FAQ's

IndieReader In-Store

IndieReader In-Store (IRIS) is IR’s marketing and distribution service. Not just another listing, IRIS works with Edelweiss, an online interactive database used by a majority of independent bookstores (plus B&N), combining the selling power of brick-and-mortar bookstores with the vast community of self-published authors.

IRIS provides an easy, cost-effective, and efficient way for booksellers to peruse, stock and sell self-published books and for indie authors to get onto the shelves of indie bookstores. Books distributed by IRIS (via Ingram Wholesale) will carry the trusted IndieReader imprint, differentiating them from the millions of other indie books on the market.

Edelweiss has agreed to let IndieReader, via IndieReader In-Store (IRIS), include your books in their catalog. Titles are posted with any editorial reviews—along with the book’s genre and author’s proximity to their stores—so that bookstores can decide which books they want to stock.

The cost of listing via IndieReader In-Store is $299* per year.  The renewal fee is $35.

*Assuming that your title is available via Ingram Wholesale or equivalent major distributor at 40-55% discount and marked returnable. If your book is not currently with such a distributor, or not returnable, or not at 40-55% discount, we can help you get it there.

Edelweiss is set up for publishing companies with multiple titles and their annual fees for inclusion are priced accordingly. Simply put, IRIS is the most cost effective way for indie authors and smaller publishing companies to get their titles into the Edelweiss catalog.

Most definitely. But the creation of IRIS was precipitated by the co-owner of an independent bookstore who wanted to know how IR could make it easier to carry indies and find local authors. We have since spoken to other indie booksellers across the country who are feeling the same way (backed up by articles in the Christian Science Monitor and Publisher’s Weekly that note increasing interest from indie bookstores in self-published titles).

Titles are posted with their Editorial Reviews—along with the book’s genre and other pertinent details—so that bookstores can make informed decisions about which books they want to stock.

The truth is some indie authors now have hundreds of thousands of readers. Indie bookstores are always on the lookout for new revenue sources and something that will differentiate them from the big-box stores, most of which still don’t carry indie titles.

Nope. All titles that are available via Ingram Wholesale, or other major distributors, will be able to be listed.

It depends. If your book is already available at standard terms, your royalties will come to you in the same way as before. If you reissue your book through IngramSpark, or another publisher which allows you to set your terms, the royalties will be paid through that entity.

No, we do not. But we do guarantee an increased level of visibility via its listing under the IndieReader brand.

As long as you own your ISBN number, you can use the one you currently have. If your book was published as a CreateSpace imprint—or if you selected CS’s extended distribution—you will need to purchase a new one as the ones supplied by CS are not valid outside of Amazon. If, however, you purchased a universal ISBN through CreateSpace, you may use that number.

If you do not own an ISBN, you can purchase one at a discount directly from Bowker for $125/per (you can find more information about ISBNs here ).

For bookstores to stock and sell an Indie book they must have standard terms: the book must be returnable and have a 40-55% discount.

Most Indie books are POD books and the cost of printing on demand puts considerable pressure on the retail price. See Can you give me some Print Cost and Discount examples. This usually comes as a shock to authors used to selling through CreateSpace or Lulu, for example, where the discount is only 25%. You may have to adjust your expectations of income when you put a POD book out in bookstores at standard terms.

Reissue your book with IngramSpark or another publisher which will allow you to set your book’s terms (CreateSpace does not).

You can create an account at IngramSpark, which will let you manage the book and receive the royalties directly. You have the choice of using a new ISBN or keeping the same one (See above).

Here are three examples for a paperback, retailing at $12.95, with different page counts: For a 208 page book, the Print Cost to the distribution chain is $3.60. (When the author orders the book it costs $4.02.) The Wholesale Price is $5.83 (the price Ingram pays to buy it from the printer: Retail Price times 45%.)

The author gets $2.23 revenue/per book (Wholesale Price minus the Print Cost). For this example, you would have to sell 179 copies of your book to make back your $399 fee to be in the IRIS program (keep in mind that your title will be getting seen by over 37,000 book industry professionals, including retailers, reviewers, librarians, and publishers).

For a 280 page book, the Wholesale Price is $5.83, the Print Cost to the distribution chain is $4.54. (Author’s cost is $5.10.) The author can expect $1.29 per book sold. This is slightly over 10% royalty.

