1) Smashwords: First and foremost, Smashwords is a location where you can sell your work in ebook format for a variety of markets such as Kobo, Kindle and even the iStore. A neat and added bonus are the built in retailer options. You can release more than one version, put out a coupon code for free copies and you can have short term releases.
The interesting thing about Smashwords is that it's both an authorship website, a platform for sales and it's also got writer profiles all in one place. Finally the interesting thing about Smashwords is that you can get ISBN's from Smashwords for your books so that others can look up the ISBNs and find exactly your book.
2) Story Bird: This authorship website relies less on the writing and more heavily on the picture. It's a picturebook website. A really unique ideas, I think it's a great opportunity for writers to explore because the images become opportunities for story telling and can act as prompts.
My dislikes is that if you select a visual artist, you are confined to working only from their portfolio when creating a story from their art. If they have one image you like, and only three more with the same theme, it leaves the writer stuck for discovering where the story can go. In the same vein, the art is also limited by what's been submitted. The writer must tell the story with the images that are there, including if the images are great but not quite relate-able.
3) Wattpad: Probably my favorite of the simple authorship websites. It is a location where you post your story, your information, and others come, read, "vote" and may or may not like your stories. I use Wattpad for my Writer' s Prompt Book Blog. Whenever I post a writing prompt, I have a "Practice what you Preach," section which links to my own interpretation of the writing prompt. Wattpad has been a good platform, but I haven't really done much with it really.
The problem with Wattpad is that there are writers who go on asking others to like them. Then there are forums where other writers and readers tell you that they will read your story and post their honest comments if you post your story there. The problem is, most of these authors will only post if you read their work.
While there are a good percentage of writers there to write and make honest readership from there work, there is quite a bit of drama that goes on with the "voting." I tried to get a few at first and the immaturity and lack of reliability left a bad taste in my mouth. In addition, the quality of writers pales in comparison to the talent on Smashwords. You see, on Smashwords, there is an autovetter which will flag your book for bad grammar or improper use of certain literary devices. On Wattpad, what people post is what you see. Unfortunately, a lot of people want to write without learning anything about skill and will actively seek out other writers and harass them if they received comments attesting to any lack of skill, or attention to detail.
One young writer used many cliche's including "a dark and stormy night," and when a rather polite commentator said that the story idea and characters were interesting but he found the use of cliches distracting, she sought out his page and ripped each of his stories apart unfairly-in my humble opinion! (Speaking of cliches.)
4) Protagonize: Not much different than Wattpad, slightly different in its organization. I personally find the colors a little easier on the eyes as well. Problem is, by the time I found this site I was already well situated in Wattpad. Upon review of the authors and comments on works, however-I find there's a lack of immaturity that is more prevalent on Wattpad.
Finally, I find that the writing subjects are organized better and there's a mature section. Sometimes I write mature stories and there is less acceptance for eroticism and violence on Wattpad. So, if you are a reader of these genres, then you might want to try a read through of Protagonize.
5) Writing.com: Last is writing.com, which-if I am honest with you, is the least of this list. The website claims to have writing articles and "classes," but when you review the information you are brought to a page with class lists of courses at a NYC school of writing that cost upwards of $200.00! In addition, the website is an eyesore and is hard to navigate.
I didn't see a whole lot of action going on at the webpage and there were some "new" entries that were as old as 2011. I don't think the information provided is very up to date either.
So here's the list of what I call Authorship websites, in essence resources for the creative writer to create platforms and introductions to new readers.
Agree, disagree? Leave a comment!