With e-publishing getting so easy (unless you are trying to format poetry, sigh), there has been a boom in self-published books. I've found that if I apply the same selection methods I do to traditionally published books (premise, recommendations, reviews, read a sample), the quality is surprisingly similar.

For example, my single favorite romance novel of last year was Courtney Milan's Unraveled. (Click on author tag to see my review.) For a different type of example, click my "awesomely bad books" and "implausible plots" tag-- most of those books were traditionally published and edited by professional editors.

Since self-published authors don't get any publicity beyond what they can drum up themselves, I'm sure there are many self-pubbed books and authors which are completely off my radar. Please recommend self-published books or short stories to me. (I'm not including reprints of books which were originally traditionally published.)

I am already aware of Courtney Milan, Andrea Host, Sarah Diemer, Zetta Elliott, Neesha Meminger, and Judith Tarr's Living in Threes. If you want to rec them in comments for the benefit of other readers, go ahead, but please try to additionally rec something else which I may not know about.
oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)

From: [personal profile] oyceter

I think you've probably already heard since it's been going around, but try Ankaret Wells too!

oyceter: teruterubouzu default icon (Default)

From: [personal profile] oyceter


I've only read her duology (Books of Requite) and not the standalone (Firebrand).

Books of Requite is basically set in a fantasy-esque world in which there is some tech remaining from the people who landed on the planet long ago. It has a ton of political intrigue, gender queer characters, a really interesting marriage structure, romance, a LOT of women being awesome, and a very practical engineer main character who would much rather spend time with her machines than with people.

It is super fun with tons of worldbuilding and a lot of really really interesting ideas. Most of my problems with it lie in the fact that I feel Wells could have used a few extra hundred pages to expand on the world.
phoenix: ink-and-watercolour drawing -- girl looking calmly over her shoulder (Default)

From: [personal profile] phoenix

I came here to recommend Wells too. The Books of Requite are excellent.
cofax7: climbing on an abbey wall  (Default)

From: [personal profile] cofax7

Wells could have used a few extra hundred pages to expand on the world.

I know! I have so many questions!

Also, I think it could have used one more editorial pass, but really, it was all quite entertaining, with wonderful tropes like blasters and swordfights, and virtual reality, and wacky flying organic machines, and clothing porn.
skygiants: young Kiha from Legend of the First King's Four Gods in the library with a lit candle (flame of knowledge)

From: [personal profile] skygiants

Zen Cho's Perilous Life of Jade Yeo! Adorable and gently scathing Bloomsbury-era historical novella starring a Malaysian lady writer protagonist; probably my favorite romance of the ones I've read.
kore: (Default)

From: [personal profile] kore

Adorable and gently scathing Bloomsbury-era historical novella starring a Malaysian lady writer protagonist

Ooooh COOL.
yatima: (Default)

From: [personal profile] yatima

I. Loved. This. So much. (And Unraveled was my fave last year too. Oh, Smite!)
vom_marlowe: (Default)

From: [personal profile] vom_marlowe

I don't think so. Maybe at the end, but she lives to be thirteen, which is quite quite old for that breed. She's narrating her life story as a geezer dog looking back.
cyphomandra: boats in Auckland Harbour. Blue, blocky, cheerful (boats)

From: [personal profile] cyphomandra

S.U. Pacat's Captive Prince! (cannot link well as on phone - all details at freece.livejournal.com), two books published out of three, free on website but now with ebook and hard copy versions, currently at Amazon. Plotty tense political drama and m/m romance in fictional historical setting, recommended for any Dorothy Dunnett fans out there and excellent at constantly raising the stakes and interpersonal tension. (personal note - the first time I read the opening chapter I was a bit put off by all the sex slave grooming references, but this is not where the book is going)
lenora_rose: (Default)

From: [personal profile] lenora_rose

For non-Rachel people, since she's obviously heard of it, I'm seconding this. When i followed a rec, I assumed it would be bondage kink slash fluff, and the first few chapters don't at first glance discourage any of that but the fluff. I was so wrong. That's not where she went at all. I was surprised several times by the twists of the political intrigues and by the depths revealed in the characters, and hooked by the dialogue and the conflicts.
jjhunter: comm name 'deadislepodfic' superimposed over precious metal gears and wheels (deadislepodfic)

From: [personal profile] jjhunter

Sam Starbuck, aka [personal profile] copperbadge, just released the Dead Isle in September, and it is all kinds of brilliant. Sufficiently brilliant, in fact, that now there's a group of fans organizing an amateur audiobook with Sam's enthusiastic permission...

