Mar 9, 2014

IndiePENdents.org: Where Authors Help Authors

Unfortunately, this installment on indie author communities no longer applies. The group ceased activity and is looking for someone to takeover. They still have an active Twitter account.

In a world awash with hundreds of thousands of new books yearly, where many are amateurish efforts, indiePENdents.org provided authors with a method to prove their books meet a basic professional standard.

Started in December 2011 by the late Jasha Levi, the site encourages authors to submit books for evaluation. The indiePENdents administrators assign three evaluators to each book. Books that meet standards of technical merit (spelling, grammar, punctuation, and formatting) earn a Seal. This helps readers and libraries find value among the millions of books available. They have awarded 71 Seals to date.

The intent of the site is to work for the recognition and acceptance of self-published authors and their writing by the public, by libraries, and by bookstores. Authors can participate in two ways: submit a book for evaluation or volunteer to be an evaluator.

I have been on both sides. My novel Islands of Love and War received a Seal in 2013. I began as an evaluator in August 2012 and have evaluated nine books. Though not required, I include a critique of the book’s writing style and quality with each evaluation. Whether I pass or fail a book, I believe that feedback helps. (The indiePENdents administrator tells me those critiques are happily received.)

I encourage authors to submit completed books for evaluation. For those with strong writing and editing skills, I encourage you to volunteer as an evaluator. It helps all of us if the reading public has confidence in our industry.

Follow them on Twitter at @Theindiepens.

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