INDIEPOLIS
Indiepolis Guide
Last Modified: 12-08-2016

This guide will help you understand the basic features of Indiepolis and how to use them.

Basic Concepts:

  1. Both books and readers are indexed by the same pool of user-generated tags, so that authors will always have a way to look for their target audience.
  2. Books are separated into Published and Unpublished.
  3. Unpublished books are ranked by Approval, a score that reflects readers' interest in them. To gain Approval, a book needs to have a sequence of samples. More samples downloaded per person means more approval.
  4. Unpublished books can be made available for beta-reading. Projects with chat rooms are created to track beta-reading progress, and after they are concluded, authors and readers can review each other.
  5. Published books are ranked by a score derived from the number of positive reviews and the total number of reviews.
  6. Published books can offer Indiepolis Giveaways, which are 90% of books' content made available by their authors for free, to encourage activities that help promote or improve books.
  7. Review books, beta-read books, and share books to earn virtual coins that are used to download Indiepolis Giveaways.
  8. In lieu of advertisements, Indiepolis supports the following paid services - paid beta, paid editing, paid proofread, cover design, and paid review.

In summary, Indiepolis aims at giving authors systematic tools to increase their books' visibility and letting the quality of books decide their long-term discoverability.

Table of Contents
New User

Becoming a member of Indiepolis is free.

To register, click "Join" at Indiepolis Homepage, enter a unique username and a unique email address - Indiepolis never publishes your email address - and agree to the Terms of Service.

A verification link will be sent to your email address, along with a recovery code. The recovery code serves as a receipt and it's your last resort to recover your account should you lose it.

Clicking on the verification link will complete your registration and redirect you to your account homepage. From there, you can access most of Indiepolis features.

Tips:

  • Click your avatar to change website layout.
  • Some horizontal menus display scroll bars under or above them when the browser's size is too small.
Profiles
Account Profile

Your account profile manages the basics of your account, such as avatar, username, email, password, etc. In the "Self-Introduction" field, introduce yourself by describing books you'd like to read if you are a reader or books you'd like to write if you are an author.

You can enable Auto-Login feature, but it can only be active on one device or browser at a time. Enabling it on a different device or browser will alert you the next time you log in from the original device or browser.

If you suspect your account has been accessed by an unauthorized third party, you can use Force Restart to assign your account a new authentication key and disable auto-login globally. However, if your password has been compromised, this cannot help you. To recover your lost account, please contact us and provide your recovery code.

Tutorial is enabled by default. At the bottom right corner of each page, you can click the word "Tutorials" to show relevant instructions. Normally, when you have questions about a page, it's best to check if tutorials answer them. Currently, not all pages have instructions.

Reader Profile

To become a reader on Indiepolis, you need to activate your reader status by confirming a selection of reader tags. Tags are used by both books and readers to connect them faster. Confirm your selection first, then activate your reader status.

An active reader status allows you to receive recommendations from authors and beta-read unpublished books.

Deactivating your reader status won't delete your tag selection, but it will cause you to stop receiving book recommendations and showing up in reader search results.

Service Profile

This profile is only relevant if you offer paid services. More details are discussed in Paid Services section.

Wallet & Discount Coupons

Your wallet stores your virtual coins, up to a maximum number of 100. There is no limit to how many Discount Coupons you can have. Discount Coupons reduce the cost of Indiepolis Giveaways. More details are discussed in Projects section.

Books

Indiepolis accepts both published and unpublished books. The latter includes finished books and ongoing books.

Uploading Books

To upload a book, click "Add Book" under Books at Home, or go to Shelf and click "Add Book" at the top.

Two files are required: a book cover and a sample file.

You can upload your own cover or create one yourself using our tools. It doesn't need to be professional-looking if your book is unpublished. The dimensions of uploaded covers will always be adjusted to the ratio of 16:10. The sample file accepts pdf, epub, zip, rar, and 7z format, and you decide how much of your book it contains. Cover file cannot exceed 5MB in size, while sample file cannot exceed 2MB.

When first uploading a book, its type will always be private. Once you have at least one book in your account, you are regarded as an author by the system.

Editing Books

Word Count and Progress can only be modified once per week, and they share the same last-modified date, so it's best to change them at the same time. Progress only takes effect if your book is ongoing, and the word count is how many words you have written, not the estimated total when your book is finished.

Book Version can be updated once per month. Updating a book's version enables you to recommend this book to people who have labeled it as uninterested or read by clearing those labels, and gives you the option to mark this book's current reviews as outdated, reducing their impacts on the book's score by 10%. This effect stacks.

