The first aim of the Awesome Indies is to highlight and honour independently published books that reach a standard of excellence equivalent to books published by the mainstream. Helping authors to achieve that standard is a natural second step. We took the step of setting up our own authors’ services because, on one hand, our reviewers discovered many books that required some additional form of editing and, on the other hand, we had a bunch of reviewers who are also accomplished editors. Instead of just telling authors that their book needed this or other service, we can now direct them to a service that will do exactly what is required and at highly competitive prices.
The first service we offered was manuscript appraisals for both published and unpublished books. This came about because of concern over the number of books that we were requested to review that were actually in no state to have been published. Some authors payed for priority reviews and received 2 star ratings because they had no idea that their book lacked so much craftsmanship. (Unfortunately, we simply don’t know what we don’t know.) I figured that these people would be better off paying for a manuscript appraisal where they get more detailed feedback and get it privately. They could then—hopefully—choose to work further on their book.
We set up our Full Editing Servicebecause, though books submitted to us have usually had some form of editing, all too often the editing is inadequate. An editor can only do so much, of course. They cannot make a good book where there is no raw material to work with, but in general the problem we found was lack of line editing.
We are often faced with nicely copy-edited but poorly-worded and overwritten prose—the bane of independently published books. There are plenty of copy editors around but apparently few with line-editing skills. We needed to be able to direct authors to editors that we knew could do the job. Now we can.
We can also work with authors on their new books to maximise the chances that the finished product will not only meet our criteria, but also be able to wear the label AIA Publications.
Our Awesome Indies Partnership Publishingservice came about because we discovered that many authors who fixed a few issues in their books in order to have their book admitted to the site had to pay a lot of money and wait months sometimes just to get their ebook revised and republished. They had published their books at considerable price via a self-publishing service provider who left them no control over their files or their pricing. Not only that, but had those providers done their editing properly, the book should not have required re-editing or proofreading. With all the expertise gathered here we figured that we could help authors to publish for a lot less and with much better results.
What do you think of these new directions for the Awesome Indies?
Post by Tahlia Newland, author of the award-winning Diamond Peak Series. Read more of her articles on reading, writing, reviewing, and metaphysics on http://tahlianewland.com/blog. You can also join her on Facebook , Twitter , Google+ or Linkedin.