After having joined a particular writers’ community online a couple of months ago, I read about a website called Webook.com. Others in the community had posted excerpts from their manuscripts on Webook.com, a site with sort of a contest atmosphere. Always intrigued by discovering fellow writers out there in cyberspace, I checked out the site.
One of the major purposes of the site is to help writers and agents connect. One of those ways is through the “contest” portion of the site. That starts with something called PageToFame where writers can anonymously post the first page of their manuscript and receive ratings (1 to 5, 5 being “heavenly” ;)) from anonymous readers. If your page receives high enough ratings, it advances to the next round. In the second round, you post the first five pages of your manuscript. The third round, if you survive, calls for 50 pages. Now, dear reader, I haven’t read the FAQs completely, so hopefully I have all of this right. Anyway, no sense in focusing on Round 2 when you don’t know if you’ll survive Round 1. 😀
When a work is elevated, the site claims that an industry professional (i.e. agent) is one of the readers and will comment on the work. I guess that makes it worth the $3 to submit. 😉 I’m not sure how much time busy agents have to devote to such a thing, but it’s a unique avenue of connection between pro and writer. Sort of an electronic pitch session.
I try to rate others’ works on PageToFame on a daily basis. The writing seems to run the gammet from raw beginner to polished writer. Considering that those same writers are also the raters, no surprise that the ratings vary wildly from reader to reader.
So I thought why not dive in with my own page. Then I thought why not make it more interesting to me personally by pitting my two favorite characters against each other in my own private first-page duel? So I submitted the first page of Jack Mallory and The Prodigal along with Ketch and The Driver’s Wife. May the best man win! 😉
I’m not sure how many ratings are required before mathmatical decisions elevate a page. Guess I’ll find out.
After the first few days, TDW has five ratings, ranging for 2 to 5. That gives you a little sample of the wide range of readers’ tastes out there. TP has received two ratings so far, both fours. So in percentages, Jack leads Ketch so far. 😉
My one wish for the site is that the categories could be more defined. For example, it stands to reason that people who read historical fiction will tend to give what I would think is a more accurate read on where your page really stands within its genre. I know as just such a reader, my interest is raised when I see a page that I’m rating is historical fiction compared to, say, romance or young adult. Ah, well. No science is exact, is it? I’ll just sit back and enjoy the duel between my lads. 🙂