Underground Book Reviews began as a blog run by four writers in 2011. Like many other book bloggers, we were aspiring authors interested in reaching out to the indie community and creating a platform for our own writing endeavors. Every Monday, we wrote a review. It was a simple formula, and we enjoyed the inspiration we gained from the authors we met in the process. Then something strange happened. People began to flock to us, asking for reviews. So many people, we couldn’t keep up. We started publishing articles about the world of independent literature, and brought new reviewers and writers onboard to help manage our load and diversify our content. Before we knew it, we were forming an LLC, operating like a magazine, and looking for a way to upgrade in order to meet the demands of our new community. In 2015 we moved from a simple blog to an interactive website that encouraged community engagement. Our team of writers, reviewers and judges grew substantially over the next few years, and we brought on hundreds of new authors every month.
Throughout it all, we were in it for one reason: our passion for indie lit. As writers ourselves we understood the obstacles facing indie authors, and as avid readers we enjoyed the search for books that made us want to stand on a rooftop and shout to the world. Together, we curated a group of diverse writers and readers who shared our passion for words.
But with our new format, we quickly grew too big for our humble beginnings. By 2018 we had 1800 books in our system, 1700 authors and 3100 users. We faced a tough decision: go all in or quit while things were good. We closed Underground Book Reviews because it required too much work to maintain on a volunteer basis. One day we might start again, but until that time we’ve left a skeleton of the site alive, so that authors can still access their hard-earned reviews.