Thursday, October 09, 2008

My Son-in-law, the Author

My son-in-law Simon Forward (isn't that just the most delicious English name you ever heard) is an author and is participating in a new program created by the publishers Harper Collins. I'm going to let my daughter Zoe tell you about it. I hope you'll take time to participate. I love Simon's writing. Even though science-fiction/fantasy isn't my genre of choice, I just adore his elegantly crafted prose!

Hi, this is Zoe. Anyway, Harper Collins came up with a brilliant way to deal with slush piles: create an online community and get them to do the reading for you! Only on its third month, over 600 manuscripts (some complete, some partial, all at least 10000 words) have been posted to the website at The community grows every day, and there is a lively forum in addition to the books. To participate, simply go to the website and register (it's easy, most of the info requested is optional). From there, you can upload your own manuscript or simply browse around and read other's works. In order to cast your "vote" for your favorite books, click on the "back the book" button - this puts the book on your bookshelf. You can have five books on your bookshelf at any time, but if you choose to rotate the books on your shelf to give support for newer items, the vote is not subtracted from any book you remove. You can also put books on your watch list to read later. The more books you read and put on your shelf, the higher your reader ranking. The big list at the top of the page is the editor's list. The top five books on this list at the end of each month get read by the editors at Harper Collins. The author gets a full critique - and, we hope, contracts may be offered! The editor's list will not contain any books which have already been read by the editors, so you will see a slight difference between the editor's list and the list of most popular books. You can sort any list by genre and immediately find the top choices of your preferred kind of book.

At the time of this writing, I am very proud that Simon's manuscript, Evil Unltd (TM), has made it to #5 on the editor's list after less than 4 weeks on the site. Now all he has to do is maintain his position in the top 5 and he will have the opportunity to impress the HC editors. It's been a very positive experience for him, as he has made many new friends amongst the other authors on the forum, and he has received excellent comments from his readers. If you have at least 10000 words of the Great American Novel, or at least the Great American Short Story, I would recommend you check out the site. And if you don't mind reading on the computer, I would urge you to check out the hot new talent (including my husband).

Okay, Elaine again. Zoe's nice and polite. Me, I just want you to read Simon's work and put it on your bookshelf!!!! He's a great guy and a good writer and I'd like to see him do well!

1 comment:

TuTu's Bliss said...

Thank you! I need to check this out, Jen