Amazon launches Write On by Kindle

Amazon launches Write On by Kindle

Generally, I write alone.

That’s not just on this blog, when, naturally, I write mostly in stream of consciousness.

I think I can fairly say that I write quickly on here…I told myself when I started (more than five years ago), that I would average a thousand words a day, and I do that.

Even when I’ve written longer things, though, I tend to do it by myself start to finish.

However…

I can collaborate with other people, and I have found that useful and enjoyable.

My Significant Other, for example, writes a holiday parody song for work each year.

I help.🙂

That’s one of the things we can do together…moving furniture? Not so much.🙂 We always have different ideas about how to tip it and turn it and twist it.

Another time I found the collaborative process useful was when I was doing a community access TV show. We actually had writers’ meetings, where we would sort of “pitch” ideas and the other people at the table would give reactions.

Many writers have regular groups like that.

They bounce their material off a certain group of people they know, while honing it for publication.

Then there’s the internet.

That’s a great place to get honest, respectful criticism, right?😉

Well, actually, you can.

My readers are usually respectful and honest…and are super smart and insightful.

I am often helped by their comments.

When I go other places on the internet, I don’t always see that.

There’s a reason why Jimmy Kimmel can do so many “Mean Tweets” bits.

Write On by Kindle

which Amazon has just taken out of an “invitation only” mode and made it available to the general public, is going to have both valuable feedback for writers, and, well, things that may be less valuable.

Amazon calls it a “story lab”. Essentially what happens is that authors post works, and you can read them for free and make comments.

This is definitely going to be a case of “the devil is in the details”.

You can’t just compare it to

Wattpad

although that’s an obvious predecessor.

Just the fact that it is Amazon makes it different.

It’s going to attract a different audience…and that includes, undoubtedly, some mischief makers.

You can see some reactions in this

Amazon Kindle Forum announcement thread (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

The first one amused and perplexed me a bit. It talked about not wanting to be an “unpaid editor”.

Really?

I love being an unpaid editor!

Oh, that doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t ever want to be paid for editing…I think I’m pretty good at it, the few times I’ve done it. I’ve made some suggestions which I think benefited the final work.

Don’t you read something and wish you could have helped the author before the book was published…and wouldn’t you have done it for free?

I read a Kindle First book which I reviewed on Goodreads, and one element of the book really sunk its value for me. You would not have had to pay me if I’d had the “manuscript” and I could have made that suggestion…just improving the book would have been worth it!

Similarly, I’m reading one now which is really quite good…but could just use a bit of strengthening in one area.

That’s not to minimize the value of professional editors. I often figure I could do a lot of different things well…one time, if nothing went wrong.🙂 You know, be an auctioneer, for example.

I like to say, “The difference between a professional and an amateur is that the professional knows how to fix the mistakes.”🙂

Write On Kindle is a way that you can hypothetically read all you want…for free.

Well, there are only 370 science fiction works at this point, and I think most of those are short stories, so you might run out before you were sated (if that’s even possible in reading). The first one I see has 54,666 words. At the traditional 250 words a page, that’s 218 pages, roughly, so that one would be a novel.

The next one is labeled as “in progress” (the first one was complete), and is about half that.

If you are the kind of person who reads one book at a time (I usually read several), this could be a really nice literary palate  cleanser between books.

As a writer, you’d have to understand how to take the comments. Is there value for you in what they say?

You’d want to be very careful not to just accept that what people say they want is really what they want.

Some people might also just want to knock you down.

On the other hand, you could get some insight that makes your work really, well, work.😉

Remember those details I mentioned? They are here:

https://writeon.amazon.com/info?ref_=ign_d_tn_lm

The concepts here are pretty good. The author owns the story (and the cover, unless it was created by Amazon). Amazon can use it on Write On by Kindle, but can’t otherwise sell it or distribute it. The author can take it down whenever they want and sell it, if they choose.

People are supposed to be constructive…and not steal stuff.😉

I just have no idea how Amazon will enforce all that.

They have a way (on the page above) to assert a copyright…that could certainly be a problem, with plagiarism (not crediting a creator) and infringement. Some people will do it out of ignorance, some willfully.

All in all, this is another interesting experiment by Amazon. I think it may create really bonded communities…readers and/or authors will “meet” in the forums and in commenting on books, and become a community.

That will tie them to Write On by Kindle. Will it also tie them to Amazon? That’s less clear to me.

I suppose Amazon could do that by creating a section of “Previously on Write On by Kindle” books…either on WObK or Amazon.com or both. Not sure that I see that happening.

What do you think?

If you check out Write On by Kindle (and perhaps sign up for free for it), you can tell me and my readers what your experience is like by commenting on this post. Were you already using it before it became publicly available? Hopefully, we’ll hear from both readers and authors. I’d love to get the perspective of publishers and editors (both ones which use WObK and ones which don’t), too!

Amazon never stops moving…that’s one of my favorite things about the company.

 Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

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