IndieReader

While looking around the internet (my GOD it is HUGE, have you seen it?!) I came across a new site: IndieReader: “For Self-Published and Print-on-Demand Books and the Readers Who Love Them. The site, run by author Amy Holman Edelman, aims to be a combination promotion and reader community site devoted to PoD and Self-published books:

We recognize that self-publishing has become a viable and financially desirable option for many authors, first-time and established alike…. People are naturally drawn to what’s unique and genuine, be it Indie movies, Indie music…or Indie books. They are tired of hearing about the next John Grisham, of taking their cues from traditional publishers who are afraid of what’s new, niche and different. They are hungry for something like IR—and with a team that has a combined 40 + years of public relations and marketing experience—we plan to give it to them. In short, what Sundance has done for Indie films—making what’s outside the mainstream “cool”—IR will do for Indie books and authors.

For $149 (or $99 if you sign up, like, now), you can join the crew. Authors set the retail price and keep 75% of the transaction, according to the site. And hello:

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…. The vetting process is for internal use only; accepting money from an author for a review would be a conflict of interest, as we will potentially be receiving a percentage of sales from those books accepted onto the IndieReader site.

Calvin Reid from Publishers Weekly has already given IndieReader some coverage , revealing that Edelman says that she:

and her partner, publicist Claire McKinney of SallyAnne McCartin & Associates, will promote the site to consumers. IndieReader also has a partnership with [self-pub site] Blurb.com, which will promote itself to IndieReader authors and IndieReader will promote Blurb.com to its authors. While Edelman said the site will attract “consumers looking for something different,” she also expects IndieReader.com to “attract publishers and editors looking for books they missed.”

There’s that, “hey! New York! Look over here!” thing. I have to wonder: is it a platform for additional attention that might yield more lucrative contracts with established publishers, or is it an independent publicity and marketing option for Indie Authors (and wow, does that sound better than “self-published”)?

After ruminating about the future of self-publishing last week, I have to say, I’m very curious about this site. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens with the author and book pages once it launches. IndieReader seems to be making an impression already – they’ve advertised for an intern to help with the book vetting process.

 

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Elaine says:

    I am thinking it sounds more like a scam to separate writers from their money than a legitimate promotional opportunity.  (youre46:  nope, today is my 53rd birthday.)

  2. 2
    Betsy says:

    Oooh!  Intern opportunity?  Thanks for posting :)

  3. 3
    Lynn M says:

    I’ll be interested to hear some input from experienced self-published/POD writers on whether or not this site is a good thing. You pay $149 per year (!) to join, then $25 per book after the first book you submit, so I can see the cost of this adding up pretty quickly, especially if you have any sort of backlist. And it looks like the writer will still be paying the costs of production and order shipping. So I’m wondering if the money spent for “authenticity” is reasonable or not. Since I have no experience in this area, can anyone chime in?

    For example, why the annual fee? I mean, I can see an upfront fee to get you established in their data base and for them to create an author page, etc. But if they do then charge a feel per book, why wouldn’t that cover the cost for updating the site as well as the book review for quality?

    It is cool that sites like these are doing much to legitimize self-pubbing as a viable option for those who either don’t want to go the NY route or who simply can’t seem to break in for whatever reason. And the focus on quality is key – hopefully they will filter the true crap that gives self-pubbing such a bad rep.

  4. 4
    Kalen Hughes says:

    And the focus on quality is key – hopefully they will filter the true crap that gives self-pubbing such a bad rep.

    This is the main hurdle for the “indie” author (that rebranding is hi-lairious as Jayne from Firefly would say; it’s not a “used” car, it’s “preowned”). It’s hard enough to sift through the hundreds of NY and established ePub books every month to separate the wheat from the chaff, most of us simply don’t have the time (or the $) to sift through what I’m guessing are the thousands of self-pubbed options (esp when they tend to cost as much as a NY Trade or HB).

    Indie films succeed (in small numbers, it must be noted) because there are film festivals and such that exist to find the good ones. Self published books need something similar. I’ll be very interested to see if IndieReader fills this void . . .

  5. 5
    S.A. Hunter says:

    This seems like a scam to me. Why pay $149/yr to be allowed to sell your book through their site AND let them take a commission for every sale? What are they really offering the author here?

