In a move that looks to change the relations between big trade publishers and their authors, Simon & Schuster has launched InkedIn, a new online community for S&S authors that will allow them to hold one-on-one, or group, discussions about publishing-related topics.

InkedIn will be available exclusively to S&S authors, who can also login via the networking site LinkedIn.

InkedIn comes at a time when big New York trade houses are looking to address complaints about publisher/author relations (and make traditional publishing look like a more appealing option than self-publishing). S&S, for its part, developed an Author Portal, in 2011, which provides a variety of services--from access to sales data to social media tools--to its authors. InkedIn will be added to the Author Portal.

Ellie Hirschhorn, executive v-p and chief digital officer, described InkedIn as part of “our ongoing commitment to providing S&S’s authors with the tools and resources they need.”

She added: “Simon & Schuster’s authors are a talented and knowledgeable community that, using S&S InkedIn, can come together for the purposes of sharing information, advising each other, and enjoying the unique, only-an-author-would-understand camaraderie and inspiration of their peers in a private, professional social network.”