Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Indie-Review Network: A GOOD review site. And the indie writers cheer!

The Indie Review

As an indie writer myself, I love the 'About Us' part of The Indie-Review Network website:
http://www.indie-review.net/why-are-we-here/
Here are my favorite parts of this section:

Amazon and Goodreads have reviews, why do we need more?

Amazon and Goodreads reviews are better than nothing (because, well, without them we have nothing), but they are flat and one-dimensional.  How can you rate something as complex as a novel is simply good or bad?

Sure, Jane Q. Reviewer may have enjoyed the book, but how do we know that Jane cares about the same things that we do? Maybe Jane dropped out of high school so that she could roadtrip to Colorado for a little legal puff-puff and only enjoys Kerouacian hippie-beat crap... or maybe Jane has a Master's Degree in Romantic Literature, and we roadtripped to Colorado for some fine hippie "crap"... either way, we're all looking for different things, man.

Okay, I get it. What does Indie-Review do to help solve this problem?

After we realized all this, we aired out the room and asked ourselves a question: If we were going to rate a book by a few different criteria, what would they be?

This is what we came up with:

Originality: Is the book some cutting edge crazy stuff? Like steampunk mermaids finding a wormhole to a world where Marijuana plants are sentient? Or is it something more classical, a modern retelling of Romeo and Juliet, or is the hero an incarnation of some tried and true classic archetype (James Bond, Han Solo,  or Buffy the Vampire Slayer?) We can't say one is necessarily better than the other, sometimes we want to eat Italian-Asian Fusion dinner, other times we want Mac'n'Cheese.

Thrills: How exciting is it? Does the book get us on the edge of our seat, flipping pages to see what comes next? Or is it more thoughtful with less action? It's the difference between an Wes Anderson-flick and a blockbuster. Both are excellent in the right place and time.

Readability: Hemingway was famous for his aversion to complex sentences. James Joyce was famous for his aversion to simple sentences. If you want to debate which is better, take it to the comments/forums... The fact is, some books are more easily readable, and more cleanly edited than others. Some of us prefer different styles. This is about that.

Immersion: Do you know how to speak Klingon? No? Well some people do. Seriously. There's an entire opera  written in Klingon. Why? Because Star Trek is an immerse world. Sometimes we want a book to take us into a different universe and make us forget the smelly, sweaty reality of our daily lives. Other times, we don't want that level of emotional investment. We want to sit and watch a tale unfold from a distance.

Why should I bother reading self published and independently published stuff?

Firstly, because a lot of it is good. Some of it is very good. We won't lie, some is bad. Some is awful. But almost all of it will really make you think (even if it's not-so-good).

Secondly, because conventional publishing-house publishing is a fading industry. There are numerous writers (including several of us here at the Review) that believe in the idea of independent publishing, locally sourced, food, and stuff like that that both hippies and libertarians can agree on.

Here at the Indie-Review, our goal is to provide a means to review, and promote self, independently, and small-house published works of fiction to help you, the reader, find new authors you will love, and to help authors find audiences for their masterworks.

How do I submit a review?

Once you are registered on the site, the "Submit Review" option will appear on the top menu bar. Click that, and away you go. Pro-tip: If you don't see it, register!

How do I get an Avatar (aka, little picture thingee)?

The Indie-Review is built upon Wordpress-which supports some nifty global avatar system that is bound to your email address(es) through a site called Gravatar.com. It's free, friendly, and handy (since it will provide you with a default user image on all wordpress sites.

But I have something more to say!

Really? That's sweet, Contact Us :)

If you want to check out the whole website in one click, go for it! http://www.indie-review.net/

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