Once upon a time, before I’d even decided to try to publish my own book (The Travelers, Saguaro Books), I was unaware of the world of independent publishers. I didn’t read books by small presses and I definitely did not read anything self-published. I determined my reading list based on friends’ recommendations or reviews in large media outlets. (Don’t judge. I just didn’t know better at the time!)

Book Choices Can Be Like Pasta

mmm-pastaI used to read pretty standard, popular material. This is not a bad thing. But, it’s kind of like only eating one type of food. Sure you may love pasta, for example. Maybe you eat it for every meal, which makes breakfast a little weird. But luckily you’ve seen Elf so you know maple syrup on pasta works. Also, you feel satisfied. There are many different types of pasta, sauces and recipes. You can get quite a variety. But, you don’t realize you’re actually missing out on a whole expansive, exciting world of other foods like arepas, pho, Soi Ngam Dupli or even just donuts!

Trying Something New Accidentally

What I didn’t realize was that I’d been reading pasta for a long time. Until one day, a friend recommended I read this new book “Lost Girl.” She described it as an exciting, mysterious, complicated, psychological thriller about a girl who disappears. The plot tease intrigued me. So I downloaded “Lost Girl” to my kindle and proceeded to start reading. I remember being drawn at the outset to the sassy (or better, badass) main female character. But, at the same time I thought, this is not what I recall my friend describing, at all. I waited, and waited, and waited for the girl to go missing, for the paranormal, fantasy to become this psychological thriller. It didn’t.

Turns out, I’m a moron, but a lucky moron because this is where I learned about the wonderful world of indie publishers and self-published authors. My friend, let’s call her Librarian Lisa (she’s done some great guest blogs for me before), had actually recommended “Gone Girl.” (I’m sure you’ve heard of it. It’s kind of huge and a movie now. I did read it eventually and loved it. But that’s a story for another day.)

Embracing New Cuisine

lost-girlAfter calling Librarian Lisa, who indeed confirmed I’d been mistaken about the name, I didn’t immediately toss the book aside and pick up “Gone Girl.” Instead, intrigued by the premise, I continued with discovering this new-to-me author. Turns out “Lost Girl” (see book here on Amazon) is one in a part of the Hidden series by self-published author  Colleen Vanderlinden. I finished the first book and proceeded to read the next book in the series. In fact Ms. Vanderlinden is quite prolific. Check out her web site here: http://www.colleenvanderlinden.com/.

And this was when I realized (giant light bulb above my head), good books don’t have to be published by HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster or Penguin Random House.lightbulb Indie presses and self-published authors put out amazing work. For example, see my blog on The Martian too for a self-publishing fairy tale or how about the Miss Peregrine series, which is published by a small publishing house called Quirk Books (great name that really captures their spirit) that only publishes 25 books a year.

With that said, I have to thank my own  publisher, Saguaro Books, and all other indie/small press publishers out there who help people like me make their dreams of getting their writing out into the world come true. And, I can’t wait to keep reading more works by small press and self-published authors, whose voices really bring something new and unique into the world. Thank you to all of you!