5 Self-Published Books You Should Be Reading
I knew I wasn’t reading enough, and it bugged me. Stephen King didn’t have to tell me, or maybe he did. You may have had his quote bouncing around your own head from time to time
“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write.”
So, just over a year ago, I began to check out some of those daily emails we receive from the e-book promotion sites. And, I found some books, lots of books. Since then, reading has once again become a large part of my life and I’ve found some amazing books. I’m going to share with you some reads that have literally blown my mind. The books I’ve listed below had to meet certain parameters – they have to be self-published (kinda), when I first read the book I could not know the author personally (although some of these authors have since become friends thanks to the magic of Facebook), and, it had to be a book that really surprised me.
1. Carry Yourself Back To Me/Things We Set On Fire by Deborah Reed
I’m including both books because I can’t decide which one I like best. The writing in each of them reads like poetry, pure poetry. The thought patterns that the characters experience, their actions – are so life-like that I thought of them as real people. When not reading, (especially with Carry Yourself Back To Me), I couldn’t wait to get back to my Kindle. I challenge you to read the first three pages of Things We Set On Fire and not scramble to read the rest of the book. Give yourself some time and immerse into these worlds. The only similarity between the two stories is that the characters are real, and fallible, and sometimes, culpable. The author is published by an Amazon imprint and I believe she was originally self-published. I’m currently searching out her other works.
2. The Money Tree by Gordon Ferris
Mr. Ferris is a traditionally published author who made two huge changes recently. He left his publisher and self-published his newest book, and he left behind a genre/timeframe where he’d had a great deal of success. Best known for his series of books that take place in the UK just after the Second World War, his new book is a present-day thriller. I’d read his first books and enjoyed them, and thought this would be a great opportunity to see how his self-publish work fared. Although, it took me a little while longer to become involved in the story (unlike his previous books), once he had me I was hooked. Like the other authors in this list, Mr. Ferris is a brilliant storyteller. I couldn’t wait to flip to the next page to see what was going to happen.
3. The Games by Claire Carver-Dias
I love when an author can truly draw from personal experience when writing a novel. This book is written by an Olympic medalist, and the story, the situations, the characters, just all feel real. The first pages draw you in and at the end you wish you were still there. I thoroughly enjoyed this, and again it was a quickly flip to the next page type of read. A really great story.
4. The God Of My Art by Sarah Lane
Again, parts of the writing read like poetry. The story is not conventionally told, and I love this about it. It’s told in remembrances, feelings – the way that we often recall incidents from our lives. There were scenes where I felt I had been there, experiencing the same emotions the characters were. I found it almost impossible to predict. It wasn’t just the characters that moved the plot forward; it was the mood and theme of the words. It was the writing. I just couldn’t wait to read more. It’s the kind of magical book that can too easily be missed. I hope that doesn’t happen. Writing like this should be read and appreciated.
5. The Bear That Ate My Pants by Tony Slater
Tony and I have become friends since the release of his first novel and I’m glad we have because he kept me up to date when he released his two follow-up books. I’m not sure how I found the original book, but something must have drawn me to it. I never thought I’d read a travel book, or a humor book, but I did. And, I laughed. And, laughed. His adventures are humorous and again, he’s a gifted storyteller. The plot draws you in and you really want to know what will happen next and how he’ll handle it. It’s been very gratifying to see this book and the two others (which are equally as well-written), racing up Amazon’s bestseller lists, and being discovered by readers.
In random order, those are the best reads I’ve had on my Kindle over the past few months. The writing and storytelling in each are fresh and unique and all of them truly deserve to find a wider audience. I hope it happens.