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7 Self-Published Books Everyone Should Read

Photo by César Viteri on Unsplash

One of the best attributes of self-publishing is that the gates are wide open: who you are bears no significance on your ability to write a book and let it loose on the world. This enables a more diverse range of voices in literature, and it also means that if you feel like your story — or any story — is missing from what you see on bookshelves, you can write and publish it yourself.

The following five books have been written by indie authors who chose to self-publish through Reedsy, not as a second choice to traditional publishing, but because it allowed them the creative freedom to challenge and bend genres and publishing norms.

#1 The Closer by Shaz Kahng

After finishing The Closer, Shaz had initially set down the traditional publishing path. Then she started receiving feedback such as, “Why don’t you change the main character to a man?” and, “Why don’t you make this more of a romance novel?” and, “Can the female protagonist be more obsessed with shoes or cats to make her more relatable?” Not wanting to rewrite her story to conform to the commercial norms of “chick lit,” Shaz took matters into her own hands and published her story, her way.

That’s exactly what Shaz Kahng did with her novel, The Closer. In her own words, “It's about the first female CEO of a sports company and the secret society of professional women who help her succeed (called The Ceiling Smashers). The tone is hopeful, positive, and collaborative, and the story drew from my own experience as a senior executive at Nike and the chief executive of Lucy Activewear.”

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

#2 The Wanderer and the New West by Adam Bender

Guns, stetsons, trains, and the American flag rippling in the wind. That’s right, we’re talking about the Wild, Wild West. But, as author Adam Bender likes to say, “This ain’t your grandpop’s Western.”

The Wanderer and the New West features old favorites of the Western genre — like the gunslinging protagonist — but also borrows elements from other genres, like science fiction-esque technology and dystopian predictions of the future. Readers can also expect to come across modern elements in the pages of The Wanderer and the New West, such as blog posts and tweets.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

#3 The Final Raven by Finian Black

Finian Black says that the idea for his latest novel came to him during a visit to the Great Hall in Winchester, where an ancient roundtable has hung on the wall for centuries. During his visit, he couldn’t help but wonder: what if a child discovered they are the last living descendant of King Arthur? And just like that, the concept for his novel was born: a plague is taking over Britain, and only a group of children — including King Arthur’s long-lost descendant — can save them.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

#4 The Warbird by Tara Copp

A quick look through the “Military” book category on Amazon shows you a lot of dark covers featuring male faces. It’s a genre dominated by male writers, and books detailing war from a woman’s perspective are few and far between. Enter: Tara Copp, the Pentagon bureau chief for the Military Times newspapers, and author of The Warbird — an unflinching look at the confusion, boredom, terror, and sacrifice of war.

It chronicles the real-life stories of two generations of fighters, and the resolution Tara finally started to feel when she stopped telling the stories of other people’s war-time experiences and started writing about her own.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

#5 Disco Sour by Giuseppe Porcaro

Disco Sour by Giuseppe Porcaro

Disco Sour is an existential odyssey of a heartsick politician trying to save a war-torn, post-austerity Europe from algorithmic autocracy.

Giuseppe described the writing of Disco Sour as an experimental, collaborative project. He held community events such as: art shows to see how people would react to certain concepts in his novel, parties to use as inspiration for pivotal “party scenes” in the book, political discussion panels to brainstorm about the dystopian Europe he was writing, and interactive worldbuilding workshops. Each of these events contributed to Disco Sour’s narrative, bettered Giuseppe as a writer, and built anticipation for his upcoming book. Readers became part of the story, helping create the world of the novel simply by showing up and taking part.

If that doesn’t sound like a modern, interesting way to go about publishing a novel, we’re not sure what does.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

#6 That One Cigarette by Stu Krieger

With more than 25 produced credits to his name, Stu Krieger is best known as the writer of the animated classic, The Land Before Time. Almost 30 years later, Stu has just published a counterfactual history novel about the power that one small action — such as a smoking your last cigarette — can have. Quitting his habit as a promise to his wife, this act ripples with consequences to the Scott family in Rochester, New York, the Kaufman/Goldman family in Los Angeles, and the extended Kashat family in Baghdad, Iraq.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

#7 Eloy’s Discovery by Kara Timmins

In the first installment of Kara Timmins’ The Eloy Trilogy, Eloy leaves home for the first time and is quickly enslaved while his sister is sold to parts unknown. What follows is Eloy’s struggle through strange lands to escape his masters, save his sister, and regain control of his destiny.

In order, each of the three books is labeled “Discovery,” “Challenge,” and “Legacy” — and is meant to feel like a different chapter of life.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

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