What is AUTHORS.me? A Guide to What We Do & Why We Do It

So what, exactly, is AUTHORS.me?

AUTHORS.me is an online platform that connects writers to publishers and agents seeking new content. We accomplish this through technology which streamlines and standardizes submissions. Our platform lets your work shine. Through intelligent machine learning,  we deliver efficient, accurate editorial snapshots to agents and publisher who are likely to be a good fit. The whole platform is built to help eliminate the guess work of the traditional query process without losing the valuable information that is conveyed in an ideal query letter. We connect writers to publishers and agents by using technology to simplify the whole process; so that editors and agents can do what they do best and technology can handle the rest.

Let’s start off by addressing what it is AUTHORS.me does and what it is we definitely do NOT do.

We DO:

Simplify Submissions & Queries

If you’ve ever written a query letter—or a cover letter or resume for that matter—you know just how exciting the idea of a “streamlined submission” is for writers. For kicks, Google “Query Letter template.” I’ll wait.

Did you catch that? 311,000 results. Literally thousands of options and opinions on what the “perfect” query is. And it’s all completely subjective. Some talk about making sure to personalize. Others mention describing your audience while others leave that out and just want to know more about your qualifications. With all of this guesswork, it’s easy to understand how discouraged writers, publishers, and agents can get with this part of the process.

But with our platform, that’s gone. If you complete every field for your project and writer details, and complete it with thought, consideration and detail, you will not have missed anything. Even better, you won’t have added too much. We deliver the information  in such an easy-to-read format that our partners know just where to send their eyes for the details they care about. Yes, it will take time. But it’s time well spent. It’s your virtual pitch for why an editor or agent should invest thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours into you and your book, and why they should want to. Why they should beg to spend that money on you.

Level the Playing Field

How often have you heard a story about a how someone met their agent because of a cousin or a friend? It can sometimes feel like the only way to get published is to know someone in publishing, regardless of your talent or work ethic. But through our platform, the work is allowed to shine, and the agents and publishers are able to evaluate not just on the subjective word of a trusted friend, but by objective, empirical information we deliver on the suitability of your manuscript to their needs (which, by the way, they tell us).

We Do NOT:

Publish your Book

AUTHORS.me is not a publisher, plain and simple. We work with publishers, and we like them very much…we just aren’t one of them.

Use, Sell, or Distribute your Book

AUTHORS.me has never and will never take our authors’ content and sell it, give it away or even show it to anyone who did not have permission to view it  or was not a publisher or agent we work with. Likewise, we have no interest in working with anyone who has a less than stellar reputation. We’ve actually denied account requests by agents and publishers who do not have upstanding reputations, which means we’ve turned down money. We take copyright and intellectual property very seriously (more on that here) and would never jeopardize that integrity. The only people who can view your work are people with logins, and no other writer can view your work. The site is secure and encrypted.

Promise you a book deal

This might sound harsh, but it’s the reality of it. We’re not going to say we guarantee you any kind of deal or attention, because we work with publishers and agents who are making decisions about their business. We can’t—and wouldn’t venture to—make those decisions for them. What we’re interested in doing is giving everyone involved the tools and data they need to make good, efficient  decisions for their business.

 

“So that’s what you do, but why do you do it?”

 

 

The traditional submissions process is a pretty fraught ordeal. Every year, 2 million people submit proposals to agents and publishers, trying to make the case for their book. Every year, about 350,000 trade books are published. Is that difference because there is a lack of quality, or because the editors, agents and scouts finding the projects are finite? The truth is probably somewhere in the middle, but we saw the latter as a very solvable problem. We talked with acquisitions editors, agents, and publishers, and asked them what they loved about their jobs and what they wished they could change. Almost universally, they loved the stories, and the process of bringing a book to life, but hated the drudgery that can come along with finding those stories.

 

“So much of what is sent to me just isn’t right. I want trade romance, not sci-fi mystery. I feel bad, especially when it’s really good stuff, but it’s just not right for me.”

“We get proposals in all shapes and sizes. Some have the things we want, but so many just have the manuscript or are missing a big chunk of vital information. And even figuring out what is missing takes time. When you need to review 100 submissions a week, seemingly little things like  the wrong subject line or a missing CV will get a project rejected before it’s read. There just isn’t enough time.”

 

We heard concerns like these and saw two very solvable problems: the need for standardized submissions that shows the publisher and agents the things they need in addition to the manuscript, and a way to easily navigate through submissions. So, we built just that.

