These are busy times at iUniverse Book Reviews. There is so much happening at once that I cannot decide if I want to step back and organize everything or just forge ahead, completing one task at a time until I no longer feel overwhelmed. Not only do I have a lot to say on this blog, but I have mostly ignored my other two websites for far too long. In this update, I shall take a brief stab at organizing everything, at least within the confines of this blog. Here we go, in no particular order of significance.
Author Solutions, Inc., has bought out iUniverse. I am uncertain what I think about this in all the long-term ramifications, but I doubt that it will have a positive outcome. I say this based simply on the history of corporate buyouts, which are almost never good for anyone but the CEO's and stockholders' bottom line. I have noticed that iU's basic package that includes distribution has risen to a greedy $599. Is this latest price increase related to the buyout in some way? I don't know, but the chance of this is certainly likely. What else do they have in store for future authors? Knowing as I do how corporations operate, I shudder to imagine.
On a somewhat related topic, we have the launch of Amazon's new CreateSpace. Will this be Lulu's most serious competitor? I haven't studied the details of CreateSpace's publishing plan yet, but I suspect that Lulu is about to face a real threat to its easy money. Only time will tell how the POD market shakes out its dust as these two changes infiltrate the digital airspace.
I want to reiterate the comments I made about offering my services as a proofreader in the Coming Attractions post. One of the patterns I clearly see developing is that many online entities are offering editing, proofreading, and other book doctoring services to authors. The problem is that these are very labor intensive services and the prices border on the outrageous. If you do the math on the page count or word count fees, you will quickly ascertain that the utilization of any of these services will double or triple the cost of releasing your POD book by an unknown author. How many books with incomplete proofreading will CreateSpace add to the Bad Book Ozone?
Look for reviews of the following books, generally in this order. The one and only reason there may be adjustments made to the order is that I have more than one book by a single author received at the same time, and some books by different authors have arrived on the same day. This allows for a bit of flexibility if I want to separate the reviews of books by the same author without allowing any author to cut in line in the queue.
Schlussel's Woman by John Lindermuth
The Valley of Death by Gwynne Wales
St. Hubert's Stag by John Lindermuth
Scarecrow in Gray by Barry D. Yelton
Beyond the Cayenne Wall by Shaila Abdullah
Cibolero by Kermit Lopez
Bound by Amy Lane
The following requests for reviews have been accepted, but the books have not yet arrived:
The Confession of Piers Gaveston by Brandy Purdy
Pirate Spirit by Jeffery S. Williams
Author interviews are also in progress with Dave H. Schleicher and Deb A. Welch. Dave's interview should be up before the end of September. Deb's should appear sometime in October.
I have recently posted notice of this blog's existence at two forums, one at Absolute Write and another at Amazon. Anyone who wishes to comment on my job performance on these boards is encouraged to do so. My tightrope seems to be stretching tighter with every new online source of POD information that I discover. I do not want to have to close submissions for reviews, but that consequence seems to creep ever closer. Piers Gaveston, where are you?