    And from their TOS, what the hell does this mean:

    5. License. Author hereby grants to IR a non-exclusive, irrevocable, perpetual, fully paid, royalty free, transferable, worldwide right and license, to use, sell, display and distribute, in whole or in part, the Books or any content related to the sale of such books, in any media now known or not currently known. IR will only use such content in accordance with IR’s Privacy Policy.

    Is that standard boilerplate?

  6. 6
    Stacia says:

    Any other NY published writers out there tired of being told our books are boring, formulaic, and old hat, and we’re not writing anything “new” or “different”? Or is that just me?

  7. 7
    Sarah W says:

    Happy Birthday, Elaine!

  8. 8
    RStewie says:

    @ S.A. Hunter: Yeah, that’s standard boilerplate for most licensing agreements.  If I were reviewing this contract, though, that IS something I would take exception to.  Providing them with a license to use the whole book for marketing, etc purposes is redonkulous. 

    I would suggest any Indie Writers out there that are tempted to join up take a serious look at how their Intellectual Property is authorized for use according to this agreement; and remember, terms and conditions are there to be negotiated, not just accepted.

  9. 9
    Kalen Hughes says:

    Any other NY published writers out there tired of being told our books are boring, formulaic, and old hat, and we’re not writing anything “new” or “different”? Or is that just me?

    It’s not just you . . .

  10. 10

    Ah, the traditional way to make money out of self-publishing – rip off self-published authors with promotional scams.

    No thanks. I’ll stick with horrible old Lulu and be a sorry stick in the mud by doing my own promotion.

  11. 11
    Barbara says:

    Why do I have the urge to shout “Hide your wallets, guys” to the self-pubbed SB readers out there?

    Seems SB could do a whole hell of a lot to assist self-pubbed into the mainstream, but then again, I can imagine the avalanche of unsolicited self-pubbed books falling on their heads…but hey, I triple dog dare you to review mine! ;)

    It does smell like a scam, but I could be wrong.  Lord knows, I’ve been wrong in the past, and we all know past behavior is the best prediction of future conduct.

  12. 12
    KatherineB says:

    But Barbara, sometimes past decisions are NOT what should be used to judge what something is worth or is potentially worth. You have to look at the odds of gain against the potential value of that gain. If the site takes off, it’ll be valuable. It’s gamble yes, but a lot of publishing seems to be. I’m not that good at explaining, the TED talk with Dan Gilbert explains it better. http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_gilbert_researches_happiness.html
    (And isn’t TEDtalks a wonderful, valuable way to ‘waste my time’ while doing something gainful, like some handsewing? I’ve happily spent hours at that site.)

    Not that I’m advocating IndieReader site, for people with slim wallets it does take a vulgar bouquet of cash to join and upload content, and the rights thing does seem excessive.

    Anyway, I’ll just take my hands off keyboard now and pick up my needel again…

  13. 13
    Barbara says:

    Actually, Katherine, what I meant was that I’d been wrong in the past, and based on that, it’s highly likely I will be wrong again in the future – sorry for any confusion.

    I’m perfectly willing to give anyone/anything a fair shot at proving themselves,  including this web site.  That openness struggles all too often with the cynic lurking in me, but I do try to remain open to possibilities.  Time will tell as to whether this is a way to separate people from their money, or a geniunely good idea, but the fees seem a tad excessive.

    All the best, Barbara

  14. 14
    Amy Edelman says:

    Hi Everyone,

    Just found the IndieReader post.  I’d be happy to address any questions and concerns you might have about the site.  And it’s no scam…I’m a writer and I want to do everything I can to make self-pubbed books mean great reads that just haven’t been discovered yet.

    As far as stated concerns:

    1) Buyer pays cost of shipping, just like on Amazon.

    2) Annual fee (which is $99 for another couple of weeks till we go live) pays for cost of maintaining the site and the salary’s of the people maintaining and promoting it (check out the recent write up we got in the Christian Science Monitor… http://features.csmonitor.com/books/2009/05/27/can-self-published-books-gain-respect/  I’m .sure I don’t have to tell you how much time it takes to promote your work…we do that for you.  We also provide you with your own webpage that can take the place of a website…with your own URL.