Against a backdrop of toothed gears and wheels in gold, silver, and copper marches the text 'The Dead Isle: FULL CAST PODFIC PROJECT' with a tiny 'deadislepodfic @ LJ/DW' in the bottom right corner

[community profile] deadislepodfic: podficcing [personal profile] copperbadge's new novel the Dead Isle with a full cast
The year is 1880, and Jack Baker is a young, driven student at Harvard University for Engineers. In this America, industry depends on "Creation" magic rather than machines, and most engineers are train repairmen, not inventors like Jack. Even his Creationist friend Clare thinks Jack's genius is going to waste at Harvard. There is one man who knows how to put Jack to use, however: famous novelist and sometimes spy Ellis Graveworthy, who wants Jack to come with him to England and build him a flying ship. Graveworthy has been ordered to cross the heavily-guarded coast of Australia, the "Dead Isle" which has no Creation, and which sealed itself off from the outside world more than twenty years before. Rumors abound that Australia is building a war fleet, intent on conquest, and it's Graveworthy's job to stop it...
ephemera: (Labyrinth - reading)

From: [personal profile] ephemera

Ankaret Wells' - the Books of Requite especially.

I loved them, and I think they're pretty true to their reviews / blurbs, so - if that's a flavour that appeals to you, dive in!

ephemera: celtic knotwork style sitting fox (Default)

From: [personal profile] ephemera

oops - sorry! I've had this tab open for far too long, and should have checked for new comments before I posted!
loligo: Scully with blue glasses (Default)

From: [personal profile] loligo

In a different vein from most of the other recs, let me mention The Soldier's Wife by Adrienne Ruvalcaba, a local friend of mine. It's a low-key contemporary M/F romance; the pacing is sometimes uneven and it relies on a Big Misunderstanding for part of the plot, but I fell in love with the heroine head over heels. She's African-American (as is the author), and she's a quiet, hard-working loner who works in a group home for troubled youth and is getting a masters degree in psychology. Well worth reading just to enjoy getting to know her, and the book is currently free on Smashwords.

From: (Anonymous)

Sins of the Sioux Billionaire (www.amazon.com/Sins-The-Sioux-Billionaire-ebook/dp/B00BA39YJY/), by Skye Eagleday. It's a billionaire erotic romance (yes, that's a genre) novelette, distinguished by good writing and that, rather than the usual noble savages who usually appear in genre romances, it's about two modern Native American people.

Eagleday has other books too, but... well, they may not be up your alley. You'll see what I mean if you click on his name. I do think you'd like "Sioux Billionaire."

From: [identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com

Thanks, that does look good. I nabbed it.

(What, you think I wouldn't appreciate Fuck Buck?)

From: [identity profile] thecityofdis.livejournal.com

Trisha Leigh's The Last Year series, of which the fourth and final book releases this month. The first is Whispers in Autumn: http://www.amazon.com/Whispers-Autumn-Last-Year-ebook/dp/B008NFVDTQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1360198864&sr=8-1&keywords=whispers+in+autumn

Young adult science-fiction, in which Earth has already been conquered by mind-controlling aliens. The heroes take breaks to occasionally make out, but mostly are busy trying to eff some alien shit up.

There are occasional leaps in logic that I don't necessarily follow, and none of the twists in the books have been SUPER SHOCKING! but I have a separate rant about how I think the genre's come to rely too much on plot twists at the expense of a good story, so suffice to say I don't find that to be an issue here.

Trisha's a friend, and these books hit every single one of my story-telling kinks. I love them.

Also, Andrea Lynn Colt's TORCHED, about a popular high school cheerleader who is framed for arson: http://www.amazon.com/Torched-ebook/dp/B0097GON7O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1360199016&sr=8-1&keywords=andrea+lynn+colt

Hysterically funny, brilliantly plotted and paced, KILLER voice, and the romance scenes (which I normally skip) were... pretty hot.

From: [identity profile] rachelmanija.livejournal.com

Thanks! The Leigh books especially sound right up my alley.

Those both have way better covers than I usually see on self-pubbed work - very professional-looking.

