Sunday, May 27, 2007

Publisher taps into wisdom of crowds

I complained, a week or so ago, about the undue reliance of publishers on intuition to identify worthy book projects and now, Touchstone, an imprint of Simon & Schuster (whose author-unfriendly book contracts are in the news, too), is making me eat my words. It just announced the launching of Project Publish, a fantasy stock market in which online traders "buy" shares in actual book proposals. Basically, Touchstone will let the market pick the best proposal and then, if its editors agree with the pick come October, award a publishing contract. (More here from the NYT.) Pretty good test -- should be interesting to see what happens.

There doesn't seem to be any categorization of titles by genre, but there is an interesting business/self improvement proposal up for consideration already -- The Thirteen Virtues. It's a good idea for a book based on Ben Franklin's personal self-help program, although the proposal itself doesn't exactly sparkle.

1 comment:

Geoff Thatcher said...

Hey Ted, I enjoyed your blog and enjoyed this post. However, I always thought a little bit of intuition was a good thing.