This story from GalleyCat gave me pause. Go ahead...read it. (Right click on the link and open in a new tab so I don't lose you, of course ;))
So basically, I self-publish and hope these folks (IndieReader.com) agree to let me pay them a yearly fee to list my self-published book on their site (plus they take a % of sales). The supposed benefit, I guess, is that their site would have more traffic than another website, giving said self-published book visibility. Because face it: a website without traffic is just digital doo-doo. I haven't even heard of IndieReader (not that I'm any kind of gatekeeper or 'net expert) but they launch um, like now.
I don't think so.
First of all, "gatekeepers-jeepers creepers". The fee is what they are after, plain and simple. The base cost is $149 (regardless of book #s), plus a $25 submission fee for each book after the first. I don't pay to submit, unless it's a contest. This gatekeeper crap is ridiculous. Maybe, just maybe the "gatekeeper" mentality is what has hindered traditional publishing? In the world of infinite variety (thank you, InterwebTM), artists find their fans, making the quality of work the gatekeeper, not some third-party profit monger.
...and wait. Doesn't Amazon have more traffic than just about any other book-related site out there? (For better or worse--I know some peeps have issues with Amazon) Um, you can self-pub with them for next to nothing (how about a $3 proof?). Sure, you haven't been "gate-keepered", but well...you didn't shell out 150 bucks, either.
Shite like this makes me oh-so-mad. This is akin to those charlatans (masquerading as agents or publishers) that charge all sorts of fees to look at a manuscript. I'm not the first to take a shot at the cost of being an IndieReader author (look around your friendly neighborhood internet). Not that taking a % is a problem, but up-front fees certainly are. I think the business model is all kinds of jacked up.
But guess what? I bet they have truckloads of hopefuls sending in their books.
(shakes fist at ceiling)
(oh...and for the record: self-publishing wasn't invented with the 21st century)
Edited to add: This post (or non-post, as the post has been removed but the comments haven't) sums up a lot of my feelings. ;)
More goodness from Publisher's Weekly: It seems IndieReader.com is partnered with Blurb.com (a Lulu knock-off). The plot sickens me.