Wednesday, October 12, 2011

100 sites for fiction writers: #66 - Textnovel

This is an ongoing series looking at websites that can be of help to fiction writers with their craft and career.


Textnovel is different from any site I've run across. It allows writers to write and publish through their cell phones. One can also write and publish with Textnovel through a Web browser, text messaging and e-mails.
The reading audience for this site are those who enjoy reading fiction through their cell phones, though you can also read stories online.

It does not cost anything to join the site. Also, writers can't charge for their writing, though there are pluses to joining and writing on Textnovel.

This site has an annual contest, with the best novel picked by an editorial advisory board. The winner as chosen by the board takes home $1,000. The runner-up is chosen by the site's readers, and he or she wins $500. Another bonus is that the overall winners improve their chances at signing a publishing contract or a contract with a literary agent.

The 2008 winner, Shannon Delany, is known to have signed publishing deal with St. Martin's.

Now, just a word of warning. Such a site and contest are not for everyone. I freely admit this. Personally, I'm not all that interested. But lots of writers are interested, which is one of the reasons I include it on this list; that plus the fact Textnovel is quite the unique site. But make sure you read the details in the fine print of the Contest Rules before you find yourself locked into something you don't want. I'm not suggesting there is anything fishy with these rules, but after giving them a quick look, there are a few items that some might not appreciate (such as Textnovel being given the right to act as your exclusive literary agent). Let me repeat: I see nothing dishonest here, but always, always, always read the fine print of any contract and make sure you know what you're getting yourself in for.

Textnovel is definitely different, and it provides the potential for a unique route to publishing success. As I said, it might not be right for everyone, but I'm sure there are those who will love it.

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