Greetings, bookworms and literature enthusiasts! We are thrilled to unveil something special that promises to ignite your passion for reading even further. Drumroll, please, for the grand reveal of a brand new Indie subscription box: Your Paper Quest, a captivating book subscription service designed to bring a shining light onto indie authors. I for one, am very excited to see how this new venture blossoms. We have an interview and an unboxing up ahead, so grab a cuppa and a chocolate biscuit and get comfy.
Steven William Hannah
I’m Steve, and I’ve been writing books since I could hold a pencil. A long journey through self-publishing has brought me into the world of indie authors, and opened up a world of fantastic stories that deserve to be shared.
My part in Your Paper Quest is to find the rare diamonds that elude the mainstream, which involves reading through an inordinate amount of books. It is immensely satisfying to pull the gems out of the mire and hold them up to the sun, and championing the self-published community is a task I take to with great enthusiasm.
Great books need great readers, and our job is to bring them together.
I’m Ryan, and although I never read much growing up, I absolutely fell in love with it as I got older. The timeless stories, the infinite possibilities.
Your Paper Quest has been a passion project of mine ever since I created Ryanspaperadventures, an Instagram account borne out of my desire to document my reading.
From there I had the fortune of meeting countless authors, while better understanding the types of books that readers enjoyed within the community. This became my inspiration for Your Paper Quest: The desire to help these self-published authors gain more exposure, while helping readers broaden their bookshelves. You belong, and I want to wholeheartedly thank you for supporting Your Paper Quest and helping make this dream become a reality. We can’t wait to continue this journey and uncover more hidden treasures, especially with you by our side.
Interview with Ryan and Steve, owners of Your Paper Quest Book Subscription Box
YVONNE: At what point did you come up with the Your Paper Quest idea? How has the final product differed from the original idea?
- Ryan: It was actually during Covid, I was running a Bookstagram account and noticed that a lot of my fellow accounts were posting about the same couple of books, there’s nothing wrong with that as those were the more popular books at the time! But overtime I noticed how this trend continued, and that’s when self-published authors started reaching out to me to review their books. From there a lightbulb went off, and I began thinking of a way where we could better connect self-published authors with readers and Your Paper Quest was born. The final product has less differed from the original idea, but has more expanded upon it, the virtual book club and interviews with the authors were ideas that we decided to act upon later on in the building process!
- Steve: Well it was Ryan’s idea! However, I had already been involved with the indie community. I would do threads where I’d have indie authors submit their novels and I’d make a commitment to read the first chapter and, based on whether I liked it or not, I’d pop it on a list of books to read. I’d then review them whether I finished them or not. Given the large number of indie authors, I found myself with over 300 books to read, and had to be quite picky, which led to Ryan finding me and inviting me to do the same thing for YPQ.
YM: What has been your biggest challenge to date?
- Ryan: There have been so many to date, which is part of what makes running Your Paper Quest such a rewarding experience. Starting YPQ was an endeavour in itself, especially sorting out the logistics of the subscription, but what we have found to be the constant thorn in our side is marketing. We truly believe in what we’re doing to help benefit and promote the indie community, it’s just a matter of finding the best way to get it out into the eyes of more people!
- Steve: It was initially more difficult than expected to get writers onboard, but given how many scams target authors I totally understand any skepticism. Hopefully now that we’ve been operating for a while, authors can take a look at our backlog of great books and our interviews with authors. Finding the books is my job at YPQ, so most of my other challenges relate to the difficulty of wading through so many books to find the really great ones.
YM: Indie published is a topic close to my heart. What made you want to focus solely on Indie published authors?
- Ryan: We know how difficult it is to become a traditionally published author, we also know that that route isn’t for everyone. We wanted to highlight that not all amazing stories have to be found on display at a Waterstones, and help open readers’ eyes to the world of indie and self-published stories. We’ve been fortunate enough to read some incredible stories that we would have never found outside of our submissions, and we want to make sure that we can share them with as many readers as possible.
- Steve: Easy answer, being one. I’ve been in the submission trenches and I’ve beaten my own head against the wall many times trying to get a book noticed by agents or picked up by publishers. It’s a real slog, and ultimately I’ve only ever wanted people to read my books. I think most authors are similar, in that their idea of success is having their books read and loved by people, being talked about, etc. It’s a real joy to be able to give that to other authors.
YM: What has been your biggest achievement so far?
- Ryan: Having people subscribe. The positive reception that we have received from readers and authors alike has been such a blessing. It’s impossible to put into words what it means to us and knowing that we’re having a positive impact, regardless of scale, has by far been our biggest achievement.
- Steve: Just getting it up and running to be honest! Every subscriber feels like something we’ve had to earn by hitting the grindstone that is marketing.
YM: What has been your favourite read this year?
- Ryan: Due to the nature of YPQ, I haven’t had much chance to read any stories outside of for our subscription, which leads us to an almost impossible question! Strictly speaking for my own personal preferences, I’d have to say Mark of Eternity. I’m a massive Sci-Fi fan and loved how the author managed to integrate Sci-Fi and Dystopia in a way that I hadn’t experienced before.
- Steve: Real tough question, goodness knows I read a lot of great books. I think the one that really stunned me was Eli Wilde’s Orchard of Skeletons. That book could have been written specifically for me, it was everything I really love. All of our books impress me, but this one has the edge of being the exact blend of genres that I love to read.
YM: What do you hope the future holds for Your Paper Quest?
- Ryan: We hope that we can encourage others to get involved within the indie reading community. We want to become a household name within the community, where subscribers know that they’re not only receiving amazing self-published stories, but that they’re supporting an entire community in the process! We also hope that writers will continue to send us their stories, as getting to read all these interesting and wonderful stories is part of what makes this such a joy for us.
- Steve: I’d love to see our subscriber count soar and have a big community build up around this idea of exploring indie writing. Having a huge group of people who are eager for new authors, new ideas, weird takes on things, being borderline experimental with stuff. That’s where I’d love to see us.