Wednesday, August 28, 2013

No Names, No Jackets - What is It?

I took a week's vacation to the Midwest and have been digging out since getting back last Sunday. Hopefully, no one missed me!

Last year, I blogged about Page99Test, a website where writers can get feedback on page 99 of their novel. I recently discovered what appeared to be a similar site called No Names, No Jackets.  Using information supplied on their FAQ, I've tried to distill the essence of the site below (and in the process, discovered No Names, No Jackets is quite different from Page99Test).

No Names, No Jackets (3NJ) describes itself as a "blind taste test for books, backed by a StumbleUpon-style lucky dip system and a total and deliberate lack of star ratings, likes, and reviews." 3NJ allows readers to browse chapters from random books and follow updates by RSS. The site is currently free to use and to submit to, but may turn to a fee-based system for submissions to cover the costs of hosting/time.

To submit a chapter of your work to 3NJ, you first need to register. Once you've registered and logged in, choose a chapter to represent your story. On the new entry page, fill in the details and paste your text. Then select the genre(s) you think it fits in.  And finally, provide a source link to the URL of a page where readers can find your book and its author. 3NJ allows you to preview your submission before finalizing and submitting.

It sounds easy, and I plan on submitting a chapter once the second edition of Crimson & Cream is finished. The million-dollar question is how large of a reader base can 3NJ amass? If it catches on, it could prove to be a great showcase for indie authors.

Author Update: While I was traveling, my editor was cranking away on the second edition of Crimson & Cream. I've fallen a few chapters behind her, but am editing at a steady pace and currently working on Chapter 8. So far, my biggest issues have been inadvertent head-hopping (POV-switching), excessive info dumps, and purple prose. I'm also focusing on improving the immediacy and immersion of my writing and fleshing out the supporting characters (among many other things). I hope to finish the Crimson & Cream edits while she's working on Mirrors & Mist, volume two of the Oxbow Kingdom Trilogy.

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