The self-publishing company I used is not on your list. How do I post a review?
Please send us the company’s name and website address. We’ll add it to the directory and notify you that it’s ready for your review.
I hear that a lot of review sites are rigged or not reliable. How does SelfPubSmart.com ensure the integrity of its reviews?
From the minute founder Andrew Chapman had the idea for this site, he knew that review integrity would be the top priority. For this reason, we require all reviewers to sign up and provide their email addresses. We also encourage reviewers to provide as much info as possible about themselves and their books; this helps provide validity. In addition, we randomly audit reviews to ensure they aren’t posted by anyone with an “agenda.” Lastly, we do not accept advertising from any self-publishing company to avoid any apparent conflict of interest.
Then, why do you have a store provided by Amazon?
This was a tough choice because we didn’t want to give the wrong impression. Although we realize this appears to contradict how we answered the question above, we decided this didn’t fall in the realm of advertising Amazon. The reality is, in this regard, Amazon is functioning as a sales and distribution tool. Our goal was to provide you with the quickest and easiest access to self-publishing books (and related products), and the bottom line is, Amazon simply provides the best way to accomplish this. Their interface (what we plugged into our store page) is better than any other, and more people have an Amazon account than any other online book retailer.
What’s to stop someone from a self-publishing company from posting glowing reviews of their services on your site?
While this is technically possible, for reasons listed above, we feel the risk is minimal. As our site grows, it will average out the reviews to greater accuracy. In other words, if Company A has two glowing reviews and Company B has 23 reviews that are mixed, the overall average rating of Company B is probably more accurate. So, for that reason, we are doing everything we can to get more and more reviews on our site, without lowering the bar in such a way as to compromise the integrity of the reviews. Lastly, as with any review site, you would be wise to read into the reviews themselves and use a little judgment to discern whether a review seems suspicious, then take that into account in your overall assessment of that company.
Do you hire reviewers?
No, and we don’t plan to. Our feeling is that the uniqueness and value of our site is in the community of reviewers — authors who have “been there, done that” and can offer an honest and realistic assessment of the companies they have used.
The “Current Top-Rated Companies” list in the left sidebar seems a little skewed — companies with fewer ratings shouldn’t be weighted the same as those with more ratings. Any plans to fix that?
This feature is part of the overall rating and review system for the site, which we did not develop. We don’t have access to the code for that to make adjustments. However, the developers tell us that the weight of ratings will become more sophisticated and improve as more ratings are added. Although we could obviously hire programmers to make adjustments, that risks breaking the entire system (which is acclaimed as the best rating and review system of its kind)… so we’d rather put our efforts into getting more ratings and reviews on the site. If you’re an author who has used one of these companies, you can help by taking the time to post a rating and review. Likewise, if you know other authors in a position to do this, please let them know about SelfPubSmart.com. We’re all in this together!