HarperCollins Offers Contracts to Its Community Site Writers

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This is a pretty big deal: HarperCollins has signed not one, but three authors who participate on their community site Authonomy. The news was announced on the Authonomy blog under the title "The Publishing Contracts Have Begun." Summaries of the three author stories:

  • Author can't get traditionally published, so he self-publishes and has some local success. He then places his book on Authonomy and gets noticed by community members and a HarperCollins editor.
  • Author posts work on Authonomy and is noticed by the community. Signed for a three-book deal.
  • Author posts work on Authonomy, and it is noticed an agent who regularly browses the site for new talent. Agent sells it to the publisher.

Has anyone been participating on Authonomy? What do you think? It is a very intoxicating idea to think that, if you work really has a stand-out quality and value, it may get noticed on this community site. A favorite thing editors and agents like to say is: Quality always rises to the top. Perhaps this site helps that happen for more writers, more often, more quickly?