As an Indie writer I am very proud that the HNS cares enough about Historical Fiction to review the vast array of HF novels that are published, the reviews appearing quarterly in the HNS magazne (available only to HNS Members) and online - viewable by all readers, whether members or not. Unlike many similar organisations the HNS has the insight - and confidence - to realise that many Indie published historical fiction novels are a darn good read. (OK some aren't - but some mainstream novels are not very good either!) For the last year or so I have been the UK Indie Review Editor - a 'job' I took on because I thought it unfair to Indie writers that books were only reviewed in the US - I thought the UK should have a piece of the action!
When reviewing Indie books our reviewers take into account, in additin to the writing style, the layout of the book, the cover design and whether it is produced to an acceptable quality standard; basically is it comparable to any mainstream published book? Some are not, they are printed in comic sans, double-spaced or with left-justified text. Some are, unfortunately, badly written. We reject these (we do not publish negative reviews). Our aim is to raise the standard of Indie Historical Fiction, so that if we review it, you know it could be a good read. (I say could because not everyone likes the same sort of book - it would be a very boring world if we did!)
A few of our reviews, if overall the novel was a good read, include constructive comments - usually suggesting a second edit to pick up missed typos, or perhaps advising a more attractive cover. Many indie authors are first-time writers and constructive criticism can always be helpful.
Recently, Stuart MacAllister took over as Managing Editor of HNS Indie Reviews, but due to poor health he has had to step down - and I have taken over. (Thank you Stuart for your input and we wish you better soon).
I really do not have the time to do so, but I am passionate about raising the profile and level of quality of Indie novels, and I want to support the HNS in doing this as much as I can. So, I hope to have some exciting announcements in the months ahead, in addition to expanding the number of books that we review on line. We could review many more if we had more reviewers though - here in the UK and in the US, Canada and world wide if you were willing to review e-books. Interested in supporting indie authors? Contact me!
My thanks to Richard Lee, founder of the HNS, for having the faith in Indie writers to support us, to Sarah Johnson for guiding me through my initial 'take-over' period, to my US counterpart, Steve Donoghue, and to all our wonderful readers on our Indie Review Teams. And finally, to all Indie writers of Historical Fiction - keep writing!