Monday, July 7, 2008

Thoughts on Online Publishing Services

Thoughts on Online publishing services

One of the ways I keep busy is that I became a professional book reviewer, after working part-time with my best friend and publisher, Bettie Tucker, who previously ran the Christian publishing company called Rainbow's End.  There I got involved and learned about all phases of publishing a book, including writing reviews for publicity packets. It was not surprising that when we thought we were ready for retirement, that we then created a book review site! The thing is that we have just as much work as we did when we were working!  But it is work that all of us enjoy.

I have an interest in helping new authors through my book reviews. So a lot of my time, I'm working to support my clients through posting their book reviews. You will see them all over the Internet! I hope you will realize that some of these are individuals who have bypassed trying to find a major publisher. Many of them are retired and do not have the time to devote to first finding an agent and then a publisher. Many have used the fantastic new print-on-demand process that allows an opportunity to seek alternative methods of becoming published.

Have you ever thought of writing that novel, your memoirs, your family's story? Well there are lots of alternative ways to do that now...But do be careful! Just as you would with a major purchase...spend some time evaluating that process, what company's are available...what they will provide for you and what kind of guarantees/references they can give.  Never let a self-publishing company make you feel that "they" are doing you a favor! This is still a business transaction and, no matter what, you want to ensure that you KNOW what you are getting into...and the potential costs!

Additionally, you may not realize until your book is in your hand...it will be ENTIRELY up to you to sell your book(s). Now, for many people, especially older ones who chose this route for speed, you may come to realize that all of your time may be dedicated to selling your book.  Be prepared for this before you start. If you don't think you want to spend your time selling your own book...then rethink what it is you do want to do!

Our site brings together professional, but independent, book reviewers, editors, proofreaders. We work on an individual basis to try to help a writer get through potential scams! But oftentimes, it is too late when authors come to us. So we begin to help where they are.  We won't do a book review if it is full of errors; e.g., spelling and/or grammatical.  This is not normally a part of the book review process; however, we do it to protect our own reputations as well as our attempts to help the writers.

You have no idea how many times we hear, "but I just paid an editor big bucks to edit and/or proofread my book!" Or, "but I thought my publisher would do that final proofreading and editing." (This is very rare for POD publishers by the way.)

Hey, just like it is on the job...you find poor as well as good employees! Make sure you check references on anybody with whom you begin a contract, albeit informally

G. A. Bixler
Independent Professional Book Reviewer
http://www.bookreviewers.org/