Thanks to all who spoke their piece on my previous post. Great discussion, feel free to continue the dialogue.
The issue Charlotte Cook brought up though, about facing an overwhelming slush pile, is something that's a widespread problem in the publishing industry.
And I found an article on BookSeller.com "The Slush Pile Goes Online" that has a lot of great info about this move to get the public to vet the slush, so to speak. I've been thinking about this since around the Writer's Digest office we've been chatting about HarperCollins soon-to-launch Authonomy project, in which writers are invited to post lengthy excerpts from their novel for peer review and ostensibly recommendation for publication by HarperCollins. I'll post more on this when Authonomy actually launches.
But in the mean time, here's a brief excerpt from the Bookseller.com piece:
With its eye closely trained on digital opportunities, HarperCollins
is now developing its own peer-review website for unpublished writers.
Rahim Hirji, HC corporate strategy manager, says: "We realise there are
talented would-be authors out there, and also recognise the onset of
digital. We tried to think about those two things together to look at
how we could utilise the internet in finding new talent."
Would-be authors will be asked to submit all, or at least 10,000
words, of their work so that it can be reviewed by other writers or
those looking for talent. "We are using the democratic nature of the
internet, where people like to give opinions and review and rate work,"
Hirji says. "There are two sides of the project: the cream of the crop
rising in the sense of the best reviews, but also we will put the
reviewers into their own leagues."
The site, authonomy.com, is provisionally scheduled to go live in
February 2008. Hirji adds: "It’s difficult for publishers to go through
every manuscript that comes in, so we look to agents. We wanted to
create a site where talent is showcased. It’s not just a marketing
exercise; we are looking to source talent in new ways."
So what's your take on the movement to bring the slush pile to the people? Good trend or not? Let's hear it.