Things that make you go “hmmm….”

I received a post from a social networking/marketing group recently about Book Country.  Penguin – yes, the publishing house – has launched a site where aspiring genre authors can post their work in search of feedback and constructive criticism.

I can’t decide if this is a good or bad idea.  Penguin is touting Book Country as a place for peer review and support with the added bonus of potentially getting an editor’s eyes on your manuscript.  And PureWow (the group who sent me the post) thought the quality of the feedback was good – supportive, constructive, and often useful.

But how does this match up with the claim that editors and agents consider your work already published if it’s been posted on the web – on your site, a blog, etc.?  Mary Kole – among others – has discussed this at length.  As Mary states, the length of the sample is important.  But with picture books topping out at 500 words these days, a sample may well be most of the book!

I’m happy with my critique groups, both online (Yellow Brick Road) and in-person (Go, Globejotters!), but it seems like Book Country could fill a niche for those folks who either can’t find a group or don’t know where to start.

Hmm… guess I’ll keep thinking.  Since Book Country doesn’t have a section for children’s writing, I probably won’t spend too much time pondering this.  But some of my writing friends might…

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