There's an article in Publishers Weekly about yet another one of these Authonomy-type ideas where people can post their writing to get feedback and maybe a publishing deal.

This time it's coming from a former editor with a small indie press so it uses different language to describe itself. Round Table will bring to the social networking platform not just finished content, but many aspects of the publishing process—including, for authors open to the idea, peer editing. The idea is that feedback and crowd-sourcing can dramatically enrich the editing, authoring and reading process for all involved—not to mention expose potential talent among members of the community.

Right. When I see a phrase like "crowd-sourcing," I get worried. But what really got me in the article was the line, “you have to keep accepting unsolicited submissions, because those people are our readers.” Later he repeats it, “In our formulation,” says Nash, “readers are writers.”

The dedication in J.D. Salinger's Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour an Inroduction begins, "If there is an amateur reader still left in the world - or anybody who just reads and runs..."

I wonder, are there any amateur readers left? And would it make a difference to the content of what we write if we admitted that most likely the only peope buying books are other writers?

(I guess the big blockbuster bestsellers are the only books bought by amateur readers)

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I believe it. And whose fault is that sort of ignorance? Her Journalism teachers fell down flat.
I agree. It is amazing how few kids coming out of J-school know the proofreader's marks.

Sadly J-schools are not teaching much writing these days. I know of a major university that is down to only nine hours of writing intensive courses required in the journalism program.

They know a lot about ethics, social networking, and building databases, but if you can't ask good questions and write a decent story you are worthless in the newsroom.
It's too bad they don't teach more history in journalism school.


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