The Awesome Indies Mission

We aim to:

  • Identify and honor independently published books that meet the same standard as books published by major mainstream publishers and their imprints.
  • Promote and support Awesome Indies Approved (AIA) authors and their books,
  • Raise the standard of independent publishing,
  • Assist authors to achieve quality through reasonably priced author’s services,
  • Raise the image of independent publishing among readers.

Awesome Indies Review Team

  • Coordinator: Tahlia Newland
  • Publication of daily posts and reviews: K. Rose Newland
  • Submission administration: Intisar Khanini
  • Seal of Excellence administration: Harriet Steel
  • Reviewer/author liaison: Chris Piece
  • Reader/author liaison: Marsha Cornelius
  • Artwork: Ruthanne Reid
  • A dedicated team of reviewers and readers.

AIA Editing and Publishing services

These services, co-ordinated by Tahlia, are separate to the review service. They arose out of our desire to assist authors to publish well and without huge monetry outlays. We subcontract to Awesome Indies Authors who are also editors or have other skills in publication. The names of our editors can be found on the AIA Editing Services page. Thedetails of our publishing services can be found on the Partnership Publishing page.

Our Definition of Indie

Independent authors do not depend on someone else to decide whether or not they can express their voice in the world. They may self-publish or choose a small independent publisher as the vehicle for publication.

No matter what method of publication they use, they maintain a high degree of control over the product.

What is the Awesome Indies?

The Awesome Indies is a website that lists independently published works of fiction that meet the same standards as books published by mainstream publishers – as evaluated by publishing industry professionals. We aim to showcase books that meet a specific, and clearly laid out, set of standards for fiction writing so readers can browse for indie books knowing they will be buying well-crafted works.

Readers can browse the site and click on the book covers to read information about the books. (Cover links lead to Amazon where readers reviews can be seen and the books can be purchased. Text links lead to the UK Kindle store ) Where not listed, other retail outlets for the books can be found by locating the authors on the Authors page .

Who does the evaluations?

Publishing  industry professionals is a term we use for those whose employment in a mainstream publishing house, past or present, as editors or publishers indicate that they know what standard of writing is considered a publishable product for a traditional publishing house. Other people deemed to have this knowledge are those with degrees in writing, editing or literature, or reviewers with a background of writing study whose quality of reviews indicate such a knowledge. Information on the reviewer’s training can be found at the bottom of our Review Request page.

What is evaluated?

The criteria are  explained in detail on the ‘Explanation of the Criteria’ page which includes links to further  information on each point.

In summary:

An Awesome Indies book will be properly formatted (this applies to ebooks only. We don’t evaluate the printed version), have no, or few, copy errors  and the prose will meet the following criteria:

  • the plot is well structured, well paced, conceptually sound  and engaging;
  • the characters are well developed and their dialogue and interactions with others are believable;
  • the book is not excessively wordy, particularly, no rambling descriptions, dumps of information, unnecessary repetition or irrelevant scenes;
  • changes in the point of view of the writing are clear. Specifically, in third person close POV;
  • the writing is immediate and engaging. This means that, where relevant, the story is generally shown rather than told, and the writing is active rather than passive;
  • the grammar, spelling and punctuation are correct for the author’s country of origin. (We aim for no more than 7 proof errors in a full length novel)

How is the evaluation made?

Books are reviewed by Awesome Indies reviewers, and where necessary, by other reviewers who meet our criteria for qualified reviewers. Please visit the submissions page for details of how to submit your book for listing on the site.

How many books sold, how many positive reader reviews and how many years or books a writer has been writing are irrelevant to our evaluation process.

What does the site do for authors?

  • It gives authors whose books are accepted the confidence that their work is of the same standard as those published by a mainstream publisher
  • It gives those whose work is not accepted guidelines as to how they can improve. In some cases this can be very specific help, especially where a book just misses out for one reason, but is otherwise fine. These authors are encouraged to re-edit then resubmit. A second reviewer will then check a resubmitted book. Many authors have accepted this challenge, have greatly improved the quality of their product and been added to the Awesome Indies list on re-submission.
  • We offer quality services as very reasonable prices.


Does any money change hands?

Not for inclusion on the list; that is made purely on quality. When readers buy via the link to Amazon, the co-ordinator receives a small percentage of the payment.

Authors may pay a small fee for a featured spot on the site, and anyone may donate to the site. Authors who donate gain priority processing should they also request a review. One Stop Submission evaluations are a paid service, as are the Editing and publishing services.


The Awesome Indies site does not claim to be anything other than a site listing books that meet a certain criteria. Books not listed on the site are not necessarily inferior, as the author may not have submitted their books to the site for whatever reason. We recognize that though we try to be objective in our evaluations, we are by no means perfect.

To support this site, please make a donation by clicking this link and/or purchase our books.