News for Budding Writers

HarperCollins have launched a new web-based initiative for writers. I haven’t really had a chance to give it a proper look yet, but it can be found at:

Published in: on September 9, 2008 at 1:22 pm  Comments (4)  
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  1. It honestly doesn’t seem any different from other online writing communities, it just has Harper Collins slapped on the site.

    Hell, they aren’t even waving a bone in front of any writers, saying that they might be published in mass market. It honestly does not speak well for the parent company’s support.

    Gav – That’s a shame. Some of the blurb certainly gives the impression there would be some more involvement.

    “We’ve set up authonomy in the hope of finding new authors for our various publishing lists, so we’ll certainly be looking for promising books – as will other publishing houses and agents. ”

    “HarperCollins, like all publishers, is inundated with new manuscripts, and cannot hope to consider them all fairly. We don’t feel that our current, closed ‘slush pile’ system is fair to authors themselves – nor do we believe it is giving us the best chance of finding the brightest new talent. authonomy is a genuine attempt to find a better way to determine the books on our shelves – and it hands selective power to the readers who will ultimately be buying them.”

    I suppose the proof of intent will be if we start seeing some novels that came via the authonomy route.



  2. Actually, I had a different impression. It seems like a good place to post your novel or novels. It also provides a way to publicize the work’s existence. The problem I see is that it is a pain to post and the most aggressive writers don’t seem to be the best writers. But isn’t that the way of the world? I view my novels as messages in a bottle anyway and this is another watery venue to launch them. I am taking HarperCollins seriously and giving it a go.

    And by the way, thanks for placing this information on your website.

    Best Regards,



  3. From reading it I don’t think we’ll see anything happen until it moves from beta stage, at the moment they’re just working out the ranking system so that their editors can know what stuff to read so we have a wait on our hands.


  4. I’m still very skeptical. From what I’ve read, editors are over-worked in much of the publishing industry, so why would they take more on even more responsibility reading these open submissions?

    If I remember correctly, HarperCollins began a new e-book program a year ago, a zero risk system where they put your story on a website and give you 40% of the sales. No risk for them, no support for you.

    I’m not saying that these initiatives can’t be good, but it’s very little to change an industry that has been, so far, very resistant of technology. I’m shocked that they haven’t taken advantage of the growing home entertainment industry. Making audiobooks accompanied by images would be a fantastic new way to present them and I’m sure there’s numerous other ways for publishers to expand, rather than just discovering e-books and the internet in the past three years.


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