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Help the WEbook staff learn what we could be doing even better.
Posted: 9/14/2014 9:26 AM PDT
In all honesty the idea of this site was always kind of dumb. See, in all transactions (lets treat the review process as a transaction whereby one pays a downpayment of the initial review with the intention of receiving the service of a review in return) there must be some kind of security provided to regulate the process - Webook provides none of this.
 
In fact it is never made explicit that that is the idea of the process instead the site owners supposed that people would review each other for no reason. Given the unpredictability of people there is little doubt this does occasionally occur, but the general trend is of the posting of large volumes of work with relatively little reviewing going on. Furthermore what reviewing which does exist is often not in depth.
 
As a result the site has always been, on a macro level, rather shit. Small communities of friends can operate well but independent agents (here meaning users with no prior relationships to other users) do not fulfil the designed task of providing feedback. It's little wonder the site died. The forums were okay but also petered out because of poor moderation and of course, the previous management shutting down the site wordlessly.
 
What you *can* do is seek out small operative communities within the site within which active exchange of reviews is proceeding but, you've already done that by coming here.



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Posted: 6/17/2014 8:24 PM PDT
Very true, my friend. But I would argue the "anymore" portion: When an author, such as yourself, asks for feedback from other writers, and promises to return the favor, you're signing yourself on to not exactly an equal exchange policy. You see, you have 88 comments on a single project spanning to date 5 chapters. Meanwhile you have left 157 reviews on about fifty projects (a nice caseload that you should, honestly, be proud of).
But how many times have you gone on to read MORE of a project? How often do you put the time in to go deeper into the project of someone who's critiqued your work? Read it to the end? Leave critiques with DEPTH to them? And then actually gone back and read the revision?
Probably not ever. And that's not a knock on you. The fact is you're one person. When you enlist the help of nearly thirty people and then attempt to single-handedly repay their time...?
It's simply not possible.
What's important isn't the volume, it's the quality. I can learn as much from reading a review of someone else's work as I can from reading a review of my own, if it's a truly well thought out review. The idea that somehow the community is failing because "People don't help others for their projects like that anymore" is flawed. People are constantly helping each other on their projects. The question is: Are they actually HELPING?
WEbook is where writers go to get published. We don't do it alone here. We seek out and find, and polish and hone the best skills and talents there are to offer. We find the best, and it gets published, even if it ends up being self published - they don't have to do it alone. The community is amazingly large, to the point where a young man I met on WEbook recently self published his first novella; edited, expanded, and then formatted and published his book, not by himself, not by reading endless blogs about it, but entirely with help he received from members of this site. He was counseled on everything from the plot and characterization, to pricing and marketing techniques: All by members of the community.
And he didn't respond by promising to leave a one sentence review and a five star rating. He invested back into the community, helping other writers learn the craft. And he's still around, because we don't just leave when we make good here, we don't owe it to a carefully orchestrated popularity contest, we owe it to the community.
I'm going to level here, and it's probably not going to be well received: I almost never read people based on their reading of my stories. In fact, it has never factored into my thought process. And that's probably wrong, and that kind of thinking can lead to a lot of problems, problems I've seen first hand. But I only read stories I want to read. If I think someone can use some help, I'll read it and see if I can provide some. If I love everything someone writes, I'll read it for pleasure. But occasionally I have nothing to add and, sometimes, I already know someone's writing is so good I just don't bother because someone else needs my help.
So, I would argue the "anymore" portion: members are helping each other grow every single day. It's simply not a matter of how many people post feedback or take or receive it - it is, and it's important, but - it's far more integral that the feedback be the best it can be. And that every book developed here or anywhere else (and that's something else special about WEbook - not to sound like a drone, just being honest - we just care about good writing, no matter who publishes it) be the very best it can be...

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Posted: 6/15/2014 8:45 PM PDT
This site seems a little too quiet. People don't help others for their projects like that anymore. People just upload chapters and don't help each other to get feedback themselves, so really what is the point. You need opinions to polish your story and that's a fact.
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