Have run across a site, mentioned on a LinkedIn group discussion forum, and really want to get this public’s opinion. The site talks about one voice for self published authors and giving credibility to authors that self publish, comparable to those that traditionally publish. It’s set up on a volunteer basis and books are judged eligible for the seal of approval based on objective reviews by three evaluators that determine if a book has met the basic standards for spelling, grammar, punctuation, and formatting.
What do you think? Indie authors certainly have their work cut out for them to be taken seriously. Even the most professional, most talented author, that uses professional service providers for editing, proofreading, cover designing, and formatting, struggles to be taken seriously. Unfortunately, many books have been too easily published, without professional workmanship applied to every aspect of the book so that it stands comparable to a traditionally published book and has made this problem what it is.
Could a site like this be the answer? Has anyone used this process and can share with us if they felt the evaluation process was good enough? Will it stand the test of time or will it hurt more in the longer run because something gets through and then gets bad reviews for proofreading, undermining the purpose of the site and process? What are your thoughts? What else can authors do to change the perception that self publishing is too easy and doesn’t result in a product that compares with authors published by places like Scribner, Random House, etc.?
8 thoughts on “indiePENdents Seal of Approval?”
Perhaps multiple sights would be useful filters, not just for marketing but to assist readers in finding books they will consistently like in the mass of self-published writing.
Could you expand on that? Multiple sites, like the indiePENdent’s site? Or more like a Goodreads site that sort of combines the Goodreads concept with having the Seal of Approval process as a requirement to be included there? Thanks so much for your participation…hoping to discuss your idea a bit more and explore that…Debra
It would be nice if some entity were available to give information about ALL authors and their ability to write a book that was free of grammatical and spelling errors. It has come to my attention, while reading mysteries for relaxation, that neither authors, nor their publishers – whether self or Inc. – proof and edit their work before selling it. I felt my face go red when I realized how many mistakes there were in a book or three I had published, but when I tried to read a number of other authors without irritation, I didn’t feel so bad – I DID go back and correct the mistakes and republish though. How does one tell a published author of many books they need help? The above seems like a good place to start.
That is such a common problem I think, the vast numbers of independently published works where authors didn’t know any better or didn’t understand the bigger picture of their book being a product, not a personal thing but business and, as such, requiring an investment in it’s “finishing” to be a competitive and polished product has certainly created a perception that all indie or self pub books are substandard. It affects the price that can be set for indie books, overall, whether they are of a higher, professional quality or not. It affects the reader’s choices for buying in general, many refusing to buy if the publisher isn’t a recognized traditional entity. In the big picture, indie publishing is a relatively young concept and what we all do now affects how that perception changes over time. Personally, I believe the most important thing we can all do is educate, mentor, and encourage authors to hang tough through the challenges of taking their imagination to pen to published product. I like the indiePENdents concept, I think it will help immensely with the perception and education issues. I’d like to see a better structure to the review process and see more validation of the volunteer’s credentials and see them be more prominently displayed, to actually add weight to the Seal itself and then, of course, getting the brand of the thing recognized and accepted to the majority of the public would be critical as well. Thanks so much for weighing on this article, we appreciate your participation! Debra
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I copied your reply to send to another author who wrote a wonderful book with too many errors. Thanks.
An update – one of my books has just been awarded the IndiePENdents Seal, which is great news, but sadly, it might be the last seal ever issued –
Last month I received this notification …
It is only after much thought and consultation with our trustees that I have decided that I will have to close The indiePENdents. As many of you know, I am approaching 80 years of age; I have been diagnosed with heart failure over the past 18 months; and my arthritis is doing very well, thank you — even if I am not.
Over the past several months, I have sought someone who would be both interested in and qualified to take over the organization and have found no one. So, in honoring the memory of our founder, Jasha Levi, who died in October of 2013, rather than throw The indiePENdents off to just anyone, I have decided to close the organization.
To all those who have supported us over the years, I send heartfelt thank-yous. For those whose books have received the Seal, I have some left-over Seals that I will send out as long as they last simply for the cost of postage (I will let you know what that is, and you can submit to The indiePENdents’s PayPAL account at firstname.lastname@example.org.) Because the cost of the website and the FaceBook pages are current (and take little effort on my part), they will be continued for the next six months or so. I will, however, have to discontinue the evaluations process immediately. The appropriate submission pages will be removed from the website.
The indiePENdents has been a fully-registered and -approved IRS 501©3 nonprofit, charitable organization (http://www.melissadata.com/lookups/np.asp?ein=300753664). All books submitted for evaluation are donated to our local food bank and/or senior center and can be counted for a charitable deduction on your upcoming tax returns.
That’s disappointing to hear. Thanks for sharing. And congratulations on your award. Best wishes!
Here is another update – At the beginning of July 2016, Julia Petrakis entrusted me with the future management of the indiePENdents.org. The IndiePENdents.Org will continue to recognise and promote those self-published books in which the writing, editing and presentation are equal to or above the standards found in traditional publishing.