Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Outskirts Press has nothing to brag about (but they brag anyway)

This is the time of year when Inc magazine publishes its list of the 500 and 5000 fastest growing privately owned American companies (that choose to submit information).

It's also the time of year when dishonest and incompetent Outskirts Press brags about its placement on the lists.

For several years Outskirts had decent positions in the Inc. 500.

Two years ago Outskirts plummeted from the 500 into the 5000. The company still touted its dubious achievement, assuming that readers would not notice that FIVE THOUSAND is not the same number as FIVE HUNDRED.

Outskirts boss Brent Sampson wrote: "In 2009 Outskirts Press . . . became the only self-publishing company to appear on the Inc. 500 list. . . . And in 2010, and again in 2011, Outskirts Press repeated its appearance on the Inc. 5000 twice more, and became the only self-publishing company to appear on the list of top 5,000 fastest growing businesses in America for three years in a row."

In the past, Brent used his blog to brag in advance about his company's pending Inc position. (". . . the annual Inc. Magazine Fast 500 list is announced at the end of this month. . . . We placed #268 last year among all private companies and #1 among participating self-publishing services. We’ll see where we are this year when they’re announced later this month.")

This year, Brent had nothing to say in advance of the Inc announcement -- a wise move.

Last year Outskirts paid to have PRweb distribute an announcement of its Inc position. This year it used a freebie Twitter tweet -- no surprise.

  • In 2009, Outskirts had a ranking of #268 (part of the top-performing "Inc 500").
  • In 2010, Outskirts dropped out of the 500 and was ranked #1266.
  • In 2011, the Outskirts ranking dropped to #3088.
  • In 2012, the company is ranked #4530, getting perilously close to the bottom of the barrel.
  • In 2013, if the trend continues, Outskirts will not even be in the 5000.

As in past years, Outskirts competes in the "consumer products and services" category. It would be much more logical for a publisher to be in the "media" category. However, if Outskirts was listed in media, it would suffer in comparison to more successful companies.

In a book he wrote, Brent provided the wrong name for the publisher of Roget's Thesaurus. He has also confused foreword and forward and made other foolish mistakes. Maybe he hopes prospective author/customers will be similarly sloppy and won't realize that being part of a group of 5,000 is not the same as being part of a group of 500.

Also, according to the info published by Inc, sales at Outskirts dropped from 2010 to 2011 -- a time of tremendous growth in self-publishing -- and Outskirts employment has remained at three lonely folks since 2009.


  1. No sensible/serious/knowledgeable writer would use Outskirts. Sadly, there are plenty of others who would.

    Fortunately, the company is finally beginning to fade away. I hope Outskirts doesn't do too much damage until it finally goes belly-up.

    Keep exposing the bad guys.

  2. These types of awards, where companies nominate themselves, mean NOTHING. If anything, they should be embarrassed that they must stoop to entering these contests (that's what they are) in order to come up with marketing blurbs.