Site member Edward Aubry joined TheNextBigWriter in 2006 with a 150,000 word first draft of a science fiction and fantasy novel called Static Mayhem. Edward was stuck editing the book, and he needed some feedback and motivation to get it back on track.
Within days of posting the first chapters of his manuscript on TheNextBigWriter, he began to receive feedback. Other members of the site provided insight into what worked in the plot, how to make the characters more believable, and how to tweak the settings to build out the unique world that Edward was creating. In all, he received over 1,000 reviews on his work.
"The feedback I got on TheNextBigWriter played a huge role in sculpting my first novel, and set it on the road to publication"
"The feedback I got on TheNextBigWriter played a huge role in sculpting my first novel, and set it on the road to publication," Mr. Aubry commented. "It is often difficult to view one’s own work with the necessary detachment to know when plot elements don’t work, or the pacing is off, or something is badly explained, or any of dozens of other things that can go south. Having an extra set of eyes—or in the case of Static Mayhem hundreds of sets of eyes—can make the difference between a story your mother will love and a story you can sell."
Edward entered the book into the 2009 Strongest Start Book Competition where it took first place. Impressed with the book and its growing popularity, TheNextBigWriter's publishing arm, WorldMaker Media offered Mr. Aubry a publishing contract to bring Static Mayhem to the masses. The book's sales did well, and Static Mayhem caught the eye of an even bigger press, Curiosity Quillls, which purchased the rights to Static Mayhem and agreed to publish two sequels to the novel. Audiobook rights were recently sold to Tantor, and the world awaits the arrival of the republished Static Mayhem series.
At the same time, Curiosity Quills published Edward's time travel novel Unhappenings to rave reviews. The book became a best-seller on Amazon.com.
"I’m sure my career would have followed a very different path if I had not chosen to take a chance and post that first chapter, and I am very glad I did."
"A huge part of TheNextBigWriter experience for me was the exposure itself," said Mr. Aubry. "Hearing other writers’ thoughts on my work, and watching my book climb in the rankings as more and more people discovered it, bolstered my confidence in a way I had never felt before. Several writers I met on TheNextBigWriter have become life-long friends, publishing connections and valuable writing partners. I’m sure my career would have followed a very different path if I had not chosen to take a chance and post that first chapter, and I am very glad I did."
After leaving her job as a school secretary and moving across Texas, author Ann Everett started writing as a way to pass the time. Her first book, based on the conversations of work men at a local cemetery was a rough start, but she loved the process of writing. Over the next eight years, she wrote another book but didn’t move forward with her publishing career. She viewed writing as a hobby.
"That brings me to why I joined TNBW. I don’t remember how I found the site, but then again, I don’t remember my first kiss."
In July of 2010, Ann joined TheNextBigWriter. Using the feedback from the site, she improved her books, set in her hometown of Brownsboro, TX. The site not only provided her with feedback, but she has learned from other reviews. And the diversity of members on the site allowed Ann to get an idea of how acceptable her stories were.
After several years on the site, Ann received a suggestion from another member to submit her work to a small press. Ann did and published her first two books. After her contract expired three years later, Ann chose to go the independent route.
Ann currently has 6 novels, 2 non-fiction writing reference books, and a cookbook published. In the next few months, two more books will be added to the list.
She has been featured on or in:
Her work has placed in the following contests:
"After reading excerpts from competing entries, there is no doubt, the feedback I got from TNBW played a big role in Chirp being selected."
Her books have sold thousands and thousands of copies; she has appeared in newspaper, online, television, and on radio; and she has won writing contests and awards. Not bad for someone who started writing stories to pass the time.
"The connections I’ve made here, as well as gaining beta readers is more than I imagined when I joined. You provide a wonderful service for a reasonable price, and I appreciate that more than you know."
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