Is this a good idea?

Simon & Schuster is producing a new online “get published” site. It’s called First Chapters and is being touted as a web-based “American Idol for books”. Basically, unpublished authors submit works, then everyone votes, etc., etc. After weeks of narrowing the field a panel of judges awards the winner $5,000 and a publishing contract.

Here’s the NY Times full article.

I guess any publicity for the publishing industry is good. But this just seems like a convoluted way of arriving at a book with mass appeal via the “lowest common denominator”.

I’ll check in once the field has been cut to the finalists. The whole point of relying on publishers and editors is so they cut through all the crap for me and I don’t have to waste time wading through stuff that’s not any good.

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