Like a Reality Show, but for Authors


Photo Credit: Reader’s Entertainment Magazine

I remember reading a long time ago about a reality show in Italy in which writers competed on TV for a publishing deal. I think. I don’t know the name of the series or how it panned out, but if my memory serves me right, then the writers were tested by writing just about anything you can think of. Well, I’ve now discovered something even better. Swoon Reads.

The premise of this Macmillan YA imprint is simple, publish what the people want. I’ve literally just discovered the company minutes before sitting down to write this, but it appears that authors simply submit a manuscript and readers can sample it, rate, and comment on what they read. I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that it sounds no different from what you can do on Amazon or the Barnes and Noble site. And that’s true, but those books are already published. These aren’t. You’re making the decision.

This is like a reality show and a Kickstarter all-in-one! Without having to give any money! I think this was a mighty fine move by Macmillan and although no one really knows how the eventual published books will sell (the first is set for release Aug. 26) I’m thinking they’ll do okay.

Lastly, before you go off submitting your newly polished manuscript to the site’s readers you should know that nearly 300 manuscripts have been submitted and the number of books accepted for publication is still in the single digits. It isn’t easy but hey, publishing never is.

Now tell me what you think of Swoon Reads using feedback from readers to decide which books deserve publishing. I think it’s great, what about you?

Here’s a New York Times article discussing the first book to be released by the imprint.

Interested in taking a look at the first book? Do so here.

21 thoughts on “Like a Reality Show, but for Authors

    • I guess it depends on how well the books are received and sell. The first book got am initial printing of 100,000 copies even though she’s a first-time author. Cause I think if they did something for adult novels that there would be a gazillion people trying to use it.


  1. What a cool idea! I know that agents, editors, and publishers are supposed to know “what’s going to sell,” but really, who knows better than the readers? Many books sell based on word-of-mouth, so if someone likes a book, they’ll recommend it to their friends, family, co-workers, etc. Then, boom!
    Of course, it never goes that quickly, but I think it’s a good idea to have readers give feedback and pick what is relevant to them. I like it!


  2. How freaking cool! A neat way to give some newer authors some recognition and maybe get a book deal they wouldn’t otherwise get! I’m very interested to see how it pans out!


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