Reinvigorating Tradition

In addition to this, we have developed a proprietary technology that looks beyond genre and word count to match elements of your manuscript with the publisher who is most likely to make it a success. Our technology is able to review entire manuscripts to look at story arc, character development, scene location, and more to further showcase manuscripts that might otherwise not make it past the 2-sentence hook. This has resulted in an acceptance rate that is almost 10 times faster than the traditional model of an email sent into the ether, perhaps never to return. And we’re talking about first-time authors for the most part!

About fifteen years ago, the self-publishing movement started to answer the call of authors frustrated with the traditional publishing industry. Some self-published authors have thrived in that environment, but it’s not for everyone. To be a successful self-published author, you not only have to have a great book, but you have to have business acumen, design and sales experience, money to pay an editor or a knowledge of copyediting and proofreading, experience with events planning, marketing, distribution, and more. In short, you have to be either: a superhero, have deep enough pockets to hire someone every step of the way, or be really, really lucky. It’s not a bad thing to admit you need help and the benefit of professional expertise to make your book happen. It’s logical. And the publishers and agents are in the same boat. They need you, too. And they want to find you. And we want to help.  

The 12 Apps You Need to Increase Productivty

https-%2F%2Fcdn.evbuc.com%2Fimages%2F20775902%2F174572866457%2F1%2ForiginalAUTHORS.me teams up with Womens Media Group in New York City to swap the best productivity tips

One of the few things we all have in common is limited time. No matter who you are, what you do or where you go, we all only still only get the same 24 hours per day–and some of that is hopefully spent sleeping.  My time was well-spent in New York last week when AUTHORS.me teamed up with the local Womens Media Group for Appy Hour: Productivity Edition for a night of networking and app sharing–and we want to share them with you! We compiled the 12 apps that were universally agreed to be essential for productivity, and included another 30+ that were crowd favorites across different modes. 

I could not believe the amazing conversations we had! For one night only, a delightfully diverse group of publishing professionals and industry folk descended upon the downtown manhattan space in pursuit of the same thing: the hope to find the next app or tool for their arsenal in the battle against time and its attention-diverting minions. 

Together, we shared the tools that make bits of our chaotic lives a little more manageable, from email and project management tools to web conferences and list making apps and more. This list of apps curated by publishing and tech professionals will help you get everything in order.

Over a veritable (but reputable) technological bacchanalia and loads of conversations, we learned about new apps and some member favorites that I just could not wait to share.

Up first I’ve compiled a list of the Favorite Apps that those in attendance mentioned. At the bottom of the page you’ll find the full selection of apps and tools mentioned throughout the evening. And if I’ve missed one of your favorite apps, please share!

Since the common theme at the end was that it was such a “fun and informative event,” we’ll be doing a follow-up sometime soon so stay tuned.

EVENT PHOTOS

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FAVORITE APPS

Zoom — the Number One web conferencing app is the top dog for a reason. Powerful (paid) tool featuring full cloud-based collaboration tools, screen sharing, HD streaming, dial-in options and more. 

Doodle  — allows you to send attendees a poll of what times you’re free to eliminate all the usual back and forth.

Sococo — complete with virtual “rooms,” your remote team members can be in one place and visualized, complete with screen sharing and options for voice, audio, and video sharing.

 Trello — a visual project management tool that uses cards to organize projects. “Trello’s boards, lists and cards enable your whole team to prioritize projects in a fun, flexible, and rewarding way.”

Asana — a great tool to use for collaborative projects or solo ones. Includes timelines, notes, tags, categories, ability to upload files and various third party app integrations. 

 Flow — Similar to Asana, flow is a highly organized, visual took optimized for collaboration. “Flow is a team task manager that makes it easy to delegate tasks, prioritize to-do lists, and make sure nothing gets missed.”

Evernote — Workhorse note keeping. Has multiple levels of use (paid and free) that allow for in-depth note taking including images, to-do lists and more. 

Google’s Keep — If you use other Google products often, then this is the app for you. Includes a Chrome extension (of course!)

Cozi — Cozi is also a great way to share notes, lists, and calendars with family (e.g., shared grocery list).

Google’s Inbox —  allows you to easily organize and group messages, as well as schedule reminders.

MixMax  — allows you to schedule emails to be sent later, to see when your messages are opened, and to include polls and more within your message.

Gmelius — fully customize the look of your inbox to help you increase productivity and efficiency. Schedule emails, take notes, avoid phishing and more with this gmail extension.  

Honorable Mentions