    3) Comission for every sale.  Have you noticed how much Amazon takes for every book that you sell?  Plus you have to spend money to get people to Amazon to purchase your book.  Most people go to Amazon knowing what they’re going to buy.  People will come to IR looking for cool books…will yours be there?

    4) License Terms are pretty much boilerplate…you sign the same type of thing if you sell at Amazon.

    Please let me know if you have any further questions or concerns.  I’d be happy to address them.

    Best,
    Amy

  15. 15
    S.A. Hunter says:

    @RStewie – Thanks for answering my question.

    @Amy Edelman – Thanks for stopping by. I think hearing about the different promotion avenues Indiewriter will take would be something any interested author would want to know. The $149 annual fee is a huge hurdle to me. Without any guarantee, I can’t see committing that amount of money in something.

  16. 16
    Elaine says:

    I just looked at the web-site.  There is no there there, except for a place to take your money.  It looks like a stub site I could have roughed out in an evening.

  17. 17
    Amy Edelman says:

    hmmm…with regard to promotion avenues…we will be reaching out to national and regional media, both broadcast and print meaning Oprah to local morning shows and The New York Times to Time magazine.  I have over 20 years experience in PR and our PR/Marketing Director has a very impressive track record as well.

    Hope that answers your question!

    Best,
    Amy

  18. 18

    I have over 20 years experience in PR and our PR/Marketing Director has a very impressive track record as well.

    No offense but that’s very easy to say, especially when you don’t give details.

    And it’s no scam…I’m a writer and I want to do everything I can to make self-pubbed books mean great reads that just haven’t been discovered yet.

    But you would say that, wouldn’t you? I mean, Publish America solemnly assures people they’re a ‘traditional publisher’ but they aren’t.

    Self-published authors are targeted by scammers all the time. So you’ll have to forgive a huge amount of skepticism when you seem to be offering very little for a lot of money. Yog’s law and all that, and if you’re so good at this, why can’t you make your income out of commission on the sales?

    I’d like to know more about this impressive track record. What have you written, where was it published? What’s your PR experience with publishing? And tell us more about the PR/Marketing director – what’s their background, specifically?

    How do you plan to get your books on Oprah? I mean, it sound great – but I bet every author agent and marketer in the business is trying to do this too, and they’ve got huge publishing companies behind them?

    And what about genres? You just want self-pubbed books? How would you market something like an erotic science fiction gay werewolf anthology *and* a book about Christian marriage and loving discipline? Are you aware of the kind of stuff that gets published for instance through Lulu? How do you plan to market niche stuff and what are your contacts with the readership for such material?

    Annual fee (which is $99 for another couple of weeks till we go live) pays for cost of maintaining the site and the salary’s of the people maintaining and promoting it

    I’m always suspicious of people involved in publishing who don’t know basic grammar and spelling. So, Amy, care to tell us what the deliberate mistake is in this quote and what it should be?

    I dunno. I’m getting distinct Ravenous Romance vibes from this and would be even if I wasn’t a big fan of Victoria Strauss and Writer Beware. Talk is cheap, but your services aren’t. You want people to pay over a a hundred bucks for something that’s not even live yet. Seems to me you should be letting authors sign up for free at this point – because without authors, you’ve got nothing to offer. Unless of course your business model is making money from author charges, in which case you’re exactly fitting the vanity press/scam model.

    Spam word: ‘never78’. Does the software know something I don’t?

  19. 19
    Amy Edelman says:

    blockquote>I have over 20 years experience in PR and our PR/Marketing
    Director has a very impressive track record as well.

    No offense but that’s very easy to say, especially when you don’t give details.

    I have worked for major consumer companies ranging from Starbucks and M&Ms; to Tiffany’s and Hanes and have placed literally thousand of subsequent stories in media from The Today Show, The View, and Conan to The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and USA Today, In Style, People and Vogue.  Although my work over the years has primarily been centered on creating consumer awareness and identity for products and services, I have also publicized several books including The Best of the Pillsbury Bake-off, Politics & Pot Roast, French Style (for Limited Brands), The Little Black Dress and Manless in Montclair.  Resulting placements/interviews appeared on The Today Show and reviews in publications including Kirkus, Publisher’s Weekly and People magazine.

