HaperCollins has created a site called Authonomy.com for writers to display their novels. It's open to writers and published authors. Post whole or part of your book and let the readers read it and vote on it. It's fellow writers who read the books and vote. The top picks are then looked at by the editorial staff of HC for possible selection.

Last night it hit me in the head like a thrown brick! HC has done something absolutely brilliant! They've found a tool to do an end-run around literary agents! Let the readers decide what is a good book and run with it. Direct dealings with the writer! Reduce the cost of up front monies! Find potential mega hits by using writers to act as the slush-pile readers!

I love it. It's really frick'en brilliant. And hell yes, I've got stuff in there.

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I agree about the cream should rise to the top and be selected. It had better. But, if history is repeated again--and it will be--from out of every slush pile comes a breath taking jewel. I'm confident some are going to show up eventually.
I love optimism.
I guess the burning question here is: How is this venue any better for the author than any other slush pile? I'll confess, my knowledge of this is based on what I've read here (and the link provided by John), but it seems to me rising to the top is more contingent on one's energy and talent for promotion and marketing (and, possibly, on how many friends and relatives you have), than on the quality of the writing.
Dana--I agree the promotional aspects of it is a major factor. But it should be. Writers who don't . . . or won't . . . promote themselves are only going to go so far. As successful Stephen King is, he still gets out there and promotes his stuff.

But self-promotion can go only so far. Especially in a venue like Authonomy. If you're going to compete--you had better be good. I guarantee you there are more than enough readers/writers in there that'll point out your weaknesses.
Someone on another site said they had heard HarperCollins was going to create a Pod publishing house. Hmmm, if they do, does that mean POD has not become legitimate?
POD has always been legitimate. It can be used for many purposes. The cost of book production is cut enormously and there is no warehousing, but the numbers that are produced tend to be small. It's useful for oop titles.


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