Inkpop Blog

Write, Read, Connect

Welcome to inkpop, the new voice in teen publishing!

Posted by inkpop on September 28, 2009

How can you not feel inspired by J.K. Rowling’s and Meg Cabot’s experiences of turning rejection into triumph?

Rowling, the first billion-dollar author, was rejected by nine publishers before her debut Harry Potter novel was released in 1997. Cabot, author of some 50 books including the Princess Diaries, keeps a postal bag full of rejection letters as a trophy for persistence. After three years of diligently mailing query letters just to find an agent, in 1998, her first book, Where Roses Grow Wild, was published.

Before her work was finally noticed by the publishing industry, there’s no telling how many slush piles (publishing houses’ stacks of unsolicited submissions) Cabot’s work sat atop virtually untouched and ignored.

So what does all this “fighting the good fight” stuff have to do with inkpop?

inkpop aims to change the old way of doing things. Far too often in the traditional publishing system, aspiring authors mail their manuscripts to agents and book publishers only to wait in anticipation to hear something … anything. Unfortunately, very few blind submissions actually get read because book publishers are overloaded with submissions. Landing an agent can significantly increase your chances of getting published, but it’s not a guaranteed road to success.

inkpop throws the slush-pile system out the window, focusing instead on what the community thinks. Which is not to say that inkpop makes book publishing an easy-breezy process — there’s no such thing. inkpop still believes in the Talent Bottom Line — that publishable works must be good works — inkpop just makes the submission process more accessible.

In a nutshell, here’s how inkpop works:

• Authors register as inkpop members by creating a profile and uploading their writing project(s). By posting their work on inkpop, authors are inviting the world to read their work. (As a protective measure, members shouldn’t use their real names — they use cool aliases.)

• Other inkpop members, who must also register and create a profile, read the authors’ projects, submit constructive comments about the work, and cast their Picks (essentially votes) for their favorite projects on the site. The feedback-generating members are incredibly important contributors in the inkpop community because they are the forces that drive projects to the Top Picks chart. The members who are the pioneers in spotting the best works become inkpop’s Top Trendsetters.

• At the end of each month, inkpop’s Editorial Board — a team of HarperCollins editors — reads Top Picks, which are the five most popular projects on the site. The Editorial Board will provide additional feedback for the authors of the Top Picks and will be on the lookout for finding publishable works. The best inkpop writers have the potential to land every author’s dream: a publishing contract.

All in all, talent development is a collaborative process at inkpop. Readers are talent scouts and critics who become community leaders in their search for standout projects. In turn, writers get to load up on valuable feedback from a target audience and make their projects the very best they can be.

HERE’S WHAT WE’RE LOOKING FOR:

• High-quality writing (fiction and nonfiction) for a teen audience, written by teen authors and adult authors.

• Books, short stories, personal essays, and poetry.

• Original stories, compelling narratives, fresh voices.

Whether you’re an up-and-coming writer, an ambitious literary critic, or a fan of teen lit who just wants to peruse the site, we welcome you to the inkpop community. Taking a nod from Meg Cabot, you’ve got nothing to lose … in fact, you might help discover the next big things in teen lit in the process.

One Response to “Welcome to inkpop, the new voice in teen publishing!”

  1. Savhanna George said

    I am absolutly in love with writing! My favorite thing to do is find an excelent climbing tree with a small nook and take a pen, paper or my laptop and write, or read. I am currently working on my story that I hope will evolve into a novella or novel, “Blood and Roses”. I am afraid I have hit a slight bump in the road though, for my computer won’t let me type on microsoft, but will finish it somehow. I really need someone to read my work. I am a 14 years of age dreamer. I thank you.

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