I’m going to start something crazy. I want to discover great indie books. I've been wanting to do this for a long long time now, and I've been frustrated at the lack of a mechanism to find them. So. The lesson I learned in life is, if I'm frustrated about something, if there is something missing in the world, instead of bitching about it on every corner, I need to roll up the sleeves and do it myself. Because somebody has to. Another lesson I learned is, people don't like starting things. They like shouting and being upset, but starting things is messy and uncomfortable and takes a lot of work and to hell with it, for sure somebody out there has already started it and I'm busy with my own life anyway and yada yada yada. Yeah, we heard all that. Also, perhaps I am completely blind. Perhaps right now you think me ignorant because I don't know about some wonderful place that talks about great indie books. In fact, I know of one. I'm guilty of struggling to find time to go read through all of it. I'm talking about KBoards. There are tons of indie authors there and if you're an indie and not on it yet, GET ON IT. They have various forum posts with writers suggesting great books to other writers. I will get to it. I WILL. It's just while I'm in the middle of writing, I hardly have the brain capacity to do anything else outside my writing.
Back to the topic.
Here is the deal. If you have come across any great indie books, can you plug them in the comments? Just the author's name, the title, and one line of what it's about and why you loved it?
Also, here is another thing I will ask you to do. If you have a blog, a Twitter, a Facebook, a whatever online presence, can you do the same? Can you send a shoutout to folks, asking them for great indie books? Maybe if we do it together, we can get more invisibility for some hidden gems out there, because I'm sure there are. Yesterday, in fact, there was a Twitter hashtag #IndieBooksBeSeen. Go take a look at it and see the flood of all those indie books!
And, another thing. Call me crazy, but...send me your books. The books you have written. I want to read more fellow indie writers. But. Yeah, there is a but. The trouble I have with selecting books to read is, I have a very specific reading criteria. I try to read books that match what I write. They fuel me and my writing, in a way. So, right now I'm writing IRKADURA, and I'm not in the mood to read funny stuff, for example. I will be, once I move on to the next book. See what I mean? So. Please. If you think you have written an awesome book, send it to me. I don't care for genres, as long as it's a great story.
I have very limited time, so if a book doesn't grab me, I won't read it. I have forced myself in the past to read books that just weren't mine. They weren't bad in any way, they were beautiful fantastical books, just not mine. They didn't inspire me to write, they frustrated me. My writing suffered because of it. I have recently completed such a feat and vowed to never do it again (of course, I will break this vow, but anyway...). It was hard, very hard. So if you send me your book, I will only read the 1st page. Okay? Don't kill me yet! Here is the thing! If it gets me, I will read the whole book and review it and talk about it on every corner! Promise! Rest assured of it.
And YOU. I’m asking you to do the same, once again. On your blog, on your Twitter, Facebook, wherever. Ask fellow writers to send you their books. Read them. At least try reading them. We will all be richer for it.
Ah! The formats! There are two. I love reading actual paper books. The feel, the smell, you know. But I also read on my Kindle Fire, so email me the file or send your paperback to my PO Box. If you will send it in any other format, like Word or PDF, I won't be able to read it, sorry.
Also, if I decide not to read it and set it aside, I won't review it. That means, if you don't hear from me, it's probably because I haven't read it. Hey, I know how it is. My own books are not stellar, not at the point where I want them to be, so any time someone reads one of thwm and reviews them, it's a miracle to me. Really.
Let me start with three books I have discovered while at Indie Book Fair. I haven't read them yet, but I have sampled them and I will read them.
- FROG IN THE POT by Richard Beckham II. A story of an alcoholic janitor who decides to turn his life around. There is hysterical quiet humor in it. Here are a couple lines from the opening paragraph: "I enjoyed sitting on the toilet though―a good place to think. My navel: for nine months I stared at it, back when it served a purpose. All it did recently was collect lint." Sold? I was totally sold as soon as I read it.
- DISCOVERING ABERRATION by S.C. Barrus. A steampunk adventure set in an alternate Victorian era, it's a story about Freddy, a writer, and Thaddeus, an archeologist, who both end up on a mysterious island that might push them to madness. Here are a couple lines from the 1st page: "As was the growing fashion among the young and wealthy, they wore the corpses of beasts of the air upon their hats or beasts of the land slung over their shoulders. Strange, to have all these eyes on me, the eyes of the students and the threaded eyes of the animals." Sold? I'm sold.
- DANCING ON THE EDGE OF INFINITY by Bruce Taylor. This is a hilarious story of Edward, from birth to death, it's semi-autobiographical and full of footnotes. No kidding. There is a whole another book of footnotes in this book. Here are a couple lines from the opening: "I remember how it was when I looked inside myself and saw Mars, saw the broad canals, the white, tall cities sharp against blue-black sky and lush, rambling vegetation spreading far and long." Looked inside? Mars?? Sold.
If you read them and like them, please tell everyone you can and review, review, REVIEW.
Well then, it's your turn.
Shall we begin this madness?