I deleted my WeBook.com account today. For those unfamiliar with the site, WeBook.com is a website where you upload the first 250 words from your book. People then read those 250 words and vote on them. The top voted books get moved to the next stage, where they can upload 1000 words, and so on.
My problems with the site were that I’d gotten very little activity from it and erroneous feedback. I put the first 250 words from each of my three published books up. Of those, my first book got 8 votes and an approval rating of 25%; my second book got 8 votes and an approval rating of 50%; my third book got 4 votes and an approval rating of 75%.
The first reason for dropping out was that in the first month of being on the site, I rated 39 books. In return, I got 20 ratings back. My time is valuable to me. I can spend it reading or I can spend it writing. The 50% return took about 4 months to get.
The second reason was the feedback I got. Most of it was positive, but several people commented ‘incorrect grammar’ back at me. A common complaint was spelling errors, of which I know there were none. The spelling errors are presumably down to UK English spellings rather than US spellings. This is all fine, but the possibility of giving feedback was very limited. You have one line to write a comment and no way of replying to feedback.
I also got the impression that there were only authors on the site, which doesn’t help me reach more readers. I know enough writers online already.
The final reason for dropping out was the limited scope that 250 words gives. That’s a couple of paragraphs. It’s not really enough space to give an impression of a full novel. For instance, my first book starts off serious and action oriented, but after a few chapters becomes very comic. To be honest, I’d rather someone read the entire book, even if they didn’t like it.
In the six months since I began publishing, I’ve joined a number of sites (WeBook, Wattpad, Figment, etc) which are setup for authors to reach an audience. Out of those, I’m not aware of any that have led to people becoming readers of my books. Meanwhile, they are a distraction for me from writing. I think it may be better to pick one site and dedicate more time to it, than to just be enrolled in a half a dozen.
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