|Image from Books Direct|
If you'd like some Indie book suggestions from me, I blogged my Top Ten for Indie Pride Day in July 2016. You can also see all the Indie books that have been reviewed on Literary Flits and reviewed on Stephanie Jane.
DubaiReader said: "I'm fascinated by your preference for Indie authors and small presses. I also favour global literature, like you. However, I find Indie authors a bit daunting - how do you choose a good one? Often I'm put off by Indie covers too. For obvious reasons they tend to be low budget, but do they have to be quite so obviously Indie? Interested in your thoughts."
|Squashed Possums |
by Jonathan Tindale
Other reviews probably have the greatest influence over my decision whether or not to accept a book, however I have learned to be suspicious of books with entirely 5 star reviews. No book is absolutely amazing to everyone so I tend to take more notice of the words used than the rating itself. Seeing a good review by an author whose work I have enjoyed is encouraging as I am likely to appreciate their taste in literature and the same goes for reviews by readers and bloggers whose opinions I respect. For this approach to indie (or any) book finding, Goodreads is a far better search tool than Amazon.
|Gulag 101 by Nico Reznick|
Ever since the Stieg Larsson trilogy and Gone Girl I tend to automatically avoid anything with Girl in the title, especially where similar fonts are used! I steer clear of books claiming to be 'just like' some other book too. If Book B is basically a rehash of Book A, why bother with it? I don't want to read the same story over and over again. Where's the fun in that?!
Generic genre covers are a good avoidance indicator for precisely that reason. If it looks like Mills And Boon romance or fashionista chick-lit, military science fiction, gruesome horror or Game Of Bloody Thrones I click away! There are too many formulaic stories in these genres for my tastes although I accept this is a very personal decision.
My favourite category is usually Literary Fiction and I find the vast majority of my good and great indie books here although I also look through memoirs and poetry. Authors who consider themselves literary tend to take pride in writing stylishly and seem to explore more unusual themes and settings. I am getting to know certain small presses - Guernica Editions, Crime Wave Press - that I know I can trust to put out good books, otherwise I look out for interesting artwork and synopses. Non-English looking names always grab my attention as I love to read global literature. Many turn out to be American, but as the internet becomes more widely available internationally I am finding a higher proportion of global books too. I am limited by my language as I only read fluently in English. Indie authors generally can't afford to have their work translated, however smaller publishers like Gallic Books and Aardvark Bureau offer a good variety of lesser known works.
|An Ishmael Of Syria |
by Asaad Almohammad
Trawling thousands of indie author and small press books to find the gems is a real labour of love. I probably read one for every twenty I seriously considered and still then end up with occasional Did Not Finish books. Self-publishing is wonderful in that it does enable amazing books to potentially find an audience, but it must be even more frustrating to be one author trying to be seen through the dross than it is to be a reader trying to find one good book!
If you have read a good indie book, please help the rest of us find it by writing a quick (or long) review. I am happy to publish Guest Reviews of Indie, Small Press and Global Literature over on Literary Flits so do get in touch. My best contact methods are via Goodreads, my Facebook page or Twitter.
|The Lovely Brush by Heather Awad|