My entirely subjective and personal response to IndieReader :
1) "... we will promote, market and sell your book on the premier, Indies-only website."
2) "The fact is, self-published authors know it's a rough world out there. They get no respect from publishers and little attention from consumers."
Oh, the poor little me mantra. So if consumers pay no attention, how is putting all the books in one place going to change that?
3) "I think 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."
I think that is a straw man argument.
4) "IndieReader is part of a vast sea change in publishing."
Somebody drank the Koolaid... and has a large punch bowl.
5) "Why will the world welcome IndieReader.com? People are naturally drawn to what’s unique and genuine, be it Indie movies, Indie music...or Indie books."
The 'if you build it, they will come' argument. The equal and opposite truism being 'on the internet no-one can hear you scream'.
6) "The fee for inclusion is $149 per year, but if you sign up prior to IR's going live (in early June) we are offering a discounted rate of $99 per year."
Okay, so 25% off the top and a flat fee that would cause most "indie" books to run at a loss=sudden and complete loss of interest.
7) "However, good books must be in good company, and so we reserve the right to exclude books that don’t meet certain standards of quality, both in terms of basic spelling and grammatical errors and content."
Heh, isn't this the key irony? In order to raise quality standards you have to do the very thing "traditional" publishing is denigrated for doing? (i.e. be selective in one's embraces, see 3 above).
Many of us had similar issue with the site when we discussed it on my initial blog post. I want to know exactly what that annual fee pays for. What's it actually worth to the Indie author when there are so many other "free" distribution channels out there.
I don't know. I agree with 6 - but a site that's trying a new model for getting self-publishers attention doesn't seem like it should inspire so much cynicism.
I say "so much" because I had an email exchange with someone last night who took issue with SPR frontpaging IndieReader. The argument about cost is very strong, but a site trying to give self-publishers a new platform doesn't seem like the worst development.
It's not the worst thing at all: It's a good thing. Check out the latest with Amazon. I am all for good things. I am all for IndieReader.
My only concern is that the Indies are already operating in the red. Value for the money is my top priority. It sounds great, looks great, the premise seems heartfelt and honest, but I don't take things at face value, and I don't automatically give my seal of approval until I get proof the marketing claims are valid, especially for that kind of money.
$149 a year for a listing is steep. Campaign promises are great, but I wanna know exactly what I get for that $149, and I want it in writing with some amount of legal detail. Paying for PR is legit: I just want to know what PR exactly I am paying for. Edited to add: Vetting means nothing -- vetted by whom? I would like to see the people doing the vetting and their particular qualifications as well. Full disclosure just comes with the price-tag.
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