Outskirts Press receives a lot of positive reviews and comments from the people we care about pleasing the most — our authors. We publish many of their comments on our website every month, but the fact is, we receive more kudos than we have time to post online.
Nevertheless, authors are often left with the question of where to go to investigate self-publishing options from impartial, unbiased sources. Therefore, over the previous and upcoming posts I have been, and will be, discussing five 3rd party self publishing review sources.
I already discussed the Self Publishing Review site run by Henry Baum and the Top Self Publishing Firms book written by Stacie Vander Pol. This next source is a book, too, titled The Fine Print of Self-Publishing, by Mark Levine. It is currently in its Third Edition.
It is important to realize that the author of this book is the president of a competing self-publishing company, and therefore has a financially vested interest regarding the type of information he presents in his book. While I state who I am in my books and clearly state that I believe Outskirts Press is a good choice for many writers, Mr. Levine takes a different approach and omits this biographical tidbit from his author biography. In fact, in an effort to appear impartial, Mark’s own company is absent from his own book. Nevertheless, the business model on which he bases all his analysis of his competitors is based upon his own company’s business model. As a result, a disproportionate amount of weight is applied to some details he considers personally important, regardless of how important they are in the overall scheme of things. This discrepancy is further exacerbated when one considers that his company’s prices are in the thousands of dollars while he is ranking and analyzing companies with service fees that are much lower, and yet judging those companies upon the same expectations.
I realize all this sounds like I may harbor some sort of animosity toward this book and its author, and that is not the case. We get along very well. In fact, in the First Edition of The Fine Print of Self-Publishing, Outskirts Press was among the “Outstanding Self Publishing Companies” analyzed and ranked. Our ranking in the current 3rd Edition is “Pretty Good” (the level directly below “Outstanding”) and if you closely read the book, this decline would appear to be based upon a hypothetical situation whereby Amazon no longer carries our books — which, of course, is absurd.
By Mark’s own admission when I spoke with him about this error, he admitted this 3rd edition was composed when Amazon was in the middle of their “strong-arm ultimatums” with all the self-publishing firms, including his. Amazon’s monopolistic exercise failed, along with this book’s resulting conclusions, which interestingly, only degraded Outskirts Press and not any of the other firms that would have been equally affected. But alas, the book had already gone to print. Why a corrected edition hasn’t been released nearly three years later is anybody’s guess. I guess I could do what some other publishers have apparently done, and threatened him with lawsuits, but I have better things to do, and so does he. Mark will correct the book when he has the time.
Considering the financially vested position of its author, all the information in the book should be viewed with a grain of salt (and that goes for all of the companies being examined). Even so, Outskirts Press comes out looking pretty good, particularly considering this is the most biased source of the five “Outskirts Press reviews” I’ll be looking at.
As I mentioned at the top of this posting, the comments from our authors hold the most value for us, and I’d like to share one we received below:
“The decision to pursue the publication of my first novel by way of self-/custom-publishing was easy. The hard part was choosing which company to go with. After researching several companies on-line, I ultimately chose Outskirts Press because of the extremely detailed package comparisons on their very informative Web site. Other sites were less informative and left a lot of questions unanswered. After looking over the Outskirts site, I had no doubt the Diamond package offered was the route to publication I was going to take. I also chose to go with Outskirts Press because I was left with the impression I would be more than satisfied with the personalized and dedicated approach being advertised, and I was.
The entire process from submission to acceptance to final publication went well. Any concerns or questions I had were promptly answered and any issues that arose were quickly resolved. Outskirts deserves high marks for its professionalism and quality output. I am more than pleased with the final hard copy of my book, and can’t thank Chris, Jeanine, Cheri and my Author Rep Deni enough for all they did in helping me to realize my dream of becoming a published author!” – Brian M. Gelinas