Saturday, September 27, 2008

Authonomy

Dear EA,
Have you heard of Authonomy.com from Harper Collins? This seems like a step in the right direction toward eliminating slush. Your thoughts?
When I first heard of this, I thought it was a terrible idea. Anyone who's read much of the slush pile realizes that the authors in slush piles are a tremendously mixed group. Some of them are good, experienced writers. Some just need more experience. Some are in the wrong field. Some are bad. Some are awful. Some are functionally illiterate and seem to have found a writing implement by accident. Some are crazier than a sackful of squirrels.

So the idea of making the slush pile public and asking the people in the slush to determine which manuscripts are worth reading sounded to me like asking the guy with one leg and three fingers about how to use a chain saw.

And then I had a look. And damn me, but it seems to be working. Too soon for a final verdict, I think, but I'm fascinated.

15 comments:

tracymarchini.com said...

I had the same initial thought... it would be interesting though, to see the percentage of submissions from Authonomy that become contracted books, versus the percentage of the average slush pile submissions that become contracted books. My bet is, the numbers are similiar.

Anonymous said...

How come "once their manuscripts hit an editors desk" they get their comments back from editors in a month and it takes me, an agented author, 3 or 4 months to hear back from an editor at HarperCollins? And um, that's with no comments, just a simple reject.

Vastly unfair.

*whine over*

Susan said...

Thanks for a slush-related laugh, and thanks most of all for posting again--I missed you!

Authonomy.com is just one of the publishing experiments that I'm keeping an eye on these days, wondering what's going to work, and how.

I still think I'd rather find (beg for, bribe, win over, etc) an agent instead.

Lexi said...

I'm one of the lucky first top five, and have just got my review from the Harper Collins' editor. You can see it on my blog.

The most important thing Authonomy has to do, if it is to work, is to get the best books to the top. Their complex ranking system had problems before it was fully in place, but now works rather well.

There are some excellent books on the site, with more rising through the ranks all the time.

And one or two people have already been approached by agents who found them on Authonomy...

ChrisEldin said...

Thank you for this information!
I'm going over now...
:-)

And thanks Lexi for sharing your experience. Your first book sounds very intriguing--I hope you polish it one day.

ChrisEldin said...

Oh God, this could be addictive!! I just put my future trunk novel up.
:-)

christine tripp said...

Some are functionally illiterate and seem to have found a writing implement by accident.

Just had to say this gave me a real laugh.

Sarah Laurenson said...

Interesting. I may or may not join the fun, but this will be very intriquing to see how it plays out.

Erica Pionke said...

"Some are crazier than a sackful of squirrels." "Sackful". Is that a new adverb? Cuz I like it.

I don't know why you have this hahr website, but I like it. A lot. You just made my top 8. Oh, wait, that's myspace.

Thanks for larnin' me.

Mommy C said...

EA,
I know you are one very busy lady, but if you had the chance, I would love for you to visit

http://quirkymommyc.blogspot.com

Taking into account what I believe authonomy has just started, the conception of epublishing, the rise of consumerism, and the popularity of blogging,I have just outlined a model (CAPITAList LETTERS) which I think predicts the future of publishing. I'd love some feedback from someone more in the know. Thanks.

Jaquanda Rae said...

I'm really glad I found this blog. I like the concept. I have dreams of becoming a published poet (not for children) so it's interesting to see what an editor has to say.

I'd like you to know that I've awarded this blog with the Brilliant Web Blog Award. If you're interested in knowing more about this award, you could check out my blog. Take care.

Redwoods56 said...

I find it refreshing to "meet" someone of a certain mindset admit to allowing as how they could be open to new concepts. The description of what could be found there was intriguing (and hilarious), and I will enjoy checking out Authonomy. Thank you!

Elle said...

Aaah - Authonomy is now running - the last time I checked it was still in beta.

I think sites like this are a good idea - the modernisation of the slush pile - and who better to choose talent than the market itself!

Kelly said...

Certainly an interesting idea...I'm not sure what I think about it yet. Thank you for the info, I will be following the Authonomy website further to form a real opinion about it!

Deaf Brown Trash Punk said...

Authonomy is a great website. It's also a great social networking website for WRITERS. So far, I've made some new friends; I'm reading their stuff and they reading my stuff. It's fantastic.

Also, I like the fact that Authonomy editors actually read books that get the most back-ups from other members. It's awesome. I can't wait for the day I upload my book on Authonomy =)