New York publishers can only take you so far. Which is why, when we wanted to write a follow-up to our hugely popular Good Reads for Busy Women, we turned to our friends at IndieReader, the essential consumer guide to self-published books and the people who write them. Sure, indie books may seem a tad off the grid, but it's now easy enough to buy them online. And dozens of self-published books have topped best-seller lists nationwide (Fifty Shades of Grey, anyone?) and gone on to be scooped up by traditional publishers.
But why wait for them? Why not be the one to discover a new book before the rest of the world? Here are some titles that will help make staying ahead of the curve—at least book-wise—a little bit easier.
Operator Written by Forbes contributing editor David Vinjamuri, IndieReader describes Operator as "an emotionally taut and fast-paced mystery thriller with a winning tone, [blending] deadpan, detective-noir narrative and modern, high tech lingo. Mysterious, understated and still edgy."
Wool Omnibus Edition Written by Hugh Howey, with a movie by Ridley Scott in the making, Wool is the story of mankind clawing for survival, of mankind on the edge. The world outside has grown unkind, the view of it limited, talk of it forbidden. But there are always those who hope, who dream. These are the dangerous people, the residents who infect others with their optimism. Their punishment is simple. They are given the very thing they profess to want: They are allowed outside.
On Dublin Street Currently topping best seller lists from the The New York Times to IndieReader, Samantha Young's On Dublin Street brings to mind the similarly steamy 50 Shades of Grey, and, like it, has been picked up by a traditional publisher. On Dublin Street tells the story of Jocelyn Butler, who left her tragic past behind in the States and started over in Edinburgh. Burying her grief and forging ahead without any real attachments works well for a while, but that all changes when Joss moves into a fantastic apartment on Dublin Street and her world is shaken to its core by her new roommate's older brother.
In Leah's Wake Written by Terri Giuliano Long, In Leah's Wake is the compelling story of a girl and her family whose lives are slowly unraveling into chaos and separation. IndieReader calls In Leah's Wake, "a moving and engrossing examination of a family that is falling apart at the seams. A powerful read for teenagers and their parents."
Whole Latte Life Whole Latte Life is a satisfying exploration of mid-life crisis, female friendship, grief, possibility and renewal. Like a delicious latte, readers will want to savor this polished debut novel from Joanne DeMaio, who portrays the ruptured friendship between two forty-something moms from Connecticut on a girls' weekend in New York.
We Are Absolutely Not Okay: Fourteen Stories by Teenagers Who Are Picking Up the Pieces Think your kids have problems? They're probably nothing compared to those in We Are Absolutely Not Okay, a shattering self-published collection of true personal stories about gang life, depression, cutting, drug addiction and gender identity issues. Written by students from Scriber Lake High School in Edmonds, Washington. Be prepared to cry.
They Cooked the Books: A Humorous Look at the World of White-Collar Crime Tired of bad financial news? Take a break and pick up Patrick Edwards' They Cooked the Books. Written in fifteen parts, each section casts a metaphorical and honest light on the origins, original meanings and present day usage of sayings related to financial dealings, legal and otherwise.
Life in a Jar: The Irena Sendler Project An uplifting and inspiring story about three teenagers who, despite their own personal tragedies, get together to do a high school history project. Their subject is Irena Sendler, a young Polish woman who, during World War II, was responsible for saving the lives of 2,500 Jewish children from the deadly Warsaw Ghetto. Written by Jack Meyer, Life in a Jar shows how profoundly one person can change history--then and now.
The Intentional Networker There's always more to learn, especially when it comes to the "N" word (networking!). Author Patti DeNucci has been teaching her intentional networking strategies for over twenty-five years. Her easy-to-follow handbook provides a positive life-strategy for anyone who needs to deal with people...in other words, just about everyone!
Comfortably Unaware With the election looming, the hot topics seem to be the economy and offing Big Bird. How did the environment get lost in the shuffle? Comfortably Unaware, by Richard Oppenlander, maintains that our food choices are depleting our planet's resources. As he writes, "The major cause of biodiversity loss on our planet is from the livestock we raise for food and from overfishing of our oceans." The book calls for the consumer (that would be you!) to be more aware of media bias and to become more educated about choices that could save our planet. A smart read.
Many of these books have been honored by IndieReader's Discovery Awards, which were created to help indie authors get their work in front of industry professionals who can make a difference in their books' success. Learn more about the awards, and how to enter, here. --KW
Image courtesy of flickr user goldsardine