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Thread: IndieReader Author Serivces / IndieReader Discovery Awards

  1. #1
    practical experience, FTW Nandi's Avatar
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    IndieReader Author Serivces / IndieReader Discovery Awards

    Can anyone tell me why signing up with this outfit would be a good thing?

    What benefits accrue to the self-pubbed author that cannot be acquired elsewhere?

    http://indiereader.com/

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    They lost me at $149 a year, on top of 25% of cover. That and they don't seem, perpelexingly, to be aiming the site at readers--just spouting the same ol' self-pub angry mantra. (i.e. assuming their is some mass group of readers who specifically "love" self-published books--rather than just want good books).
    Last edited by veinglory; 05-14-2009 at 06:54 PM.
    Emily Veinglory

  3. #3
    practical experience, FTW Nandi's Avatar
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    That's my initial take on them, too, veinglory.

  4. #4
    Natural born... zpeteman's Avatar
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    I'm wary of them too. But I'll withhold judgment until the site actually launches. It's a bit unfair at this point to say it's not aimed at readers since the site isn't even open for business yet.

  5. #5
    Ann Somerville
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    Quote Originally Posted by zpeteman View Post
    I'm wary of them too. But I'll withhold judgment until the site actually launches. It's a bit unfair at this point to say it's not aimed at readers since the site isn't even open for business yet.
    But they want to charge $99 for the privilege of belonging to a site which isn't yet live

    Everything about Amy Edleman's comments here:
    http://www.smartbitchestrashybooks.c...s/indiereader/

    Make my hackles rise. She admits they're not going to promote individual books, but the site itself. So the authors have very little chance of getting a slice of the promotional pie, for a very large fee.

  6. #6
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    Indeed. If the site is going to be for readers it should be giving the pre-launch come on to readers too. It also should have samples of the kind of techniques they are going to use to get customers like me to buy enough books for authors to run at a profit. If they can do that they will be breaking records for this kind of site.
    Emily Veinglory

  7. #7
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  8. #8
    Ann Somerville
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    Quote Originally Posted by William Haskins View Post
    My take is that if you can afford this 'service', you don't need it, and if you need it, you will never be able to afford it.

    Besides, Edelman got up my nose and if her response to customers of the site who have a problem is anything like how she spoke to me, then I'd say she's going to have a lot of very cranky, unsatisfied customers.
    Love, romance and the occasional sound thrashing
    http://annsomerville.net

  9. #9
    Writer Beware Goddess Absolute Sage victoriastrauss's Avatar
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    New blog post at Writer Beware on IndieReader.

    - Victoria

  10. #10
    practical experience, FTW mercs's Avatar
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    I've only just glimpsed at this and I'm not sure what people are paying for. From what I understand you pay them 150 bucks a year -plus an extra 25 if for each new book- and they put it on their site. The site is (apparently) the next big thing as after indie music and indie film, everyone wants indie books. But then for everything you sell through their site, they also take a commission...

    So...

    What are these people coughing up money for? I'd rather pay a few quid (literally!) to google or yahoo and have a cheap and simple site listed on sites like this in the adverts across the top...

  11. #11
    practical experience, FTW mlhernandez's Avatar
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    My hang up is the vetting by editors and agents. Um, editors and agents have queries and partials and fulls out the wazoo already. Am I supposed to believe really great, reputable folks in the publishing industry have time to read through and give a yay or nay on all these books? Also some people self-publish after they've hit a wall going the commercial route (agents and editors) so how likely are these books to be viewed positively by the same people who may have already panned them?

    And where are the readers going to come from? How many readers, realistically, want to browse through virtual shelves of self-published books?

    Just seems like a huge waste of money to me.

  12. #12
    Ann Somerville
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    Quote Originally Posted by mercs View Post
    What are these people coughing up money for?
    I have no idea. I've made $1500 out of self-pubbed books over the last three years (not trying to market very hard, and really just making them available as a service to readers) and $300 in 6 weeks out of one ebook that I sold on Lulu just by advertising it on my blog and on various LJs etc. Not big money - but I haven't paid a cent in promotion and advertising, and it's all very handy for trips and so on. If I'd paid Edelman's fee+commission, I'd have used up $149+$25+$77 in promoting that book - which doesn't leave a lot of gravy out of $300, does it? (And I had to laugh at Zoe Winters boasting on a blog recently that she'd 'sold' 1500 copies of her novel since Nov 2008 (I think), making a princely 35c a copy. $525 out of 1500 sales? When I made $300 out of 77? - and for a very modestly priced ebook too. Methinks there's something screwy in her approach.)

