There are probably as many definitions of ‘indie’ in publishing at the moment as there are publishers!
Please bear in mind that the whole e-book world (I refuse to say marketplace or industry) is in one sense, at present at least alternative. But not all ebooks are independently published which is the sense in which indie ebook review site is using the word.
The basic working definition at present on this site is that: the author retains their rights in the work. Either the author publishes in their own name, or sets up a publishing entity to publish, or is part of some co-operative, collaborative or company in which they have a significant input.
Put it this way, there isn’t someone else doing shedloads of marketing for the ebook. We are trying to get away the out of date debate centred round ‘self publishing is vanity publishing.’ The world moves on and the possibilities afforded to professional writers by epublishing means that we are exploring and developing new models of publishing of which ‘indie’ published ebooks are one. The new debate perhaps more accurately centres round ‘independent’ publishing and ‘mainstream’ publishing.’ Within the independent publishing fraternity it’s likely that most of the ebooks we review will be of the ‘micro’ publishing variety as obviously even some publishers who consider themselves ‘independent’ are, by our definition, if not mainstream then not ‘indie’. It does not mean that ‘indie’ publishing is non commercial. There are many reasons why people choose to publish independently and for an ongoing debate on this matter please go to Authors Electric site where professional authors discuss this, among other issues, regularly.
There are always going to be grey areas and the thing that’s most important for us at the review is to get good ebooks reviewed which otherwise might slip through the net (so to speak.)
Indie authors may well have had their work published by mainstream in the past (or continue to do so) but for work they themselves have the rights to, can be considered to be ‘indie’ even if the work was previously mainstream published – or even if it won huge acclaim etc….
The Mainstream publishers have enough outlets to promote their work and we want to put our energies into the other stuff, the stuff you won’t be tripping over in large bookshops or supermarkets or constantly bombarded with by Amazon if you have ever bought a book from them. We don’t want Amazon to make your ‘recommendations’ for you, we want you to be able to come to this site and browse around and make up your own mind.
‘Indie’ authors who think they may not fit the bill (perhaps those whose work is promoted by small independent publishers) should always get in touch with us. The parameters are bound to change as ebooks develop their place in (hush… quietly now…) the market – and we are open to as many variants of ‘indie’ as possible.
I hope that clears it up – we aim to be flexible but always our goal is to find really good books in ebook format (which may also be available in print – and if you choose to read them that way or get them out the library that’s your business) and review them so that people can broaden their reading horizons.