I've been checking out a new web service over the past few days. It's called YouWriteOn and is a sort of peer review exchange.
The idea is, you log in, review a chapter of a book someone else has uploaded, and receive one credit. Then you request another book to review. Review it, get another credit. You get the idea.
With your credits, you upload your chapters and make them available for the system to assign them to other members to review.
So far, so good. But . . .
The 'chapters' are a minimum of 6,000 to 10,000 words. That's a lot of reading. And let's face it, most of what you're required to read isn't very good.
The draw is the promise that the most popular chapter is shown to some high-powered publisher. And if you don't get your book excerpt sent to these high-powered publishers, there is always their self-publishing service.
The site smacks of hitting the lottery, wannabees desperate for publication uploading their work in the hopes they can short-circuit the traditional publishing process. This site has been advertised in Writer's Digest--they must have hundreds of thousands of members by now, do you really think you're going to become their 'favorite'? Personally, I think it's a front for their self-publishing business.
And think about it, here you are, a wannabee writer, passing your questionable efforts out to other wannabee writer's who are, like you, struggling to create passable prose, for them to evaluate. It's either going to turn into a group hug or a chance to vent pent-up anger at faceless peers.
I did one review, for research purposes. The story couldn't even hold my interest for the 10,000 words. I was kind in the review. I did not ask for another chapter to review nor did I upload any of my stuff. It just seems pointless.
Basically, it's just another web site designed to divert writer's energy from what they should be doing--writing.
That said, I'm going to have a beer and cigar on the balcony.