Monday, May 04, 2009

Indie Reader to Launch June 1, 2009

From Editor Unleashed
Writing, Publishing, Interviews and Community

Q&A: Amy Edelman of IndieReader
by mariaschneider on May 1, 2009
By Michael J. Vaughn

The introductory email that sends out to self-published authors contains two points that make it an immediately intriguing idea. The first is the statement that “…it’s stupid and unfair to brand an entire category of books as crap, just because the ‘traditional’ publishing industry doesn’t embrace it.”
The second is, “As Sundance has done for indie films—making what’s outside the mainstream cool—IR will do for indie books and authors.”

Read Full Article Here.


I like what Amy Adelman has to say, and arguably, a Sundance for Indie books couldn't be a bad thing, could it? At least the site will be vetting books for quality of some sort, and it offers yet another on-line distribution channel for your self-published book. Keep in mind, they are not a DIY publishing site: They are a listing site with a vetting process and a not-so-cheap annual fee, plus an additional $30.00 vetting fee per book. Additional Information can be found at their website. -- Cannegardner


Henry said...

The vetting is key - and this sort of goes to my post about paying for reviews. Given that they want as many sign-ups as possible to bring in $, their vetting process may end up being pretty liberal.

But it's a good development that traditional publishing types are entering the self-publishing arena. Even if they mainly have a profit motive, it still helps to show that self-publishing's increasingly relevant.

Cheryl Anne Gardner said...

This is not a pay-per-review site. It's not a review site at all. It's a listing site, which would make it a paid distribution channel, the difference in this is that it is a distribution channel with standards, or so they claim. Distribution channels are always paid for by the publisher, in the case of self-publishing, paid for by the author. So we cannot compare this to a review site, despite the "vetting."

Henry said...

I don't know - they're promising to "review" a book in order to include it. The point of the site is to showcase the better self-published book. But given that they're accepting payment, their vetting standards may turn out to be lax.

The credibility of the site depends on them turning authors away, but if they don't get a lot of writers willing to shell out $140, the only vetting they'll do is endorsing the check.

That's the worst case scenario, of course - but this brings up similar issues of credibility.

Cheryl Anne Gardner said...

Of course it does. Any time money exchanges hands, credibility becomes an issue.

Now, if an author uses Lightning Source and Ingram as a distribution channel, the author pays roughly that amount for the initial set-up and then a meager $12.00 per year for the listing. There is no "vetting" or other services, but distribution is far reaching. This site is but one site of a zillion bookstore sites on the internet. The price seems a bit steep to have one's book listed on one venue. I would like to know how they plan to drive traffic to the site. What does the annual fee actually pay for besides webspace on their site? They aren't actually printing or selling the books??? So techincally, they are a marketing channel versus an actual distribution channel.

I liken it to say Author's Den, which is free, you can list your books, do a bunch of stuff to promote and interact, so it is a similar channel, the only difference is it's free (for basic service) and there is no "vetting." The new is also another channel, also free. How about Goodreads. Each of these offer an author page, blog, and other promotional activities. Basic stuff is free and then you can add on for a fee, but it's the same principle. So I can see $30.00 per book for vetting, but what's the annual fee for?

I really like the idea, but what makes it worth the cost over all the other author/promo sites. It says they will promote, market, and sell your book. It says the author sets the retail price and they take 25%. The author is responsible for the production, the inventory, and the shipping of the product, including shipping fees. So that means the annual fee is strictly for listing and marketing. So again, how are they planning to drive traffic to the site? Therein lies the credibility.

Anonymous said...

I'll believe in it when I see how they plan to make people take it seriously. Anyone can set up a site; it's how you get people to use it that matters.

Toni Seger said...

Author's Den is a mature site with strong traffic flows even for free pages. If a site wants to charge they have to demonstrate they can drive traffic comparable to AD's various paid levels.