    IR’s PR/Marketing Director, Claire McKinney, has been working in publishing as a publicist and a director of other publicists for twelve years.  She has worked with a wide range of authors from celebrities to serious novelists to political heavyweights and pundits. Some of her work has included books by Thomas Frank, Robert Dallek, Barbara Ehrenreich, George Pelecanos, Rick Moody, Richard North Patterson, Queen Noor, Plum Sykes, and Atul Gawande. As a director she worked under the Harvey Weinstein umbrella at Miramax Books and at Henry Holt and Company where she managed a range of campaigns from three different imprints. She is especially interested in digital promotion and has focused on this area as the market has changed, bringing a multi-media focus to campaigns recently with USAToday.com and Chemistry.com.

    And it’s no scam…I’m a writer and I want to do everything I can to make self-pubbed books mean great reads that just haven’t been discovered yet.

    …and if you’re so good at this, why can’t you make your income out of commission on the sales?

    Because the cost of maintaining and promoting the site will possibly exceed the commission on sales, which I should note—at 25%—is far less than what most other sites take.

    I’d like to know more about this impressive track record. What have you written, where was it published?

    The Fashion Resource Directory – Self-published three volumes and subsequently sold to Fairchild Publications, now owned by Conde Nast.

    The Little Black Dress – Published by Simon & Schuster

    Manless in Monclair – Published by Shaye Arehart Books, an imprint of Random House

    And what about genres? You just want self-pubbed books?

    Yes.

    How would you market something like an erotic science fiction gay werewolf anthology *and* a book about Christian marriage and loving discipline? Are you aware of the kind of stuff that gets published for instance through Lulu?

    Yes, I am aware of the “stuff” that gets published by Lulu.  And Blurb.  And iUniverse.  And we won’t be publicizing individual books so much as we’ll be publicizing the site and the variety and quality of self-pubbed books that can be found there.  And for a site that’s not live yet, we’ve already received coverage in Publisher’s Weekly and Christian Science Monitor.

    Annual fee (which is $99 for another couple of weeks till we go live) pays for cost of maintaining the site and the salary’s of the people maintaining and promoting it

    You want people to pay over a hundred bucks for something that’s not even live yet.

    I want people who believe in the site and what it can do for their books.  And to-date, we have had close to a hundred books submitted for our review and more are coming in everyday.  We’re not twisting anybody’s arm here.

    Seems to me you should be letting authors sign up for free at this point – because without authors, you’ve got nothing to offer. Unless of course your business model is making money from author charges, in which case you’re exactly fitting the vanity press/scam model.

    Yes, well, there are many people like you who believe that—for whatever reason—you should get everything for free and people should bend over backward just because you say so.  When you spend the time, the money and the effort to create a site like IndieReader you can run it however you choose.  But from the tone of your posting, I think you’d just rather find fault with those of us who are trying to actually do something.

    I am more than happy to answer any questions, but I’d prefer if they were asked without the hostility, accusations and sarcasm.

  20. 20

    many people like you who believe that—for whatever reason—you should get everything for free and people should bend over backward just because you say so.

    Lady, I want nothing for free. Everything I’ve got, I’ve worked for. I write my own books, create and market my own product. pay for my own site, and do all my own production. If I thought your site was offering something I could use and afford, I’d consider it and pay what it’s worth. But don’t you dare accuse me of trying to exploit you, when all the evidence is that you’re making money off authors who make very little money in the first place.

    The traditional publishing model is you make money from sales. If you believed in what you were doing, if you thought you could help authors make more sales, you’d follow that model. But the size of your fee tells me one thing – you don’t think this will work.  If your business model is to make the money off author charges, you are a vanity operation, pure and simple.

    And we won’t be publicizing individual books so much as we’ll be publicizing the site and the variety and quality of self-pubbed books that can be found there.

    So you’re charging $150 plus a cut of every sale to run a directory site? But you’re not selecting for quality, you’re selecting by those authors rich enough or desperate enough to pay your fees. How is that offering the potential customer anything over the search function at Lulu?

    And for a site that’s not live yet, we’ve already received coverage in Publisher’s Weekly and Christian Science Monitor.

    And this tells me what? You got coverage on this site too, but it tells me bugger all about whether you’re a legit service or whether it’s offering anything worth the money.

