Note: The format of this post really wasn’t my intention and I’m hoping to lay it out a little better next month.
For my personal Indie Books Challenge, I’ve decided to try to have at least half of all the books I read in a month be by an indie author, which I’m broadly defining as not published by one of the Big 5 because doing otherwise would break my already exhausted brain. So, how did I do in March?
I read 11 books and 4 were definitely indie books. Not great, but at least I picked up quite a few indie books that I’ve committed to reading and reviewing by the end of June, so I have hope for a better April at least.
I started the month off with Requiem Moon by C.T. Rwizi, which was published by 47North, which is run by Amazon, which means I really have no idea how to categorize it because 47North/Amazon are not part of one of the Big 5, but Amazon is also really huge, not like many of the small presses, so…yeah, still haven’t figured it out. Anyone have any thoughts on this? (My review)
Then I jumped to The Code by Peter McAllister, which is definitely an indie book as I’ve never heard of Bright Communications. This turned out to be a rather humorous science fiction read that was heavy on the science, though I found at least most of it fairly understandable. I love sci-fi, but understand only half of it if I’m lucky. The cat also stole the story a bit for me. Can’t go wrong with a cat in the book! (My review)
Next up was a book from the Big 5: Tell No Lies by Allison Brennan. I participated in the book blog tour and planned to do a review, so reading this one was a must. There were so many threads running through it that I felt a little lost, but, gosh, I really do love Kara and Matt working together! (My review)
And then it was back into indie books with The Last Shadow Knight by Michael Webb. Wow, was this one a surprise! It was surprisingly more focused on running a business in a fantasy world, but there’s also some good old fashioned sword fighting and knight training. Overall, an incredibly satisfying indie read. (My review will be my very next post!)
I kept up with the indie books with DreamRovers: Price of Deliverance by Christie Valentine Powell. It’s about people who can rove and tread through people’s dreams, but they’re being hunted. This is full of persecution and families trying to protect themselves all while trying to lead peaceful lives. (My review to come next week)
Alongside DreamRovers, I read The Ladies of the Secret Circus by Constance Sayers. Published by Redhook, which is part of Hatchett, it’s definitely not an indie book, but I received a physical copy and really wanted to read it anyways. I love the cover and the mention of a circus piqued my interest. Especially a secret one. (My review)
Then I took a peek at my April review schedule and realized I have some traditionally published books I needed to read. First, there was The Bookstore on the Beach by Brenda Novak that left me feeling a little hot and cold. Then there was Malice by Heather Walter with a Sleeping Beauty retelling that’s been sitting on my NetGalley shelf since last year. Finally, I have The Light of the Midnight Stars by Rena Rossner in physical format, which was so graciously sent to me by the publisher, so I really feel the pressure to read and review it!
So far, my ratio of indie and traditional books isn’t looking good, but, after the three I just mentioned, it was definitely time to hop back into an indie book. I was glad to do this with The Book of Revelations by Idelle Kursman. At the beginning, I thought I knew where it was going, but I was so wrong. What could have been a fairly standard romance turned out to be a rather lovely story about family, maturing, and letting secrets out of the closet. It’s a little rough around the edges, but is most definitely worth a read.
I think I took on too many traditionally published books that will be published in April, but I did pick up a number of indie books I’m now looking forward to.
So, I’m not quite sure how to work my ratio of traditionally to indie published books because I’m still undecided as to how to handle the Amazon one. Either way, I fell a little short of my 50/50 goal. Even if I leave off the 47North publication, that’s 10 books where only 4 of them were indie books. If I include it and call it indie because it isn’t one of the Big 5, that’s 5 out of 11, which is still short of half.
On the bright side, I finally got around to answering several review requests so picked up a bunch of indie books that all look really interesting. I’m a little nervous one of them feels too YA for me, but it’s a short read, so I’m hoping a lot of interesting things happen in it. Most of them are fantasy with a cozy mystery and a couple of fiction novels mixed in. I’m planning on reading all of them by June, so the next couple of months should be filled with some indie reads, and I’ll hopefully reach my goal of 50/50. Which actually shouldn’t be too hard since I’ve stopped requesting so many from NetGalley and am mostly accepting books from authors and publicists who contact me directly. There’s more than enough to keep me up to my neck in books!
Thanks for reading!