Thursday, 27 December 2012

The Joys of Reading Indie Books.

Are you one of the 5 million + people who got an e-reader for Christmas?

I got my Kindle two years ago and have never looked back. This is a statement I thought I would never write. I was initially horrified at the thought of the demise of the paperback - I had Orwellian visions of books being dumped in the street and set alight like redundant household trash. I'm the kind of reader that falls in love with a cover, strokes it lovingly, smells the glue and runs her fingers over the grain of the paper (yep, I'm weird but I've found good companionship in this matter) I have shelves of antiquarian books because I couldn't bear to think of them sitting in some cold, damp shed - even though in truth I've never read them. It's more of an adoption thing. So I didn't really know what an electronic reading device had to offer me other than freeing up the spare room from the book invasion. Woah, what a reading journey.

The greatest thing about owning an e-reader is the sudden expansion of choice (overwhelming at first) I had as a reader. Through joining reading communities such as twitter, facebook and goodreads, I have discovered writers who write exactly the kind of stories that I love and not the kind of stories that the big publishers want me to read.

This is what is so good about indie publishing - it creates a culture of exploration, discovery and autonomous thought rather than a cultural currency being generated by multinational, profit driven companies. This is particularly prevalent at this time of year with a trip to the big bookstores when you're bombarded with celebrity 'autobiographies' and novelty, gimmicky books. Or the top 20 containing 2/3  mediocre stories written by mediocre writers but supported by a giant marketing budget or who happen to have media connections.

So back to positives about the indie writing movement (before I go off on a slightly bitter tangent lol!) Firstly, the age of the vanity press is well and truly over. The independent writer writes out of passion, love - obsession even. They are people who take the time to get to know their readership intimately, (on first name terms with them, their children, their dogs) and who write stories as if they were love-letters to their readers. Indie writers strive for perfection, although they are crippled with knowledge of their own fallibility. The indie writer falls in love with their characters and believes whole-hearted in the worlds they create. They do all of it out of love because quite honestly, it isn't for the money.

Indie writers mostly fit their writing around their busy jobs and do not sit in comfy studios all day disengaged from the real world (they dream of such a situation) I believe that this makes their writing stronger and their characters more 'real'. Indie writers know that the only thing that will sell their books is readers' word of mouth and recommendations. They do not have the marketing budget to create a sensation or propel their work into top ten lists so perpetuating a sales on sales frenzy. They do not have the money to purchase or solicit top reviews in newspapers, media and Amazon.  As a result they know that their work will only see a readership if it is worthy of one. That "The cream will rise to the top" through its nature not through force.

As a result, this had lead to the beginnings of a reading revolution. Genres that the 'Big 6' deemed to be 'dead' and unprofitable (such as the epic American Western) have seen a resurgence. Science fiction and horror (once mainly published by more obscure press houses and relegated to a small hidden set of shelves at the back of the big book stores) have become big publishing news and of course the explosion in YA fiction.

Indie works are pure and individual. Increasingly they are professionally edited but the indie publisher is fierce about protecting the integrity of their work - they will not be swayed into making more 'acceptable' changes to their work in order to meet the needs of a demographic. They write honestly and they publish honestly. As a result you will find that some of the indie reads you come across may seem different in style to what you have been told is 'good' and 'right'. You will see that indies play with punctuation, expression, formatting in order to produce something original. They refuse to be homogenised, normalised. This may mean that you don't like what you read and this is the trade off for the times you take a gamble and discover a story that really speaks to your soul - that stays with you forever.

And even though the indie writer is a willing slave to their muse through all the hours of the night, they sell their works for as little as 99c because they are humble enough to understand that the reader  is taking a leap of faith when they part with their money and the indie writer appreciates and celebrates every single sale that notches up over the course of the week. 99c doesn't get you much in the world these days. It's half the price of a latte and around the same amount as a daily newspaper, which allows the reader a low investment, high gain ratio.

So when you're cruising around Amazon, looking to fill up that kindle, check into Twitter or Facebook and click on some of those author promo tweets that take you to their free or 99c book and give it a go. You may just find a unique and treasured library.

For a FREE e-book copy of The Forest of Adventures (Book One in my series The Knight Trilogy) hop on over to the website and grab the coupon. 