    I’d prefer if they were asked without the hostility, accusations and sarcasm.

    Life’s a bitch, ain’t it.

    If you know as much about publishing as you claim, you know perfectly well why I and others are suspicious. You’ve given more concrete information here, and it looks good. But wow, your snotty remarks to a potential customer? Yeah, RR vibes all the way.

    If you want me to trust you, don’t accuse me of trying to cheat you because I’m asking hard questions. If you aren’t prepared for questions, then you’re in the wrong job.

    Count me as a lost sale and a confirmed skeptic.

  21. 21
    Sparky says:

    I think watching and waiting with caution is the way to go on this one. The annual fee, up-front free et al seem to be quite high and layered here, personally I’d stand back and be very wary.

    The owner of this site makes high claims about their marketing – and if they do get that degree of exposure then this could be wonderful. If it gets on oprah et al – then all power to it and it may indeed be worth the considerable investment.

    But it isn’t live yet. I’ve seen a whole lot of people with great ideas that just, for whatever reason, don’t get there. I don’t think it’s the best idea to drop a not-inconsiderable amount of money into this yet.

    It’s going to be interesting to watch and if it does get the exposure and attention that the owners hope then it has a lot of potential – but unless the money isn’t an isssue for you, I, personally, wouldn’t risk it

  22. 22
    Elaine says:

    Ann

    I hope the smart bitches let you post this to the main blog so it doesn’t get lost in the comments. I think you have nailed the business model of IndieReader, make money off of vulnerable authors.

    Elaine

  23. 23

    “I hope the smart bitches let you post this to the main blog”

    I have my own blog for this kind of thing, Elaine. And trust me, I’ve made my feelings very, very clear.

  24. 24
    Amy Edelman says:

    I really have to wonder why so many of these posts assume that self-published authors are “vulnerable”.  I can certainly understand skepticism, but what I have a hard time understanding is the hostility.  I don’t know what else I can say to change minds that seem already made-up and there’s really no way to prove any of us right until the site goes live.  I can only hope you’ll be as vocal about your opinions when IndieReader and its authors prove to be a success.

  25. 25
    Zoe Winters says:

    I’ve spoken with Amy extensively on another blog, though she’s speaking up here too.  I was pretty cynical about the whole thing to begin with, and while I don’t think it will be the right option for everyone and each person needs to weigh the pros and cons for themselves,  I think she is sincere in her goals and efforts.

    I personally don’t know how IndieReader will play out.  But when I am ready with my print release later in the year I am willing to give it a go and see what I can do with it.  The price breaks down to $12.50 a month, as business expenses go that’s not exactly a terror level orange price point for me.

    Not every marketing effort or expense works out for every person, but it’s a tax write off either way, and you learn something about where the best place is to spend your own personal promotional dollars.

    Other indie author’s mileage may vary.  I do not believe it is a scam though or any kind of intent to separate self publishing authors from their money.  But the act of SPing to begin with for many people does cost “some” money.  Just like anything where you want to sell things to other people.

  26. 26

    I can’t beleive I’m doing this but…

    Yes, well, there are many people like you who believe that—for whatever reason—you should get everything for free and people should bend over backward just because you say so.  When you spend the time, the money and the effort to create a site like IndieReader you can run it however you choose.

    I don’t think Ms. Sommerville, or any self-published author questioning your business model this close should be accused of expecting ‘to get everything for free’, nor should ‘anyone bend over backward for us’.  That’s very unfair of you to say and it’s a little out of line, especially since you’re asking for money.  :) 

    You’re trying to collect business from self-published authors, be expected to get the Vulcan-eyebrow treatment from seasoned self-published authors who can’t see exactly what resource you’re providing for an annual fee.  Regardless of how she’s asking you, or what attitude you feel she’s projecting, it doesn’t invalidate the true criticisms and questions she’s aiming at your model.  The spirit of self-publishing involves the authors marketing to their fans – we know it’s work, and most of us love it.  It’s sweat-equity, can’t really put a price on it… 

    I’m honestly not trying to give you a hard time, but from what I see here and on your site, I think if you understand WHY many of us self-publish, you’ll likely be able to better service the self-publishing community. 