    A self-pubbed author can make modest money and not spend anything beyond the cost of a domain name and hosting. Or they can spend buckets of money to earn slightly more than modest money gross, and end up with a pitiful net profit. I've yet to see any proof that any truly self-pubbed author can make buckets of money by spending buckets of money.

    I don't believe for a second these sites will attract readers (unless we're talking about niche markets, customers aren't looking for self-pubbed books when there is so much pro stuff around), and the idea that publishers would be wasting time going through *this* slush pile when they have overflowing ones of their own, is simply laughable.
    Love, romance and the occasional sound thrashing
    http://annsomerville.net

  13. #13
    practical experience, FTW mercs's Avatar
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    I have to agree. The book I'm slowly getting through Lulu, I estimate would make me around 3 per copy (2.90 going to Lulu, so based upon a 6 retail price). I'm already resigned to giving up six copies to the british library (36) and my website will cost 165 for development and set up with a further few quid each month for hosting/registration. If i throw in other expenses that all writers suffer, I'm already facing the prospect of being around 1,500 out of pocket before I even sell my first copy...

    With making just 3 per book, I have to sell 500 to break even. If i sell via these people (with them taking 25% commission -around 1.50 per book) I would have to sell 1000 copies to just break even, and closer to 1100 with their fees.

    It's possible that POD books sell those numbers, but I fail to believe they could possibly deliver that sort of customer base to me...

  14. #14
    volitare nequeo AW Moderator veinglory's Avatar
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    I doubt the average client would be running at a profit.
    Emily Veinglory

  15. #15
    Ann Somerville
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    Mercs, the saving grace for self-pubbed authors is epublishing, just as it will be for traditional publishers. No overhead, no risks, money in the bank. If you can't give up the dream of being in print, at least delay it until you have a known readership.
    Love, romance and the occasional sound thrashing
    http://annsomerville.net

  16. #16
    practical experience, FTW mercs's Avatar
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    logophilos, I'm looking to do both if I'm honest. POD is fine as there's no immediate rush to shift 1000 copies or whatever. I think there's just something about having it in print that does it for me...

    The money isn't even important, as I said I'm already 500 books away from breaking even and I haven't even had my ISBN paid for yet! As I don't have 500 customers waiting, I'm likely to incur even more costs in getting out there...

    I'm resigned to not breaking even -it's never the point really. However, I'm against people exploiting ambitious people in this way. They are promising the world, taking a hefty fee for it and from what I can see delivering almost nothing beyond what I could achieve through my facebook page!

  17. #17
    A cat may not look at a king kellion92's Avatar
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    IndieReader Discovery Awards

    I just saw this "First Annual" contest, IndieReader Discovery Awards for self-published books. The tagline is "Because it's who reads your book that really matters!"

    There's an impressive panel of agents, editors, and others as judges who have promised to read -- for $150 entrance fee. From the site:

    With the rush by traditional publishers to sign them and their noteworthy bestselling status, there’s no longer much doubt that indie authors can be both commercially and creatively successful. All that was left to do was create a credible vehicle by which to find them. What makes the [the awards] so unique is their extraordinary panel of judges (click on “The Judges” tab to your right for the list), a who’s who of some of the most important people in publishing today. Why have all these important people agreed to read a pile of indie books? For the simple reason that they’re interested in finding talented writers who might otherwise be overlooked.
    I get a bad feeling about this -- it feels like a backdoor agent/editor reading fee that feeds some rather unrealistic hopes for entrants. I'm curious about how/if the judges are compensated for reading, for example. Any other thoughts out there?

    ETA: Thread title should be "Discovery." Oops.

  18. #18
    practical experience, FTW
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    I don't like the sounds of it. Having to pay $150 for something like this is absurd. I don't like writing contests that require the writers to pay money to enter.

  19. #19
    smooshed alias octavia's Avatar
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    I don't mind paying entrance fees for writing contests, but $150 is pretty steep IMHO. The most I've paid is $30 for a novel contest, and if I remember correctly the winner on that one received $2,000. But here I don't see that the winners actually win anything other than a review. I would pass.