BEAUTIFUL FREAKS: £1.53 on Amazon

"Fans of Tim Burton will love this book! It's totally, darkly delicious." (The Murder House)

From the Amazon bestselling writer of 'The Knight Trilogy' comes the stand alone novel fans have been waiting for. 'Beautiful Freaks' is a decadent tapestry of all things fairytale, dark and murderous.

Between these pages you will find yourself transported back in time to the high Gothic. Victorian London.

The year is 1899 and both the century and the Queen are dying. 

As the London populace is gripped by a terrifying series of paranormal murders, 
eighteen year old Kaspian Blackthorne finds himself on a decadent journey of self discovery. 
Victorian London is a place where appearance is everything, but sometimes 
appearances can be deceiving. Behind the grand houses, carriages and silks, London is a dark labyrinth of sorrow and violence.
Amongst the gambling dens, dancehalls, and brothels you'll find No 7, 
known to its members as Eve's; the most exclusive club in London, infamous for its 'Palace of Beautiful Freaks'.
Each exhibit has a history, each their own unique story.

THE FOREST OF ADVENTURES: BOOK ONE of The Knight Trilogy ONLY £0.77p on Amazon

****** An Amazon No.1 Best-selling Fairytale series ******

"5 Stars! An Awesome Young Adult Escapade!" The Kindle Book Review 

"Totally Captivating. A stunning series!" Amazon Review

Mina's life is nicely ordered, thank you very much. She has a clear handle or reality and a well plotted life plan. But when she finds herself unwillingly falling for the mysterious new boy at college, she discovers that sometimes destiny has a different design. 

With his seductive combination of mystery and handsome good looks, Blake proves an irresistible lure. And although being swept off of her feet by a knight on a white horse was not part of Mina's original plan, she finds herself increasingly enchanted by the world he inhabits. 

As terrible, heartbreaking events rock her daily world, Mina finds herself retreating deeper into a world she only thought existed in fairy-tales. But every fairy tale has its villain and on crossing paths with Morgan Le Fay, Mina realises that even in a fantasy world there is no guarantee of 'a happy ever after'. 

When you're deep in the woods, it's all too easy to get lost. 

IMMORTAL BELOVED: BOOK TWO of The Knight Trilogy ONLY £1.02 at Amazon


Forced apart by fate, Mina Singer tries to piece together her broken heart. Little does she know that Blake's quest with Morgan Le Faye is placing his in a terrible and mortal danger. 

Amongst the demon haunted monuments of Egypt, dark and terrifying rituals are being resurrected, and Sir Blake Beldevier is forced to embark on his most horrifying quest yet - one which no other mortal has survived. 

How far would you travel for the one you love? What dangers would you endure?

"Deeply moving, scary and thrilling, 'Immortal Beloved' is the compelling sequel to 'The Forest of Adventures'.

"A serious Blake-Quake aftershock!"

"I laughed, cried, giggled, aww-ed and screamed in frustration in this book. Not to mention my heart stopping once or twice."

 STAR FIRE: BOOK THREE of The Knight Trilogy £2.83

Egypt changed them both in ways no one ever expected. As murder and dark arts cast a terrible shadow over both The Real World and The Realm, Mina's connection to the mysterious Star Fire Sisterhood causes her to become The Templars' number one suspect. 

Set amongst the snowy mountains of Switzerland and the ancient magical forests of of France, Blake and the House of Beldevier are given just one chance to save Mina's life - the recovery of The Holy Grail. 

In this epic heart-racing finale, ancient myths come alive and old scores are settled. One thing is for sure ... the clock is ticking.


The Well by Peter Labrow: £2.05

Trapped. Missing. Cursed. Fourteen-year-old Becca Richards and her stepbrother have fallen to the bottom of an ancient well. Their parents are away; they won't be missed for days. The predatory man who had been stalking Becca now switches his attentions to her best friend. Two women who know where Becca is trapped are desperate that she should never escape. Over the course of a week, family, friends and strangers are drawn together by a terrible shared fate - from which not all will escape.

'The Well' is a darkly gripping tale about how we respond to the hand fate has dealt us - and the consequences of our choices.

Set in Bankside, a quiet Lancashire town that hides many secrets, The Well deftly intertwines a story of supernatural horror with a tale of one of the greatest fears of modern life. As the book progresses, the two stories become one- driving relentlessly towards a single, thrilling finale. The Well is a fast-paced, riveting story that will grip you - and keep you guessing - until the very end.