From: [identity profile] thecityofdis.livejournal.com

Yes! Trisha's covers are gorgeous - the artist she hired does freelance work for the Big 6, as it turns out!

From: [identity profile] sartorias.livejournal.com

Ankaret Wells. Try The Maker's Mask. Or if you like Bronte juvenilia (it reads a lot like id vortex fanfic with a heavy Byronic overlay) The Firebrand which is steampunk and funny!
hesychasm: (aeryn sun (FS fix))

From: [personal profile] hesychasm

Have you tried [livejournal.com profile] freece's Captive Prince yet? She just released the first two volumes to Amazon...yesterday or the day before, I think. I personally haven't read them yet, but am going to start soon. I mean, thousands of people loved the free version, so.

From: [identity profile] raincitygirl.livejournal.com

link to how to buy. (http://freece.livejournal.com/61069.html) Captive Prince is an auto-buy for me, even though it starts out kind of slowly. Give it a few chapters and it gets TREMENDOUS.

ext_6284: Estara Swanberg, made by Thao (Default)

From: [identity profile] estara.livejournal.com

Thanks for the link! I've had good luck with Australian authors and this seems to be m/m epic fantasy like Ann Somerville's Darshian Tales - oh right, those are self-published, too - combined with courtly intrigue a la Champion of the Rose or sartorias' Crown Duel. And the ebook price isn't too prohibitive for the first one.

From: [identity profile] kitewithfish.livejournal.com

Seconding the rec on this- I was keeping up with the free publication of the books, until she turned towards ebook publication. It's very good worldbuilding, and great characters, and overall, kind of awesome.

I don't recall if she published the ending of the story in its initial run online, or if I just missed it... it was enjoyable, but at the time the episodic publication kept it from devouring my brain entirely.

From: [identity profile] wowbright.livejournal.com

I really enjoyed The Abominable Gayman by Jonny Townsend. Awful title, great book of fictional short stories about a gay Mormon missionary. Mostly serious with nice bits of humor and verisimilitude even smatterings of romance. Steeped in Mormonism, but accessible to non-Mormons, too.

From: [identity profile] lizw.livejournal.com

Kate Harrad, especially if you like dark humour. The best, IMO, is All Lies and Jest, which was originally self-published, but has now been picked up by a small press.

ETA: Kate is on LJ as [livejournal.com profile] booklectic, if anyone wants to check her out there as well.

*goes to check out other people's recs*
Edited Date: 2013-02-07 04:17 pm (UTC)
ext_6284: Estara Swanberg, made by Thao (Default)

From: [identity profile] estara.livejournal.com

Lindsay Buroker The Emperor's Edge (link to spoilery review of mine)

The Blurb:
Imperial law enforcer Amaranthe Lokdon is good at her job: she can deter thieves and pacify thugs, if not with a blade, then by toppling an eight-foot pile of coffee canisters onto their heads. But when ravaged bodies show up on the waterfront, an arson covers up human sacrifices, and a powerful business coalition plots to kill the emperor, she feels a tad overwhelmed.

Worse, Sicarius, the empire's most notorious assassin is in town. He's tied in with the chaos somehow, but Amaranthe would be a fool to cross his path. Unfortunately, her superiors order her to hunt him down. Either they have an unprecedented belief in her skills... or someone wants her dead

C.J. Cherryh: Deliberations: A Foreigner Short Story (Link to spoilery review)

A longish short story set in the days BEFORE Bren came to the mainland. It's not going to spoil a thing to read before you read Foreigner---but you will certainly know a lot more about these people if you have.

Jane Fancher: Blood Red Moon (link to spoilery review)

In 1475, Sergei Skendresku made a mistake: he guided the wrong man through Transformation.

Now his mistake has traded in his Old World ties and Sergei's Rules of Behavior for a new home in 21st century Seattle.

He's out of control, a threat to all the Transformed---and Sergei's personal responsibility.

But Sergei's kept to his remote estate for decades. He doesn't know this New World of computers and DNA mapping. He's going to need help. His assets? A young college student with serious psychic powers---if Peter can survive to control it . . . and Cat.

A vampire tale with the complex characters, subtle humor, and solid world-building that characterizes Jane Fancher's work.

From: [identity profile] czarina69.livejournal.com

I'm currently reading "A discovery of witches". It's not self-published, but oh, what a good read.

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