Authonomy is a creative community for budding authors, backed by HarperCollins
It used to be that when you wrote a book, you just sent your manuscript off to a bunch of publishers, and waited. Or if you were lucky, rich, or connected, maybe you had an agent who could help you and pitch the publishers for you.
Today, it no longer has to be like that. Authonomy is one website that aims to change the process -- and do it in style. HarperCollins is effectively using the site to crowdsource the selection process: lots of authors upload their works to the site (minimum 10,000 words). There's an active community of readers and reviewers that go over the texts, read, comment or "back" (support) the book.
Then, at the end of each month, the top five works from the site are reviewed by a panel of HarperCollins editors. They read at least 10,000 words of the work, and deliver feedback right on the site itself. Meaning you can read what they have to say – not just the author's text.
Feedback is frank, but very professional. For example, a work called Evil UnLtd "won" the Editor's Review award and garnered a positive review, but the HarperCollins reviewer also wrote "As a publisher I worry that the market for this would be too small to make it a viable proposal for me."
The bottom line here is that HarperCollins are using this site to mine for new talent – and other publishers can do the same. If you're serious about your writing, this could be a great way to get noticed.