I was always the kind of kid who had one book in her hand and an extra one in her bag. I loved to write as well, but it somehow never occurred to me to be a writer.
Flash forward a decade. I majored in clothing design in college and was trying to gain a foothold in the fashion business in New York City. I noticed that there wasn’t a resource book specifically for the industry and decided to create one. After a prodigious amount of research and a smaller investment of money, I self-published The Fashion Resource Directory. Two years later I sold the book to Fairchild and switched my focus to public relations, which twenty years later remains my "day" job.
In the interim, I had two kids, moved to the suburbs and wrote two books, The Little Black Dress and Manless in Montclair, both of which were traditionally published. Although I didn’t think much of it at the time, having been both self and traditionally published gave me insight into the pros and cons of both processes.
This past January, I read an article in The New York Times about how—because of improved technology and a bloated publishing industry—self-publishing was beginning to flourish. That was followed by an article in Time magazine stating much the same thing. Self-published books like The Lace Reader, The Shack and Still Alice were storming bestseller lists. Respected writers like Stephen King were testing out self-publishing—and contrary to the belief that it was an option of last resort, there was quite a long list of iconic writers who had chosen to self-publish rather than submit to the "book-by-committee" routine of traditional publishing.
It dawned on me that it might be shortsighted to brand an entire category of books as crap just because they hadn’t been embraced by the traditional publishing community. As a voracious reader, I welcomed the idea of discovering a book before the rest of the world. A book that was unique. A book that would surprise me. A book that wasn’t on the night table of every other person I knew. As a publicist, I recognized that the problem self-published books had was not one of quality, but of image. People had embraced the idea of indie films and indie music. Why not indie (aka self-published) books?
I looked for a web site that could direct me to the best in the self-published category. Surprisingly, I found that a site like that didn’t exist. It was clear to me that these writers already had a voice. What they lacked was a place for book-lovers to hear it. Bad economy aside, I thought it might be fun to create such a place. That’s how the idea for IndieReader (www.indiereader.com <http://www.indiereader.com/> ) was born.
Before jumping into anything, I spoke to people in all areas of the publishing industry, ultimately joining forces with a long-time book publicist and an experienced editor. We decided it was necessary to review every book that was sent—from cookbooks to coffee table books, kids, self-help and fiction—in order to insure that our readers found the best of the indie book crop. We put together a submission committee, which, because of the volume of books we’ve been receiving, now numbers close to twenty people.
Launched last month, IndieReader is as a venue to find and purchase books published and produced by the people who wrote them…books with a single voice: the writer’s own. There’s also a "green" benefit. Because most of the books featured on IndieReader are Print On Demand, they’re not actually printed until after they’re sold. Why kill all those trees before the book is even bought?
Let’s face it…you pretty much know what you’re getting when you pick up the latest Danielle Steele or James Patterson. And sometimes that’s a good thing. But sometimes you just don’t want to read the same old same old. Sometimes you want more (pun intended!). It is for those types of books that IndieReader was created.