About Us: Underground Certification

A Screening Process

Underground Certification is our basic screening process for all indie books, authors, publishers and literary professionals (editors, cover artists, websites, etc). Underground Certified means an applicant has met two broad criteria. First, they pass our “indie” standard. Second, they display a minimum level of literary and artistic quality and/or professional market presentation.

Underground Certification IS

– a very basic “indie” standard
– a very basic quality control mechanism
– necessary qualification for advertising on Underground Book Reviews

Underground Certification is NOT

– an endorsement (actual or implied)
– a quality guarantee for services or products
– a factor in determining review eligibility


It’s not an exact science, but below are the guidelines we use:

Quality Check

– Books: original premise, clean editing, clear presentation
– Authors: at least one submitted book must pass our quality check
– Publishers (vanity OR traditional): fair royalties & pricing, longevity, clear guidelines, no scams
– Industry Professionals: professional online presentation, longevity, fair pricing, no scams

Indie Check

– Books: publisher must be
– Authors: at least one book must be
– Publishers: must be
– Industry Professionals: must clearly serve indie authors.

What does Underground Certification do for you?

It opens doors! Only Underground Certified applicants can advertise, get reviewed and become eligible for special UBR programs, like Pitch Perfect Picks. It may be a prerequisite to win certain contests or awards.