Founder: Who Am I?
Online I go by the name Scaylen Renvac (and a couple other pen names), and that’s what I’m known by as an artist and writer. I’m a highly independent creature who likes to go about things the hard way it it gives me more control and freedom over what I’m doing, and that’s the reason I’ve been insistent on wanting to publish any stories I write on my own terms as self-published books, rather than going the traditional publication route and finding an agent and publisher to represent my books.
But self-publishing is a difficult thing to do successfully. Publishing the book is easy. You write it (the long part), format it (the tedious part), and click publish (the easiest part). The hard part is getting anyone to read it after that. That requires marketing and networking and a variety of other creative means of getting people to take notice of your work. It’s a tireless and often thankless job that often still relies quite a bit on luck to succeed.
In trying to get my own works out to the world, I’ve seen a lot of indie authors encountering the same problems, and I’ve stumbled across a lot of amazing books that have remained hidden from the world because they’re self-published and no one’s taken notice of them. It was depressing seeing these amazing books getting ignored in favor of traditionally published books that I often found to be less well-written, less-interesting, or too troupe or stereotype-heavy to really satisfy me.
That’s what made me first look into starting up a store who’s only purpose was to feature recently self-published books by indie authors, namely ones who don’t already have an established following and may be struggling to get noticed.
The Novel Market: What do we do?
I seek out unique and little known self-published fantasy and sci-fi novels. As a self-published author myself, I know how hard it is for good indie authors to get noticed among the marketing of the traditionally published books, and the deluge of other self-published writings.
My goal with The Novel Market it to make a place for only self-published books, where they can shine without the obscuring noise of everything else vying for a prospective reader’s attention. So if you’re a fantasy or science fiction book lover looking for something new, or who just wants to support indie authors who are still testing out the writing waters, then welcome. I hope you find plenty of new stories to occupy your minds and fill your bookshelves with.
The Process: How does it work?
Because I’m just one person, without a lot of spare funds to spend up front, and because I’m dealing in selling untested books that may or may not sell well, I have to be prudent in how I go about choosing which books to sell and how much inventory to stock.
To start with, all my books are sourced from Ingram, so if you’re a self-published author wondering if I might find your book and put it in my store, if it’s not available through Ingram (which usually requires your book be available for expanded distribution), then I won’t find it.
Secondly, I’m only looking at books published within the past month, which means at least for right now, I will not really be looking at books published before the launch of my store. There is simply too much of a backlog of self-published books for me as one human to be able to go through them all and sort the good from the bad.
On the Ingram book catalog, it’s possible to sort books to show only self-published books. Within this general category, I then narrow it down to several sub-genres of fantasy and science fiction. I then read a sample of any books who’s description sounds interesting, which usually consists of the first 10-20 pages of the book, depending on how long the story is. On average I look at a total of over 200 books for each month when selecting which ones to carry. What exactly makes me choose a book is complicated, but in general, I’m looking for books with strong writing (few typos, clear and understandable writing style, and good description, action or character voice) and then something in the characters, plot or setting that catches my interest and makes me wonder what’s next in the story.