Recently I reviewed a book called Darker Things by an independent author named Rob Cornell. My discovery of that book and its (so far) two sequels (the fourth book in the series is due out this summer, I believe) was the result of a string of Twitter follows. I had started following E.E. Borton at the suggestion of a friend because I had said something on my Facebook page about wanting something different to read besides Science-Fiction and Fantasy. This lead to being followed by Ciara Ballintyne and Rob Cornell. I don’t typically re-follow people on Twitter, but this time I made an exception because their books and other Twitter posts seemed intriguing. At the time I was pretty engrossed in the Song of Ice & Fire novels (with The Hunger Games trilogy used as a mental palate cleanser between books four and five), so I didn’t immediately look at any of their writings, but I kept them on Twitter so I could find them again when I was ready.
All three of these authors are fairly independent; they self-publish or are published by smaller publishing houses with limited distribution. Case in point, Mr. Cornell’s books were all published exclusively as ebooks until very recently.1 To date, I’ve only read Rob Cornell’s Lockman Chronicles (I’m currently on book number three) and I downloaded his novel, Red Run for Kindle when it was on sale at the promo price for FREE a couple of weeks ago. I’ve not yet read E.E. Borton, but his novel, Abomination is on my Nook wishlist (I kind of feel bad that I didn’t read him first since he’s a fellow Atlanta-ian). As far as I can tell, Ciara Ballintyne hasn’t published anything yet, other than her blogs, but the novels she has listed on her website as in progress seem interesting enough and I believe she has some short stories publishing that I may check out.
The point of all of this is, prior to this, I had not given independent authors much consideration. I am guilty of relying on what’s on the shelves at the big bookstores. I’m really rethinking that stance though. First of all, the ebooks published independently tend to be less expensive and second, they are different. By different, I mean, they aren’t bound by the formulas that get books on the bestseller list. Let’s be honest, part of the reason I was struggling to find anything that could hold my interest beyond the first chapter or two is because so much of what is out there is just too damn similar. Rob Cornell’s Lockman series is, even while dealing with topics like vampires, werewolves, and the supernatural, is still a unique take on what has become dime a dozen types of novels in the last few years. His writing has inspired me to want to give other independent authors a look because maybe, just maybe, I’ll find a really great story that’s not only a easier on my budget, but also more entertaining than some of the cookie-cutter fluff that’s populating bookstore shelves these days.
If you are looking for something to read that’s different than your normal selections, consider an independent author; you might find that their stories are worth the read.
1. Rob Cornell recently announced on his Facebook and Twitter feeds that Darker Things, book one of The Lockman Chronicles, is now available in print. - http://www.amazon.com/dp/1484131282