I saw an article today where there is a service that will read your book and give you a real critique, as if it were a normally published book. Then I got an email from Bob Mayer mentioning the same thing.
I think it’s a pretty cool idea for unpublished and indie published books. Have someone who has some credentials in the business read each book to see if it is up to a specific standard. (A gate keeper) Then have that person put his or her seal of approval on the book. If you trust this person and have read a book he or she has recommended before, then you know the book is up to certain standards.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about “Is the book good or is it great” type of vetting. That’s taste and everyone’s is different. (I can’t stand green beans) I’m talking about the book (whether it’s an e-book or a printed) goes through a process that makes sure the story is readable, the font is okay, the formatting is okay, the story is an actual story, not just the same words over and over. The story actually tells a story (not just someone blathering on about the Italian opening in chess for four hundred pages).
You could charge a fee for the service, and the book gets listed with the seal of approval from the company. Sure, at first the seal wouldn’t mean crapola, and you’d have to charge people EVEN IF their book didn’t pass muster (which would cause some to prolly become apoplectic) but over time, you could actually weed out the suck from the good.
Now, I’m talking about a gatekeeper here for non-traditionally published books. The traditional big publishers already have all this stuff built into their systems.
What do you think? Would you pay money to have your self-published book reviewed for quality, knowing that it might now pass and you’d still be out the cash? Would it be worth it to you?