Do your research. Be aware. Before paying someone to publish your book or before signing a self-publishing contract, even if it does not involve an initial payment from you, Google the publisher’s name along with the word “scam.” Then, repeat with the word “complaint.” Read carefully and think.
Think twice before self-publishing, but if you are determined, read this before submitting anything to the new Archway.
If you’ve finished your NaNoWriMo novel and are tempted to self-publish now, here’s some food for thought from people who know.
Publishing is changing. It is much easier and less expensive now for an author to reach out to the audience directly. The problem is that it is easy for everyone to do this.
If you have a website, you know that enticing people to view it can be a problem when millions of other sites clamor for attention. The same is true now for “books.” I put the term in quotation marks because so many publications are just as virtual as sites.
Here’s a well-thought-out essay about the situation from an industry professional. If you are thinking about publishing your work, it’s worth a read.
Reviews are important. People depend on them. That said, if there is one glowing review in a sea of bad ones, it’s pretty obvious someone has been paid.
It’s important for all of us to take a minute to post honest evaluations of the books we read (if we have time). It counterbalances those dishonest voices, which will, unfortunately, always be around.
The Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) respects the value of book reviews to the publisher, author and reader and urges independent publishers, self publishers and authors to ethically pursue both traditional and online reviews.
IBPA rejects and deems unethical the practice of “sock puppet” reviews—bogus reviews by reviewers writing under false names and/or pretenses.
IBPA calls for “citizen reviewers” to pledge to review truthfully and thoughtfully—or not at all.
Many of you are scratching your heads, thinking that the above position statements simply re-state the obvious and why bother. The “why” speaks to the recent furor over integrity in online book reviewing.
As you may have noticed recently in both the book trades and other media, the spotlight is shining on “sock puppets,” defined as fake online positive reviews posted under bogus names or pretenses. The Best Book Reviews Money Can Buy (New York Times, 8-26-2012) tells the story…
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