Frequently Asked Questions

General Membership Questions

What is TheNextBigWriter?

TheNextBigWriter is an online platform that harnesses community and crowd-sourced feedback to provide writers with the tools and information to conceive, edit, publish, and promote their novels, short stories, poems, essays, articles, books, scripts, and more. It is built for members of all writing levels, from beginner to advanced, for individual writers who want to join a community, to writing groups and classes looking for a virtual home.

TheNextBigWriter was started in 2005 and since that time has helped tens of thousands of writers publish thousands of short stories, novels, and poems.


What Can I Post?

You can post your poems, short stories, articles, novels, books, scripts and more on the site. Whatever you can dream to write can be posted as long as it conforms to some standards of decency.

Is there a cost to join?

All new users receive 7 days of free Premium Membership. No credit card or obligation is required. After 7 days, you can decide to remain a Premium Member or choose the more limited Basic Membership option. View our comparison chart to understand the membership differences.

What is the benefit of Premium Membership?

Premium Membership comes with four main benefits:

Guaranteed Feedback: Premium Members who use the site's point system are guaranteed to receive feedback.

Receive Better Feedback: Premium Members can access and read in-line reviews they receive from other members.

Join up to 10 Groups: Premium Members can join up to 10 groups versus the 1 group limit for Basic Members.

Enter Site Sponsored Contests: Only Premium Members can enter contests posted to the site. For a list of currently active contests, click here.

In addition to these benefits, Premium Members receive priority email and phone support, discounts on site-run writing classes, an ad free environment, and more. View the difference between Basic and Premium memberships.

The cost of Premium Membership is $7.95 per month, $21.95 per quarter, or $69.95 per year.

Can Anybody Join?

We welcome all writers who wish to join other writers and readers in a dynamic community. If you want to learn, meet other writers, and see what others think of your writing then this is the place for you. Our members come from all over the world and are both published authors as well as beginner writers.

We also welcome school classes, writing groups, college classes, and any other group of writers that wants to utilize the site's groups functionality. Groups can participate in the larger site or simply remain in their group.

Can anyone start a writing group?

Yes, anyone can start a writing group on the site. Once you start a writing group, you can invite other people to join, assign other moderators, and have complete control over how the group runs and operates. This feature can be used by middle school, high school, and college classes, offline writing groups, and other assemblages of writers.

It is free to create and join one writing group. Premium Members can create or join up to 10 writing groups.

What is the ReviewBoost System?

The ReviewBoost system is a combination of the site's point system and its iComment in-line reviewing tool. Combined, they offer a powerful way to receive crowd-sourced feedback and editing on your novels, short stories, articles, scripts, and more. It can cost upwards of $5,000 to have a novel professionally edited. ReviewBoost offers another alternative in which the power of a community-based, crowd sourced editing platform produces a better novel for much less. Developed over the past eight years, ReviewBoost is a tool that has helped launch hundreds of books, some of which have sold tens of thousands of copies on and other booksellers.

What is the points system? How does it work and why would I want to use it?

The points system provides a reward for those individuals who read and review the work of others. The reward comes in the form of points. The reviewer can then use these points to post their own content, which will also pay points and reward other reviewers. The system creates a reciprocal review process that ensures participating members both give and receive feedback.

What are iComments?

iComments are the second part of the ReviewBoost system. They are an advanced in-line annotation tool developed by the site to provide writers with precise and detailed feedback on their texts. Reviewers use the tool to highlight individual words, sentences, paragraphs, or groups of paragraphs and leave comments relevant to the highlighted text. In addition, other members can add to the comment, creating a running dialogue around edits.

Do I retain ownership of my work?

Yes, absolutely. You retain full rights to your work and may do with it as you please. Please see the Membership Agreement to view our rights policy.

Can I Post Adult Material?

It depends on the rules of the groups you belong to. Groups with minors should not allow adult content to be posted.

Can I cancel my membership at any time?

Yes, but be aware that we will cancel your membership starting in the next complete period. We do not refund money for membership fees that have already been processed. You can cancel your membership by pressing the cancel membership button in your Billing section.

Posting Questions

Is it difficult to post work?

No, we have made the posting system easy and intuitive. If you can type into a Word document, and know how to cut and past text then you can post to the system. If you don't know how to cut and paste we have simple instructions to guide you through the process. Do not let your fear of technology prevent you from participating. Signing up and posting your first work takes approximately 10 minutes.

Can I choose who sees my work?

Yes, we provide several was to help you control who sees your writing. When you publish, you can choose from several visibility options so that only those who you want to see your writing, see it. We put you in control.

Can I hide my true identity?

Yes. You have the option of posting your work under a Pen Name. In addition, although you provide us with your email address, this is for administrative purposes only and will not be shown on the site. You do not have to post your email address to the site.

Can I edit my work on the site?

You can change everything about the work you posted, including the title, genre, summary, and of course, the main text of the work.

