Outskirts Press is the inept and dishonest pay-to-publish company that I love to hate. Outskirts does so many things so badly that I wrote a book about it, and I frequently slam the company on this blog.
On July 25, 2011, Outskirts boss Brent Sampson (with wonderfully appropriate initials) posted a blog titled, "Is Outskirts Press legitimate?"
While Brent never tells us what he means by "legitimate," he wants to assure us that his company is legitimate. One bit of "proof" of legitimacy that Brent provides is that "Outskirts Press books are for sale and available for order worldwide every day online from Amazon and Barnes & Noble."
Brent tells us that 7,302 Outskirts Press titles were available on Amazon.com on July 1.
7,302 is a big number. The number may be higher than the numbers of titles available on Amazon.com from Outskirts Press's competitors such as Xlibris or Infinity. It may even be higher than the numbers from undeniably legitimate publishing houses like Simon & Schuster or Random House.
Bren't 7,302 total would be very impressive if all of those books had to be approved for sale by a person or committee that evaluated their quality and saleability.
But that's not how books become available at the big online booksellers.
All that a publisher has to do to achieve availability on Amazon.com, B&N.com and their competitors' websites is to have books printed by Lightning Source or CreateSpace.
Brent could publish the absolute worst garbage in the world, but as long as he chooses the proper printer, and his checks don't bounce or he uses a valid credit card, the garbage will be "for sale and available for order worldwide every day online from Amazon and Barnes & Noble."
My own Silver Sands Books is much smaller than Brent's company. We have just a dozen books available on Amazon.
Does this man that Brent's company is more than 600 times as legitimate as my company is?
I don't think so.