Write Stuff – Indie World of Publishing, Part I: Finding Treasure

Write Stuff – Indie World of Publishing, Part I: Finding Treasure

It’s official: publishing options abound, readers are ready, and the indie publishing revolution’s become a driving force. If You’re in the business, you’ve probably got RSS feeds pinging away and can quote J.A. Konrath’s blog posts chapter and verse. But for the average reader?and aspiring indie writer?it can all seem a bit overwhelming.

To help you navigate, we’ve lined up some great jumping-off points; sites with reliable info and plenty of credibility earned in the indie trenches. Whether You’re looking for a great indie read, want to talk about your new favourite indie author, or are thinking of putting your own literary darling in front of the world, these links will start you down the yellow brick road. This week, It’s all about getting the lowdown on that indie book You’re eyeing before you take a chance at the e-checkout.

For readers, choice isn’t the issue. we’re positively spoiled by the stuff, and surfing indie offerings is akin to standing in the world’s largest Costco, surrounded by acres of merchandise. The trick is wading through it to find just the right thing.

Of course, readers can check the star ratings and reader comments at retail sites. But there’s nothing quite like finding one or two trusted voices, bloggers who’ve gained reputations for fair, thoughtful reviews. So besides the obvious names (like Goodreads), here are a few sites that might have slipped past your radar.

Spalding’s Racket is one site that posts indie book titles and helps readers find new authors. The site doesn’t do reviews, but as the guidelines note, quality matters and the site ?won’t just upload anything!? Think of it as a pre-flight check. Regular blog readers can subscribe to find new titles as they’re posted, but if It’s your first visit you might want to scroll through the archives to make sure you haven’t missed anything (I recently stumbled across a couple of great finds that way).

If You’re looking to dig deeper, Red Adept Reviews has garnered attention for unbiased, detailed reviews, along with author interviews.

Another site that gets kudos for honest reviews (in spite of the occasional author meltdown) is BigAl’s Books and Pals. The site offers ?reviews and more from the world of the Kindle,? so there’s a chance you may spot a great read That’s only available for Kindle. However, since most indie authors offer their books at multiple retailers, a little Googling should do the trick.

The motherlode, though, can be found at Hampton Networks, billed as the ?Indie Book Blog Database.? You can search by category, and one nice feature is that the review blogs themselves can be rated. There’s no guarantee that every review site maintains a high level of quality, but with a little surfing You’re bound to find some solid favourites.

Two more sites deserve a mention. First up is the Indie eBook Hall of Fame. This blog doesn’t do reviews, but it does list books that have ?received a positive recommendation from at least three independent bloggers.? Simply follow the ?Books? link at the top of the page to search by genre.

Finally, be sure to check out the Book Corner over at Kindle Boards. Community spirit truly thrives there, and the boards are well moderated. It’s also a bonus that you don’t need to create an account to follow the discussions, so You’re free to pop in and get the scoop on what other readers are saying.

Next week we’ll look at some of the places indie authors gather?and discuss a few things to watch out for if You’re thinking of taking the plunge and self-publishing. Until then, happy reading!