"Publisher HarperCollins UK is to launch a website for aspiring authors to share their work. Would-be writers have previously sent their manuscripts to publishing houses – usually only to receive a stack of rejection letters.
Now they are being offered a new route to see their book in print. They will be able to upload their manuscripts to the site, www.authonomy.com, for others to read and critique. HarperCollins guarantees to consider the most popular scripts for publication.
Victoria Barnsley, chief executive and publisher of HarperCollins UK, said: "Very often we hear from budding new authors who tell us their script was loved by their family, book group or wide circle of friends.
"Authonomy is an opportunity for these authors to woo a large audience, get an army of support behind them, and really test whether their work has got what it takes to make it."
The site will launch early next year, initially by HarperCollins UK but with the intention of becoming a global programme in the future.
HarperCollins describes the initiative as "groundbreaking".
It is famously difficult to get your name in print – Harry Potter author JK Rowling was rejected by a dozen publishers before she was finally picked up by Bloomsbury.
A HarperCollins spokeswoman said: "Authonomy will connect unpublished authors with keen, talent-spotting readers. The site will invite aspiring writers to upload their manuscripts for the community to discuss, debate and recommend to other readers.
"It will mirror the music industry's use of social networking sites as an essential tool for discovering new talent and propelling unknown artists to success.
"The site will be entirely democratic, allowing anyone to participate – either as an author or as a reader. Through a system of personal recommendation, readers will be able to support their favourite manuscripts and HarperCollins will guarantee to consider the most popular for publication.
"It's expected that many of the readers who sign up will be industry professionals on the lookout for new talent."
A friend forwarded this so I'm not sure where he found it originally…