This could prove to be an exciting new dawn for writers, completely changing the submission/rejection cycle to be perfectly painless.
At first the PW article quoted below makes Inkubate sound like another Authonomy or Zoetrope Virtual Studio. At these sites, writers upload their work to be reviewed and rated by other authors. Highly rated works are then drawn to the attention of Harper Collins and Zoetrope respectively. On Inkubate, writers upload their work just like the other sites, but the only ones who will view the material is agents and publishers who had purchased a subscription to the site.
In addition, if your work is viewed you will actually GET PAID (probably minimally, but better than shelling out money for stamps). In addition, the viewed work increases the writer’s value rating, which increases the odds it may be noticed by other potential buyers.
The site is in beta testing right now, but expected to go live in six months or so. It will be by invite only, so keep your eyes open for a way to snag a ticket to get in.
Unlike online writing sites that offer feedback from a community of writer/readers, Inkubate is not a workshop site—it’s not intended to present content publicly to solicit feedback—but an online marketplace that allows agents and publishers to review content, make bids or solicit further information. “We are not a display site; writers do not see the works of other writers,” Gale said. All writers must be invited to submit content for the site and all content is vetted. Once invited to join, writers can subsequently invite other writers to join and upload content.