Put the word “independent” in front of anything and its coolness factor doubles. Cheaply made films and music albums can pass for high art with the right amount of vision. But put the word “self-published” in front of a novel, and readers instantly think “inspirational poetry that hasn’t been proofread.”   IndieReader, based in New Jersey, is an online resource for lovers of independent books and the people who write them.  IndieReader might not be the first publication to review self-published books, but it is bold in its similarity to the “critically-acclaimed independent films” category on Netflix.

Indie Reader founder Amy Edelman created the site for “literate people who are looking for something other than the latest James Patterson novel,” she said, adding, “not that there’s anything wrong with James Patterson.”  IndieReader reviews and rates self-published books to help readers find the ones that are worth reading.  After a year and a half of Beta testing, the site was relaunched last month to include news, commentary, interviews, and IndieReader Selects, a special page for indie bookstores to find local authors.

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