*Editor’s note: The title of this post was chosen by its author Neal Wooten, and it does not reflect his view of Indie Authors, nor the view of The Indie Times. It was meant to be sarcastic in reference to a post made by an employee at a company that is paid to do book reviews. Both The Indie Times and Neal Wooten are fierce supporters of independent artists everywhere.
This is from the Facebook page of San Francisco Book Review:
“I think it’s a day for me to immerse myself in the hundreds of truly wonderful books we get into the office instead of holing myself up in my office with the crappy self-published books.
“Note to authors: Just because you think you have a great idea for a book doesn’t me you should publish it.”
Wow! You don’t even hear that kind of negative speak from places like Kirkus or Foreword, who each have a paid review option as well. This is exactly the kind of “group-them-all-together” discriminatory mentality that non-traditional authors struggle against every day.
“Crappy self-published books.”
“Doesn’t me [mean] you should publish it.”
Unbelievable! I have always said that it is sad that the stigma in the publishing world, propagated and promoted by the upper echelon of the industry, filters down to store owners and managers, who seem to want to elevate themselves to that lofty level. It’s like a guy selling programs for the Kentucky Derby thinking he’s on the same social or financial level as the horse owners and high-rollers.
But this is a book review organization. Does anyone else see the paradox? Its sole purpose is to let the authors, and the world, know how good or bad the book is. It’s like a food critic who stays away from ethnic food, or a movie critic who waits for others to explain it’s a good movie before he’ll evaluate it. Maybe San Francisco Book Review needs to hire a company to review the books before they review them.
I have had one experience with them myself and have all the emails saved. I submitted Reternity for a paid review and never heard from them in the ten weeks they claim to be able to complete the review. When I contacted them, they told me they never received the books. I provided them with the tracking info, which included where they signed for it, but didn’t get an immediate response, so I asked them for a refund.
They miraculously found it. But then I was given several dates by which the review would be completed, each one erroneous, and each time I had to make contact again. Finally I had enough and again asked for my money back.
Here’s the response I got: “Your review came in late last week, and I’m sure it isn’t one you’d be pleased with. The reviewer did not like the book at all.”
I laughed at the professionalism. The only thing missing was “nanny, nanny, boo, boo.” Of course after reading their Facebook post, I now realize why my novel, Reternity, could not have possibly received a good review from them. I am, after all, a “crappy” author who has no right publishing a book.
Luckily, there are several organizations out there who judge a book by the writing and story, which is probably why Reternity has won six national awards and was named to Kirkus Reviews Best of 2011.
So, my fellow Indie and self-published friends, use your own judgment.
Neal Wooten, Publisher/Indie Author/Illustrator/Cartoonist