I’ve mentioned Jefferson Smith’s Immerse Or Die Report before.
The concept is brutal in its simplicity. Every morning he takes a self-published novel or story collection and gets on his treadmill for forty minutes. When he runs across something that breaks immersion–unclear syntax, wooden dialogue, boring exposition, pretty much anything that makes him look away from the page–the work gets one strike. Three strikes, and it’s out. The ones that make it past the forty minute mark without collecting three strikes are considered survivors.
EDITED TO ADD: I was reminded that Jefferson Smith is joined by David Higgins in the “test to destruction” review process. Dave’s no pushover, either.
It’s a tough standard–kind of a Gobi torture test for literature.
Of the two hundred and five novels that he put through the mill in 2015,he chose nine survivors to be included in the 2015 Immerse Or Die Story Bundle.
As it happens, Catskinner’s Book is one of the nine.
Yeah, it’s there, second row, far left. He didn’t like my original cover (in his review he said that it looked like it should be a cover for a book of “haiku about cancer”) and so he arranged for a graphic designer to make a new cover for the bundle. He may be on to something there–I’m no marketing genius.
Now, the story bundle allows you to choose your own price–more or less. For a minimum of 3$ you get the first five novels; Dark Matter, The Vampire Of Northanger, Rust, Colt Coltrane And The Lotus Killer, and Strange Places. They represent a broad spectrum of independently published speculative fiction, and as I said, all have survived the IOD torture test.
If you pay at least 12$, however, you also get the lower four titles, Oath Keeper, Pilgrim Of The Storm, The Girl At The End Of The World, and my own Catskinner’s Book with the IOD story bundle edition cover.
I’d like to get the word out about this, not only because my book is in it, but because I believe that what Jefferson Smith is doing with IOD could go a long way towards reversing the impression of self-published works as low quality. As indies, we need to hold ourselves to a higher standard than the traditional publishers–that’s not fair, but life’s not fair.
I don’t usually asks for reposts, but I’d like to see these links promoted to as wide an audience as possible, to give new readers a chance to see just how good self-published books can be.