Litmocracy’s Book Contest
Posted: 20 March 2008 08:36 PM   [ Ignore ]
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The publishing industry is too lazy or jaded to identify the best new authors, so there are hundreds of thousands of people who have become excellent writers and have no forum for their voice to be heard.  To solve this problem, Litmocracy aims to provide members with the tools to do some of this work for the publishing industry and, in the process, to help authors keep a large portion of the income they usually lose.

  Here’s how:
  All participants, readers and authors alike, will review the synopses of each others work and parts of each others’ books in groups. An advanced form of voting will allow them, as a group, to select the best work. A series of such contests will yield a number of excellent authors who will then judge each other and get judged in a tougher arena from which one winner will emerge.

Litmocracy will not tolerate plagiarism. In case of a dispute in the final round,  Levi Asher, Mikael Covey, Matt Digangi, Don Eminizer, and myself will determine if any entries are plagiarism and the members who submitted them will be removed from the contest, having forfeited their entry fee.  However, it is the voting system and the voters who determine the winners in all rounds including the final one.

  Rules and Regs:
1.  How many authors will be in the groups?
    25.

2.  How many authors will be in the final group?
    10

3.  Is the contest specific by genre?
    We are looking for novels and nonfiction narratives, but not poetry or short story compilations.

4.  How will we know that the votes are legitimate?
    Each contestant will have an id number which will be displayed to other authors on the synopsis and excerpt. After voting, the votes of each author will be displayed, all together, on a single webpage.  Each author will see that his or her own votes are accurate, and an open forum will be available for authors to discuss any impropriety that they perceive.  Litmocracy believes that open communication is the key to good behavior.

5.  Why wouldn’t everyone just vote for themselves?
    Litmocracy assumes that they will do this, but the advanced voting method also requires them to put the other authors’ submissions into order from best to worst. Plus others will be voting as well. It is these judgments between other authors’ submissions that will really get the job done.

6.  What is the incentive to vote?
    The first five authors other than the winner who place the winning piece above the runner-up will receive back twice their entry fee. This can be used to enter another level-1 contest or received as compensation for their judging work. The reader who votes closest to the final line up will win $5.  In the event that there is the tie the first reader to get closest wins the $5.

7.  What is the entry fee?
    For this first $1000 contest, it is $5 for each author, subject to change pending the response we see to the contest. The reader has no entry fee to participate.

8.  Once I pay the entry fee and send in my submission, what will I have to do to vote?
    Visit the website to view submissions from other authors. Once there are 25 submissions you will have up to a week to read them and put them in order. If all 25 contestants fill our their lists before the week is up, the contest winner will be declared early.

9.  The entry form does not ask for my address so how will I receive the prize if I win one?
    Litmocracy relies on Paypal to deliver monetary compensation to those who earn it.  The winners of the level-1 contests will be asked for their addresses and the winner of the level 2 contest will receive a $1000 check drawn from the bank account of Litmocracy’s owner, Dave Scotese, as well as an offer from Litmocracy to publish their book.

10. How do I enter the contest?
  This question is answered in one of the replies to this post.

11. What happens if I forget to send in the entry fee?
    Your entry will remain on the Litmocracy server indefinitely.  It may be removed any time after the 10th level-1 contest has been filled with entries.

12. Can I enter twice?
    You can enter a second time, but only after your first entry has lost the level-1 contest in which it competed.  Once you have won a level-1 contest, you may not enter again.

13. How does Litmocracy avoid allowing contestants to vote more than once?
    Each time a list is submitted, it replaces the previous submission.

14. When will the contest end?
    The contest started on April 9th.  There are 10 rounds.  When one fills up with 25 entrants, the next will open.  When 250 entrants have filled all 10 rounds, Litmocracy will wait up to a week for the final 25 entrants to finish evaluating each others’ work.  At that point, each round will have one winner, and the final round will begin.  A week after that, the final winner will be declared.

15. What are the size limits on the book?
    We’re looking for books between 40,000 and 100,000 words long.

16. Does Litmocracy make any guarantee about the offer to publish, such as royalty or copies to be printed?
  Yes: We will offer 30% of the gross sale price of the book to the author and guarantee the first printing to be at least 1000 copies if it is accepted.  About 150 of these will be review copies (not sold). If the right to publish is transferred, the author will get 30% of the sale price.

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Posted: 21 March 2008 04:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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So… is the contest specific by genre?
If you get the first group of 25, and 10 are poets and 6 are fiction writers, and 5 are essayists, and 4 are humor/satire contributors…
democratic voting is going to favor the poet block. ...and may discourage the fiction writers from ever trying this contest again.

Will the contest specify fiction or poetry or essay?

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Posted: 30 March 2008 09:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Thanks for the question Captain,

I’ve edited my original post (as you see) and added your question as #3.  I’m adding a few more at the bottom too.

Dave.

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Posted: 30 March 2008 09:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Also, entry fees can be earned via brain points. If you don’t want to dive right in, you can win your entry fee by voting or winning other contests! How much fairer can it be? Incentive for participation. Imagine if the government offered that instead of vice versa?

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Posted: 03 April 2008 10:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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How to Enter
The answer to this FAQ didn’t fit in the initial post, so here it is:

10. How do I enter the contest?
    If you run into some trouble following these instruction, please help us make improvements by reporting it.  Here are the steps:
* Register with Litmocracy using an email address from which you can use Paypal.
* Write a synopsis of your book and an excerpt.  The size of you excerpt is up to you, but a single post can be no more than about 65,500 characters.  I believe there’s a tendency to become more attached to a longer piece of writing, so bear that in mind when you post your entry.
* Click Here to post your synopsis and excerpt to the Unpublished Books Contest category.
* If you have earned money but have not collected it from Litmocracy, you can have the entry fee deducted from your account by selecting that option at the bottom of the ‘Publish’ page (where you enter your synopsis and excerpt).
* Use the ‘Explore Unpublished Books’ link under Contests to find the contest page.  If your entry fee has not yet been paid, this page will explain your options.
* The heat at the bottom of the list is most likely the one in which your entry has posted.  When you visit that heat, your submission will appear in your voting list (on the right side) in first place.
* We recommend that you bookmark your heat page for easy access.
* Contact dscotese (at litmocracy dot com) if you have any trouble.

Be sure to come back and visit the heat in which your entry has posted so that you can judge the other entries.  Once there are 25 entrants to a heat, it will be left available for voting for about one week so you can judge all the pieces.

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