    "The point is not to take the world's opinion as a guiding star,
    but to go one's way in life and to work unfalteringly
    neither depressed by failure nor seduced by applause."
    -Gustav Mahler

  20. #20
    A cat may not look at a king kellion92's Avatar
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    The part that really gets me is the promo copy:

    Sign up for IR Discovery Awards today to get your book in the hands of some of the most powerful people in publishing today!
    So is IndieReader really a site for readers to discover great self-published books? At best, the editorial slant makes this seem more like a trade mag for self-publishers than a site intended for readers. That could be fine -- a self-publishing Publishers Weekly -- except that this contest plays into writers' hopes for self-publishing as a route to traditional publication instead of advocating self-publishing as the end goal.
    Last edited by kellion92; 08-10-2011 at 01:05 AM.

  21. #21
    permaflounced
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    It looks pretty sleazy to me. But then, I've always thought that some conferences were kind of sleazy when they require an extra fee to get your work read by an industry insider, while it seems most writers don't.

    Still, even those who would pay for a conference critique ought to object to paying such a steep entry fee to a contest that offers no cash prize.

    It's kind of funny. We've always been told one of the major advantages to traditional publishing is that the money always flows to the writer. That we shouldn't have to pay to get our work read or published. What are these guys doing?

  22. #22
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin Crock-o-dile's Avatar
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    I don't get this. Why would you pay that much money just for getting your book read by editors who have to wade through all the other contest enteries, too. You're not even getting feedback from them, are you? Just the assurance that it was actually read.

    Dunno. The contest creator seems in earnest and I'm sure means well, but it doesn't sound worth the entry fee.

  23. #23
    Pit Livin' & Purgatory Dreamin' SteveCordero's Avatar
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    Interesting stuff, Kellion.

    Impressive panel, indeed, but like mentioned, what's the payoff? (No pun intended).

    The award itself is not prestigious enough to begin with so simply winning the award is not enough. There's no stated monetary award, and it seems like the "prize" is simply being read by big wigs in publishing. Yeah, that's great, but $150 is a steep for that.

  24. #24
    practical experience, FTW MickRooney's Avatar
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    Here is some feedback from Amy from IndieReader from last month on my FB page...

    Mick Rooney
    ‎.the prizes are focused on awarding the kind of tools an author and small publisher need before a book is published, not after...a bit like closing the gate after the horse has bolted. Isn't Amazon already doing the same by following and monitoring selfpublished authors and offering the successful ones contracts with their imprints. And Amazon do it without the $150 price tag.

    In addition, if the judges are as experienced as IR say they are, then the good books and good authors will be the ones winning the IR awards but of course, many of those authors will have already used services like Kirkus, sought advice from industry consultants etc. It's a bit like holding an award for all Ferrari owners, and then presenting them with a used Ferrari as a prize. I just don't get the basic premise these awards were concieved under.

    Slim Palmer At a $150 a pop - and no $$$ prize - it would take an act of desperation to enter this.
    20 July at 01:15 Unlike 1 person

    Amy Holman Edelman Re: the prizes...that's not true at all, Mick. Prizes incl professional reviews, access to publicists, agents, bookstore buyers, publishers...all important to unknown authors. If anything that exposure is more valuable than a few bucks.
    20 July at 15:17 Like


    Slim Palmer ‎@AHE: Sorry to disagree Amy but if, like me, you are a writer with very few funds available $150 is a weeks worth of living. Access to publicists, agents, bookstore buyers, publishers can all be done on the hoof and after 9 books and a good few reviews I think a marketing team and brown tonguing would be of more use - see JK Rowling for details - not what you know but who.
    20 July at 15:32 Like


    Amy Holman Edelman I'm not saying that $150 isn't a lot of money, Slim, but as an author myself, I disagree that "access to publicists, agents, bookstore buyers, publishers can all be done on the hoof" (actually, I'm not even sure what that means. As far as it's "not what you know but who you know", that's exactly my point. The Discovery Awards puts your book in front of some top publishing industry people, making them contacts YOU NOW KNOW and who, in turn, will know your work. Nothing else like it.
    20 July at 15:40 Like


