Input wanted on how to structure an expanded Critters

Post here if you're looking for assistance with a project.
  • Ads

Re: Input wanted on how to structure an expanded Critters

Postby aburt » Sun Jan 23, 2011 12:14 am

crit25246 wrote:
Greg Hullender wrote:Finally, there's the question of whether there ought to be higher priorities for Critters itself. The option to submit PDF instead of text would be real, real nice. (I suspect 90% of critters can read PDF today, and I might be willing to forgo feedback from those who can't.)


I'd like to second this idea. In particular, I think that stories with more than a couple of sections in italics are hard to read in plain text (marked by underscores or equivalent).
(Sorry that I don't yet have anything to add re the main thrust of this thread -- I just joined Critters a couple of weeks ago and have been slowly browsing through the various sections and forums.)


I do keep thinking about it, and technically one could do it today, sort of. The issues are:

1) Not everyone can (or wants to) read PDFs. For example, some folks are now reading mss. on their ebook readers, thus in .epub or .mobi formats. I don't see a problem (per se) adding PDFs to that list, but it doesn't address the other issues:

2) Readers still need to do critiques, and PDF (also mobi/epub/etc.) have the drawback that you generally can't insert comments as easily as in a text file. (And with Critters doing the creation of the ebook files, it's entirely possible the original author can't even read .mobi/epub files, or simply won't want to.) So the current situation with epub/mobi files is that reviewers are still required to send back a plain text file. Also because:

3) Critters software minions need to count the words the reviewer added, for credit purposes. (Trust me, if you don't count them, people slide through itty bitty critiques and the whole system falls apart.) Figuring out which are the "quoted" words from the original and which are the reviewers own is mostly straightforward with plain text and ">line..." quoting patterns, but rather tricker with pdf or ebook files. So for that reason alone I don't see Critters taking non-text critiques any time soon.

But it could be possible for authors to submit PDFs in addition to the plain text ms. files - indeed, someone could post a PDF of their work on a site with a link inside the plain text version of it, using the existing submission form. But critiques would have to come back in text still. Something someone could play with, anyway...
User avatar
aburt
Name: Andrew Burt
Tree
 
Posts: 311
Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2009 4:59 am

Re: Input wanted on how to structure an expanded Critters

Postby crit24668 » Sat Apr 30, 2011 3:01 am

A. Burt,

How ambitious are you? I just posted this on Discussions>Writing Tools> Collaborative forum:
The Publishing industry is going through a crisis right now. Every crisis offers opportunity. Legacy publishing only pays the author about 18% of the cost of a published book. Publishers have been taking advantage of authors for years. Now they are pulling back and only publishing known writers. That leaves new and midlist writers in the cold but it also stagnates the industry. No one wins.

Writers can wait and see what happens. Eventually the system will work its way out, probably to our disadvantage...again. Or we can take the bull by the horns, creating a system, ourselves, that works for us.

My idea was to work under the guild model which is similar to the way lawyers work. Experienced lawyers create a law office. They become the senior partners. They then recruit lawyer who just passed their Bar Exam and train them. Lawyers make some money from the cases they try, but most of the money goes toward the law firm and is distributed between the lawyers. The senior partner gets a greater percentage than the lower partners and apprentices but everyone gets a paycheck every month even though the average lawyer only tries about 1-2 cases a year.

Authors could work with a similar structure. Let's say 12 writers with similar style form a guild. They critique each others work and share advice and encouragement. When they vote to elevate a novel, pool their resources to hire an editor, book artist, etc. Self publish the book to Amazon but the proceeds go to the group in general. The author is then paid the lion's share of the proceeds but some of the money is kept to reimburse the other authors who invested and to create a pool of money for the next writer. Eventually the group can hire a full time editor, and publicist. They work to create a web presence for everyone in the group.

As the group becomes more skilled and has more publicity, readers come to the collective website for new books. Eventually there is a steady income for all the authors from everyone's published books. They then work toward purchasing their own hard copy publishing equipment or contracting with a publisher.

Eventually the initial members become financially stable enough and savvy enough to seek new writers. These writers and coached and helped until they rise to the level of the older writers. They are supported by the older writers until they get there but then a portion of their book sales goes to the older writers in the group, completing the cycle.

The writers are in charge. They publish quality literature. The publisher, editor, web developer are consultants. Every wins.

I am very interested in starting such a group and in discussing similar possibilities and ideas.


It occurred to me that Critters is in a unique position to do more than just critique. You have a large number of budding writers. You could become a force, yourself, to change the way the publishing industry works.
T. P. Alexanders
"De air is de air, what can be done?"
User avatar
crit24668
Name: T'Pau
Sprout
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 4:41 pm
Location: State of Jefferson, USA

Re: Input wanted on how to structure an expanded Critters

Postby aburt » Sat Apr 30, 2011 11:23 pm

The collaborative group idea is interesting, indeed.

I'm actually working right now on setting up a company to help authors get works converted to ebook form, either from manuscript form or print editions that are now out of print. (Scanning, OCRing, correcting errors, formatting for ebook forms [Kindle store, Smashwords, epubs & mobis for direct sales, and so on], doing covers, uploading to distribution channels, payment collection, etc. Basically any task people need done a la carte, or all of it end to end. We've already got former SFWA president Norman Spinrad signed up and some others, before we've even made an announcement, which is a good sign. So watch for an announcement on that.)

So that could be a useful component to an idea like you're describing. I'll think about it more, and how it might be a fit for Critters.
User avatar
aburt
Name: Andrew Burt
Tree
 
Posts: 311
Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2009 4:59 am

Re: Input wanted on how to structure an expanded Critters

Postby crit24668 » Sun May 01, 2011 3:33 am

A. Burt,

I can't wait to hear more about what you have up your sleeve.

TP
T. P. Alexanders
"De air is de air, what can be done?"
User avatar
crit24668
Name: T'Pau
Sprout
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 4:41 pm
Location: State of Jefferson, USA

  • Ads
Previous

Return to Assistance Wanted

cron