Editing posted work is useful for several reasons. You can update and improve your work as feedback comes in. Editing also allows you to test market different titles and summaries to see what generates the most visits and reviews. If you’re not happy with the number of visits and reviews you are getting, test a different title or perhaps a more exciting summary. Use the site to understand what turns browsers into readers.

Can I preserve the formatting of my work?

The site does its best to preserve the formatting of your work. In general, we format it as it would appear in an ebook. If you use Microsoft Word, we have a utility that preserves most of the formatting.

Where is my writing shown on the site?

Your writing is show on the site in the following ways:

New Writing from Your Connections: Writing appears in this box on the homepage of everyone you are connected to. You can also see your own work appear in this box on your own homepage.

New Writing from Your Groups: Your writing appears in this box on the homepage of everyone who is in a group with you.

Read Pages: The Read menu at the top of the page displays your writing to people in your groups and to whom you are connected. If you post your writing to the general Internet, it will also appear in the free eBook section and be available to any visitor to the site free of charge.

Groups: Writing appears the homepage of each group page you post to as well as the Content page of each group.

Member Bookshelves: If your writing is Shelved by users pressing the Shelfit button, then it will appear on their shelf. This is a great way for getting more exposure for your content on the site, as the more people who Shelfit, the more it will be seen across the site.

Why can't I see my writing posted to any groups?

You most likely forget to add a group during the publishing process. To do this, go to your porfolio, click the title of the content, and then go to the Publish section. Once there, select the group(s) where you want your writing to appear and click the red 'Update Publish Settings' button. If you are posting to a group that requires credits and don't have enough credits, or aren't a Premium member, you will be notified via a dialogue box.

Feedback and Review Questions

How many reviews will I receive from ReviewBoost?

The points system is designed to provide writers with at least three quality reviews on everything posted using the ReviewBoost points system. This is not guaranteed though. Most writers will receive significantly more than three reviews. Review points make your content more visible but you also need to promote your writing and your presence. Tips to do that include:

Reviewing other writers in similar genres and beginning a dialogue. Many times a writer will reciprocate a review.

Saying hello in a group forum and meeting other members there.

Joining a discussion on an in-line comment node.

In general, the more of a presence you make on the site, the more feedback you will get. It can take time for you to get to know others and build up a stable of reliable reviewers. But it you give it a little bit of time and effort, it will happen.

How can I get more readers and reviews?

If you are not getting as many reads and reviews as you may like, there are several things you can do.

Find other writers you like and provide them with thoughtful, helpful reviews. This is the best way to begin building a reputation and getting others to review you.

Find a group with an active forum and introduce yourself. Join some of the conversations and get to know other members of the group.

Upgrade to a Premium Membership to begin using the points system. The points system provides an incentive for other members to read and review your writing.

Be helpful, courteous, and give it time. If you become an active, helpful member of your group, you will attract many reviews over time.

Promoting Your Writing

What is the Shelfit button and how can I use it?

The Shelfit button seen on content across the site is an easy way to add content that you like to your bookshelf. You can Shelf two different kinds of content: Content published on the site and content published via Amazon.

Content published on the site. If you press the Shelfit button for this type of content, it will be added to your bookshelf under the TNBW Bookshelf tab.

Content published on Amazon. Amazon published content that is shelved appears on either one of two tabs:

Published Shelf: This is for adding content you have published on Amazon to your shelf. It's a great to promote your published writing.

Recommended Shelf: These are books written by others that you would recommend. Building a recommended shelf helps other members get to know your reading and writing preferences better and is one more way to build a following and increase connections on the site.

When a user adds content to their Published Shelf and Recommended Shelf, these additions are shown on the homepage of everyone you are connected to, increasing your exposure across the site. Don't flood users though or they may Disconnect or ban you.

You can view the video on Shelving content to get a simple explanation of how to use the feature.

How else can I promote my writing on the site?

The Shelfit tool is a great way to spread the word about your work. In addition to that tool, you can:

Use the Facebook and Twitter links to promote your writing across those social networks.

Use the email tool on each page to email friends and family a link to your content.

Set the Visibility flag so that your content is "Visible on the Internet". This ensures that your content will be indexed by Google and other search engines. It also means that readers do not have to login to read it and it will be listed in the Free eBook section of the site. Many authors who want to build an audience use this setting to attract tens of thousands of readers. Do not use this setting though unless you are comfortable with the work being widely available accross the Internet.

How do I get work in the free eBook section of the site?

The Free eBook section, seen on the Read tab, is for work whose visibility flag is set to: "Visible on Internet". Writers should select this if they want their content to find the largest possible audience. Before releasing content to the general public, it should be well-polished and error free. We recommend that all writers first get feedback on their writing from within the site before making it public. Readers who come to this content do not need to login to read it.


What are Connections and what do they do?

Connections are used to determine who you can interact directly with on the site. Once someone becomes a connection you can:

Send each other private messages

Publish content to be viewed by your connections

Receive publishing alerts when a connection posts new content

See new books that they have added to their bookshelf

When someone applies to be a connection you can either approve or deny the request. At any time you can also end the connection. Watch the video on how to create a connection.

Welcome New Writers