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IndieReader Brings Indie Authorship One Step Closer to Easy

It doesn't take long to see that IndieReader is more than a blog for readers. In fact, the site's mission is clear in the tagline on the home page, which promises that IndieReader gives your book the tools to get noticed and that it's a website run by authors and writers for authors and writers.

In addition to the numerous book reviews and articles aimed at educating independent authors about marketing and the world of independent publishing, IndieReader also provides services focused on helping authors improve their book's discoverability. This type of marketing expertise for independent authors is such valuable information, especially if you are new to the independent publishing scene and unsure of the steps to take to get your book written, published and then marketed toward success.

IndieReader professional book reviews

As its most well-known service, IndieReader offers exposure for independent authors through book reviews written by their team of professional reviewers. According to the website's description, these professional reviewers include journalists, teachers, librarians, and published writers and are matched to books submitted for review based on their reading and genre preferences. The rating system used is as follows: one star = really bad; two stars = mediocre, but one or two bright spots; three stars = good, and worth reading; four stars = very good; and five stars = excellent and a must-read.

The importance of getting book reviews is unquestionable in the world of independent authors. Author and publishing expert Jane Friedman puts it like this:

New authors—certainly self-published authors—have no symbolic capital. They are not (yet) known for producing quality books that seduce readers to the degree that they are willing to part with some of their disposable income, not to mention time. Is it possible for self-publishing authors to create symbolic capital? Absolutely yes, and many have. In today's increasing online world of book shopping, I argue it is book reviews that build symbolic capital.

Jane Friedman

Beyond having professional book reviews written for your book, another great perk of paying for the IndieReader book review service is their monthly "Best of" roundup, where an "All About the Book" interview feature is published on their site for books that receive at least a 4-star rating. Book reviews that are given for each book submitted can also be distributed to other websites including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Ingram Book Company, and the Association of Independent Authors (AIA), which represents, advances, promotes and supports independent authors globally.

Cost and process of a review

The cost of a review with a 7 to 9-week turnaround is $250. If you want a rush review, with a 4 to 6-week turnaround, there is an additional $75 fee. In order to submit your book for a review, you'll need to send two copies of the book for each service you sign up for. IndieReader accepts Ebook uploads from a Kindle or iPad-compatible file, an Ebook that is gifted from Amazon or another retailer, or a paper copy mailed. There are submission guidelines and forms on the website that makes the submission process incredibly simple.

Discovery Awards

The IndieReader Discovery Awards are another service offered by the IndieReader site for independent authors looking to obtain more exposure for their book. By submitting your work to the Discovery Awards, your work will gain exposure for judges, along with major media outlets such as The Huffington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and trade publications like Shelf Awareness and GalleyCat/MediaBistro.

In addition to this exposure, winners of the annual IndieReader Discovery Awards will be fastracked to Dystel, Goderich and Bourret Literary Management to be considered for representation. In order to qualify, your book must place in first, second or third in both fiction and nonfiction categories.

The top two first-place winners in the fiction and non-fiction categories will receive a Kirkus Indie review, valued at $425. First, second and third-place winners in the fiction and nonfiction categories will also receive a Kindle Paperwhite ($119.99 value), a custom author website and one year of hosting and management from Featherlight ($1,347 value), and consideration of representation from Dystel, Goderich and Bourret Literary Management.

In addition to the first through third place winners, there will also be 20 to 40 winners from each sub category. These winners can expect to receive a professional IndieReader review (at a value of $250-$275), exposure to a panel of judges, an IndieReader "All About the Book" feature, and three stickers pronouncing your book an "IndieReader Discovery Awards" winner. The stickers can be used on websites, author blogs, sales pages and social media to help independent authors gain exposure and credibility for their work.

The winners for "Best 1st Book" (fiction and non-fiction) will receive a Kindle Paperwhite (at a value of $119.99), and three stickers stating that the book has been awarded the "IndieReader Discovery Awards for Best 1st Book."

The winners for "Best Cover Design" (fiction and non-fiction) will receive $250 in cash, and three stickers stating that your book is an "IndieReader Discovery Awards for Best Cover Design" winner. Additionally, all entries for the contest will receive a verdict (or blurb), which they are free to post on the Amazon, GoodReads, or their own personal webpage. You can visit the signup page to get started.

Entry fee

The IRDA entry fee is $150 per book. If you want your book to be considered for more than one category, you'll need to pay an additional $50 per category. IndieReader requests three copies of your book for the first category you choose, along with one additional copy for each additional category. As mentioned earlier, IndieReader accepts Ebook uploads from a Kindle or iPad-compatible file, an Ebook that is gifted from Amazon or another retailer, or a paper copy mailed.

Reader reviews and IndieReader bookshare

IndieReader also offers reader reviews and an IndieReader bookshare service in which readers who have expressed an interest in reading books published by independent authors will review your book and post the review to Amazon and GoodReads. It's important to note that while authors are guaranteed a certain number of reviews based on the services they pay for the website does not guarantee that the review will be positive.

The price for reader reviews depends on how many you choose to purchase. For three reviews, the price is $147; for six reviews, the price is $294; and for 10 reviews, the price is $490.


Yet another service offered by the site is IndieReader In-Store (IRIS), which catalogs your book as part of a branded collection on Edelweiss, an online catalog service used by independent bookstores and Barnes & Noble. Edelweiss is also an interactive research tool for librarians, bloggers and reviewers, as well as a social network for industry professionals. The cost of this service is $299.

IndieReader blog

The IndieReader blog offers advice to authors on various aspects of marketing their work, as well as advice about writing in general. Many of the articles are written by writers who have successfully published independently, giving readers the opportunity to know what other self-published authors have experienced while publishing their book and marketing it afterwards. There is also a category of "All about the book," which features reviews of books that have received a 4-star rating or higher on the site.

The blog offers a range of posts to keep indie authors engaged, while learning about the industry from experts in it. For example, the most recent post is one providing an overview of Best Reviewed Books of July. Links to ten book reviews are provided, along with a quick description of what each book offers the reader, the genre, and the IR verdict.

Another recent post, Brian J. Robinson: ADDERALL BLUES questions everything we think we know about ADHD, and it all happens from authentic subjectivity, is an interview with the book's author. In it, he describes his work as …a passionate memoir that provides shocking access to the inner workings of the misunderstood ADHD mind. There aren't a lot of first person, non-clinical accounts of ADHD, and certainly none that is as entertaining as this one…

Final takeaway

Whether you're experienced at indie publishing or are just now getting started with the process of writing, self-publishing, and marketing your book, IndieReader is a treasure trove of advice and assistance in finding success in the industry.

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