Thursday, February 28, 2008

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes



I want to welcome Celia Hayes to our team of honest, legitimate reviewers at iUBR. Some of you may recognize Celia's work from other review sites, where she is best known as Sgt. Mom. After earning a BA in English, Celia began a twenty-year career in the USAF. She has written two books, both published by Booklocker, which of course, does give her genuine POD experience. Not only do we welcome Celia to our little team, but we encourage her to cross-post any of her iUBR reviews at any of her other review sites. You can read more details about Ms. Hayes and her ample qualifications as a reviewer at her website. You will see that she is one talented and accomplished lady!

Yesterday PODdy Mouth posted a link to one hell of an article about the accountability of POD companies and, I might add, a detailed account of this accountability, as accounted wholly within the minds of many POD authors. Considering what I have learned about iUniverse, both the company and their authors, I think this story is probably quite true.

I am very pleased to announce that a brave soul has taken on the daunting task of founding a site similar to iUBR for (drum roll, please) Lulu authors and their books! This has been a long time coming and I want to wish Shannon Yarbrough the very best of luck with his new Lulu Book Review at WordPress. You can click the link in the left column of this page at any time to visit Shannon's site. If you are a Lulu author seeking a review, go to the Pick Me page on the site or click the link in The POD Ring Chart at iUBR to go directly to Shannon's review request page after reading the submission guidelines listed in the chart.

Some of you may have noticed that I have dared to put my ugly face and name more prominently on this blog and elsewhere. I am slowly phasing out the Tabitha name. My Nonfiction in a Fictional Style website will remain under the name e-tabitha.com for at least a while longer. I suppose that's what I get for purchasing the name for ten years! I originally wanted to buy a name I could share with my wife for a long time, so we chose the name of one of our cats. Little did I realize in my early days of computer naivete that the name would constantly bring up little witch actresses and porn stars through search engines forever! I have started another blog under my own name to which I can post all the miscellaneous articles and commentary not applicable to iUBR in the future. No, all this fascination with the sound of my own name has not exploded the size of my head. I am just evolving into a more traditional web presence with it all.

Changes will be coming to iUBR over the coming months, one way or the other. I have not said much about the AuthorHouse buyout. For now, I am taking a wait and see attitude. As you might imagine, the composition of four separate reviews for each book accepted has been slowly eroding my creative timeclock, not to mention the quantity of ordinary time involved. I certainly cannot expect my satellite reviewers to participate in this sort of operation, either. We shall just have to take this issue as it comes. I expect to totally remove any ties from Authors Den by the end of the year. This is not to imply any negative connotation toward AD at all. It's just that once I saw that my name in Google would pull up seven solid pages of me, I decided it was time to cut the cord. As I have stated in the past, a deft use of AD is the best way I have found to get your name out there as an author. I have been spreading myself far too thinly lately, and I have been virtually ignoring my own e-Tabitha website for the past couple of years. It's basically time for me to get my act together. I am still looking to expand the cadre of reviewers here at iUBR. Nothing would make me happier than to be so busy handling the technical, promotional, and organizational sides of iUBR that I had no time left to actually read and review books. So many quality iU books deserve my attention, but I have limited time to give.
I would love to leave that to a cadre of honest, legitimate, satellite reviewers!

Exciting new developments are coming soon to iUBR! Dr. Al Past's glowing (but deservedly so) review of William W. Lewis' The Year of the Monkey, a book about Vietnam, will be the next post. I am working up an interview for Nathan Bransford, the noted San Francisco agent. This will be my first interview not with an author whose book has already been featured at iUBR. Believe me, you guys will love this interview! There are a couple of other subjects I would like to interview, but I am keeping mum as to their identities for now. I am currently reading Dianne K. Salerni's High Spirits and Dr. Past is reading The Turquoise Dagger, by Donald J. Carpenter. Three additional books previously accepted for review on The Waiting List supposedly are on the way to the three of us. Ya'll have already mailed your books haven't you?

Did I leave out something? Oh yeah, the thing ya'll probably want to know most of all: when will submissions be reopened at iUBR? I'm afraid I cannot answer that question yet, at least not precisely. Believe me when I say I would love to open the floodgates right now, but I don't want to get swamped overboard the way I was late last year. If you want to see the submissions open soon, and stay open, volunteer to become a satellite reviewer, or encourage one of your fellow authors to do so. I can guarantee you that you will learn a lot about POD books very quickly. If every POD author was required to review at least a few books before releasing their own, the whole industry would wise up in a hurry! If not a single one of you is willing to spend a little time straining your brain, then I shall say that submissions should be reopened sometime this spring, but no later than 4/30/08. Please volunteer! Let's get these floodgates ready before you Yankees thaw out this winter. All the current iUBR reviewers are probably wearing shorts now, but that's only because we are all smart enough to live in Central and South Texas. Come on! Let's make iUBR an interstate operation!

See Also: Celia's POD Experience

1 comment:

Shannon said...

Thanks for the honorable mention and for all of your support. It is much appreciated. I plan to mention this post in tomorrow's update. Two reviews have been completed and will go live on Saturday. Because of the overwhelming response, I'm shooting for 2 more reviews by the end of March. I have a week of vacation at the Gulf in there which involves sun, sand, a funny straw hat, some good books, and a notebook. That's plenty!

Best,
Shannon
The Lulu Book Review