I enjoy and appreciate the Preditors & Editors website for waving red flags on potential scam artists both for editorial services and publishers. What would be a real bonus would be a value added service that functions in a similar manner to "Agents Research" type services.
For instance, which publishers actually have titles on bookstore shelves?
What are the top 10 or 20 titles for this publisher on Amazon and B&N and their corresponding ranks?
What does Ingram report for inventory level on a sampling of titles this month, last quarter and last year?
What titles in the last 12-24 months got reviews in a "legitimate" journal or website?
Are there author complaints and if so, what's the nature of the complaint?
What is the average advance offered by the house?
I'd be willing to pay for access to something like this. The problem is the labor intensiveness involved given the volume of titles being produced and the number of publishers listed on P&E.
However, using "spiders" some of these options could be automated, drilling down on ISBN numbers or the title/publisher data. I'm just curious as to what other people think, from a technical standpoint this might be just too much a moving target. The intent though would be to help writers not just sift out the scam artists but gain insight on whether a publisher is a good fit for them based on past and current performance in the market.
Before the complaints came flooding into AW and P&E, what would curious writers think about PA if they noticed that Ingram had no titles in stock, no sampled bookstores carried their titles and nobody in the industry reviewed their titles? I think the scam went on for awhile before it attracted the backlash now being experienced but the truth should have been revealed within just 6-12 months of their business operation.
B&N Ranks - Bestsellers
Tor Books: 1,052 (Hard cover - 1st edition)
598 (Massmarket Reprint)
Naturally this is not a "scientific survey", I just put in the publishers name and sorted by bestselling status. Despite the crude nature of the search, I feel the numbers speak volumes.