Unpublished books have three additional parameters: beta, partial, and ongoing.

If your book is available for beta-reading, toggle Beta on. If your book is too long, you can set Partial to "true", so that beta readers don't have to finish the entire book to receive rewards for beta-reading.

Unpublished books are ranked by Approval, a score that reflects readers' interest in them. To gain approval, you need to upload a sequence of samples, whose content immediately follows one after another. Readers need to download the previous sample in the sequence in order to download the next one, and each unique download of subsequent samples rewards your book approval points, which are further modified by how many tags your book and the reader share.

Published books have two additional parameters: a sale link, and the number of Indiepolis Giveaways.

Sale link is required and directs users to where you sell your books.

If the number of Indiepolis Giveaways is greater than 0, a giveaway file is required. Its format should be pdf, epub, zip, rar, or 7-z. Its maximum size is 20MB.

Indiepolis Giveaway is roughly 90% of your book. It's advised to add a formal line, such as "Indiepolis Giveaway Ends", to the end of your e-book file.

View Books

For future references, there are two urls for viewing books.

Public: main/viewbook

Owner: main/viewbookhome

Ratings & Score

There are two sets of ratings. Ratings for unpublished books are private and given by beta readers. Ratings for published books are public and given by reviewers. Public ratings also contribute to a book's score.

Every book starts with a score of 50, and it's calculated from the number of positive ratings and the total number of ratings. The more ratings a book has, the more closely its score will reflect the ratio of its positive ratings. Score only affects published books.

Ratings for books comprise ratings for different aspects, such as plot, logic, writing, pace, emotion, etc.

You can reset your book's private ratings anytime.

Reviews

There are three types of reviews: Indiepolis Giveaway review, verified-purchase review, and paid review.

If you have downloaded an Indiepolis Giveaway of a book, you can turn it into a review to earn virtual coins.

Verified-purchase review requires you to have already reviewed the book on its sale page and submit the link to that review. If the link is not valid or it does not show that you have purchased the book, your verified-purchase review is subject to removal.

Paid reviews can only be posted by Service Providers.

Only published books can be reviewed.

Recommendations

To recommend your book to readers, go to its viewbookhome page. Under "Recommendations" tab, select one or more of your book's tags and click the search icon. (At least one main genre tag must be selected.) This will list all readers with matching tags, although some may be unavailable if their recommendation lists are full, for example. You can filter out unavailable ones by toggling the radio next to the column name "Available".

Click on one of the available readers and it will take you to their viewmember page, where you can see the "Recommend <your book name>" button under their avatar. Click the button to recommend your book.

Do not recommend your book immediately just because there's one matching tag. Some readers may specify certain genres they don't like in their Self-Introduction field.

Label Management

Every book's viewbook page has a "Manage" tab for you to assign labels to that book. Available labels:

  • None - This book can be recommended to you.
  • Read/Uninterested - This book can no longer be recommended to you.
  • Collected - Add this book to your collection and it can no longer be recommended to you.

"Recommended" is a hidden label. To remove any recommended book from you recommendation list, change its label to any of the above.

Book Collection

To access your book collections, click "Book Collections" under Reader at Home, or go to Shelf and click the "Collections" tab at the top.

Each account has eight shelves. You can rename them, move books from one shelf to another, or move one book to a different position on the same shelf.

Delete Books

To delete your book permanently from Indiepolis, it must not have any pending, accepted, or ongoing project.

Paid Services

At your book's viewbookhome page, the "Services" tab shows how many offers this book has received for the following paid services: paid beta, paid editing, paid proofread, cover design, and paid review.

If you have not made your book available for paid services, these offers are called Propositions, in which Service Providers write you personalized messages that explain how they might be able to help your book. Private books cannot receive Propositions.

If you have made your book available for paid services by specifying a budget and a desired turnaround time, these offers are called Service Bids. Private books can receive Service Bids.

More details are discussed in Paid Services section.

Projects

To beta-read an unpublished book, go to its viewbook page and click "Commit" under its cover. This will create a Project to track beta-reading progress.

Projects

A project involves two users, the reader and the author, and features a chat room that allows them to communicate with each other. Each user is given a slot to upload files, and since each slot can contain only one file, any new file will replace the old one.

