1. aikoaiko
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    aikoaiko Contributing Member

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    Anyone heard of Authonomy?

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by aikoaiko, Aug 1, 2014.

    I'm not sure if this is posted in the right place, but I recently heard about a forum (or service?) run by Harper Collins where you post 3-5 chapters or an entire manuscript online and get entered into some sort of pool for review by a professional editor---or something like that. Has anyone heard of it?:confused:

    Given the discussion here about posting unpublished material online the whole thing seems a little odd, but I've heard of Harper Collins and I suppose it is legitimate?? I did read a commentary by someone who said it was complex to navigate with lots of do's and don'ts, and apparently the people there beat each other to a bloody pulp to achieve "rankings".

    I have no intention of using anything like this myself, but have you guys heard of it? I am wondering how a publisher-based site could encourage people to post an entire manuscript when the risk for thwarting its publication later on is so great. I guess I am wondering what everyone gets out of it, in the end:confused:
     
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  2. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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  3. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Looks like a smart move for Harper Collins. Thanks for the tip.

    FAQs
     
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  4. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    Hmmm ...

    The idea 'sounds' good ...
     
  5. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Please don't use quotes for emphasis. This is a writers forum and you are better than that.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2014
  6. aikoaiko
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    aikoaiko Contributing Member

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  7. Okon
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    Okon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Was this supposed to be an ironic post, with the misplaced apostrophe and the then/than mix up? o_O
     
  8. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Hmmm, so what are they getting out of it, bait and switch?

    You'd think these publishers might figure out that they could do away with or improve upon their fallible gatekeepers and find top notch books by crowdsourcing.
     
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  9. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    DAMMIT! edited.
     
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  10. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    The curse of the pendant. :)
     
  11. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    Not using for emphasis. Would you prefer me to say, this (raise your first two fingers on both hands and make rabbit ears as you say) sounds good?

    In other words, on the surface of it, it sounds a good idea. Post a couple of chapters of a WIP or self published work for Joe public and certain gatekeepers to read/review and if you amass enough of a following, Harper-Collins will request the full MS with a view to possibly offering you a publishing deal.

    On the surface, a good idea until you read the small print, the list of do's and don'ts that will probably rule out a vast number of potential entries.

    As the saying goes, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

    And please stop being so blooming picky unless you a) correct everyone's posts and b) make sure your own posts are perfect before hitting the post reply button. :agreed:
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2014
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  12. edamame
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    edamame Contributing Member Contributor

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    I run a poetry blog and came across a fellow writer who made it high enough in the rankings to have an editor take a look at his work. I believe you don't post all of your work. It might be a good idea to get attention and/or feedback on something you might not want published anyway.
     
  13. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    Hardly seems fair to post your piece (or a section of your piece) if you are just wanting feedback and are not intending to publish. After all, the whole idea seems to be that it's a place to get the publisher's attention in order to publish.
     
  14. edamame
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    edamame Contributing Member Contributor

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    I said that for people who might not want to post their whole piece online. Some publishers will consider that already "published" so if you fail to get their attention then you might not be able to find another publisher for it. That's also a concern for members posting work on this forum. Also, the more feedback you get, the higher your ranking. I think feedback has a lot to do with it.
     
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  15. aikoaiko
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    aikoaiko Contributing Member

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    The thing that worries me most is the fact that they ask you to post so much. Wouldn't it be literary suicide to post an entire MS on the net? I think 3-5 chapters are allowed, but I'd be hesitant about that, too.:(
     
  16. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    I agree about the feedback, you need that before a publisher will look at it so it's like a numbers game, the higher you rank with the general public, the more chance you have of getting a publisher to look at it.

    If you are only posting a section then I don't think it would be classed as already published. The same with posting things on here but Wreybies would probably be the best person to clarify that. I think it's been discussed on another thread. (about posting sections here on the forum and whether that is classed as published or not).
     
  17. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    Someone mentioned 10 thousand words earlier. Without looking at their T&C's, I don't know how much you would have to post but if the minimum is 10 thousand words and your whole MS is over 150 thousand, then it really isn't that big of a chunk.

    But I do agree about it being literary suicide to post the whole thing on the net.
     
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  18. edamame
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    edamame Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think there's a difference between asking a writer's group or friends to give you feedback in person vs posting your work on the internet which is public. I'm not sure about posting a section vs. a whole work, but I've read of guidelines by publishers who won't take work even if you've only shared it on your personal blog.
     
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  19. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I had to struggle to figure out why I don't like the idea, and I finally got it: It's because the whole emphasis is on getting your work read by someone--"beat the slush", and so on. That, IMO, feeds into the all-too-common idea that our work is the outpouring of genius and the only reason that we haven't achieved success is that no one has noticed us yet.

    And I still believe that the reason that we haven't achieved success is, in most cases, the fact that we aren't good enough writers. Oh, sure, I'm sure that there are a fair number of people who have made it to that level of skill and are now just waiting for the right industry professional with the right need to read their work. But Authonomy seems to encourage everyone to think that they're at that point, and that, to me, is just feeding into unproductive delusions.

    If the promise was that you'd get a read AND a detailed, extensive set of comments on your manuscript, from an industry professional who makes buy/no-buy decisions based on readings all the time, that would be incredibly valuable. But it's the commentary that would be the realistic reward, not the (tiny) chance of being published.

    And now they're encouraging people to go POD, to allow their work to be consumed in self-publishing? No. Bad Harper-Collins. No cookie.
     
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  20. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    I did just a quick Google and couldn't find any real negatives. People were hesitant about it being worthwhile, and there were a couple about 'gaming' the system (one guy apparently shut the site down by having his friends/followers go in en masse to raise his ranking). As long as they aren't charging anything and you don't post all of your work, I personally don't see a problem (but not a lot of benefit). I would rather take my chances with an agent, but it's worked for some.

    Just saw above bit about POD - yeah, my opinion is shifting now.

    All in all, though there are reasons writers don't get contracts that are directly related to their abilities, I'd still opt for the hard road of agents versus this thing.
     
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  21. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    It says "at least 10,000 words" in the FAQs.
     
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  22. aikoaiko
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    aikoaiko Contributing Member

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    It looks like there are a lot of people who post the whole thing, which is incredible to me:eek:. Considering none of them get picked up (hardly), what in the world are they doing??

    It just doesn't make sense. You work months or years on an MS, a big name publisher sets up a site looking for 'talent', and everyone chucks caution to the wind and jumps head-first on the bandwagon. I'm sure some of these writers are unaware that they've just doomed themselves, but shouldn't a big name publisher know better? Doesn't it reflect poorly on a company to even ask people to do this?

    Dunno. It doesn't sit right with me.:wtf:
     
  23. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    My first thought was: "Is Harper Collins really getting that desperate?" There are many good writers out there, but this isn't the way to go about attracting them.
     
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  24. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Exactly. I'm deeply unimpressed with Harper Collins here.
     
  25. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I still think the concept of crowdsourcing publishing decisions has some potential. It doesn't sound like this attempt is working out so well.
     

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