06 October 2009


Found an interesting new site called

run by HarperCollins. It describes itself as a
community site for writers, readers and publishers, conceived and developed by book editors at HarperCollins.
In a nutshell, what happens on the site is that writers can upload their unpublished books, and other people can read them and rank them:

Visitors to authonomy can comment on these submissions – and can personally recommend their favourites to the community. authonomy counts the number of recommendations each book receives, and uses it to rank the books on the site. It also spots which visitors consistently recommend the best books – and uses that info to rank the most influential trend spotters.

We hope the authonomy community will guide publishers straight to the freshest writing talent – and will give passionate and thoughtful readers a real chance to influence what’s on our shelves.

Hm. I registered, because a friend of mine has recently uploaded a book there. (Murray Gunn: Dragon Bones.) It's free, and you don't have to register to read the books although you do have to register, I think, in order to comment on them. You also have to read online, at the moment you cannot download to a reader, although that would really be perfect, wouldn't it? Lichfield and I were talking about "micro payments" yesterday and how these could impact the e-book world; I'd probably be willing to pay a cent or half a cent (ooh, bring back the half-penny!) to download some one's WIP into my reader... It does strike me that the site is possibly a substitute for the HarperCollins slush pile, but why not? Don't only underpaid interns read the slush piles in the first place? If anyone?

What puzzles me though is why I haven't heard about Authonomy before. Is anyone out there involved with the site? Love it? Hate it? What's the skinny?

1 comment:

  1. I only just found this post, Jeanette, but I think it's still timely to respond. I gave up on Authonomy because it was more of a social networking site than a review site. Poor-quality books moved rapidly up the list because they swapped more reads.

    Around the time I stopped going regularly, a publisher stopped by, looking for non-fiction books on Asia and liked Dragon Bones. He looked up my blog, sent me a message and the book should begin shipping this week.

    In the meantime, some geeks have shown HC how flawed the system is by pushing a book to number 1 in a couple of days and then using their power as reviewers to make or break other books. I believe that the algorithms have been improved in response.