Have you come across www.authors.me? It purports to be a new way of querying for writers and query management, up through publication, for agents. Could this be a new wave for the future and could it eliminate the traditional querying practice? Do you have thoughts on this industry evolution (or devolution)? Below is a quote from their website.
ABOUT AUTHORS, INC.
AUTHORS, Inc. is an Austin technology company dedicated to making the process of discovering new manuscripts better for the writers who write them and for the agents and publishers who publish them. AUTHORS has created a breakthrough service that puts everyone on the same platform for better communication, discovery, and submissions
I had not heard of this particular company, but I've seen this "new way of querying" before...many times. It's trying to solve a problem we don't have. And by we I mean you the writer and me the agent.
There's a fundamental flaw in the logic here. "Making the process of discovering new manuscripts better for writers" implies that the process in use now doesn't work well. It works just fine. You write to me about your novel. I write back. There's direct communication. No forms to fill out, no perplexing multiple choice. No money changes hands.
If the problem is that I don't take on your project, that's not a problem with the process, and fixing/changing/altering the process won't mean diddly squat.
The problem with querying isn't the platform. It's that supply exceeds demand. There are more good writers out there than there are reader eyeballs. No change of platform will address that.
Any reputable agent and publisher will tell you that. From looking at the staff of this company, I'm not sure any agents or publishers are involved. They certainly didn't ask ME what would improve the query process. (And don't think I'm lacking in an idea or two on that front!)
And the first thing you always want to do is find out who's being asked for money:
I don't know a single agent willing to pay to receive queries.
The first rule of sales: talk benefits, not features.
I get more than enough queries right now. I turn down good and publishable work every single day, and twice on Sunday.
What's in this for me? Nothing as far as I can tell.
There is however one group of folks in the industry for whom this is a sumptuous all you can eat buffet: faux publishers. And by faux I mean the publishing companies who make money from authors not book sales.
What better place to find a bunch of those inexperienced, gullible authors just waiting to believe they can be a success with a hundred bucks and a query letter.
These kinds of services come along once every couple years. Almost universally they are started by people who have no experience in publishing (and think that's a plus) and claim successes without actually giving details.
The Authors.me site has a thread on AbsoluteWrite.com and the CEO claims "11 publishing deals have been signed."
The next question of course is "with who" but that information wasn't provided.
I also didn't see the terms of service for writer submissions, but some comments on that waved some major red flags.
Bottom line: a lot of people will tell you the query system is flawed. Generally they have a solution for you that involves your money and their pocket. Believe little, if anything, from them.
PS If you describe your service as "intelligent design" it displays an absolutely tin ear for sales and marketing.