On Monday night I randomly decided to stay up late writing. Instead of working on any my serious realistic fiction projects, I grabbed the fun project. The retelling of “The 12 Dancing Princesses.”
Around 2:00 Tuesday morning I reached 10,000 words.
I put the book up on inkpop.
Then I went to bed.
My crazy Tuesday had begun.
Q. What is inkpop?
A. Inkpop is a website where unpublished teenage authors and writers of teenage books congregate and share their unpublished YA novels with each other.
I got an inkpop account in December, because the site manager wanted me and Marni and Chelsey to do a chat with the inkpop members about what it’s like to get published as a teenager. I did the chat, and then neglected my account.
A month or two later I wandered back into inkpop, and discovered something I had never realized before: the top 5 inkpop projects get reviewed by a team of Harper Collins publishers every month.
Wait, woah, what?
Suddenly I was in the inkpop game. I made friends, posted in the forums, and read people’s works.
A book has to have 10,000 words before you can put it on inkpop, and I didn’t have anything that qualified. The closest thing I had was a re-telling of “The 12 Dancing Princesses.” How hard would it be to add another 8000 words to that story? I began working hard on it.
Later I gave up. It was no use. All the stuff on inkpop was dumb paranormal fiction anyway. No one would want to read my book.
But that crazy Tuesday morning I changed my mind. I put those rough unpolished five chapters online, titled it “Leftover Princess,” and went to bed.
At 8:45 that crazy Tuesday morning I woke up with a weird headache that made me feel sickish and dizzy. But nonetheless, I leapt out of bed and checked inkpop.
One person had picked my book.
Q. What does it mean if someone picks your book?
A. On inkpop, every member has a picks list. You can put no more than five projects on that list, and once a book is on your list, it must remain there for 24 hours.
The picks list is there so that everyone who goes to your account can see what projects you like best.
I scrambled around from account to account, trying to figure out who had picked my book. When I discovered it, my jaw nearly hit the floor. It was the #3 trendsetter.
Q. What is a trendsetter?
A. On inkpop, the people who pick unknown projects which then become popular projects are called trendsetters. The top three trendsetters have their projects displayed on the home page of inkpop.
Thus, my book was on the home page of inkpop.
Another person added my book. Then another.
I watched my rankings rise in leaps and bounds with each new add. When a project is first added it’s rankings are lowest of low, around the 20,000 mark. I saw my book rise to the 2,000’s, then the 1000’s, then the 900’s. The higher it got, the slower it rose.
My head still hurt all weirdly, but I went to ESL anyway. I had to babysit three kids who were screaming for their mothers.
I felt awful and sick. So when ESL was over, I went home instead of staying for ASP.
I checked inkpop. Still in the 900’s.
Then, around 4:00 pm, I went to sleep.
I woke up at 1:00 Wednesday morning.
My book was ranked 295.
It was on the top 7 trendsetter lists.
I was floored.
Thus ended that crazy Tuesday.
Since then, my book has continued to rise, but it’s going slower and slower. It’s at 166 now.
Now suddenly I’m thinking, what if I’m not cut out to write an SMBI novel right now? What if I can write a fun middle grade fairy tale novel and get it published and pay for college?
Yes. I know. That’s dreaming big time.
But having my story on inkpop has shown me three things:
1. People seem to like my story.
2. The flaws. Inkpoppers are great critiques, and point out little things I never would have noticed.
3. I can write faster if I know there’s someone out there waiting for me to post more of my story.
If you want to read my story, Leftover Princess, you can find it here. If you want to quickly create an account and add my book as a pick, you can do that too. It would increase my rankings nicely. And, if you want to use that account to comment on my story and show me where I can improve, you can do that as well. 😀