explore reading selections.

I’ve read the start of it (and it is complete on the site – it says in the book details) and it’s very readable, but it is ranked 319th on the site, is on no one’s bookshelf, and is quite near the bottom of the chart. It’s a complete book. You’re right I messed up there and missed that detail. It is a complete book ~ yeah! That means if I really like I won’t be left wondering about the middle and end. Ranking/Near the bottom of the chart ~ I saw it, noticed that it had moved down from it’s previous place but that didn’t sway my decision. So others don’t like it that doesn’t mean that I won’t. Not on anyone else’s book shelf ~ once again didn’t sway me. I mean I don’t have anything to loose except the time I’m investing to read. It’s not costing me anything. I’m not throwing away any money. I don’t like it I move on.

Perhaps you should have chosen a book from the top twenty, to get an idea of the sort of novel that readers on Authonomy actually vote for?  Perhaps I should have but then again perhaps not. I’m not a lemming. I’m a reasonably intelligent adult who can make decisions for herself. I’ve been doing so for quite a number of years now with a good success rate. I’m not necessarily going to chose a book just because everyone else has. Nor add it to my bookshelf just because everyone else has. BTW – I’m still reading and haven’t actually added this book to my bookshelf. Maybe it’ll never get there but then again it just might. If everyone read what everyone was reading what happens to those who take the risk of putting their manuscript out there? Authors work hard at their craft. If they’re willing to put their work out there why not give them the shot they might deserve?

BTW ~ Lexi is a published author and her books rank 4th, 33rd and 18th on the Authonomy site.

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7 Comments
  1. Tim permalink
    September 5, 2008 9:29 pm

    Hi Marcia. Just thought you ought to know Lexi isn’t a published author. Yet.

  2. September 6, 2008 5:18 am

    That’s really interesting. Why would this person care what you’ve selected? Even if her’s are higher ranked, what difference does it make? I agree with you picking what appeals to you. If her real question is “Why didn’t you pick me?”, it wasn’t personal. If she wanted you to look at her writing, wouldn’t have been better to be straight forward and just ask?

  3. LeeH permalink
    September 6, 2008 8:38 am

    I wonder how all the top-ranked manuscripts got to the top of the rankings on Authonomy? Probably by people reading them then ranking them. Could it be this one hasn’t been read as much, hasn’t been given a chance?

    I find Lexi’s response a bit odd. It’s as if she said you should have read Stephanie Meyer’s “Twilight” (currently #3 at Amazon) instead of Bruce Bethke’s “Headcrash” (currently at #538,131) just because “Twilight” is being gobbled up by every teenage girl in the country while “Headcrash” is only purchased by us old scifi geeks to replace the copies we’ve worn out from re-reading them too many times. Popularity is not an indicator of how well a book is written or how much any given reader will enjoy the book (take “The DaVinci Code” for example — wildly popular book from a guy who could barely write his way out of a paper bag.)

    This isn’t to disparage Stephanie Meyer (or Lexi, with her high rankings on Authonomy, for that matter). Sometimes a book earns high rankings through quality writing and storytelling (they’re not the same thing, believe me…again, look at Dan Brown, who in spite of what I consider terrible writing skills can spin a yarn with the best of them). It’s equally true, though, that sometimes a well-written, can’t-put-it-down story languishes in the slushpile.

  4. September 6, 2008 10:09 am

    Hi Tim~

    Thank you for correcting me. I thought I saw something to that effect on her website. I apologize for the error.

  5. September 6, 2008 3:52 pm

    Hi Jenn & Lee~
    Thanks for stopping by. While I find it odd that Lexi questioned my selection it hasn’t swayed me to change my choice to something else. Actually I intend to finish Red Sky Dawning. Then read something either on the editor’s desk or topping the charts and, to be fair, it will be something from similar genre(s). We’ll see which I like better.

  6. September 6, 2008 4:55 pm

    Marcia – your post sounds like a fair rebuttal to me! I’m not interested in working with Authonomy, since I don’t like to read books online.

  7. September 6, 2008 11:53 pm

    Hi Dawn~
    Thanks for stopping by today. I’ll admit that reading online is a bit of a drawback and has slowed me down somewhat. I’m hoping as the site moves out the beta stage that books will become downloadable in PDF format. I’m going to print a couple of chapters tomorrow and see if that makes a difference. Also, I’m trying to squeeze my Authonomy reading in between chapters in my current paper book.

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