I’m sure we’re all familiar with the phrase, ‘Support your local businesses’. With the onslaught of department stores and Big Box retail stores, the ‘Mom and Pop’ businesses struggle daily to stay open. Even local bookstores struggle against with the introduction of e-books.
This week, as we start the full week of the New Year, I want to talk about a resolution everyone can do but in a way you might not have thought. Incidentally, this article will be part of a much larger collection of blog articles as seen on the Blog Tour and Carnival hosted by Alice De Sturler. The resolution is read more books, the difference is to read more books by independent authors or Indie Authors.
What is an Indie Author?
Most, if not all, of my writer friends are well familiar with the term indie author but some readers might not know what it means. In fact, I didn’t what it meant until just a few months ago. An independent author is one who writes and publishes books through a small press company or through self-publishing. In other words, if you don’t publish with the Big 5 (Hapercollins, Macmillan Publishers, Hachette Book Group, Penguin Random House, and Simon & Shuster) then you are an indie author. Personally, I thought that an indie author was someone who went through self-publishing but I was set straight on the matter.
Why read books from an Indie Author?
Unlike your big name authors like Stephen King, John Grisham, and Janet Evanovich; there are scores of lesser known or virtually unknown authors that write as well as, if not better than, your big authors. Most of them are overlooked because their books are only available online, or in a bookstore in a certain city or certain part of the country. However, most of your mobile phones have the ability to utilize apps like Kindle on them and you can access those books. (BTW, the Kindle app is usually FREE, which is good!)
Another reason to read indie authors is that they have maintained the storytelling gene that seems to be absent in most well known authors. In other words, once a person is famous and has a fat bank account, the books are cranked out faster and not as good as some of the earlier works when they were up and comers in the early days. I’m not saying this is true of all authors but it seems to me once you have thirty plus books under your belt, they don’t try as hard to tell a good story. Indie authors rely on their readers to keep them going as far as writing so their stories will keep your interest.
Can you recommend some authors?
I’m glad you asked! Since I officially started this blog last May and got on Twitter in June, I’ve met a lot of indie authors and have connected with them online. I’ve also read a selection of their books and will be reading more this coming year, hence my New Year’s Resolution! I’ll start with the authors whom I’ve read their books:
Scott Bartlett—Royal Flush. Scott is the first indie author that I read. His writing style in this book is reminiscent of Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett. This story kept my interest from start to finish.
Mark Paul Jacobs—I stumbled across Mark as he was offering two short stories for FREE and I figured one of the best ways to get to know an author is by short stories. The first one I read was The Watchers from within moments, Revealed which is a story written in the tradition of Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits. The other one is called The Day God Winked, which is another interesting story with a twist. Finally I read his full-length novel called How Teddy Roosevelt Slew the Last Mighty T-Rex. This story took you on a trip down the Amazon River with the former president and an expedition. The story was so well written I could feel myself actually trudging along with them!
Daniel Parsons—The Winter Freak Show. This is Daniel’s first novel and a new take on the concept of Santa Claus or, as the British call him, Father Christmas. Daniel takes you on a journey into 19th Century England featuring an orphan child and a traveling show of strange yet familiar characters. This story is well written and well paced and it keeps you interested from start to finish. The characters are fun and real enough that you care about each of them as they are introduced to you.
Some other authors that I know. Here’s a quick list of authors that I know, have read their blog articles, but haven’t yet read their novels.
Umm, yeah I noticed that they are all women. Anyway I hope to read books from these ladies and others as the year progresses. Mind you this isn’t a complete list at all. I just want to you give you these few as examples of authors who will weave a good story and make you forget about the real world for a couple hours.
A Word of Warning
Yes, there is one catch in reading indie authors. Sometimes writers get so excited about self-publishing stories that they fail to properly edit their manuscripts. Their stories, though well planned become an embarrassment and show the true novice within. That isn’t to say that all indie authors are like this, I’m just saying, “Buyer Beware”.
As I stated at the beginning support the indie author scene, not because they will disappear, but because there are many out there who are just as talented and simply get overlooked based on availability. Make an effort to check out those listed above. If you know of any other authors worth reading, please share them in the comments below.
My latest Update:
For those who are regular followers of my blog, my cover for book 1 is now complete. I’m considering doing a partial reveal in the next couple days so check out my Facebook page and Twitter link. Still doing the final edits on my book and saving money for ISBNs. I’m still on track for an end of the month release.