Authonomy Contracts Three Books From Members

Eoin Purcell

Strike me down
I have to say I saw this coming. After some recent bad press on POD issues, Authonomy issued an e-mail informing the community that they have contracted three books from amongst the huge slush pile of authors.

Coffee At Kowalski’s by Miranda Dickinson

Rosie is happy at Kowalski’s florists in New York – until her past catches up with her. Romantic comedy with a cast of memorable characters.

Reaper: Coming soon to a family near you by Steven Dunne

A combination of Silence of the Lambs and The Poet set in Derby. A long dormant serial killer strikes again and the hunt is on.

Never Say Die by Melanie Davies and Lynne Barrett-Lee

The incredible story of an exceptional life…

The subtle genius of Authonomy
Is that the author already has a profile page and an image, a book and probably some fans built up through the site community. Yes I think perhaps some people underestimated the potential of this digital slush-pile!

Intrigued!
Eoin

Penguin go innovating again

Interesting
Not happy with the biggest and bravest attempt at storytelling experiments, A Million Penguins (Discussed on this blog here & here), Penguin are going to take another crack at it with a new site and a new project. I signed up for the project here:Pengrin
Not sure what it means, but Jeremy Ettinghausen, Penguin’s Digital Publisher has some words on it here:

All of which is a roundabout way of saying that in a few weeks Penguin will be embarking on an experiment in storytelling (yes, another one, I hear you sigh). We’ve teamed up with some interesting folk and challenged some of our top authors to write brand new stories that take full advantage of the functionalities that the internet has to offer – this will be great writing, but writing in a form that would not have been possible 200, 20 or even 2 years ago. If you want to be alerted when this project launches sign up here – all will be revealed in March.

I’m watching with much interest,
Eoin

Our Grannies’ Recipes Launches

Eoin Purcell

Something web-to-print sir?
About eight weeks ago we had a brain wave in work. Why not publish a book of favourite traditional Irish recipes, the recipes that our grandmothers, mothers, fathers and grandfathers cooked for us when we were young (or even when we were older and just home for some spoiling).

The issue then became, how will we collect all those recipes? And with a bit of help from the rest of the team at Mercier I realised, you use the internet. Thus was born: OurGranniesRecipes.com which has gone live today with two new posts.

Rapid launch
From concept to site has taken about eight weeks. After thinking the process through i thought it best to use freely available templates and software and to customise a theme rather than design a whole new one (if only because I have not yet even close to the level of confidence I’d need to do that). As this is the first project by Mercier on its own on the web, it has been a fairly steep learning curve. It has been enormous fun and I think it will continue to be as well.

There is more to come
Mercier is not the first to use web to print (not even in Ireland) and I’m sure others are doing cooler, better things than we are. On the other hand, this is exactly the type of project that people can get involved and excited about.

It is also exactly the type of project that publishers (even the least web savvy) can get involved in. It takes a little learning and maybe a little stress but it is time hungry rather than capital hungry and the support of the web community can be rewarding and exciting.

Here’s to hoping it comes together
Eoin

PS Feel free to submit a recipe here

Cory Doctrow

Eoin Purcell

The New Quote
Above comes from this interview with Cory Doctrow on Kottke.org (speaking with Joel Turnipseed):

What Andrew Keen has got his pants in such a ferocious knot about is that we are losing our “culture.” Basically, if you unpack his arguments they come down to this: He thinks The New York Times did a pretty good job of figuring out what was good and he doesn’t like the idea that they’re not the only way of doing it and that it’s getting harder to figure out who to listen to and media literacy is getting harder and that means bad stuff is going to become important and that wouldn’t have happened if only the wise, bearded, white-robed figures at The New York Times had been allowed to continue to dominate our culture. That’s really where he’s coming from at the end of the day.

Quality,
Eoin

Hat Tip Rob @ Snowbooks

HarperCollins launches Authonomy

Eoin Purcell

What is it?
The bookseller news item has the full breakdown (see below) but you can read some more here on MSN and a bit of analysis here:

Authonomy, at www.authonomy.com, will initially be rolled out by HCUK in early 2008, with the intention of it becoming a global programme in the future. The site will connect unpublished authors with readers, and will allow anyone to participate. Readers will be able to support their favourite manuscripts, with HC guaranteeing to consider the most popular for publication. HC anticipates that many of the readers will be industry professionals looking for new talent.

What is going on?
Seems to me that HC are quite cleverly using the web at its best to do the same job that usually gets dumped on the junior editor (not at Mercier I should add. I review nearly very script that comes in). But will it work in their favour? It is a hard call, it may be that the site will become a destination for good writers with talent (it s difficult to tell without seeing how exactly they intend to execute the task they have set themselves) but if, as HC suggest themselves, the site is also a magnet for publishing professionals from beyond HC there is no guarantee that they will take the cream. In fact they could well forced the price of the cream up and simply improve the scrum for talent while costing themselves quite a bit in hosting and marketing.

But what do I know
Eoin