Print remains black and white. But the world of publishing is suddenly every color of the rainbow – a rainbow that’s followed on the thunderstorm of independent publishing.
The explosion in the number of book titles often frustrates authors and readers alike, who are left without critical assessment or direction necessary for book discovery. BlueInk Review, an online service devoted to reviewing self-published books exclusively, is looking to put blue sky to this clouded publishing picture.
“As the lines blur between traditional and self-publishing, I see us as a source where readers can come for help finding that really, really great mystery they’re after,” Patti Thorn, a BlueInk co-founder, tells CCC’s Chris Kenneally from her office in Denver, Colorado. “We use credible reviewers who offer honest opinions of books. We have editors that go over the reviews to make sure they cover all the bases, that they substantiate what they’re saying. The reviews themselves are very well crafted, and are edited, which I think is really important as well.”
BlueInk reviews are syndicated on Ingram’s iPage and Oasis databases; selectively in a monthly roundup on Publishing Perspectives and Self Publishing Review websites; and selectively in a monthly report used for acquisitions by the Douglas County library system, with a circulation of eight million. They are also syndicated to iDreamBooks.com, a discoverability site that aggregates professional book reviews (think Rotten Tomatoes for books) in order to help readers find the best titles, traditionally and self published.
Patti Thorn was a long-time writer and editor at the Denver-based Rocky Mountain News, which closed in February 2009. She served the last 12 years of her tenure there as chief book critic and editor of the book review pages. Patti is the co-author of Fun Places to Go with Children in Colorado, published by Chronicle Books, and she has served as an independent editor for both fiction and nonfiction. Along with literary agent Patricia Moosbrugger, Patti Thorn co-founded BlueInk three years ago.