Monday, July 30, 2018

It's time to pick on Outskirts Press again


Regular readers of this blog know that I have scorn, disdain, contempt, hatred, etc. for Outskirts Press. It's either the worst "self-publishing company" in the world, or the second-worst. It exists to extract often-huge sums from wannabe authors, and produces some of the lowest-quality books I've ever seen. In addition to blog posts warning people away from the company, I even published a book about Outskirts back in 2010.

I'm amazed that Outskirts still exists, but as P. T. Barnum allegedly said, "There's a sucker born every minute."

Not all of Outskirts's author/customers are suckers, but they are certainly fools for ignoring the abundant complaints online.

I have not paid much attention to the company lately, but this morning I received a press release touting a review of one of the company's recent books, One Last Season by T. Richard.


So, what's wrong with the book?

  1. The book is hard to find at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble—but other books with the same title are there. Book titles cannot be copyrighted, but it's best to try to be unique.
  2. The subtitle uses a small script typeface that is unreadable when the cover is shown in small size online.
  3. The author chose to use the initial "T" instead of a first name. This has been a common strategy for female writers such as J.K. Rowling who thought that young male readers might reject the Harry Potter books if they knew that they were written by a woman. The author of this book is a man who chooses to hide behind an initial. I don't know why. There are plenty of fine T-names. Tyrannosaurus Richard would be very memorable. Ted, Tom and Theodore are OK, too.
  4. A new author must work hard to sell books, and the publisher should help. Sadly there is no online preview available on the Outskirts site, or any bookseller site I could find. Readers should be able to sample a few pages before making a purchase—especially a very expensive paperback from a new author.

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