Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The top publishing company awards

Have you ever thought that there ought to be an award for the top publishing company or companies? If so, how would it work? Who would decide where the awards went to and what would be their criteria?

There's been a good deal of furore recently over standards and numerous attempts have been made by a public, unhappy with the way in which they've been treated. to part the head of many a so-called and self-proclaimed top publishing company from their corporate torso.

Don't get taken for a ride!
Without going into detail about the activities of any specific organization, these allegations have included poor standards, broken promises, money taken and then no services provided, excessive prices for services which turn out to be essential 'options' and so forth. In the eyes of the unhappy client-base, the gods of over-automation and getting-rich-quick have received substantial offerings courtesy of authors who've entrusted the deities’ earthly manifestations with as much as $5,000 or more of hard-earned savings at a time and then got little or nothing back to show for their troubles.

Get-rich-quick has always been around and it always will be but over-automation is an abuse of the service that many a major publishing company claims to provide. Programmed properly, computers can knock many hours off complex tasks such as book formatting and editing however computer programs can only go so far. Programmers aren't programmers because they're eloquent individuals and their literary abilities don't compare with those of a human editor.

Given how many millions of books now clog up a certain major book distributor's shelves, it cannot be long before the multi-billion dollar company concerned starts brutally discarding books which have not been properly edited or formatted - these being two 'mathematically definable' areas which could readily become part of their complex computer algorithm. At that point, anyone whose book's not up to scratch will get just that - scratched.

The era of the smaller enterprise, one which cannot afford the huge investment in software and thus has to undertake work manually, may soon be upon us. If the criterion of 'who produces books with the least errors?' is operative, it could well be that a more modest establishment would be elected as top publishing company. That's not as silly as it sounds. The human eye and attached brain can make sense of situations (garbled text, spelling mistakes etc) which no algorithm could even attempt to tackle correctly.

Just look at the complete inadequacy of your resident spell-check to correct which, witch, where, ware, wear, their, there etc.

If the award is to be made on the basis of quality of service provided, then those multi-million dollar organizations probably aren't going to get a look in. As authors have alleged over and over again, they may have the volume but they don't have the standards.

Before we begin on the path to having an actual awards ceremony to find the best publishers, it'd be an idea for there to be minimum standards introduced for the industry because, without that baseline, performance 'above and beyond' simply cannot be gauged. This may not be so far-fetched and there could well come a time not long hence when authors who've shelled out a tidy fortune to have their books produced professionally, find themselves getting summarily thrown ashore by a certain mighty river’s namesake.

That’s when the fireworks will start.

Any Subject Books publishes a wide range of e-books as well as providing a full-range of competitively-priced book publishing services to self-publishing authors.

No comments:

Post a Comment