What does it mean when you see the AIA symbol on a book cover, or when an author says their book is Awesome Indies approved? What does this approval mean?
Basically, it means that that book is really good. It has been professionally produced and properly edited—meaning all fours stages of editing have been completed to a high standard—and is of the same or better quality as anything produced by mainstream publishers.
A book with the AIA symbol attached to it is good enough that a mainstream publisher might publish it, but they didn’t have the chance because the author never offered it to them. They wanted to retain their independence, and/or didn’t want to go through all the bother and time delays of the traditional route, so they published it themselves or they did it through one of the small independent publishers that allow authors to retain control over their work. They may not have bothered to submit it to mainstream publishers because they knew it was too different to what the mainstream is publishing or would appeal to a smaller market than what they’d find financially viable—i.e., not what they’re looking for.
AIA authors—Awesome Independent Authors—have unique voices. Their work is often, but not always, different to what you’ll find in the mainstream. If you’re looking for something different that you can guarantee is good, you’ll find it listed on the Awesome Indies Books website.
Specifically, a booked marked as AIA—Awesome Indies Approved—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 no confusing quick jumps from the thoughts of one character to another and back again.
• The writing is immediate and engaging. This means that the story is generally shown rather than told, and the writing is generally active rather than passive.
• The grammar, spelling and punctuation are correct for the author’s country of origin.
Those who check the books against this criteria are people who know; they have qualifications in creative writing, English literature, editing or journalism.
It’s not easy to get Awesome Indies approval. Only 40% of books submitted to us make it through on their first go, and only authors who are pretty sure of their work submit it to us in the first place, so the AIA stamp is pretty rare, and all the more coveted because of it.
So what does Awesome Indies Approval mean? It means the book is top quality.
Awesome Indies Books: Great books. Great Authors. We take the risk out of buying indie.