The publishing revolution has been a long and winding road, but through it all, there have been some powerhouse companies–both large and small–that have worked to bring books of every kind into the spotlight. One company, IndieReader, launched in 2009 with a very specific goal: the fan the flames of an indie book movement that had the same credibility and following of the indie music and film scenes.
Unfortunately, the book industry fought back against the notion that just anyone could write and publish a worthy book without going through the gatekeepers. In the past seven years, IndieReader has helped lead the way in working to change that perception.
“When IR launched in 2009, indie titles weren’t ‘allowed’ on The New York Times bestseller list,” the company noted in a recent release, “and the general perception of self-publishing was that it was a last resort by lousy authors who weren’t good enough to get a traditional publishing deal. IR’s mission was to showcase and highlight great indie books and authors, and in the process, to create an indie movement similar to what was happening in music and film.
“Self-published titles now routinely appear on The New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists, as well as being shortlisted for prestigious book prizes like the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize and The Bookseller Industry Book of the Year Award. Indie books have been turned into award-winning films and have been bought by traditional publishers, eager to share in their profits. IR’s content has been shared by and linked from Amazon’s home page, The Huffington Post and USA Today, along with trade publications including Publisher’s Weekly and Shelf Awareness. At its peak, IR’s readership topped 200,000 pageviews a month.”
You maybe wondering why this information reads like an obituary, and unfortunately, that perception wouldn’t be entirely wrong. IndieReader’s announcement pertains to a shift in the company’s model. The reader-centric blog, editorials, and reviews will cease, and the company’s sister site, IndieReader Author Services, will now fall under the original “site URL.
With the good came the bad. IndieReader’s longtime efforts now mean that self-published books have the same respect and fan base as those “real” books, meaning it’s even harder to compete in the crowded marketplace. Moving forward, IR’s author services will continue to help authors create books that can stand out due to quality editing, formatting, and cover design.
“A lot has changed in the years since IR was founded,” added Amy Edelman, IndieReader’s founder and president. “Although we can’t take credit for all the changes, we were honored to be a part of it.”