How I choose a good indie author book

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DubaiReader said: ‘I’m fascinated by your preference for Indie authors and small presses. I also favour global literature, like you. However, I find Indie authors a bit daunting – how do you choose a good one? Often I’m put off by Indie covers too. For obvious reasons they tend to be low budget, but do they have to be quite so obviously Indie? Interested in your thoughts.’

I am lucky to now be offered a lot of review copies of books so my decision of which to read is often down to the initial message I receive. Good spelling and grammar are vitally important and I like to be directed to webspace where I can read reviews of the book in question or, for a brand new book, sample a couple of chapters before committing. Terrible prose in the message, synopsis or first chapter will definitely have me saying ‘thanks, but no thanks’!

Other reviews probably have the greatest influence over my decision whether or not to accept a book, however I have learned to be suspicious of books with entirely 5 star reviews. No book is absolutely amazing to everyone so I tend to take more notice of the words used than the rating itself. Seeing a good review by an author whose work I have enjoyed is encouraging as I am likely to appreciate their taste in literature and the same goes for reviews by readers and bloggers whose opinions I respect. For this approach to indie (or any) book finding, Goodreads is a far better search tool than Amazon.

When looking to buy books, or when I’m using sites like NetGalley, Smashwords or KindleScout, I approach the process differently. Other reviews are still a good pointer, but they are not always available so I have a couple of rules that generally work for me.:

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