Zondervan and Baker Announce Free, Easy Alternative to the Self-Publishing Model

Launch Christian Publishing Community on authonomy.com HarperCollins' Unique Website

Jan 28, 2010, 12:05 ET from Zondervan

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Jan. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Authors of unsolicited manuscripts will no longer see their work returned to them with a "Thanks-but-no-thanks" letter from Christian publishers like Zondervan and Baker Publishing Group.  Instead, they will receive a letter or email encouraging them to post their manuscripts, free-of-charge, on authonomy.com/Christian.

"authonomy.com allows authors to quickly get valuable feedback from consumers on the relevance of their work and gain traction in the market without giving up any of their publishing rights," said Steve Sammons, Zondervan's executive vice president of Consumer Engagement.  "It takes only five quick steps to get a manuscript on the authonomy.com site, and you start getting feedback on your manuscript quickly without the usual weeks or months of waiting and hoping."

authonomy.com is a unique free online service that connects readers, writers and publishing professionals. It invites authors to post their manuscripts for visitors to read online. Authors create their own personal page on the site to host their project.  Visitors to the site can and will comment on these submissions – and they personally recommend their favorites to the community. authonomy.com counts the number of recommendations each book receives, and uses it to rank the books on the site. It also spots which visitors consistently recommend the best books – and uses that info to rank the most influential trend spotters.

"We believe the strength of authonomy.com is that it allows authors, free-of-charge, the ability to get honest feedback from readers, editors and agents as to the relevance and quality of their work," said Dwight Baker, president of Baker Publishing Group. "That is why we feel the combination of features offered by authonomy.com will provide authors the largest audience, exposure and best potential entree into the world of publishing."

Not only will Zondervan and Baker promote the authonomy.com site to agents and other Christian publishers, their editors, as part of their editorial review process will track and review those books in the Christian section of authonomy.com that have the highest rankings and provide feedback to the authors.

"authonomy.com is a tremendous idea that creates a community linking writers with their readers," offers Steve Laube, president of The Steve Laube Agency.  "Making it free is both revolutionary and very exciting. Where else can you get objective and instant feedback, and then use those comments and critiques to improve your work?"

authonomy.com was created as a better way to access the best new work out there based on real customer input. Thousands of manuscripts come through publishers' door every year and authonomy.com is a great tool for improving an author's work and increasing his or her chances to be discovered by avid readers, editors and agents.

"I believe that authonomy.com is an excellent tool for the Christian publishing industry," said Sealy Yates, founder of L.A.-based agency Yates and Yates.   "There certainly is a serious need for our industry to serve all those who would desire to be published authors. The current system does not provide ready access or even helpful information about how the system works.  It supplies support for would-be authors, publishers and agents and is efficient and effective for all involved in the process."

authonomy.com completely levels the playing field for a profession that heretofore was dependent on who-you-know or who-you-are. For the authors, the best part is that it is not just Baker and Zondervan looking for promising books; the site is open to other publishing houses and agents. Zondervan or Baker won't ask for a 'first option' to publish or take away any of rights of ownership, and the author can continue to submit to publishers and agents by other methods.

To learn more visit the authonomy.com website at: www.authonomy.com/Christian.

About HarperCollins' authonomy.com

Launched by HarperCollins UK in September 2008, authonomy.com is designed to enlist consumers in helping publishers recruit new talent.  It allows readers to discover exciting new writing and bring their favorite writers to the attention of publishers and agents.  Aspiring writers can promote their work, get spotted, and receive feedback from the online community.

authonomy.com has already attracted an audience of over 150,000 users from around the world. More than 10,000 manuscripts have been uploaded and reviewed by enthusiastic community members who spend on average over twenty minutes on the site every time they log on. Each month, the manuscripts which are voted to the top by authonomy.com users are guaranteed to be read and considered by an editor.

About Zondervan

Zondervan, a HarperCollins company, is a world leader in Christian communications and the leading Christian publishing brand. For more than 75 years, Zondervan has delivered transformational Christian experiences through general and academic resources by influential leaders and emerging voices, and been honored with more Christian Book Awards than any other publisher. Headquartered in Grand Rapids, Mich., with offices in Chicago, Miami and Seattle, Zondervan conducts events and publishes its bestselling Bibles, books, audio, video, curriculum, software and digital products through its Zondervan, eZondervan, Zonderkidz and Editorial Vida brands. Zondervan resources are sold worldwide through retail stores, online and by Zondervan ChurchSource, and are translated into nearly 200 languages in more than 60 countries. Visit Zondervan on the Internet at www.zondervan.com.

About Baker Publishing Group

Baker Publishing Group publishes books that represent a historic Christian worldview, express the concerns of the Christian faith, and reflect its diversity. Founded in 1939, today Baker Publishing Group is composed of six divisions, each reflecting a unique segment of Christian publishing. These divisions are Bethany House Publishers, Revell, Baker Books, Baker Academic, Brazos Press and Chosen Books. Baker is the publisher of GOD'S WORD Translation (GW) and also has distributed Cambridge Bibles in North America since 1991.  Based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Baker Publishing Group is one of the world's largest publishers of Christian books. For more information, please visit www.bakerpublishinggroup.com

SOURCE Zondervan