Authomony aims to tap wisdom of crowds

After more than three months running in private beta, authonomy.com  finally went live yesterday (3 Sept) and is open to all. The site describes itself as a community site for writers, readers and publishers, conceived and developed by book editors at HarperCollins:

"If you’re a writer, authonomy is the place to show your face – and show off your work on the web. Whether you’re unpublished, self-published or just getting started, all you need is a few chapters to start building your profile online, and start connecting with the authonomy community. And if you’re a reader, blogger publisher or agent, authonomy is for you too. The book world is kept alive by those who search out, digest and spread the word about the best new books – authonomy invites you to join our community, champion the best new writing and build a personal profile that really reflects your tastes, opinions and talent-spotting skills."

Top-ranked book when I looked at the site is by "Sylvia", and is called Spammer. "Ever wanted to retaliate against a spammer? Judy did, and made herself the target for the hideous fury of a Mafia boss. (Complete at 79,000 words)." So runs the blurb. I read the first page (online) but had no wish to read more of the extremely over-heated prose.

Apparently, the aim is for the publisher to harness "the wisdom of the crowds" (a.k.a. you and me) to go through its slush pile. Time will tell if the aforementioned crowds are a substitute for editor and agents, and hence an economy for the publisher at this end of their market. So far, the site is said to receive more than 50 new books a week; the publisher's promise is that someone on staff will read the ten top-rated submissions each month.

5 thoughts on “Authomony aims to tap wisdom of crowds

  1. My agent set up a website a while ago with a similar idea – see http://www.litopia.com. Although I cringe at the concept of a ‘writers’ colony’ it does seem to be doing quite well at growing a community with a common interest in improving their writing etc.

  2. Oh yes, I’ve been following Litopia for a while, at Sara Abdulla’s suggestion. Thanks, Brian. I prefer Litopia to this Authonomy exercise, from what I’ve seen of the latter, but it is early days yet so I should not be so mean (still smarting a bit from “Spammer”!).

  3. Sylvia, I just want to say a couple of things: First, congratulations for being willing to post your work on Authonomy. Writing a novel is work. It’s also very personal. Letting others read what you’ve spent so much time creating requires trust and can be a leap of faith. Giving your novel to a critique group, or even to a knowledgeable friend, can be difficult enough. To post it online, where anybody can read it, takes guts.
    Second: Welcome to the writer’s world, where not
    everybody will praise your work. Grow a thick skin. Especially because YOU POSTED YOUR WORK ON THE INTERNET. When you get a critique of your writing, you can take it or leave it. But you put it up for the entire online world to comment upon, so you’d better take a deep breath. If you want gentle encouragement because you’re a new writer, a creative writing class is the place to find it. But you sent SPAMMER to a publisher’s website, in an effort to get it published. Here on Petrona you got a single comment about the writing style… from an editor of a prestigious science journal who also reviews crime fiction for U.S. and European newspapers and magazines. If you present your work to the world and ask for comments, be ready for what you get.

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