Indie-pendent Woman

Montclair resident Amy Holman Edelman launches a website that markets and sells self-published books.

Courtesy of Amy Holman Edelman.

Can self-publishing be sexy? Montclair author Amy Holman Edelman thinks so. Last September, Edelman (who was soon joined by Claire McKinney as PR/marketing director) launched, a website that markets and sells self-published books—typically titles that have been rejected by the conventional publishing establishment.

Authors submit books for review by a committee comprising “book lovers, English majors, editors, literary agents,” Edelman says—that determines what the site will sell. The idea, says Edelman, is that “if one person reads a book and loves it, then other people are going to read it and love it.” At press time, the site offered more than 160 books by about 120 authors. The catalog already boasts titles from well-known authors like Dave Eggers.

Self-published books outnumbered traditionally published works in 2008, led by successful titles from the New York Times bestseller list, like Still Alice by Lisa Genova and William P. Young’s The Shack. Edelman—who has published two of her three books through traditional publishers—saw an opportunity to broaden that success. “It seemed unfair that people were branding an entire category of books as ‘not as good,’ especially in light of the fact that indie music and films are so strong,” Edelman says. As for self-publishing, “What we’re trying to do is make it sexy.”

The Indie Reader, a monthly online magazine, provides original content from bloggers, consumers, and writers. Edelman has added a writer’s consultancy and plans to offer digital books. “We want people to consider self-publishing as a first choice, and not just as a fallback,” she says. “As more and more writers choose [self-publishing], it definitely moves the needle.”

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