For a 480 page book, the Wholesale Price is $5.83, the Print Cost to the distribution chain is $7.14. (Author’s cost is $8.10.) The author can expect minus $1.31 per book sold.  Yes, you would lose money per sale.  A 480 page POD paperback with standard terms has to sell for at least $20.39 to earn 10% in royalties. This usually comes as a shock to authors used to selling through CreateSpace or Lulu, for example, where the discount is only 25%.

You may have to adjust your retail price when you put a POD book out in bookstores at standard terms.

The bookstore buys your books from Ingram and then Ingram buys them from the POD printer. Using the first example in Can you give me some Print Cost and Discount examples? above, Ingram buys the book from the printer for $5.83, and the printer keeps $3.60 as the print cost, and the royalty is $2.23.

If Ingram returns the book to the printer, YOU pay back the $5.83. If the book is destroyed, that’s the end of it. If you prefer the book be returned to you, there is an extra $2.00 charged on top of the $5.83, and you get to keep the book.

We suggest that authors put their royalties into an escrow account until after the 90 day return period.

At this time CreateSpace does not accept returns, which most booksellers require. They also don’t offer the option to allow authors to set their terms to the industry standard discount (40-55%).

Having your book enrolled in CreateSpace’s Expanded Distribution is not a detriment to enrolling your book in IRIS, as CSED is no longer exclusive.  The larger issue is that CS doesn’t allow you, the author, to set the terms under which a brick and mortar bookseller can order your book.

To do that you’ll need to re-publish your book with a company like Ingram Spark (the printer that IRIS uses), which can transfer most titles over from CreateSpace, as long as you, the author, owns the ISBN.

A listing in the IRIS/Edelweiss catalog is for a 12 month period. There is a $35 renewal fee per title for each succeeding year it remains in the catalog.

No. It is used by booksellers worldwide.

Author Services General

When the site refers to enrollment, it is giving you a prompt to complete the information forms for the product you’ve purchased. These forms may include your book name, description, ISBN, etc.

These forms are so that we have all the information we need to complete your purchase, whether that is entry into the Discovery Awards, enrollment in In-Store or purchase of a Professional Review.

If you have any trouble with enrollment, please contact IndieReader Customer Service.

Once you have ordered an IndieReader Pro review your payment is non-refundable, except under the following circumstances:

  • IndieReader does not provide a review within the time frame specified. Under this circumstance, provided no “Act of God” or other uncontrollable circumstance has interfered with IndieReader’s ability to provide your review, we ask that you notify us at customerservice@indiereader that you have not received your review. If we haven’t remedied the situation within 15 days, please let us know and we will refund your payment.
  • Your review contains at least two substantive factual errors that impact the integrity of the review. In that case, please email us at customerservice@indiereader and note the errors.

Once you have entered the IndieReader Discovery Awards your payment is non-refundable.

Any claims or disputes arising shall be controlled by the laws of the State of New Jersey and be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the state and federal courts in Essex County, New Jersey, USA. Author therefore agrees to waive any arguments regarding jurisdiction or inconvenient forum. The Parties jointly agree to waive any demand or right to jury trial.

Author hereby agrees to defend, save, indemnify and hold harmless IR, any of its subsidiaries or its affiliates, their respective officers, directors, shareholders, employees, attorneys and agents, (all collectively the “Indemnified Parties”) from and against all loss, damage, expenses, claims, demands, assessments and actions or causes of action, including but not limited to reasonable attorneys’ fees, disbursements and court costs, interest, penalties and any other sum or fines asserted against, imposed upon or incurred by the Indemnified Parties.

Professional Book Reviews

No, you can not. We can’t stress enough that you should wait until you’ve finalized your book prior to submitting it for any IndieReader service. However, if you want to sign-up for a service to take advantage of a special offer and submit your book when it’s ready, just let us know.

As the saying goes, you can only make one first impression. Make it your best. We’ll be here when you’re ready.

We vet our IR Professional Reviewers very carefully to make sure they have the background, skill and training to write an IR Review.

IR’s Reader Reviews are done by readers who have expressed an interest in having IR send them lists of books from which they choose a genre they like to read. They then purchase the book, read it, write their reviews and post them to Amazon and GoodReads.

So while IR does guarantee that you will get the number of verified reviews you’ve paid for in 4-8 weeks, we cannot guarantee that they’ll be positive.

IR’s reviews are 325 +  words, exclusive of title and author name.

