Thoughts On Swoon Reads?

Basically, Swoon Reads is a website/YA imprint under Macmillian Publishing. You submit your manuscript on there and publish it, get feedback, etc. If chosen, the book can be picked up for publishing.


I don’t know much about Swoon, but I thought they were basically a “crowd funding” site. In other words, post your stuff, get a bunch of people to like it, and then MAYBE they’ll publish it? Sounds like that’s a lot of work for you to do. What do they bring to the equation?


I’m seeing more and more of these pop up.

Is traditional publishing that hard, or is there just a moving trend to middle men trying to sell that they can publish your story “without the hassle of an agent?”

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Yep. It’s a crowdfunding site.

There’s more info on how they work and all, in their FAQS if you want to check it out :grin::

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Yes, it is “that hard” but there are no technologies now. I, myself, use Kickstarter to great success to crowd-fund printing on my self-published projects. I think it’s good that publishers are “trying new things” (especially since they, historically, have been slow to implement). The real proof of the pudding will come in the form of contracts…how many and how good they are. My guess is that people who get in through such means will get less than stellar offers than those acquired through the standard agent arrangement.


That’s really interesting!

There just seems to be a flood of literature now, and that seems to be saturating a lot of markets (mostly if you’re in the top genres).

It does make sense that other companies would try to come in and profit off of that, while also giving others the chance to get published.

I like that approach. There are so many nuances to purblishing today, whether self or trad, but in the end a good contract/deal is where companies will stand apart.

It IS that hard… but it always has been. It’s no harder now than it has been in the past. But because there are other viable options, many writers are less willing to spend years improving their writing in order to break in.

All these new internet-based options (Swoonreads, Inkitt, etc) are telling you they’re trying to make it easier for people to get published. I’d say they’ve just found a niche that they can exploit to make money without really taking any risk. As Michael pointed out, they’re not actually bringing anything to the table. The writer is doing ALL of the work.


I think that’s a great way to surmise that. It’s definitely taking advantage of people’s impatience, or unwillingness to re-write a novel, or to write another one that agents are looking for.

I’ll be honest and say that even though I want to try for trad pub one day, I am not oblivious to the fact that I might not make it. I am preparing as if I have to take second best options. Or try for self-publishing.

Then again, even though I am optimistic in general, I tend to operate as a realist. Companies like this are appealing if you’re really hungry to get published, but can’t break through to traditional publishing.

That’s where I really like Michaels’ point about the contract. Focus less on expsoure and more on good contracts.


With Wattpad and their new Wattpad Books brand, they do definitely have some competition out there (mainly the big five publishers).

Seeing how with the poll I made that people do want to also buy a book that they enjoyed on Wattpad that’s under the brand, it gives more and more opportunities with the possibility of a book that one person or everyone enjoys to get published under their brand.


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I saw a section at B&N that was dedicated to Swoon Reads books on shelves. Who knows how much they’re selling though because from seeing Amazon review numbers and such, it’s usually in the 100s range or so in terms of reviewers on the site (Amazon).

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I tried it for a year with one of my books. It was okay, I have no real complaints other than it didn’t sit right with me I had to contact them to get my book removed after my year commitment instead of just being able to delete it. They don’t really publish anything that doesn’t have heavy romance in it. Most books picked (at least while I was there) were contemporary romances with the occasional other romance + genre mixed in. Despite not having a big following there I had two of their editorial team add my book to a list. Doesn’t mean they actually read it, but they added it.

Would I do it again? Probably not.

Same with my book. It just didn’t feel like the type of book I wanted to publish on there, so I asked them to remove it.

When you see something like that, it’s not B&N saying “Wow, look at these books – we think they are great and we are going to give them extra attention.” Those “feature displays” are what is known in the business as co-op marketing and the publisher buys that special attention either through an outlay of cash, or a much deeper discount. It’s marketing, not an indication of “worthiness”

That said, I’m actually impressed that Swoon opened their purses for such an endeavor, this is pretty “out of the box” thinking for a traditional publisher.