Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Welcome to iUniverse Book Reviews

Introduction for iUniverse Authors

Would you like an online review of your iUniverse book? The evidence suggests that tens of thousands of you would. After careful study of the POD market for about seven years, I am considering entering a new hobby, just to see where it leads me.

I am an author who has contributed to traditionally published books and released four books with iUniverse. My viewpoint toward iU and publishing is somewhat unusual. Three of my iUniverse books were never submitted to traditional publishers for many reasons, the most interesting one being that I want to create my own style in which none of my books fall within the same genre, at least from a conventional sense. My books are of a particular type of nonfiction that I want to release at a particular time. I want all the covers to reflect a particular style, and I prefer to slowly build an educated readership rather than go for the quick buck. I don't make money on my books, and I do not expect to do so. I write because I feel compelled to communicate with an audience, no matter how miniscule that audience may be. I write for quality instead of quantity.

My attitude toward iUniverse is unlike the horde of what I call the slap-fighters on the POD blogs and message boards. I am tiring of the snotty attitudes of those people, both the ones who have their own blogs and those who just pop up and dominate message boards created by others. I have only three negative things to say about iU: price, price, and price. They charge too much in set-up fees, book retail prices, and wholesale prices to the authors. Absolutely everything else I can say about the company is professional and positive. I have no interest in supporting competing companies, so this offer is for iU authors only.

Examine the Following Details Thoroughly

Send me a free copy of your iUniverse book and I shall review it. I'll consider a review on this blog site, Authors Den, Amazon, and/or B&N. Note: All self-published POD imprints (except Lulu) are considered for review as of 4/1/08.

Will I place the review on more than one site? I don't know yet.

Will I write an extensive, detailed review? I don't know that, either.

Will I write a review without actually reading the book? No.

Will I write a scathing review of a bad book? Not unless you happen to act like a butthead to me in some way, such as sending me flaming emails.

Will I read and review every book I receive? Probably not, particularly if the grammar and editing look like the book was written by Ernest T. Bass.

Will I let each author know if his or her book is being reviewed? Yes.

Will I let an author know if I am not reviewing the book because I could not in good faith give it a positive review? Yes.

Will I let an author know by email not to send me a book I have no interest in reading? Yes.

How can the author get my mailing address to send a book for review? (1) Respond on this blog site with your interest and categorize your book. (2) Either include your email or suggest an alternate contact point in your blog response. (3) We can connect outside the blog so I can give you my address.

Will I put your book up for sale at Amazon either after reading it or instead of reading it? No, I find that practice despicable. If I wish to dispose of a book, I'll give it to a prospective reader. I have no intention of spending or making any cash in this endeavor.

What types of books am I most interested in reading? I have a soft spot for werewolves, vampires, and other gothic horror, but I care very little for science fiction. I like political and economic nonfiction, but I want nothing to do with corporate propoganda about how to get more work out of your employees or how to get a million-dollar job in five minutes. I refuse to review any iU books that have sold well by what I call cheating; i.e., having a celebrity's name in the title or being about a celebrity. I do not want to read any iUniverse book that is selling well purely because of the title or subject matter. Get-rich-quick schemes and their associates will not be considered for review.

That about sums it up. If no one joins this blog, I shall assume that no one is interested in whatever I have to say in or about book reviews. If I get inundated with requests, I'll deal with that situation as fairly as I can if and when it happens. I am making this offer purely for my own entertainment and to satisfy my curiosity. Let's see if it goes anywhere.