Last week while I was on vacation–my mini vacation–I received a nice surprise. I found out that Neiko’s Five Land Adventure won an award–my first one. It’s my first book, so I wasn’t really expecting anything even if I did enter a contest.
What award is it? Indie Reader award and also being “Indie Reader Approved” as a great book–not just an indie book. There were other authors who won also, and I feel very fortunate to be among them. There is no shame in being indie, especially if you put you best out there. I feel like indie and traditional publishing should find some common ground and stop the “us vs them” mindset. Music and art have bridged the gap between the two, so what’s up with the writers and publishers? There are a few hybrid publishers emerging who look like both and are pioneers in bridging the gap, but that’s another story.
Who or What is Indie Reader?
I found out about Indie Reader on a Goodreads forum where other indie authors congregate. The chairman left a message to the group and a link. I read up on it and checked it out thoroughly. I decided to go and check it out. I was guaranteed at least an honest review and a little exposure. It had a contest to boot and I felt like it was a bit better than submitting to Kirkus for just a review only (which isn’t a bad idea either, but…). I had never been one for contests of any sort, but I entered in regardless.
Indie Reader has been around for about three years if I remember correctly. Amy Hedelman, the chairman had some background in traditional publishing. She began Indie Reader to explore the indie pool after the indie revolution took hold and found out there are gems, but oftentimes they get drowned out since the marketplace is more crowded than ever before. Some get found and some don’t. They exist to help readers and other folks find good indie books.
I also know of other indie bestsellers who write for Indie Reader who also engage in their own cross promotional efforts. Melissa Foster and Terri G. Long are two I know of and have bumped into a time or two online and connected with.
The judges for the contest were not the average reader. They were pretty heavy hitting industry people with traditional background, so it’s not as easy as it sounds. I wasn’t much into contests and such my whole life, but in order for me to check this thing out, I had to suck it up and try. New, unknown author, first book–didn’t expect to get my hopes up too high. If nothing comes of it, don’t worry about it. It was a long shot anyway. At least try this before ever embarking on other awards or anything for later stories; I didn’t know very much about book awards or contests or how they worked exactly. This was the first one I had come across. At least I knew where I stood because I had no idea. I didn’t know how my own writing compared to others. I wrote my stories in hermitdom; no one ever saw it other than family–not too many readers have found it yet; I haven’t done enough time yet. I did read others’ works, but knew nothing of myself.
Even though I reached this milestone I can’t stop improving my craft. There is always room for improvement regardless. I am learning new stuff now as I am reworking my second book that I also wrote when I was a teen. There are still 30+ more stories to come, and most aren’t even written yet–they are just more ideas floating around in my head among everything else and jotted down in my notebook. There is a stack of 14 more awaiting edits and publishing. I’ve just had to build my platform for a time until then. This is just another piece of the structure. There is still so much work to do!
Neiko’s Five Land Adventure is:
Click Here for Indie Reader’s Review (also on Amazon)