Raider International Publishing – Reviewed (Updated 2017)

Raider International publishing is an author solutions service offering a wide range of services to authors looking to publish a book. Raider has been around for seven years and the company was founded by Adam Salviani, a writer himself who set up the company following the ravages of publishing through PublishAmerica and Authorhouse. In hindsight, Salviani could and should have learned a lot in those years.

“Here at Raider Publishing we do all we can to provide you and your novel the support that you and your book deserves.  Many publishers will provide you with fewer services during the production process and will virtually forget about you and your work once it has been released. Raider Publishing will provide you with constant reports on your book’s progress during the production process, and once we release your work, we guarantee to do all we can to promote your book to the world. Our goal is to provide you with nothing less then our full attention and respect.”

I have had my eye on Raider for the past seven years and I the company first caught my attention around 2007, but recently (2010-2012), this company has concerned me. Like a lot of POD publishers who stay the course after their foundation year, Raider Publishing steadily did improve their service each year (2005-2008) and Raider showed sustained growth up to 2009. It has been a learning curve for them, and in the early times, it did show—that is why I held off reviewing them fully until 2008.
Raider offer six packages, steel, bronze, silver, gold, platinum and diamond. The basic service for $499 gives most of the basics of self publishing packages, a cover designed by the publisher, full book layouts from the author’s manuscript, a paperback edition, and ISBN. The details are not described very well and one suggests we are simply dealing with templates for the author’s book. Royalities are 51% of net price, less the print and wholesale discounts to online retailers and five copies for the author. In a nutshell, if the book is $15, then the author will get around the $3 mark. The bronze package ($899) offers an increased author discount on book purchases and 5 free copies – nothing in free with an author solutions service.  The silver package ($1899) offers a press release, editing on the author’s manuscript, greater cover options, 10 author copies, book broadcast on iTunes, and a hardback as well as paperback option. The gold package ($2799) comes with a TV/radio advert campaign, book signing arrangements, an interview in their literary magazine, shelf space consideration and 61% royalties. The platinum and diamond packages ($3499-4499) introduce guaranteed shelf space with partners (RPI own a bookshop in New York), an author website and ebook, and other promotional opportunities.
You can that at least Raider acknowledge the importance and need for book shelf space, but ‘request for physical shelf space’ and ‘guaranteed’ only appears on the high-priced packages. Many POD publishers won’t admit this lack of effort on any or their lower packages. I can at least testify that I have seen Raider titles at my local Eason & Sons, Borders and Books Unlimited stores in Dublin (circa 2009), so I do know there is evidence that titles have gained shelf space with limited success.
There are further add-on bells and whistles you can pay for as outlined above. From Radio/TV adverts, the – 120 day expedited service which has always puzzled me (This irked me most when the company has struggled to meet even standard publishing deadlines). Most self-published authors should actually take a minimum of 120 days to consider what they have let themselves in for if they sign up to a POD publishing service. The time will at least give them the opportunity to plan and consider what efforts they are prepared to make themselves to promote their own book. They can make use of the time to send out press previews, AI’s and build up a prominent website of their own and concentrate on all their social network links, as well as threading the pathways to meet and greet their local independent booksellers.

You can find the latest services for Raider here, because frankly they seem to change on a regular basis.

While some authors are happy to pay for any add-on service—Raider were one of the few POD publishers worth considering for the value of what they offered, but during 2008-2010, from author feedback, it  proved this company were not living up to that standard). Raider invested in their own media platforms, from The Raider Broadcasting Network (seems on a wind-down since early 2011- baring marketing paid by their authors) to their The Raider Literary Magazine (This is also now gone to boot!) and I’m not longer convinced there exists the same commitment and investment. The lists of authors on Raider is also reflective of the growing presence worldwide and their efforts to set up overseas offices outside of the US (South Africa, London and Australia). But, I suspect that many of these overseas offices are simply posting addresses as many overseas authors have reported to me that books were sent from the USA and not from print plants worldwide.
I have bought about twenty Raider titles over the past year, and if I have one criticism, it is the layout of their books, and this still remains a consistent niggle I have up until late 2011. Their internal layout is all the same, even the font choice and placement of it on their covers looks poor at times! There is a definition between publishing house style and pure and downright sloppy layout. This is one area Raider International Publishing is letting their authors down on. I worry when I see a descent well-edited book, self published through a POD publisher, and it lets itself down on layout. Many of the books I have seen from Raider insist on that amateurish extended paragraph indent on every page, and continuation of it onto the next new chapter. It does – at this stage – seem to be a style of habit, or more likely, an adherence to the templates used. Guys, sack your layout editor or change it pretty fast—you are letting yourselves down in this area and you wouldn’t believe how many people make an assumption about you as a publisher.
Up until 2009, I would have counted Raider in the top pile of author solutions services, but there persists rough corners that are not being rounded, and since 2009, communication and publication deadlines are becoming more of a concern for me (see the comments section below this review). Raider need to improve  book layout and options available on finished books, and make the final PDF files which authors are actually paying for available to the authors on contract termination. This still has not happened. [as of 2012 – nothing seems to be changing] Just how much Raider have slipped back as a progressive company is reflected in the fact that an author is expected to $2799 before an ebook release is included.
Raider once was a daring outfit with lots of ideas and innovation, also prepared to be independent and brave as a self-publishing provider of services to new authors. Seven years is a long time for an author solutions service, and I just do not see the improvements I should see in a service over that period of time. If anything, Raider have gone backward – far, far backward – and the recent launch of Purehaven Press offering pretty much they same looks a cynical move to clear the slates and start again without addressing what has gone before. I think the comments section below – built up over several years – speaks for itself.

RATING: 0/10 (currently, NOT RECOMMENDED

UPDATE DECEMBER, 2009.
http://mickrooney.blogspot.com/2009/12/raider-international-publishing-updated.html

UPDATE MARCH, 2010.

Please see above for the latest pricing increase from Raider, which have risen approximate $100/€100/£50 over the past twelve months. At the start of the year Raider International Publishing opened their first brick and mortar bookstore in Suffern, New York. There have also been reports of delays from authors on agreed publishing dates. Raider continue to offer an expedited publishing service for $299. Expect a six month publishing process.

http://foursquare.com/venue/610817

UPDATE January 2011

And as of July 2011, the publishing fees keep getting pushed up.

UPDATE MARCH 2012
In late 2011, Raider launched Purehaven Press. It offers more of the same. This is like NAMA for self-publishing services!

UPDATE 2017: Business was offered for sale. Website no longer in operation.

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