    Most self-published authors that go through a POD printer online [LuLu, Createspace] know that bookstore sales are just not fiscally viable for us – [one bookstore order alone would bankrupt an author doing the print-on-demand model, let’s not get started on returns!] and so none of us truly aim for massive worldwide sales via a traditional distributor.  So are you gunning for the ‘offset’ self-publishers, that purchase a print run up front?  Even then, most of us ‘offset-kids’ self-publish niche material; genre specific for a limited audience and so ‘playing it small’ works for us; we can take our time, be patient, and gather our fanbase.  The only thing you could possible offer us [both forms of self-publishers] is comprehensive marketing NOT TO FANS, but to agencies [where our work can be picked up by a traditional publisher or multi-media production company]; or digital developer/resellers. 

    I can respect your model IF you want to fill THAT void, yet NOTHING in your list of experience [and you name so many things you’ve written and edited] tells me that you have the experience to ‘shop’ my self published title to digital outlets, agents, or extended title programs [ETPs are brick and mortar stores ‘Online store front’].  Do you have a way to get a book in front of an eContent resellers or a digital distributor; Can you get a title adapted to an iTunes aps and sold in mobile formats?  In terms of transcending the digital format, or acquiring a larger audience: How will you attract editors and agents to view your catalog of authors, and which publishers and agencies does your site currently work with? 

    -Tina
    and I don’t want you to bend over backwards for me:)

  27. 27
    Amy Edelman says:

    Hi Tina,

    For the record, I apologize if my comments offended.  I have since learned that Ms. Sommerville has a habit of bringing out the worst in people online, nevertheless I regret having stooped to her level.

    As far as criticisms and questions, as I said earlier, I’m happy to address any and all.  As far as not understanding the spirit of self-publishing, you’ll note in my response to Ms. S. that I self-published several books myself.  I can also tell you that “authors marketing to their fans” is not unique to self-published authors…I had to do the same with the two of mine that were traditionally published as well. 

    So…as far as POD goes…yes, it is hard to make a buck.  I do understand that, which is one of the reasons we’re taking such a small cut of the sales (25%).  As far as the niche material…again, I understand, and in fact, that’s part of our “sales pitch” to the consumer.  That people will find books at IR that they won’t find elsewhere because they are NOT necessarily mainstream. 

    As far as marketing to agencies, I can promise you that agents and publishers will come to IR looking for books that they may have missed.  And why shouldn’t they, since we’ve done all the hard work (by vetting the books) for them?  (By the way, IR’s PR/Marketing Director has a lot of experience in traditional publishing…her exp is posted in a reponse to Ms. S. above…and she seconds the notion that IR could become a very hot “fishing” spot for the traditional publishing industry).  IR is also pursuing a strategic partnership with a film production company, whereby they’ll get a “first look” at the material on the site, should they be interested in optioning something to develop in other media.

    That said, we also understand that many people self-publish by choice and are not interested in being picked-up by a traditional publisher.  For them we offer a platform to sell more books and raise their profiles.

    Hope this helps clarify.  If not feel free to continue to ask.  (No bending necessary :)

    Best,
    Amy

  28. 28

    For the record, I apologize if my comments offended. I have since learned
    that Ms. Sommerville has a habit of bringing out the worst in people online,
    nevertheless I regret having stooped to her level.

    Wow. And you’re a PR person? Not very professional, girly. (Still can’t spell, I see.)

    But your obvious attempts to deflect criticism won’t stop that criticism.

    If I bring the ‘worst’ out in people, the ‘worst’ has to be there to bring out, doesn’t it?  And it really didn’t take much effort to scrape away your ‘Mossad facade’, did it.

  29. 29

    nevertheless I regret having stooped to her level,

    Stop this.  Ms. Sommerville and I get on like fire and gasoline, but I don’t feel she stooped anywhere – she had valid crits, and has her own way of expressing them.  You need to get thicker skin if you’re going to explain your set-up to the un-indoctrinated.  :)

    I can also tell you that “authors marketing to their fans” is not unique to self-published authors…I had to do the same with the two of mine that were traditionally published as well.

    Yes, I know this – I’m published on the pro level as well and I have an agent for my foreign sales, so I’m aware of just how hard what you’re promising is going to be to pull off.

