One of the first opportunities which presented itself was a chance to review the work of an author who was on Amazon and had a few different books already published. In fact, I was a bit flattered that I was able to gain a free copy of her book in exchange for a potential review, considering that I was new to the industry. When I downloaded the book, I was confused and a bit disappointed.
While the cover was appealing, the very table of contents was inconsistently formatted and contained some typos. Hmm. Sure, mistakes happen, but in the table of contents? In a finished work?
I decided to overlook the mistakes and continue reading. After all, a table of contents does not a book make, right? There has never been a more blatant example of foreshadowing ever in the history of writing.
I am quite sure that the author might have had a great story. It was a mermaid romance story, and even though I wouldn't normally read this genre, I do truly enjoy a well told tale. There was no way of knowing whether or not the tale was well-told, however, since the story line was chunky and hard to follow, descriptions were either lacking or patently unrefined, and the typos and grammatical mistakes were distracting to an embarrassing fault. After two chapters, I deleted the "book" and sat in a bit of shock. This author was selling books? Unbelievable.
Thinking (hoping) that this was an anomaly, I tried a few different ways to probe this notion that not all people who go through the effort to write a book were worthy of calling themselves authors. What did I find? I found that the Indie title, for some readers, means "not quality." Many people believe that the reason people become Indie "authors" is because they do not have the skills to be published through traditional means. I found that, as a reader, this was true in a disproportionate number of examples, when compared with traditionally published authors. I found that my craft was being sullied and degraded as a result.
I realized that if I were to find a niche of readers dedicated to discovering good material, I would have to diligently advocate on behalf of writers who maintain a purposeful integrity for their craft. I don't blame readers for not having the time to wade through the quagmire simply to find reading material worth having.
With this in mind, I created Only Quality Indie. All of the authors showcased here have demonstrated a passion for their work, and it shows in the details. Are their works perfect? By no means, but the stories are captivating, the writing is technically sound, and I am happy to recommend them as shining examples of what Indie has to offer by way of quality, without having to waste time and energy sifting through half-efforts and mediocrity.
Thank you for your discerning mental palette, and I will continue to search for worthy reads on your behalf. Please feel free to contact me with any questions, comments, concerns or suggestions you may have.
Stephen L. Wilson
Founder, Only Quality Indie