November 29, 2020

Crowdsourcing: “Wikipedia—But For Books?”

A report about Advanced Editions. Their slogan is, “making good books better.”

From Fast Company:

“The platform is a simple one: There is no going into the manuscript and fiddling, a la Wikipedia, here. Instead, it’s built on a forum system that “allows contributors to post suggestions online, tagged with a section number for the relevant passage of the book,” says [Hector] Macdonald. “They can also categorize their suggestion as, for example, ‘Error’ or ‘Bright Idea’.”

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Crowdsourcing creativity is nothing new–from casting movies to remakes of RoboCop to Off-Broadway plays–yet it’s hard to imagine the editing process being thrown open to any old Joe. But one of Advance Editions‘ authors, Heidi Kingstone, whose book Dispatches From the Kabul Cafe chronicles her years as a foreign correspondent in Afghanistan, sees it differently.

“There is so much history and so many different perspectives in Afghanistan,” she told me. “So many experts and people with incredible experience that… might help make the book richer.” In her estimation, the book is an “extra layer of research.”

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“Advance’s idea isn’t to reduce the expertise of its edits, but rather to introduce an extra layer of editing between first edit and lastedit. Is Macdonald aiming a blow at the publishing industry? “Advance Editions is certainly no threat to regular publishers–we’re tiny, and will remain so for the foreseeable future,” he says.”

Read the Complete Article (800+ Words)

Direct to the Advanced Editions Website

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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