Meet the Team

Founder & Editor-in-Chief

Joe Walters IBR founder

Joe Walters founded Independent Book Review in April 2018. During his time as the marketing and publicity director at a small press in Oregon, he discovered how difficult it was for small press and self-published books to get the attention they deserved. So he hopped on the internet, came up with a name, got confused for a million straight hours, and made Independent Book Review happen. He manages the acquisitions, services, and publication departments here. In addition to his IBR work, he is the marketing assistant at Sunbury Press and was once a marketer at Paper Raven Books. He tweets @joewalters13. Check out his favorite IBR publication: 10 Ways to Support Indie Authors or watch a YouTube interview here.

Creative Director & Senior Reviewer

Jaylynn Korrell has been writing reviews and blog posts for IBR since the beginning. She takes the photographs and manages the IBR Instagram page too. She reads all genres but is drawn to books with a strong female lead. In her spare time, she likes to play board games and take road trips around America. Find her on social media @Jaylynnkorrell, or check out her favorite IBR publication: Ten Awesome Indie Presses You Should Know About.


Liam Anthony | R. Read | Joshua Bligh | Steph Huddleston | Rosa Kumar | Gary Corbin | Sean Alan Cleary | Sam Cohen | Nathaniel Drenner | Felicia Nicole Hall | Alexandria Ducksworth | Joelene Pynnonen | Tucker Lieberman | Chika Anene | Madeline Barbush | Samantha Hui | Joseph Haeger | Kathy L. Brown | Robyn-Lee Samuels | Toni Woodruff | Frank Pizzoli | Andrea Marks-Joseph | Kiersten Adams | Genevieve Hartman | Alexandra Barbush | Tavleen Kaur | Audrey Davis | Lindsay Crandall | Jadidsa Perez | Manik Chaturmutha

Manuscript Copy editor

Sandra Desjardins is a highly motivated, tech-savvy professional with over ten years’ experience working in a fast-paced editorial environment. She has extensive experience supporting authors in high-profile projects, and she has exceptional analytical ability and talent for managing information. She is proficient with a variety of editing software tools and has a deep and profound working knowledge of The Chicago Manual of Style.With her experience as the copy editor for indie presses like Melange Books and Dragon Soul Press, Sandra enjoys collaborating with authors to ensure that the suggested changes enhance the manuscript’s readability, conciseness, and style expected of the publishing industry. Her second novel is set to publish with Fire and Ice publishing in 2020.

Cover Design

Derek Thornton is an award-winning designer accumulating eight awards in the publishing and print industry so far. His love for print and good design translate directly to the passion he puts into every book cover he creates. It’s not an accident that his portfolio is riddled with outside the box ideas—and a passion to make every cover he touches stand out in the crowd. Creating something new that’s never been done before and thinking outside the box is where he shines most. Derek is the owner and lead designer at Notch Design, loves spending time with his family, playing music, drinking a microbrew from Central Oregon (where he lives) and dreaming of future tattoo endeavors.

IBR Beta Readers

Joe Walters – see above

Jaylynn Korrell – see above

CJ Fairhart- CJ Fairhart has been a freelance editor and beta reader for the past seven years. She reads widely, always searching for new ways to improve her own writing craft. You can learn more about her reading and writing tastes over on her Instagram.

Alexander Smith – In addition to his professional copywriting work, Smith’s creative writing has appeared in places like the “City & Sea” anthology, The Creative Writing Outloud Podcast, and in 2015, he published a poetry collection called For Poets Must Love. He loves to talk writing and reading over on Twitter.

Sarah Mae Sutton- Sarah Mae Sutton’s passion for writing stems from a life-long obsession with reading. She loves discovering new authors, and for the past year, she’s been helping improve their manuscripts through beta reading and editing. Check out some of her words on Twitter. Her debut novel What Are Friends For? is set to launch in January 2020.