Stop me if you’ve heard this one. In-mid April, Author Solutions—the company that owns iUniverse and several other vanity press imprints—announced that all book reviews conducted through their review partners between April and December 2012 would be “sent to Meredith Vieira Productions (MVP) as a means to evaluate the books for Film or TV development consideration.” (Read the full press release.)
So, essentially, the company is doing authors a huge solid…so long as they’re good little customers and they promise to pay for it…
…out the ass.
Book review packages through Author Solutions, Inc. are conducted by “partners” Kirkus Indie Reviews, ForeWord Clarion Reviews and BlueInk Reviews. The finished book reviews are then forwarded to MVP where they will be
promptly discarded evaluated by one of MVP’s representatives.
Author Solutions, Inc. claims this parntership will “provide authors with greater opportunities to have their books optioned for film and TV show consideration.” Hahaha. Sure it will.
Let me break this down for you all by taking a look at the numbers. The “Trifecta Review Service” is offered through at least four Author Solutions imprints: Xlibris, iUniverse, Trafford and Author House. It includes three standard (as opposed to expedited) caveat emptor reviews from Kirkus, ForeWord and BlueInk, and Author Solutions sells the Trifecta package to writers for a whopping $3,000.
I’ll pause a moment to let you guys release your WTFs into the world, but don’t use them all up just yet—it gets waaaay better.
Kirkus Indie Reviews, ForeWord Clarion Reviews and BlueInk Reviews exist independently of iUniverse or Xlibris or any other Author Solutions vanity press imprint. That means that as an author with a published book, you can put your big girl panties on and approach these reviewers directly. The cost to purchase these book review services without the scammy middleman? Well, let’s have a look.
Yes, that chart says what you think it does. Author Solutions companies mark up the cost of reviews by nearly 160% and then dare to spin this as an “opportunity” for writers to be discovered and have their works optioned for film or TV. Look at that chart again, would you? If you wanted, you could even upgrade to expedited reviews from each of the review companies, and you’d still save $1,595!
The only question I have is how does someone like Meredith Vieira agree to let her name be uttered in the same sentence with Author Solutions? I reached out to MVP via the email on the company’s very limited website, but have so far received no response.
*All prices valid as of 5/10/2012. To my knowledge, ForeWord does not offer an expedited service. Standard price was used to calculate “Expedited” column total.