IndieReader’s reviewers are tough, but fair, and they won’t judge your book as compared to other self-published titles, but against other books, period.

Our ratings are based on the following criteria, although reviewers are able to award partial stars (i.e. a 1.3 or a 4.7), rather than rounding up or down to a whole or half number.

1/5 = Really bad; there’s a reason this book is self-pubbed

2/5 = Mediocre, but one or two bright spots

3/5 = Good; worth reading

4/5 = Very good

5/5 = Excellent; must-read

If your book gets a rating of 4-5 stars it is considered IR Approved* and it will included in our monthly “Best Of” round-up, posted on the IR site and  sent to our 10K subscriber list. 

IR and our reviewers read a range of genres–from autobiographies and self-help (non-fiction) to romance and mystery (fiction).  We provide a drop-down menu so that you can select which genre best describes your book.

IR’s reviewers can read books in a variety of formats–from ebook files (mobi or epubs) to PDFs. And we also accept books in paper format.

A regular review costs $250 and takes 7-9 weeks.

A RUSH review costs $325 and takes 4-6 weeks.

You are free (and encouraged!) to use any part of your IndieReader review as long as you credit IR as the source.

Reader Reviews

It has recently come to our attention that Amazon has been pulling verified reviews from indie authors (including a few from IR’s Reader Review service) even though they meet all of Amazon’s standards and guidelines.  As such, IR will offer any authors who have had their Reader Reviews pulled within 6 months of purchase either replacement review(s) or a refund for those that have been pulled.

We vet our IR Professional Reviewers very carefully to make sure they have the background, skill and training to write an IR Review.

IR’s Reader Reviews are done by readers who have expressed an interest in having IR send them lists of books from which they choose a genre they like to read. They then purchase the book, read it, write their reviews and post them to Amazon and GoodReads.

So while IR does guarantee that you will get the number of verified reviews you’ve paid for in 4-8 weeks, we cannot guarantee that they’ll be positive.

As authors we know that getting reader reviews can be a Catch 22. There are only so many friends and relatives you can hit up before you become persona non grata. And without reader reviews you’re less likely to rank on Amazon, which makes it less likely people will purchase your book, leading to more reviews.

IndieReader, a trusted service provider for indie authors since 2009, has amassed a huge number of readers who would love the opportunity to read your book and write and post an honest review.

Working in a similar way as services such as BookBub, authors pay IndieReader a fee for connecting you with those readers.

IR will circulate your book among our readers who will choose the genres they most like to read (we have readers for all genres!).  Your readers will buy your book directly from Amazon, making them “Verified Purchases”.  In 4-8 weeks, we’ll send you a link to your review.

IR can not guarantee that your book will receive a positive review, but we do guarantee that your will receive the number of reviews you pay us to secure for you, leading to more sales and more reviews.

From the date of purchase, no matter the quantity (3, 6, 10) your reviews will be posted on Amazon and GoodReads within 4-8 weeks.

Because the Reader Reviews are “verified” (meaning that the reader purchased your book), they will appear on the Amazon platform from which the readers purchased them.

IR connects with readers from all over the world because we know that authors benefit from having reviews on Amazon platforms other than the US.  After all, its a smaller world now than ever.  If Harry Potter can make it over to the US from the UK, then your book can certainly benefit from generating readers from other countries as well.

Yes, IndieReader will connect you with readers who will purchase, read and post a review of the Kindle format of your book.

NOTE: If the price of your book is over $9.99, you will be invoiced the difference.  For example, for a Kindle book costing $12.99 you will be invoiced an additional $3.00 per Reader Review.

IndieReader Refund Policy

Once you have ordered an IndieReader Pro review your payment is non-refundable, except under the following circumstances:

  • IndieReader does not provide a review within the time frame specified. Under this circumstance, provided no “Act of God” or other uncontrollable circumstance has interfered with IndieReader’s ability to provide your review, we will ask you to notify us, via email, that you have not received your review. If we haven’t remedied the situation within 15 days, please let us know and we will refund your payment.
  • Your review contains at least two substantive factual errors that impact the integrity of the review. In that case, please email IndieReader and notify us (and please include the specific errors) and let us know if you’d like us to to assign to a new reviewer or refund your money.

Once you have entered the IndieReader Discovery Awards your payment is non-refundable.

If you have any questions about returns or refunds, please contact us by emailing customerservice@indiereader.com.