What's Wrong with Authonomy?

Several things, actually. For starters, anything posted there is accessible by anyone without registering. That's enough for a lot of editors to consider "first rights" on the work to be already gone--not every editor, mind you, but enough that it limits the author's choices. You do, however, have to register to comment or vote on the work. Okay, so what they're really interested in attracting is readers, not writers.

That makes perfect sense, considering it's a HarperCollins venture, but they could at least be honest about it. They dangle the carrot in front of writers, suggesting that the highest-rated works will get in front of HC editors. They do, according to the FAQ, but the editors don't read the whole thing, nor is there any indication that the works will be considered for publication. What happens is that these editors will "read from the first 10,000 words" and offer feedback. That's it.

The answer to the FAQ question "Will HarperCollins be publishing books from authonomy?" is a complete non-answer. It appears carefully worded to hold out hope while saying nothing at all. I'd be a lot happier with an honest answer like "it could happen, but it's not likely". Instead, it talks about how they'll "be looking for promising books – as will other publishing houses and agents". Yeah, right. How many publishing houses have so few submissions (mostly agented) that they feel the need to scour the Web for more? I'm guessing zero.