Today I am welcome Grub Street Reads to the blog. They are here to tell us a bit more about their exciting new venture....
Because The Time For Indie Book Quality Standards Has Come
The saying “once bitten, twice shy,” comes to mind when I think of all the poor-quality indie books floating around the Amazon ether, and the unsuspecting readers enticed to buy them for low prices. One really bad indie book can turn readers away from indie for life, or at least a good long while.
This is really a shame, because the indie book market is bursting with talent. Trust me, I’ve been reading more indie books than most, and there are some amazing indie authors putting out great material. These novels (in my humble opinion) deserve huge followings of adoring fans and lots and lots of sales.
There should really be a way for readers to tell the good indie books from the bad and the ugly. If only there was some kind of legitimate, third-party, objective(ish) quality standard that readers could rely on to help them find great new indie authors.
Yes, quality standards. The indie book market needs them in a big bad way. Here’s why:
Since you’re reading this blog post, I’m assuming you’re a pretty savvy reader or a writer yourself. That means you already know that the publishing industry is in the throes of a pretty mighty revolution. Amazon, technology, the death of the bookstore, but mostly Amazon, have thrown open the doors to the publishing promise land.
Now anyone can publish their great masterpiece on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords for free. In other words, it’s a good time to be an author…except, well, with no agents and no publishers to act as gatekeepers, who’s left to tell if any of these books flooding the market are any good?
It’s a difficult thing to discuss good and bad without risking offense, and that’s not what I mean to do at all. What I want to get across is that I believe many authors, giddy with the joy of finishing a novel, publish too soon. The result is a book that will generate few sales, poor reviews and saddle the author with a poor reputation.
This isn’t good for authors or for readers who may turn away from the indie market after a few bad experiences.
That brings me to what I hope is a solution for this problem - Grub Street Reads. GSR is the brainchild of myself and my business partner, Leslie Ramey. We are both passionate indie readers and indie authors. After lots of discussion, lip chewing, soul searching, and a few shots of tequila, we decided that to save the indie book market, someone, somewhere needed to develop standards. Since no one else was volunteering, we took on this job ourselves.
Our mission is simple – we want to be the quality standard of the indie book market. Our method for achieving this is pretty simple too. We believe that every great story, no matter the genre or plot particulars, contains fundamental components of good storytelling.
Our evaluation system is crafted to identify and affirm these features in the manuscripts that are submitted for our review. The books that pass our endorsement system have proven, in our minds, that they meet the basic standard of a cohesive, coherent and engaging story. For that achievement, we award them with the Grub Street Reads Endorsement Seal.
Our hope is that as our brand becomes well-known and trusted by readers, they will begin looking for our seal on all the covers of all the indie books they purchase. Good for authors. Good for readers.
A quality standard can be a beautiful thing.
So, what do you think? Is there a need for a quality standard in the indie book market and for Grub Street Reads? We welcome your thoughts and comments even if you’re not yet convinced.
Grub Street Reads officially launches July 9th, but our beta site is up, and we already have a growing list of endorsed indie books in the GSR library. We invite readers of Nicki’s blog to check out our site, view/mock our kooky video and read more about our endorsement process and criteria. We’re also offering a 25% discount for all manuscripts submitted before our official launch, so hurry up and hustle over.