Monday, March 9, 2009

Is this something to brag about?

Infinity Publishing provides services to authors who can't or don't want to use traditional publishers.

The company brags about its innovation and technology. They distribute a useful promotional and instructional book aimed at prospective customers.

It includes this pathetic picture. The caption says "Michelle Shane, sales administrator, is seen here receiving an order for a book. She will then oversee the invoicing and sale of the book as it makes its way through our system. It will be shipped in less than 48 hours!"

The ancient CRT monitor on the desk is not the worst lapse of technology.

Poor Michelle's left arm is twisted like a pretzel to hold her telephone handset against her right ear to free her right hand for writing.

She's not even taking advantage of the high-tech shoulder rest that someone stuck onto the handset.

Michelle should be using a HEADSET, not a handset, so both of her hands will be free to conduct business.

And why is she writing on a piece of paper instead of typing on a keyboard?

I suppose her method is better than using a quill on a sheet of parchment -- but just barely. I wonder if Infinity's books are printed on demand, as scrolls, by monks working by candlelight.

Also, the company can't accept uploaded manuscripts, but they will let authors send in a stack of floppy disks. Some computer users have never used a floppy disk, and floppy drives are seldom installed in modern PCs.

It's certainly possible that Infinity produces excellent products at a fair price, but the primitive photo is a poor choice to show off in the 21st century. Examine your own promotional photos carefully.


  1. Good points! Why would anyone use a company that's stuck in the 1980's?

  2. It's really pathetic that a POD publishing company can't work with file uploads from writers.

    Infinity's competitors don't have this problem.

  3. I'm a part-time writer and a full-time insurance agent.

    I can't imagine any customer service rep or salesperson working without a headset, or taking notes longhand.

    And if the boss won't pay for a headset, she should at least learn how to use the shoulder rest

  4. In a normal economy, I'd threaten to quit if I had to work like that.

    In 2009, I'd buy my own headset.

    Infinity Publishing will be lucky if they don't have to pay for chiropractic care or orthopedic surgery.