Today I got to sit down with Renea Jackson over at Indie Authors Monthly to find out a little more about her Indie-book focused magazine. Allow me to introduce you to Renea!
1. We’ve recently heard about your Indie Book Magazine. Can you tell us a little about it?
Sure! The magazine is called Indie Authors Monthly, and the aim of it is to connect readers with indie authors by way of interviews, insight on their books, as well as discovering new authors they may not have heard of before. We also have sections where we list books according to genre with links to Amazon (non affiliate links), book reviews, as well as insightful articles, columns and upcoming book related events and news.
2. How often does it come out?
We publish a new edition every month, with the exception of March this year (2018).
3. What can readers expect from it if they subscribe?
They can expect to read articles from the author’s perspective on things related to publishing – the ups and downs, marketing advice, in-depth interviews with authors, colorful ads for upcoming releases. Basically, anything book related, with the exception of drama and gossip.
Nicole: That’s refreshing. Let’s keep the drama in the books, know what I’m saying? 😉
4. How much does it cost?
It’s absolutely free. We don’t charge anyone to read it. We are working on a print version for those who want a physical copy, and a cost would be associated for that version only.
5. What are some of your favorite features inside the magazine each month?
My favorite, besides the Cover Author Interview, is the “Who To Watch” interview. It’s basically a way we give a smaller, lesser-known author a chance to introduce him or herself to a new audience, and it gets as much attention as the Cover Author Interview.
Besides that, I really like the book genre pages. I think it condenses some of the best new releases with older books that readers may be unaware of.
Nicole: Sounds interesting! We love getting to know new Romance Authors, personally.
6. What are some things readers have said they really like or appreciate about IAM?
Readers love the articles. I get messages all the time about that, and we get those directly from author submissions. Lots of readers have said they want physical copies to keep, and we’re definitely trying to make that happen for them.
7. How did the idea of starting the magazine come about?
One day I was talking with Carole P. Roman, an award winning children’s book author, and she spoke about a conversation she had with another publication about offering a page in their magazine for Indie Authors. They weren’t willing to do that, and I had been toying with the idea of doing a magazine dedicated to Indie Authors anyway. So, after that conversation, I ran the idea by her, and we took off like a rocket, publishing the first edition within two months time.
Nicole: Wow, that’s pretty amazing. How long have you guys been around?
May will be our one-year anniversary!
8. How do you go about finding or deciding on what content you share in the magazine?
We try to have a theme for each edition, and based on what is affecting authors and readers at the time, we adjust accordingly to have at least a column or article dedicated to those issues. Other than that, we just ask contributors to keep the content publishing-related and keep the subject matter on track. We’re not a gossip rag – there is enough of that happening everywhere else. The intention is to interest readers who are looking for a bit more than search engine results and provide authors an outlet for their thoughts and work.
9. Can readers go back and look at archives of previous editions?
Yes! I’ve finally gotten around to getting all the edition up on Magzter Archives, so readers can go back to the beginning if they wish and read away! Sadly, my computer crashed, and I lost last Septembers edition, but I’m hoping I can recover it by some miracle. Sorry, Chris Fox!
10. Is there a way for readers to comment or give their response to articles that really resound with them?
11. Who were the founding members of IAM?
12. How do readers sign up to get their free copy each month?
You can read in a couple of ways. If you want to read on the computer, you can visit us on Magzter. You’ll just need to sign up for a free account there. You can also download the Magzter App and access it on your mobile device or tablet, all free!
13. You know I have to ask … What is your take on the Diversity issue in the Romance world right now?
Oh boy, how much time do you have? lol.
Seriously, though, there is a problem. Whether its diversity in the actual work, like multicultural or interracial books, to the authors who write them, there is a divide. The market for these works is tremendous, but you wouldn’t know it if you went onto Amazon, Nook, or iBooks and searched romance. These books and their authors deserve not only just a seat at the table, they should be allowed to sit at the head from time to time, equally as well.
I’ve been reading about Rita awards, the RWA, and the lack of diversity, and the things I’ve read have made my head spin. They are pushing Women Authors of Color to the side to ask other authors to write these cultures, who may not necessarily represent them correctly! What world are we living in that we skip over an entire community to have someone else take the reigns and get all the accolades? But this has been happening forever, but that doesn’t mean it should stay that way either.
Nicole: I think finally RWA is recognizing this is a big issue and they’re finally talking about it. It’s about time, too! Authors of Color have it hard out there.
I wont even get into the lack of interracial stock photos that don’t look like porn, or look so cheesy it’ll give you lactose intolerance. Until authors as a whole demand better (and I mean from both sides), nothing will change. I’m not saying all non-POC authors are getting it wrong, but the diversity isn’t there. It just isn’t, and no amount of icing on that poop-cake will make it taste any better.
Nicole: I have to agree with you. We’re definitely happy to bring the talk about diversity to the table. (We aren’t just about diverse characters and authors, of course, but we are an inclusive bunch and want everyone to feel like they are represented in what we offer.)
14. What kinds of articles on Diversity, if any, might we find, or what is your magazine’s stance on creating a more diverse offering in the Romance Reader world right now?
As far as cover authors go, there will be more diversity there, for sure. I’m happy to announce Nana Malone as our first Author of Color to grace the cover of our magazine. As for diversity, Author Alessandra Torre did an amazing interview about this, and it will be appearing in our magazine next month, as well.
I really want a diversity column dedicated to the strides, missteps, and possible changes needed, so if there are any authors or readers wanting to weigh in on that or would like to contribute a monthly piece, feel free to contact me. I’d love to hear your opinions!
Wow, thank you so much for joining us today and sharing about your magazine! We look forward to checking out the next issue. Readers, tell us in the comments what you would like to see in the Indie Authors Monthly magazine, and be sure to give them a follow!