About six months ago I bookmarked grubstreetreads.com in case I ever managed to publish my magnum opus. For those who do not know, Grub Street Reads provided an endorsement/seal to books that passed readability tests - so readers would know that endorsed indie books were free of glaring mistakes etc.
Having some objective standards seemed like a good idea back then and still seems like a good idea, however I’m feeling a little doubtful about where to go to have Vokhtah assessed.
Why? Because Grub Street Reads is no more. It is now calling itself Compulsion Reads. The change of name is reflected in a more upmarket looking website as well. Compulsion Reads is still offering endorsements but I wonder whether they will have an impact on readers. I’m sure some will have the old Grub Street Reads bookmarked, the way I did, but I’ll bet most readers just remembered the name. How will they find the site now?
I’m sure the owners of the original Grub Street Reads site had their reasons for the name change, but it seems a bit counter productive to me. After all, isn’t ‘branding’ meant to be the name of the game? Users learn to trust a particular brand and then return to it because they have positive expectations about the product. Imagine if Coke Cola changed their name to Black Sugar… or something [he he]. Just doesn’t conjure the same expectations now does it?
Branding takes a long time to establish, so even if the original name no longer describes the range of products offered by a company, they don’t change the name mid-stream. Which is why I’m disappointed that Grub Street Reads is gone because it was becoming a familiar brand online.
As things turned out, there were also other reasons why I didn’t submit Vokhtah to Compulsion Reads – I have no way of creating a pdf file and that was the only format open to me – but the branding, or lack thereof, was certainly a consideration.
I’ve been been approaching this name issue from the perspective of a writer, but what do actual readers think? Am I’m being unnecessarily anal about the value of a name?
I know some of you have only just started reading indie books because of the difficulty of finding good ones. Would you like to know which indie books meet a certain standard, and if so what things would you look for in that standard? Grammar? Punctuation? Interesting characters? Strong plot? I’d really like to know.