Tuesday, October 14, 2008
This book publisher needs an editor
Outskirts Press makes most of its money by selling services to authors, not by selling books to readers. It has called its business "custom book publishing," "on-demand publishing" and "independent self-printing." Its Google ad promotes its "Fast Easy Self Publishing," but it's really a vanity press. No company can self-publish for you. The words just don't make sense.
Its publishing packages include editing services, but the company's own publications can use better editing.
On the second page of the foreword to "Self Publishing Simplified," Outskirts Press boss Brent Sampson refers to "off-set" printing, with a hyphen between the "off" and the "set." The term also appears on four other pages in the book.
That's a really stupid error, especially for a book publisher.
The correct term is "offset," and it's been that way for over 100 years since offset printing was invented by Ira Rubel in Nutley, New Jersey.
On his company's website, Sampson urges writers to use an editor and he says, "Errors in your writing cause readers to question your credibility." I question his.
The back-of-book bio says Sampson is an "accomplished artist and writer." His personal website has a stupid typo: "earn up to tens-of-thousands a dollars." So far I'm not impressed with his writing accomplishments.
The book has a foreword written by Sampson -- which goes against the book publishing rules I've learned. Forewords are not supposed to be written by the author. Sampson should have called it a preface or an introduction or hired someone else to write the foreword.
According to Sampson, "Peter Mark first published the Thesaurus in 1852," strangely ignoring the much more famous Peter Roget who published his Thesaurus in the same year. Actually Mark was the middle name of Peter Mark Roget, so Sampson was two-thirds right.
He also says getting an ISBN number (the unique identification number for each book) is a "headache." Sorry, Brent, that's just not true. I ordered five ISBNs in about five minutes. All I needed was my keyboard and a credit card. I never touched the Tylenol bottle.
Sampson also talks about the troubles that "Most self-published authors" have getting their books distributed, the high percentages paid to Amazon, and the high costs of setting up websites. That's self-serving fiction designed to make his own company look good and he can't possibly know the experiences of "most..."
These silly errors and outright deceptions do not inspire confidence.
Sorry Brent, I'm going to use another company for my books. I'll feel better, and I'll also probably make more money and get paid faster.