Jumping the Slush Pile

HarperCollins has luanched their own version of weBook. It's called Authonomy. The difference with HC's site is that the books with the highest community ratings get in front of an HC editor.

It's another example of the Web enabling new ways to replace the traditional "gatekeeping" functions in the book world. The first, of course, was community sites for recommending already-published books. As the number of column inches in the print world devoted to reviews has shrunk, book recommendation/review communities have grown. So now we have the problem of expanding slush piles (or the elimination of them) and limited first reader time being solved by volunteer first reader communities.

Jim Baen's Universe has already been doing this for a couple of years in short SF with their slush forum. Now the concept is expanding.