    Mick Rooney Amy, I'm not questioning the quality of the prizes, rather they are tools best employed by an author *before* a book is published, not after it has been published, which if I understand IR's Discovery Awards, means many of the entrants will have already published/self-published their books. I do agree, to a certain point, you have to court the industry as a relatively unknow author to help create your own platform, but the Discovery Awards seem entirely 'industry' centric, rather than reader centric.
    20 July at 16:06 Like


    Amy Holman Edelman Mick, indie author do not (and should not) exist outside the publishing industry. Of course it's industry centric. Do you really think an author can be successful without it?
    20 July at 17:23 Like


    Mick Rooney I'm not suggesting indie authors should exist outside of the industry. Publishing a quality book properly as an indie author means you must acknowledge and work with the standards and practices of the industry. What I'm suggesting is that a great many indie authors made the decision to publish on their own, build a strong fanbase and readership and connect with those readers. In other words, successful indie authors have long moved beyond the goal of wooing or impressing the publishing industry or gaining their stamp of approval.
    20 July at 19:02 Like 1 person


    Amy Holman Edelman Well, in theory that's true. But I think if you asked an indie author (even a successful one), if they'd like to have their work traditionally pubbed, 9 out of ten of them would say yes. And, in fact, they do say yes. So saying that successful indie authors "have long moved beyond the goal of wooing or impressing the publishing industry or gaining their stamp of approval" is not only a bit naive, it's just not usually true.
    20 July at 19:10 Unlike 1 person


    Mary Johnson Heiser And yet traditionally published authors, like JK Rowling, are spurning the industry that made them millionaires in favor of gaining complete creative control and going direct to the readers.
    20 July at 20:32 Unlike 1 person


    Mick Rooney I agree, Amy, most would jump at the opportunity to be traditionally published - but isn't that the very point, (9 out of 10) or more accurately 99 out of 100, *won't* have their work published by a traditional publisher, not by choice, but because the work is not up to scratch or has not a viable market to make it worthwhile for a publisher. That's why I say the real goal for an indie author is to build a fanbase and readership - what they would like or wish for is entirely different.
    20 July at 20:46 Like


    Amy Holman Edelman Yes Mick, but the writers who do have work that is of value to a publisher will get it seen via the IRDA's. Also, to build a fan base and readership it helps to have the support and enthusiasm of professional reviewers and the media. The IRDA's also offer that exposure via its panel of judges. And yes, Mary, many trad pubbed authors are going indie, but having been previously trad pubbed gives them a tremendous advantage over their fellow indies.
    20 July at 21:10 Unlike 1 person


    Mick Rooney Very fair points, Amy, about what the IRDA does offer authors.

    Many of those authors moving from trad publishers are doing so only for ebooks because they have an established platform. I don't think you will see Rowling move from Bloomsbury with her print editions any time soon!
    20 July at 21:23 Like


    Amy Holman Edelman Thanks Mick.
    20 July at 21:31 Unlike 1 person

    Slim Palmer Just a thought: Do you write/publish because you can and the folk who see your work appreciate it OR do you write for the money and the kudos?
    20 July at 22:15 Like


    Mick Rooney For the reader, Slim, and the satisfaction that brings. There ain't much money in them publishing hills for most of us ordinary writing folk!
    20 July at 22:21 Like


    Slim Palmer So true Do it coz you can!
    20 July at 22:21 Unlike 1 person


    Amy Holman Edelman I agree. But--after all the work I put in--I also like the idea that as many people are reading it as is possible.
    20 July at 22:24 Unlike 1 person


    Slim Palmer A bit Zen (?) perhaps but if one person reads and passes on the experience to another ... et alii
    20 July at 22:30 Unlike 1 person


    Amy Holman Edelman Zen is all well and good but I read a Latin proverb recently...if there's no wind, row. Although I'm glad it's there, I prefer not to rely on just the wind.
    20 July at 22:33 Like


    Slim Palmer The majority of my rows were with ex-wives x
    20 July at 22:36 Like


    Slim Palmer ‎@Amy: Here's one for you: esse est percipi
    20 July at 22:40 Like

  25. #25
    A cat may not look at a king kellion92's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing that conversation, Mick. I don't feel particularly satisfied with her answers, but your questions were spot on.

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