Innovation That Matters

A curated marketplace for self-published books

Publishing & Media

Mass-market goods are all very well and good, but there’s nothing like finding a unique, hand-wrought gem. That’s why there’s Etsy for handmade treasures, Foodzie for artisanal food and now—our own latest find—IndieReader for independent, self-published books. IndieReader bills itself as “a venue for you to find and purchase books published and produced by the people who wrote them,” in the site’s own words. The books sold on the site are not only the publishing world’s equivalent to handmade goods, but they’re also curated by IndieReader to ensure that the cream of the indie “crop” is well-represented. Self-published authors begin by sending their books to New Jersey-based IndieReader for vetting—reviewers for the site include editors, literary agents, publicists and assorted other book lovers. They then pay an annual fee of USD 149 for their first book; if the book is not accepted, IndieReader refunds all but its USD 25 submission fee, which is also the price for selling subsequent books through the site. If their book is accepted, however, it goes up for sale on IndieReader, where shoppers can browse by genre or author name or among recent releases. When a consumer makes a purchase, IndieReader notifies the author by email and the author ships the book out. IndieReader pays authors 75 percent of the sales of their books at the end of each month, plus the shipping fees paid by buyers. There’s no question that self-publishing is on the rise, as evidenced not only by sites like Leanpub and Authonomy but also by the fact that even Amazon has created its own self-publishing arm. What happens when any such product category takes off? There’s a need for curation. (Related: Online community promotes indie bookstores.)



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