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Independent Appraisal & Rating Service

Discussion in 'Publishing' started by The Dark One, Jan 8, 2014.

  1. C Hollis

    C Hollis Troubadour

    I am intrigued. The cost is reasonable.
  2. Graylorne

    Graylorne Archmage

    "It's kind of the idea of "you have to have sales to get sales."
    Not only this, Phil. You have to have sales to be able to continue publishing. (halfhearted :))

    Such an association would certainly fit the bill, as far as I'm concerned.
  3. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

    Oh, I missed this post earlier. Yes, Graylorne that does seem very similar to what Dark One is proposing. Would be worth looking into for anyone who is going indie.
  4. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

    Is anyone familiar with any of the fantasy books on this site? Are they decent? There's only a handful there so far.

    I would feel better about their recommendations if it only focused on fantasy. A site like this is going to end up with stronger credentials in one genre or another based on their early contributors.

    And if anyone is thinking about taking all this talk seriously, the first step would be putting together a list of 25 to 50 indie books which deserve that seal from the get-go.
  5. Graylorne

    Graylorne Archmage

    I know several titles of the Traditional Fantasy list, actually.

    I bought 'Lichgates' recently in a Bookbub offer; haven't read it yet.
    Several other titles I saw on bookblogs, book tours etc.


    A site recommending all genres would get a more solid/serious reputation than one only for Fantasy, I'd think.

    For that 25/50, I could offer you five titles offhand. Whether they're worthy is not for me to say, of course :)
  6. The Dark One

    The Dark One Auror

    In fact, I agree with this quote...but just as a side question, how many books have you read that thought were absolutely brilliant that never got published or, as indie titles, never found an audience?
  7. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

    I haven't read that many unpublished books, so I don't really know how to answer that. I mean, they'd have to be published somehow (traditional or self-published) if I were to read them, right?

    As far as indie titles, I honestly haven't read many of them either. I'm starting to read more and more. Of those I've read, Robert Bevan's work has stood out to me simply because his writing is fun and not so focused on being politically correct. There are actually tons of writers around here at Mythic Scribes that if they wrote a book, I'd most likely get it because I'm a fan of their short stories. As a reader, I'm not so much looking for brilliant writers (although that would be great), but writers who are offering something different than what I can get from mainstream publishing. I wish something more indie fantasy writers would do is take chances by trying to tell the stories mainstream publishing isn't. We have tons of epic fantasy novels from mainstream publishing. That's great. I like epic fantasy. Some of my favorite writers write it. But if I were looking for indie books, I'm probably not looking for epic fantasy. I'm looking for something a little weirder, quirkier, funnier, darker, whatever. Not to say I wouldn't read epic fantasy from an indie writer, but I would just expect something a bit different is all. That's the same reason people watch indie movies or listen to indie rock. They're finding something Hollywood or mainstream music labels aren't offering.

    I think indie writers are a relatively new phenomenon so it's hard to say if there are writers who are absolutely awesome who are languishing in obscurity. I do think there are a lot of writers here at Mythic Scribes and other communities I'm a part of who I think are undiscovered, great writers. However, they're not at that point where they're ready to put their work out there yet.
  8. PaulineMRoss

    PaulineMRoss Inkling

    I read a lot of indie (I prefer the term self-published) authors and yes, there are awesome writers out there languishing in obscurity. If you write a good, solid book and do a certain amount of marketing, you can sell a modest number of copies, but it's virtually impossible these days to break through without either knowing someone to give you a leg up, or buying your way to fame and fortune. Income levels are dropping, too. Best bet nowadays (if you want to make money from it) is erotica.

    For anyone who's interested, here's my best self-published reads of 2013:

    5 Self-Published Gems of 2013 | Fantasy Review Barn

    Note that Andrea K Host has been nominated for awards in Australia, has numerous YA books, but still can't make a living from it.
  9. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

    I'm not sure even moderately successful writers make their living only from writing. I've heard a lot of bestsellers still have day jobs and such. I believe the term "languishing in obscurity" would pertain more to someone who has only had a handful of people read their work. Definitions of this vary from person to person I'd wager.

    Thanks for the link, by the way, Pauline. I'll take a look at your list. It would be nice if more people read enough indie writers to make lists for readers to point out the diamonds in the rough. I still think a big key to small press and indie writers' success is support from reviewers. There aren't enough people reviewing the work to get the word out.

    I am probably one of the best examples of someone who wants to desperately read more indie work but I have no idea where to start. A service like has been mentioned in this thread I ultimately think would be very useful for readers who don't want to read dozens of self-published books and hope they get lucky finding one that's decent. I mostly just pick up books from friends or people on social networks that I think sound cool.

    As someone who hopes to go the hybrid route (traditional and self-published together) I hope I can get a firmer grip on what readers are looking for both in a traditionally published book and a self-published one. I think nowadays the expectations are still widely varied, but I imagine the gap will close over time.
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2014
  10. Graylorne

    Graylorne Archmage


    Do you have a free BookBub subscription? You get a daily email with book promotions in the genre of your choice, either completely free or bargain priced. All books are pretty rigorously chosen, so there is a good chance of a decent book. I bought several interesting sounding fantasy titles there. They've got hundreds and it's all completely free.
    See: www.bookbub.com.
    Philip Overby likes this.
  11. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

    Just signed up. I'm interested to see what jumps out at me. I tend to look for stranger fantasy as of late (in the vein of China Mieville or Chuck Wendig) so I'm not sure how much of that is really available.
  12. Chessie

    Chessie Guest

    Phil, you like Steampunk, right? Try the Flashgold series by Lindsay Buroker. She's all Indie and is pretty successful at it, been following her blog for some time. She also writes urban fantasy.
  13. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

    Thanks for the link. I checked it out.

    The first question that came to my mind: Are the books really quality?

    I browsed until I found a book (scifi) that met my tastes and bought it off Amazon. After I finish the book I'm reading, I'll move that one to the top of the list. Granted, it's a small sample size, but, considering I chose almost at random, it should give me some indication of quality level.

    My second thought: It seems highly unlikely that anyone is going to stumble across your book and decide to buy it because of a seal of approval. What seems more likely is that a reader will find the site and choose to buy a book featured there (as I did). It seems like the site, therefore, would be of more use to me as both a reader and author if they gave me descriptions of all the books instead of just the new ones. Am I really going to click through to Amazon for every title based solely on a title?
  14. Graylorne

    Graylorne Archmage

    I posted this link it primarily as an example of what the discussion was about.

    I've no idea what AI's history of reviews is or the size of the organization. Perhaps the titles on their site are the only ones with a seal?

    Looking through it, I noticed that the lady who seems to coordinate things and several of the reviewers have the AIA seal themselves on several titles of their own.
    One reviewer's name I recognized because she is a book blogger who did a review of Rhidauna via my last book tour.

    So I don't know if this is It, or can become It. But there are a lot of good ideas involved and perhaps, if enough people would use a seal like this, it would grow into a useful thing.

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