We’ve survived the first month. And I’ve learned to love statistics. Well that’s a bit of an overstatement, but I’ve begun to watch blog patterns and trends and the like in a whole new way. Daily I’m amazed by the readership stats – where they come from, how they are referred, what the relative power of social media versus traditional media sources is.
I’m sure it’s far too early to make a comment about the potential and possible achievements of the site but personally I’ve made many new ‘virtual’ friends and found loads of great ebooks out there by authors I would never have heard of otherwise. Whatever the media naysayers tell you about the quality of self published ebooks, I would take with a pinch of salt. (and this is a HUGE debate at the moment. It’s a debate we have to take part in and this site is in part a response to the claims that indie ebooks are all rubbish.) There may be a lot of dross out there (and isn’t that the same on the bookshelves of the supermarkets/ bookshops) but there are plenty of gems as well.
For readers the main thing about this site is that we aim to give you the chance to find ebooks you might otherwise never have heard about – and enough information to make an informed choice. We’re not selling you anything, we’re not making any money from this, it’s purely to give you information about what a disparate bunch of professional writers – I don’t know the collective noun for a group of writers – think are ebooks worth reading. Some of our choices won’t match yours, but we aim to provide a first step in your personal journey towards finding some of the great indie ebooks that are out there. We have varied tastes and experiences and these are reflected in our choice of reviews. We believe that writing is a communicative act between writer and reader and we aspire to mediate this relationship through our choices.
We remain committed to finding books that we enjoy and letting you know about them. Tastes vary of course but we review WITHOUT FEAR OR FAVOUR and we only review the books we like. What’s the point wasting time telling you about things we don’t like? For us the word critical means considered professional response, not a personal slating or a vitriolic outburst which (as my mother used to say) probably tells you more about the critic than the writer! We work on the basis that readers need to know how and where to find things they do want to read. It’s up to you what store you put in our reviewing judgement. We are opening doors, it’s up to you which ones you want to go through.
For writers this site aims to provide a forum, even a sort of home, for independent writers/ publishers who are not afraid to take the means of production into their own hands and be judged by the readership rather than the ‘gatekeepers. We’ve had lots of good feedback which suggests we are hitting the mark for both readers and writers. We continue to get lots of interesting submissions and the review team continue to be bombarded by me with potential reviews for them to choose from.
And I’m reading and reading and reading… and reading. I can now justify (to myself at least) spending 3 hours every day just reading. If only I was paid this would be the perfect job. I’ve had to reschedule my own writing of course, but that’s another story.
Reflecting, one month after the launch date, I’m not sorry I embarked upon this venture and I thank everyone who has contributed in whatever way so far. So please, keep ’em coming and keep telling people about us.
We are fully booked with reviews through April and May and there is no sign of things tailing off…. which kind of gives the lie to the ‘there’s no good indie ebooks’ discourse. I trained in discourse analysis and I suggest that we should perhaps consider WHY the discourse of the privileged (mainstream/traditional) is sometimes so uptight and vicious about the emerging technology. More of that another time maybe.
Thanks for visiting this site and I hope you’ll find some good things to read as a result, whatever your tastes.
Cally Phillips (editor)