I came across what I believe is a very good resource for writers, and even though it’s geared to self-publishing, I’m of the opinion that anyone seeking publication at any level would benefit from “The Independent Publishing Magazine.” This is an e-medium founded by a chap named Mick Rooney, and the forum champions many of the same causes I constantly harp on. However, his blog also provides a lot of topical self-publishing info that can save authors interested in this avenue a lot of time and ultimately money.
Mr. Rooney has provided extensive coverage of the Bertelsmann/Pearson/Penguin/Random House tie-in with ASI. I was particularly impressed with the clear way in which he defined this tangled web and what I consider the abhorrent potential abuse of unwary souls everywhere. I’m referring to those who are led to believe self-publishing provided under the aegis of a Big 5 parent company will guarantee a book’s success, especially if editing and marketing services are purchased as critical components of the “package.”
All anyone need do is go online to find out how displeased ASI’s client base happens to be at any given moment. Yet sheep continue to be led to slaughter. This rush by four of the five publishing giants to “help” writers via a self-publishing arm is one element of the book industry that instead of being placated (read “eradicated”) is now attempting to legitimize itself by association. Nothing makes me more upset, and this is solely because some folks still refuse to heed the plethora of reports from the masses who have made the very missteps they are trying to prevent other writers from taking.
The Independent Publisher is the name of another magazine and not to be confused with The Independent Publishing Magazine. And while TIP is certainly a bona fide source for writers, I believe Mr. Rooney’s focus might be easier for the average writer starting out to identify with, and at the same time offer those who have been up and down the road a few times a pleasant medium in which to discuss the vagaries of their travels.
Mr. Rooney is also a publishing consultant for writers seeking to self-publish. He self-published his first book in 1990 and has had many traditionally published works since. But he has stayed with the independent publishing aspect of the business from the outset, and I’m of the opinion he possesses a wealth of usable knowledge. He charges $75 for a half-hour phone consult and $150 for an hour. Here’s a link to his “Consultation Page” on his Web site.
And it’s important to note that Mr. Rooney does not provide proofreading or editing services, so anyone contacting him will be assured that time will be spent only on the subject at hand, which is the best path to self-publish your particular book. I noticed that one of his services is to review writers’ blogs and other media used by authors to promote their work.
For a writer who is about to finish a book and planning to self-publish, this could be the best $75 that can be spent, as he can explain the options and the best ways to proceed. In the publishing business, everyone remotely affiliated in any way is an expert (except me, as I’ve often freely admitted). Mr. Rooney, however, certainly appears to be one of those few people who deserve the title, and I believe he and his e-magazine are worth checking out for anyone considering self-publishing for the first time.