American Idol for writers? Sounds like fantasy, but a new venture, WEbook, is giving it a spin. At the newly launched www.webook.com, writers can initiate either public or private collaborative efforts. Post your work on WEbook and you'll have a shot at being published - not vanity publishing, but royalty-based. I haven't checked out the legal fine print, but it's an interesting concept.
Writers complain that the current publishing model is broken. A multitude of problems prevail: unrealistic advances to big-name authors whose books don't earn out, mergers into mega-companies, overly-generous return policies, and the takeover of the book market by chain stores where publishers pay for books to be positioned.
As the traditional market becomes increasingly dollar-driven and exclusive, the far end of the market is busting at its seams. Print on demand machines can now print and bind books in 15 minutes, all at your local bookstore. And now comes online collaboration, with investors onboard.
Any takers, Alaska?