    So…as far as POD goes…yes, it is hard to make a buck.  I do understand that, which is one of the reasons we’re taking such a small cut of the sales (25%).  As far as the niche material…again, I understand, and in fact, that’s part of our “sales pitch” to the consumer.  That people will find books at IR that they won’t find elsewhere because they are NOT necessarily mainstream.

    Hmm, you offer them ‘non-mainstream’ but you’re charging authors a tidy mainstream percentage.  :/  25% per sale on top of an annual fee?  That’s not niche, that’s pricey – and again, for what exactly?  My agent doesn’t even take 25% of my comic-script sales, and she does much of what you say you’re willing to do. 

    I think what’s frustrating me [I won’t speak for others] as a seasoned self-publisher is that what you’re offering is something we do on our own, but I’m trying to get my head around it.  So basically you’re setting yourselves up NOT for seasoned self-publishers who insist on RLY doing it all – , but for creators that just want to write the book, and let someone else handle all the business aspects of ‘being’ a self-publisher?

    I can promise you that agents and publishers will come to IR looking for books that they may have missed. [...] and she seconds the notion that IR could become a very hot “fishing” spot for the traditional publishing industry

    When you get these agents and pubs publicly signed on, THEN I’ll recommend your biz to writers that don’t want to handle the ‘business’ end of self-publishing.  :)

    For them we offer a platform to sell more books and raise their profiles.

    Can I give you some advice?  This isn’t criticism or condescension, this me, an author who self-publishes, telling you what I need as a self-publisher that I currently can’t do for myself?

    Be a biz that can get my books converted to aps for mobile devices, and then get those aps sold to iTunes, Sony eBook Store, Fictionwise or other eBook retailers.  This would be something I’d be willing to pay a fee for, because right now, the only way to do get inclusion in these shops is to an eBook pub with lots of titles under your belt, or be picked up by a digital distributor that requires you to have at least 5 to 8 titles minimum in digital format.  :)

    Thanks Amy,
    and good luck.

  30. 30
    Sparky says:

    Amy:

    “have since learned that Ms. Sommerville has a habit of bringing out the worst in people online, nevertheless I regret having stooped to her level.”

    Excuse me? I don’t think any of Ann’s comments on this thread are even remotely inflammatory. She has raised several real concerns – and you were the one who lashed out with a completely unsupported and unnecessary attack to deflect attention from legitimate criticism. Frankly, if such minor questioning brings out the worst in you, then the worst is very near to the surface.

    This comment is grossly unprofessional and a pathetic excuse to justify the unprovoked insults that you delivered in an attempt to divert attention from a very sensible concern and a very useful question. Frankly, it makes you look extremely untrustworthy.

    Regardless of what you have heard about people or their reputations, the questions asked were reasonable and the tone more than civil before you resorted to an accusation that Ann – and any others, questioning your deviation from an industry standard were lazy and expecting “something for nothing.”

    You say you would be happy to answer questions without “the hostility, accusations and sarcasm.” yet I see this coming from you first and you mainly. Frankly, it doesn’t come across as either professional or reasonable.

    I really have to wonder why so many of these posts assume that self-published authors are “vulnerable”.

    Because they are. Most have not been published before. They do not know standard industry norms. They do not usually have the resources to make sure everything is legitimate and checked out thoroughly. They can’t usually tell whether a contract is standard boilerplate or contains exploitative terms. But most of all they have a dream and a hope – and are often desperate to see that realised. And people with a dream and certainly people who are desperate are often very vulnerable indeed.

    but what I have a hard time understanding is the hostility.

    I don’t see much hostility – just healthy scepticism. Well, until you started using thinly veiled accusations – then people got rather justly annoyed.

     

    I can only hope you’ll be as vocal about your opinions when IndieReader and its authors prove to be a success.

    Personally, I wish you every success and I hope that IndieReader is a truly impressive and successful enterprise for the authors who sign with you. I will watch and hope for any new source of quality work.

    But scepticism is more than reasonable with ANY start up (perhaps especially an internet one), especially if they are asking large upfront fees. That is not unreasonable nor unfair. Frankly, I had more hopes when I read the Smart Bitches original post than I do now, since I find your conduct in this thread has not been professional or helpful.

Comments are closed.

↑ Back to Top