Sunday, March 18, 2012

Alternatives to Inkpop

Many, if not all, of you were Inkies.  Well, you still are an Inkie.  Just because Inkpop.com itself no longer exists doesn't mean you aren't an Inkie. 

But since Inkpop is gone, you might be looking for some new writing sites to turn to.  You've probably heard of these, but I'm going to highlight the pros and cons of each, to help you decide which, if any, are right for you.

(Skip to the bottom for my rant.)

Wattpad
Pros: Seemingly active forums. Copy-and-paste disabled.  Lots of projects to read.  Many Inkies are over there.  There is a mobile app.

Cons:  I've seen very little in the way of in-depth reviews.  No publication opportunities.

Figment 
Pros: Active forums.  Lots of projects.  Many, many users.  Many Inkies can be found.  There are writing contests and opportunities to win prizes.

Cons: Copy-and-paste not disabled (but the disabling is in the works, apparently).  No publication opportunities.  Again, I've seen very few Inkpop-quality reviews.  The forums are incredibly full of angst, and have more trolls than I ever saw on Inkpop.  No mobile app or site.

Teen Ink
Pros: Lots of projects to read.  Focus on short stories, short nonfiction, and poetry.  Publication opportunities.  Visual art also accepted.

Cons: Seemingly inactive forums.  Not as much focus on novel-length work (though this could also be a pro, depending on what you're into).  No in-depth reviews.  Copy-and-paste not disabled.

Literati Sedition
Pros: In-depth reviews.  Constructive criticism galore.  They refer to themselves as "literary bootcamp".

Cons: Users are required to critique.  Application required.  No publication opportunities. 

The cons are not reasons to avoid the site.  They are not necessarily bad things.  They are just a way to compare writing sites to help you find a match. 

If you didn't know already, there is a Facebook group for Inkies.  It's right here.

What do you think?  Are you getting involved in other writing sites?  Anything else that we should look into?

(The following is a much-belated rant.  You have been warned.  And yes, I forgot all about the pictures until now, so this post has been edited as of 3/26.)

I loved Inkpop.  I really did.  I gained so much from it.  I learned so many new things about writing. I gained so much support. I had a place to talk to other

writers.

Remember this?  Ah, the good old green days of Inkpop.  Note the Top Five....




HarperCollins took that away. As one much-quoted Inkie, Nata (of the blog Cherry Tree Notes), said: "HC, you have hosted the future of writing on Inkpop. The NYT best-sellers and the next Tolkiens and J.K. Rowlings, and you have let them down."

Now, it's one thing for HC to sell Inkpop to Figment. They're a business, too, and they need to make money. I completely respect that. 

But the way they handled it was simply and utterly lovely. (Sarcasm is so hard to get through on a blog post....) Seriously. One Inkie somehow came across an article that said that Inkpop had been sold. A thread was posted. 

Cue massive panic. 
Only then does HC decide to come out and tell us what's going on. They say "You've got until March 1." Which gave us about three days, at that point. 

A month's warning, and the whole ordeal would've been so much better for everyone involved. Even a week. But no, they gave us three days. 

My question is this: If that Inkie hadn't found that article, would HC have told us at all? I don't think I want to know the answer. 

It's not like we couldn't see it coming. The Inkpop editor hadn't been online in days. People weren't getting their Top Five reviews. Weekly challenges had been completely abandoned. But still. I can't get over the fact that they only told us once we had figured it out on our own. 

I suppose the Carrier of the Mark-author incident didn't help. We won't even go there. 

This quote, said by someone from HC, didn't help, either: “Initially we thought, writers are great readers, so we’ll help people with their writing and benefit from that community. But we’re really a business focused on readers, and there are many more readers out there than there are writers.”

Um, excuse me? Writers write the books that all those readers read. Without writers, where would HC be? Where would any publishing company be? I understand what this person was trying to say, but it doesn't sit well with me. Besides, I don't know a single writer who isn't also a dedicated reader.

Moral of the story: if you're going to shut down a website, give people warning. And don't underestimate the power of an angry writing community. Especially when HC wants us to move to Figment. That fact alone, I do believe, caused many, many Inkies to not even consider Figment and go to Wattpad instead.

Because Inkpop was more than a website. It was a community. It was a way of life. 

Once an Inkie, always an Inkie. 

I tried to go out with a bang.  Also, notice the spectacular profile picture.
Although I would love to see a comparison of the number of HC books purchased by Inkies before the shutdown and compare it to the number purchased after the shutdown.

The first part of this post was also seen over at The Writer's Help Society.
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7 comments:

  1. Once an Inkie, always an Inkie.

    I've been so mad at Harper this year for so many reasons. 1st the whole thing where they stole LJ Smiths manuscript, teared it apart to match the tv series, and gave it to a ghostwriter to further rip it to shreds. Then the loss of my favorite writing community. It's like one slap in the face after another. :/

    Great post Annie! I will be re-tweeting this post.

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  2. I cried to be honest. I've buried my head into my college work as a result.

    Carrier of the Mark was utter poo compared to some of the stuff that was on Inkpop. I swear some projects were so good I had no idea why they never touched the top 100.

    I agree with Ezmirelda. The LJ thing was shocking and this was the icing on the cake.

    I will never spend any of my hard earned money on HC books.

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  3. I agree with this post!

    Inkpop was a way of life, even if you admit it or not. I spent SO MANY HOURS on that site its insane. But I don't regret a moment of it. :) Inkpop was my favorite site EVER. Even better than Facebook. Heck, the Inkies cared more about what I had to say than my facebook friends do. Which is sad.

    And that's a good question. Would HC even told us at all if that one person hadn't stumbled upon it? O.o

    These four things pissed off me the most: 1) HC didn't even bother telling us until AFTER we found out it ourselves, 2)the three day notice, 3) they basically forced you to move to figment, and 4) they copied my profile and everything without my flipping permission! Thankfully, Figment deleted it after I asked, but still.

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  4. Replies
    1. I heard you can't for whatever reason. Try emailing them and asking. I think they should do it that way.

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  5. Oh my gosh you... You-you quoted... *voice cracks* me. *faints*

    *jumps up and hugs fiercely in appreciation*

    Literati Sedition sounds promising, too bad they aren't accepting at the moment. Will wait until they are.

    I've already written my rant and it is sealed forever in the last Proc thread Inkpop ever had. There's not that much else to say that you haven't already pointed out. You summed it up quite well.

    Thank you so much, you have no idea how much this made my day (the quotation and the article). I feel a little more at peace when you've put my thoughts into words, probably better than I could. Again, thank you so much and keep writing!

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    Replies
    1. *hugs back* That quote's gotten a bit of mileage by now. I'm glad to find the original writer! I added your name and a link to your blog. :)

      Okay, knowing that I made your day just makes my day, as well. It's a cycle of awesome. Thanks!

      You keep writing, too!

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