A project has many stages:

  • Pending - The project has been initiatied by the reader.
  • Accepted - The author has accepted the reader's beta read.
  • Declined - The author has declined the reader's beta read. (Project killed)
  • Withdrawn - The reader has withdrawn from beta-reading. (Project killed)
  • Ongoing - The reader has begun beta-reading.
  • Forfeited - The reader has forfeited beta-reading the book. (Project concluded)
  • Cancelled - The author has cancelled the project. (Project concluded)
  • Complete - The reader has finished beta-reading the book. (Project concluded)

Stage relations:

  • Pending => Accepted => Ongoing
  • (Pending or Accepted) => (Declined or Withdrawn)
  • Ongoing => (Forfeited or Cancelled or Complete)

Either side can terminate the project anytime, but only the reader can complete the project. After a project is concluded in any way, it can be reviewed by both users, and the reader is given the option to rate the book.

Rewards

For every 10,000 words read, the reader gains a Discount Coupon, which reduces the cost of the next Indiepolis Giveaway to 5 virtual coins. An Indiepolis Giveaway originally costs 10 virtual coins and refunds 30 after it's used for a book review.

The reader receives Coupons after the project is complete, but if the book is "Partial", the rewards are manually handled by the author during the Ongoing stage by specifying how much the reader has read.

Notifications

Users will receive notifications when there are changes in a project, such as a different stage, new files, new dialogues, etc.

Paid Services

Paid services also use projects to track their progress but are slightly different. More details are discussed in Paid Services section.

News

At your account homepage, click the second tab at the top to access News, where you receive messages sent by either system or other users. The tab will show how many unread messages you have. It won't display any number if you don't have any unread message.

Most of messages you receive need to be manually marked as "Read" or "Unread" by clicking a round button to right of each message. Marking messages as "Read" is the same as throwing them into the trash bin, but they are not deleted yet. To delete them, switch the view at the top right corner to show all "Read" messages, then click "X" at the bottom. This is the same as emptying the trash bin.

Tags

Tags are important.

They are used by books to search for readers, by readers to search for books, and by readers to search for other readers.

All tags are user-generated and each has its own definition. When you upload a book or edit your reader profile, there's a "Manage" button that takes you directly to the tags bank. You can also access tags bank by clicking "View/Add Tags" under Tags Bank at Home, or go to Library and click "Tags Bank" at the top.

Tags in tags bank are categorized alphabetically. Press CTRL+F (Windows) or CMD+F (Mac) to search for a specific tag or keyword.

When selecting tags, it's not necessarily "the more, the better". Pick only suitable ones. If you cannot find any, you can create your own. If you have trouble creating one, here's an example:

  • Go to Google or Wikipedia, and type in the genre or sub-genre you are looking for. Copy-paste its name and definition and submit.

New tag's definition should be concise, and it should not be too unique to be used by other users. You can use your new tag immediately, but it won't show up in others' tags banks until validation. This process usually takes less than 24 hours.

To use your own tag, select the last category in tags bank, which lists all tags created by your account.

Every tag shows how many users are currently using it.

To delete a tag, you must be its creator and its usage must be 0.

If you are a reader and don't know what tags to choose or what tags to create, that's okay. Simply browse and collect tags from books you like.

Hub

Indiepolis Hub is the official forum and the social platform of Indiepolis.

Posts

Each account can store up to 100 master posts. Once the limit is reached, any new master post will remove the oldest one. Comments and replies do not count as master posts.

Master posts are classified into Books, Questions, Events, Custom Posts, and Shares. Most of them can be replied, shared, liked, or disliked.

A Book or Share Book post is created when you go to a book's viewbook page and click "Share" under its cover. For every click of your Share Book post by another user, who has not viewed the shared book before, rewards you 1 virtual coin.

Do not confuse a Share post with a Share Book post. A Share post is created when you share a master post.

Hub Tags

Hub tags are complete separate from the tags used by books and readers. They are created by prefixing a word with # in your posts. A post can have up to 3 hub tags. Clicking on a hub tag in a post will list all posts that use this tag.

Hub tags can be favorited and are useful for creating groups. Official tags, such as #Indiepolis, #Help, #Feedback and #BugReport, are collected by default, but they are not favorited. Favorited tags show you if there are new posts that use them.

Please refrain from creating official-looking tags. Any posts that use them are subject to removal.

Followers

There's no limit to how many users you can follow. Use tags bank to search for readers with similar tastes to follow, so they may discover books for you.

Look For People

"Look For People" is a tool in Hub that allows you to search for Indiepolis members by their usernames.

Paid Services

This entire section is in beta testing, so free trial offers could be “flexible”. Report any bug using Hub or our Goodreads group, and share with us your thoughts on how the paid service platform could be improved.