Reunion by Jeff Bennington £1.91:

Twenty years after a school shooting, six of the victims gather to heal their wounds. Their lives have been torn apart by varying degrees of post-traumatic stress disorder after David Ray changed everything the morning he went on a shooting rampage. Discover what drove the killer to do what he did and join Tanner Khan and the survivors of the Crescent Falls massacre as they reunite in the haunted school to unravel a dark secret from their past.

~ Listed as one of Goodreads Best Books of 2011.
~ Listed as one of Goodreads Best Breakout Authors of 2011.

SEASONS OF THE MOON by S. M. Reine BOOKS 1-4 JUST £1.91 for bundle

When Rylie went to summer camp, she didn't expect to get bitten by a werewolf and turn into a monster. She also didn't expect to fall in love--especially not with a werewolf hunter.
Between ravenous werewolf packs, a bloodthirsty family of hunters, and Rylie's battle with her inner wolf, all the odds are stacked against Rylie's love for Seth. But Seth will do anything to be with her... even if it means turning against his family and sacrificing everything.

Cure by Belinda Frisch: FREE

**Runner-up in the 2012 Halloween Book Festival
**Recently optioned for film

In Strandville, there are worse fates than becoming undead.

"Creepy and claustrophobic, with enough gore to please any zombie-phile, Frisch's book begins promisingly. Her omniscient narrator takes particular joy in the visceral details of horror, tweaking the reader's senses with a bevy of bodily fluids and dismembered limbs." Kirkus Reviews

Welcome to the Nixon Healing and Research Center, playground for the maniacal Dr. Howard Nixon whose medical research has him dabbling in the undead and has the women of Strandville disappearing.

Desperate to find a cure for the lethal virus which turns its victims into zombies, Nixon kidnaps Miranda Penton, a security recruit with a past that won't let her go. He doesn't count on anyone coming looking for her, least of all her ex-husband, Scott, who is still in love with her.

A warning call brings Scott to Strandville where he bands together with a team of locals determined to bring their own loved ones home. Together, they infiltrate Nixon's staff, hatching a plan that releases not only the surviving women, but the virus on those left in the hospital.

Nixon locks down the center to contain the spread, turning patients, visitors, and staff into a dangerous horde that is almost impossible to escape. Miranda and the others fight for their lives, but their getaway is further complicated by a raging storm and a homicidal security guard. The town of Strandville is ground zero for the zombie apocalypse and Miranda must get free because the fate of humanity lies with her unborn child.

Tiffany King: The Saving Angels Series: Books 1-3: Meant to Be, Forgotten Souls, The Ascended JUST £1.91 for bundle

Meant to Be

Krista Miller feels like she has lived her entire life in a glass box with her every emotion on display. She can’t help feeling like a defect as her sensitivities have made her socially inept and without any real friends; the one exception being the boy that visits her each night in her dreams. 

Krista’s emotions are put to the test when a move to California triggers a devastating change to her fantasy world. The nightly comfort that the boy provides has now become a recurring nightmare as he is taken from her by an unseen force.

Struggling to appear normal, Krista enrolls in a new school and finds it to be nothing like she thought. Her new life is sent spiraling out of control from a strange connection with a boy, Mark, who claims to know all her secrets. 

As Krista begins to explore the emotions that Mark evokes in her, secrets about their mysterious past and their predestined purpose threatens to separate them just when they have found each other.

Forgotten Souls

Any chance Krista Miller had at a normal teenage life is now gone. Less than a year ago she lived under the radar, avoiding any relationships that would send her emotional sensitivities out of control. Little did she know that her life was destined for something more. Something that will test her very soul.

After facing certain death at the hands of the man responsible for their mysterious past, Krista and her friends learn the truth behind their origins and the purpose for their newly discovered abilities. Now, they must band together to fulfill their inherited, sacred duty. As Guides and Protectors, they must save Mankind's Forgotten Souls before they are lost forever.

The Ascended

The Ascended is the final installment of The Saving Angels Trilogy. With Krista's life in turmoil, she is now struggling with the responsibilities that have been passed down to her. With the help of Haniel and her friends, Krista risks everything, including her soul, to march into the den of the Dark Angel. Their only chance for survival is for Krista to find the courage to accept the new role that fate has bestowed upon her, even if it means losing her loved ones forever.

No comments:

Post a Comment