Monday, July 9, 2012

Grub Street Reads - Quality Indie Books Endorsement




NEW COMPANY AIMS TO BE THE QUALITY STANDARD OF THE INDIE BOOK MARKET
Grub Street Reads Highlights Quality Indie Books With New Endorsement Standard 

SAN DIEGO, JULY 2012 – The last few years have seen explosive growth in the number of authors choosing to self-publish. As more and more indie novels flood the market, readers have struggled to distinguish good quality from poor. A newly-launched company is seeking to solve this problem by instituting a quality standard for indie novels.

Grub Street Reads offers its coveted endorsement seal to fiction indie novels that pass an evaluation process based on fundamental and objective components of good storytelling. The company was founded by Jessica Bennett and Leslie Ramey, both independently-published authors and successful business owners.

“Right now, we’re experiencing an indie publishing Renaissance. With the rise of online book retailors and the proliferation of e-readers, it’s easier than ever for indie authors to get their books into the hands of readers,” said Grub Street Reads co-owner Leslie Ramey. “Unfortunately, this ease of distribution encourages a lot of indie authors to publish before they are ready, which plays into the pervasive indie stigma of low quality. Grub Street Reads was created to change that. Our endorsement spotlights great indie titles.”

Grub Street Reads accepts all genres of fiction for evaluation. The company’s evaluation system was developed to be as objective as possible. Submitted manuscripts are read by trained evaluators who assess them based on the following core storytelling principles: Plot, Characters, Pace, Accuracy, Grammar/Layout, and Overall Assessment. Manuscripts that meet these basic standards in each category earn the Grub Street Reads endorsement. Authors may include the Grub Street Reads seal on the cover of their endorsed novel and post it in the Grub Street Reads library. The price for an evaluation is based on the length of the submitted manuscript.

“The indie book market is in desperate need of a standard,” said company co-owner Jessica Bennett. “The Grub Street Reads endorsement seal will become synonymous with quality, finally making it easy for readers to discover great new indie books. As voracious readers ourselves, Leslie and I understand how a good story can touch a reader’s soul. Grub Street Reads facilitates that magic by connecting readers to the best indie novels on the market.”

Those interested in finding out more about Grub Street Reads, learning about the company’s evaluation process, submitting a manuscript for evaluation and/or accessing the company’s endorsed book library can visitwww.GrubStreetReads.com.

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Grub Street Reads seeks to encourage higher readership of indie authors by providing a quality standard for independently published novels. The Grub Street Reads endorsement is given to those books that pass an evaluation process based on the fundamental qualities of good storytelling.  The company was created by indie authors Jessica Bennett and Leslie Ramey to protect authors and readers and help strengthen the overall indie market.  For more information, visitwww.GrubStreetReads.com




Cutting Through The Ebook Muckiness
By Jessica Bennett

As savvy readers, you may have noticed some changes happening in the world of books over the last five years or so. You know, how book stores have been making like dinosaurs, how this little thing called a Kindle has started popping up at beaches and airports like dandelions, and how Amazon has kicked down the barriers to publishing with a resounding BANG!

In other words, “topsy-turvy” wouldn’t be such a bad description of how things have been going. It’s been a good time for self-published authors who can now upload their books on Amazon for free in less than an hour. For readers, well, the results are more than a little mixed.

It’s certainly refreshing to have so many additional reading choices, but the problem with the “no barriers to publishing” policy that Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other online retailers have established is…well, there are no barriers.

I love authors, especially indie authors, but even I have to admit, there’s a lot of “ebook muck” out there. I define “muck” as those books that just aren’t polished enough to appeal to the average reader. You know you’ve got a mucky book on your hands when the plot has enough holes in it to second as a sieve; when the characters are so cardboard you worry that a light spring shower will do them in; when the story is so predictable that it’s won stereotype bingo a dozen times by the end.   The biggest muck red flag (in my opinion) is consistent grammatical errors throughout the book. If an author won’t even splurge for a proper copyedit (there are tons of great, professional copyeditors offering their services), it makes me wonder how serious they are about the whole “publishing a great and entertaining creative work” endeavor in the first place.

Mucky books are no good for anybody, and that’s the point of this blog post. Authors who self-publish too early set themselves up for poor reviews, poor sales and a poor reputation. For readers, opening a mucky book is like accidentally taking a big swig of curdled milk. Not only will this cause much gagging and spitting, but the reader will be twice shy before picking up another quart of milk at the store. This is a shame, because there are some truly talented indie authors on the scene. Trust me, I’ve read a lot of them.   

So what is a poor, harangued reader to do? Distinguishing great indie books from the rest of the muck isn’t as easy as it might seem. Most authors, even those with muckiest of the muck, can convince some sympathetic friends and family to write five-star reviews on Amazon.

You can probably tell that I’m working my way up to something here. Right you are. There is a way to find great indie books without getting your hands mucky. I made it. Well, my business partner, Leslie Ramey, and I made it. Grub Street Reads is a new business that endorses books that meet a strict quality standard based on the fundamental components of good storytelling.

All you readers are in luck, because Grub Street Reads officially launches today (whoo-hoo for us!), and our library is already stocked with some pretty stellar endorsed books.

So, if you’re looking for a reasonably-priced new novel to add to your reading list, we invite you to take a stroll down Grub Street and swing by our endorsed books library. We have books available in almost every genre, and our library grows each week, so check back regularly.

If you’re an indie author, you’re definitely invited too! We’d like to explain why we think quality standards are necessary to protect readers and authors. We also want tell you more about what our endorsement is all about in case you’d like to see our endorsement seal on your book’s cover one day.

To wrap things up, the book world may feel like it’s turned upside down. There’s certainly a lot of muckiness out there, but that doesn’t mean readers need to get mired in bad books. Take the high road, which will lead you to Grub Street Reads and better indie books. We’re officially open today, so come by and say hello!  



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