Books listed on this site are here because they meet our criteria for excellence. The Awesome Indies does not sell books directly from our site, but via links to other stores.

Before making a submission please read the explanation of the criteria here. (They are also listed below.) Books are evaluated for acceptance onto this list in accordance with the book ’Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, Second Edition: How to Edit Yourself Into Print ’. If you haven’t read it, we suggest that you do so.  On average 50% of books submitted to our reviewers for evaluation of their suitability for this list are rejected. Books also need a professional-looking cover in order to be considered for the site.

You will need to submit direct links to:



  • One 4 star review by an Awesome Indies reviewer;
  • Plus one 5 or 4 star review written by a qualified reviewer or an equivalent recommendation. (Details below).


  • Three 5 star reviews written by anyone listed on our reviewers page or other qualified reviewers as outlined  below.


  • If you would like to support those who give enormous amounts of their time to run the site, you may make a donation of $150 in return for our One Stop Submission Service. Two Awesome Indies reviewers will evaluate your book’s suitability for the Awesome Indies list and also for the Seal of Excellence. Payment does not guarantee inclusion in the list. Your book will be evaluated in exactly the same way as all books submitted for review.

A qualified reviewer is:

  • Someone with a degree in Creative Writing, English Literature or Journalism;
  • An editor or publisher who is, or has been, employed in that capacity by a major mainstream publishing house;
  • An Awesome Indies  recommended reviewer –  see the Reviewers’ page for a list of names.

Equivalent recommendations are:

  •  A BRAG Medallion or other respected literary award.
  • A link that shows that the book was previously published by a major mainstream publisher.

Awesome Indies reviews are free, but if you wish to support the site,  we will prioritize your review in return for a donation. (Review requests can be made here.) Donations do not guarantee inclusion in the list, only that the review will be completed within a set time frame. Your book will be evaluated in exactly the same way as all books submitted for review.

If your reviewer is not listed on our  Reviewers’ page, you will have to provide a link to a bio page that shows that your reviewer has the required qualifications.

  • If you’re using one of our reviewers for your recommendation, just put a link to the Reviewers’ page in the form field.  
  • If you are using previous mainstream publication, please link to a page that shows the name of the book along with the publisher’s name.
  • If you are using an award for one of the opinions, please provide a link to a page that shows  that you have received the award.

Usually, reviewers have a bio page somewhere. That’s what we need a link to. If the review isn’t by one of our own reviewers,  you must also supply the reviewer’s email address so we can ask for confirmation that your book meets our standards.

Minimum Criteria your book must meet: 

  • The book is correctly formatted
  • The cover looks professional
  • 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  point of view  are clear, specifically when in third person close, no confusing quick jumps from the thoughts of one character to another and back again. (head-hopping). Omniscient POV should have only one voice, that of the omniscient narrator;
  • The writing is immediate and engaging. This means that the story, where applicable, is generally shown rather than told, and the writing is active rather than passive, eg doesn’t overuse forms of the verb, ‘to be’;
  • The grammar, spelling and punctuation are correct for the author’s country of origin.

PLEASE NOTE the following:

  • Direct links to Amazon reviews can be found by going to the Permalink button at the bottom of the review on the right of the ‘Report abuse’ button. Just right click on that and copy and paste it into the form.
  • The Awesome Indies list is restricted to fiction but we do accept fiction based on true stories. This is listed on our True Stories page.
  • If your book is accepted for inclusion, you will receive monthly updates on promotional opportunities.
  • Paid reviews are not acceptable in the submission unless they are written by a reviewer listed on our Reviewers page.
  • If issues are found with a book and for some reason it’s been recommended without meeting the Awesome Indies standards, that book and the author’s name will be removed from the list.
  • We reserve the right  not to list, or to remove, any publication we consider socially irresponsible.

Help Us Find Reviewers
There are many reviewers out there who could become associated with our site, so please help us to find those who would be willing to either contribute to the site or be associated with the site, either as a reviewer or a back up reader. Take a look at this post asking for reviewers.

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