If you offer any of the following paid services: Beta, Editing, Proofread, Cover Design, Review, you are welcome to upgrade your account to a Service Provider by first creating a service profile.

Service Profile

Your service profile requires you to have a website that details your service, especially rates. In addition, you need to submit a minimum rate and a minimum turnaround time. The former's unit is USD for Paid Beta, Cover Design and Paid Review, and cent/word for Paid Editing and Paid Proofreading. TAT's unit is day(s).

You could write in the "Instructions" field to explain your procedure of accepting new commissions, communicating with your customers, receiving payments, etc. Indiepolis does not process transactions between you and your clients.

For people who work in a group or for a company, your service profiles can point to the same website and have the same business name.

Currently, Indiepolis only supports one service type per Service Provider. Before activating your service for the first time, you can change your service type or delete your service profile completely.

Activation & Renewals

To activate or renew your service, you need to purchase a 30-day plan. There are currently four plans available and the Free Trial plan is only selectable if you have not activated your service or you have Free-Trial giftcards. This subscription will not be renewed automatically, but you could buy a second plan in advance before the current one expires.

All plans place a limit on how many Ongoing Projects you can have for the 30-day period, and all ongoing projects during an active plan will not be affected by its expiration.

All plans also place a limit on how many Propositions you can have at the same time. Once the limit is reached, you need to delete existing ones to make room for new ones.

Plans:

  • Free Trial - $0.00 - 50 Propositions - 15 Ongoing Projects - Unlimited Service Bids
  • Individual - $12.99 - 50 Propositions - 15 Ongoing Projects - Unlimited Service Bids
  • Adept - $24.99 - 100 Propositions - 30 Ongoing Projects - Unlimited Service Bids
  • Professional - $48.99 - 200 Propositions - 60 Ongoing Projects - Unlimited Service Bids

After activation, you cannot delete your service and your service type becomes permanent.

Offers

There are two types of paid service offers: Proposition and Service Bid.

When books are not actively looking for paid services, they receive Propositions from Service Providers. For each type of paid services, a book can receive up to 10 Propositions.

Service Bids are offers for books, whose authors are actively seeking paid services and have provided their budgets and preferred turnaround times. A book can receive an unlimited amount of Service Bids.

Private books can receive Service Bids but not Propositions.

An offer needs you to enter a quote and a TAT. Their default values are borrowed from your service's min rate and min TAT. A personalized message is required for Propositions but optional for Service Bids.

When a book stops or starts being available for one specific type of paid service, any existing offer for that type of service will be removed.

Projects

Clicking "Accept" on an offer for a book will create a service project for that book.

A service project is different from a beta-reading project in the following ways:

  • The service provider must confirm the quote and turnaround time for the service before the project can be started.
  • Only the client can start and complete a service project. Accepted stage is skipped. Once commenced, the project goes from Pending to Ongoing and starts its timer.
  • After a service project is concluded, only the client can review the project, which will be a customer review.

Therefore, it's important for service providers to maintain very good communications with their customers.

Statistics

There are a myriad of statistics to show how your service is doing, one being how many ongoing projects come from propositions or service bids. The most important one is score.

Services are sorted by their scores, customer reviews, or rates. One completed service project gives +1 point to a service's score. One positive customer review gives +2 and one negative review gives -2.

Other statistics include your service's response time, which is the average time it takes for the service provider to confirm the rate and turnaround in a project or say something in the chat room for the first time.

Work History

The latest 100 books that have used your service, along with associated rates and real turnaround times, will be saved in your work history, which serves as your portfolio on Indiepolis.

Saved books are unverified by default, since they may not have been updated to reflect your work. You can verify and un-verify them anytime.

Service Termination

For details, please read Terms of Service.

Personal Messages

Personal messages are private messages and system messages sent to your account by other users. You can read them in News.

Private messages are blue-coded and can be replied.

System messages are red-coded and cannot be replied. They are anonymous and sent by moderators or admins to notify you of your account's violations.

Reports

You can report project reviews, book reviews, hub posts, personal messages, by clicking their respective report buttons or icons. To report other violations, go to Home and click "Report" under System. You need to provide the account ID you are reporting, and in "details" field, provide any relevant IDs, such as Book ID or Project ID.

If you report a project, it must be yours, and by doing so, you give the moderator, who will be handling your report, access to its conversation history.

To report any bug, go to our Goodreads group or go to Hub and create a post with tag #BugReport.

Ban

For details, please read Indiepolis Code of Conduct.

Contact Us
For non-paid-service support, email us at support@theindiepolis.com.
For paid-service support, email us at paid-service@theindiepolis.com.