This post is a part of Thoughts By J’s #BloggersGivingBack Christmas gift, where we share tips regarding books, blogging and the publishing industry. Make sure you don’t miss out on the Christmas Giveaway!
Don’t have the cash for multiple books each week? Do you want to publish your writing and gain feedback through untraditional methods? Well guess what? I’ve been there, done that. I was once in that very same situation when I was younger (although I’m still young ok), where I just didn’t have the money to buy books each week. I was also an ambitious writer, even though I’ve never finished a WIP. Yeah, I know I know…I couldn’t stick it out till the end.
Well today is your lucky day because I’m going to share with you the ways I got around the money and publishing problem when I was younger. Legally, of course.
HALP! I want to read but I don’t have the kaching!
Most of us bookworms are not rich, so purchasing books on a weekly basis is not feasible to everyone. Especially for me when I was 13 years old. But, I am a reader, and I couldn’t go a week without reading anything. So aside from borrowing a book from the library, I used to explore around online because the Internet was still quite new. Remember dial-up guys? Yeah, that existed not too long ago.
During the beginning of my high school days, I stumbled upon this website called ‘Quizilla‘, where people just like you and me wrote stories and made quizzes for each other. It had a wonderful community of writers, and I managed to make a lot of friends on that website. Quizilla was my first forage into the writing world, and to my surprise, my writing was pretty popular with the crowds.
So I just checked and Quizilla closed down two months ago..ha!
But moving on…due to multiple plagiarism dramas, a lot of my writer friends and I moved to FictionPress. You might have heard of this place before as I’ve mentioned it a few times throughout the year. FictionPress is the place where I read Sarah J. Maas’s first draft of Throne of Glass, but back then it was called Queen of Glass and had over 100 or so chapters. It was epic and till this day the best thing I’ve ever read by a (then) unpublished author.
I still spend a lot of time on FictionPress when I can’t be bothered picking up a book. There are thousands of authors on there and if you dig hard enough, there are some absolutely wonderful stories that I can truly say are better than a lot of the published work in bookstores these days. And yes, I did publish some of my writing on there as well.
FanFiction.net is the sister website to FictionPress. If you’re more of a fanfiction reader, then you wouldn’t be disappointed on here! If you’ve read Fangirl, then you’ll realise that, FanFixx, the website Cath posts her stories on is probably based on FanFiction.net. Fandom galore guys – if you ship someone that’s not canon, there’s probably a story just for you.
As the plagiarism plague passed over FictionPress as well, many well-known authors moved onto Live Journal and created a community called Plagiarism Haven. The authors there have since gone their separate ways, but you can still find many of them posting their stories on their own personal journals. And let me tell you, these are some of the best stories I’ve had the pleasure of reading online. All the cliches you see in books nowadays? They were tackled by these authors years ago and they did the cliches justice. None of this insta-love BS.
While I’ve never used Wattpad before, I’ve heard that a lot of writers and readers use that website as well.Wattpad is also used by millions of writers/readers, and you can access it through an app!
So that’s my roundup of places that I personally visit when I’m sick of holding a book. Have you guys visited any of these websites? Do you know any other websites with the same functions?
I’m a writer and I want to publish my stuff online for free. Halp!
Are you ready to show your personal writing to strangers? Do you seek feedback from anonymous people? Do you want to publish your work and see where it takes you?
If you answered yes to any of that, then hopefully this section will help you!
- Live Journal
These aforementioned websites are not just for readers, but for authors just like yourself. I’ve noticed that a lot of the popular authors that I used to read on these websites have actually gone on to publish their work (yay!!) both traditionally and through self-publishing.
Take Sarah J. Maas for example. She had a HUGE following on FictionPress, and by the time she took her writing off the website to find a publishing house, Sarah had already made a name for herself. I was one of her fans and had preordered her book once it became available. These writing platforms can provide a great foundation for you to write your first draft, publish it and receive feedback from your readers. They are also marketing platforms, and similar to Youtube stars publishing their own book, these can be utilised to begin your own publishing career and establish an early following.
In 2011, aspiring YA writer Brittany Geragotelis utilised Wattpad to publish her hugely popular novel, Life’s a Witch. Harper Childrens was actually in talks of publishing the book, but eventually dropped it. Brittany decided to publish her story on Wattpad instead, garnering a huge following, and it is now considered one of the most popular works on the website, amassing millions of hits weekly.
If you’re not keen on using one of these publishing platforms, you can even start your own website specifically for writing. Yes you read right. Take the plunge and publish your work through a blog.
Sarah J. Maas and bestie Susan Dennard actually write a story together on Tumblr and share it with their readers for free. The series is called The Starkillers Cycle, and it’s amazing of course. It’s very similar to The Starbound Trilogy, but with more mature themes.
There we have it! I hope this post has helped somewhat, regardless of whether you’re a reader, writer or just starting out!
Let us know what YOU’D like us to feature in our next Christmas post. We may be struggling for ideas…
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