Archive for the Books Category

Internet and Reading

Posted in Books, Entertainment, technology with tags , , , , , , , on January 19, 2010 by Josh Wittner

This Wall Street Journal article was enlightening on the impacts that technology, namely the internet, has had on the ability of new and unknown authors to break into the literary world. While the internet has manifestly improved the capabilities of authors to produce work and get work to publishers, it has been all too effective. The piles of unsolicited work, informally known as slush piles, have grown insurmountable for most publishers and the deluge has driven up the costs of finding new talent.

The most interesting part for me was how some publishers have taken to solving this problem. While some have given up, and others have moved to an internal review system, Harper Collins has moved to incorporate the technology that created the problem to harness it. At their website Authonomy.com users can upload, read, and review works by anyone from anywhere. Every month the editors at Harper Collins review the top 5 works on the site and publish those that they deem profitable. So far they have published only 4 books out of over 10,000 submissions.

I’m wondering if someone will take that idea and create a cross-publisher system where users can submit, read, and review books from anyone anywhere just like on Authonomy, but which will then take those highly rated books and present them to a number of publishers and shop for the best deals. Basically create a sight like Authonomy used by agents instead of publisher to track down material.

I wonder if agents are tracking any of the ratings for books that can now be self published through Amazon for their Kindle.

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