Writing Op: Authonomy

Have you heard about Authonomy?

It’s a site created by the editors at Harper Collins (home of Avon, doncha know) .  And it’s purpose is to find new books and authors.

authonomy invites unpublished and self published authors to post their manuscripts for visitors to read online. Authors create their own personal page on the site to host their project – and must make at least 10,000 words available for the public to read.

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.

By the way, it doesn’t cost anything to do this–just your willingness to create an online profile and post 10K words of your novel.  Would be a great opportunity to circumvent the slush pile!

9 Replies to “Writing Op: Authonomy”

  1. Chicki Brown


    I joined Authonomy a few months ago, but what I’ve seen so far is the whole thing rests on your ability to work the system. Your excerpt is rated by how many other people on the site select your story for their bookshelves and/or make comments on it. In order to do this, you need to spend an extraordinary amount of time reciprocating by reading other members’ excerpts, bookshelving and watchlisting their stories and participating in the forums. I had to limit myself to only reading their first chapters. Even with doing all of that, I haven’t been able to move my story out of the 200’s in rank. I’ll keep trying though. You know — anything to get an editor’s attention. 🙂

  2. admin

    That is the problem with things like this. It turns into a popularity contest versus a merit contest. “Please come vote for me!” and all that. I can’t stand those types of things. I’m sure the HC editors didn’t intend it that way, but human nature being with it is, of course it would become that. We perfected that in high school after all, lol.

  3. Anika

    I looked at this but it is more of a popularity contest than anything. You’ve got to spend time that you should be devoting to writing, winning friends and influencing people.

  4. admin

    Thanks for stopping by, Anika! I agree, looking at the site, you got to be able to work it. You’d do much better investing in RWA and a local chapter, then snagging an editor appointment at a conference.

    Isn’t it great that we have that kind of in?

  5. Evangeline

    Actually, isn’t the industry run off name recognition, and authors are expected to market themselves? The schmoozing that is needed to get your book to the top of the list must be incredible, so HC has basically created an American Idol/Survivor type of website. With belts tightening, though publishers want something spectacular, I think they’re willing to settle on “known” authors and authors who can make themselves “known” in order to make money.

    As for meeting editors at conferences, Scott Eagan admitted that most agents and editors don’t really acquire many authors at pitch sessions. They’re there to see what authors have to say, and to answer questions.

    At this point, an authors best bet is to write. I don’t even advocate joining writers’ groups–at least until you KNOW yourself as a writer. It’s easy to get caught in the “rules” of writing romance, as well as the “herd mentality” that goes along with a group of people trying to squeeze through a (so it seems) tiny door.

  6. Evangeline

    Of course, I’m basing my opinions on my own experience. *g* I just have a knee-jerk reaction the “join the RWA” refrain since I’ve gained a lot of information for free (after all, most RWA members hang out online and are willing to offer advice), and I can only imagine that based on my three-year-long confused muddling to find myself as a writer, this would have been acerbated by belonging to a “group.”

    I don’t disagree with the fact that new authors are needed all the time, and that tools are needed to get into the door, but I think writers should understand the tools and know which ones to use. Again, based on my experience, there can be something said for information overload. Sometimes the best tool is to write smart, but ignorant–that is, to recapture the childlike ignorance of discovering the ability to write a story, but align this with a shrewdness about the business of publishing.

  7. New Writer

    I wouldn’t take anything that Scott Eagan says as the gospel. His website shows a distinct lack of clients & sales to NY Publishers (who don’t accept unsolicited manuscripts) for someone who has been around since 2005. Nikki Poppen & Browyn Scott is his wife (she sold her first manuscript to harlequin herself btw). This is isn’t made clear on his website. Not a basket into which I would want to put my eggs is how I have heard his agency described.

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