Friday, March 3, 2017

A List of Great Self-Published Books You Should Read (Part 1)

The world is full of unsung heroes. People who do amazing things and don't get nearly enough credit for it. But they just keep doing the amazing things they do because they're not in this for the recognition. They're in it because they believe in what they're doing and enjoy doing it.

I like those kind of people. They make me happy and inspire me to follow in their footsteps.

That's why I'm such a fan of indie authors and their self-published novels. I spend time each month to hunt down self-published books to read and review. These books are often unique in a way that many traditionally published books are not: You can see the heart of the author, the messages and character quirks and experimental writing styles that sometimes get lost in the refining process of traditional publishing.

Every time I read an indie book, I have the urge to buy a ton of copies, chuck them at random people, and yell: "READ IT!!!" Unfortunately, my wallet will not allow this activity...nor, I'm afraid, would the random people.

So I'm having to dial it back a little bit and share links to good indie books here, thus rescuing my bank account and any innocent bystanders.
Hannah Heath: A List of Great Self-Published Books You Should Read (Part 1)
Below are a list of self-published books I have read and enjoyed, along with links to my full reviews (in case you want more information), their Amazon links (in case you have excellent taste and decide to buy them), and links to various places you can find the authors (in case you like following awesome social media accounts and blogs).

This list is in absolutely no order, so a book being listed first, last, or three from the middle spot has no significance. Now, go forth and discover new, amazing reads!

Champion in the Darkness by Tyrean Martinson

YA Christian fantasy with great themes of faith and second chances. It has griffins, too. Who doesn't like griffins? This one is the first in a trilogy. I have yet to read the third book, but I very much enjoyed the second one.

Tyrean is a very sweet lady, so you'll want to stop by and say hello to her on her blog or one of her social medias.

Where the Woods Grow Wild by Nate Philbrick 

A fun, heartfelt fantasy novel with a light mood and deep underlying messages. I enjoyed this book so much that it is currently my novel of the month. Which means you'll be getting a recipe of Cabbage Cart Inn onion soup in the near future. Who's excited?

Nate Philbrick has a hilarious blog and a social media presence to match. If you don't already follow him, do so:

Recovery Series by S. Alex Martin 

A character-driven sci-fi series that employs real emotions and real science, a rare combination in sci-fi novels. His fictional world is hands down one of my favorites (I just really, really want to play hologis) and his characters are amazing. Embassy is book 1 and Recovery (my favorite) is the second installation.

If you like cool information about space science (I know that's not the correct term, but I feel that it's a good description), you'll want to follow him here:

Out of Darkness by E.B. Dawson 
A mix of sci-fi, thriller, futuristic, and dystopian, this novel pulls off nonlinear narrative while also including great characters and plot. That takes skill. A lot of skill. I'm dying to get my hands on book 2, but it's not out yet. *cries*

E.B. Dawson is awesome. I like her and you will too. Here, go say hello:

Urban Legend: Orphan by J.P. Dailing

YA urban fantasy novella with illegal magic, classy vampires, and a badass main character. Need I say more? No. I don't think so.

Dailing has a cool website where you can stay up to date on news for his Urban Legend series. I always get super excited when I see a subscription email roll through my inbox:

Two Lives, Three Choices by K.L. + Pierce 

YA Christian sci-fi with a great message and a neat villain. I love a good villain, so I was very pleased to find one in a genre (Christian and sci-fi) that doesn't seem to have many. This book is clean, entertaining, and makes me excited to see more from this author.

Pierce is a really nice person with a cool outlook on writing. She's also a college student in addition to being an indie author, which is an incredible feat. Go give her a high five:

Ashes by Grace Crandall

Beautiful fantasy short story with majestic prose and a killer main character (pun intended. Sorry. I couldn't help myself). Crandall has a way with words that will leave you basking in the beauty of it. Also, look at how amazing that cover is. She drew it herself. Skills. So many skills.

Crandall has a really cool blog where she posts short stories, so if you want more of her work (you will), go follow her:

Empire Under Siege by Jason K. Lewis 

Fantasy novel with awesome characters and world-building moulded after the Roman empire, this was one of the first self-published books I ever read and probably the one that got me hooked. I love the setting and the characters. Also, it has swords and battles. So yes. It's awesome.

Jason K. Lewis has a plethora of other books out there (many of which I've read and enjoyed), so go explore his website and social media to find more:

Fractured by Rae Elliott 
A sci-fi novel with steampunk elements, a writing style reminiscent of Tolkien, and underlying Christian themes, this book has one of my favorite mother characters. I feel that mothers are a severely underused character type, so Elliott's handling of Lady Darphina makes me extremely  happy. And, of course, all of the other characters are pretty cool, too.

Rae Elliott has a really pretty (and helpful) blog full of writing tips, so you should probably be following her:

And that's all I have for you today. A few answers to questions you're probably asking:

What is this Constant Collectible you keep linking to? That's a geek website I write for. I do book reviews every other Monday and occasionally review comics randomly throughout the week. So if you want more geekiness than what you get here, then head on over there and watch the nerd news and reviews roll in. Also, if you are an author with a book that needs reviewing, please get in touch!

Why does it say Part 1 in the title? Because this is a series that I plan on continuing until the internet dies, self-publishing dies, or I die. Whichever happens first. I'm continually reading and reviewing self-published stories, so I'll compile a list every few months or so to share with you all. Keep an eye out.

Didn't you forget a really important self-published book? Why yes. Yes, I did. Thank you so much for pointing that out and thus allowing me to very naturally and not-at-all-annoyingly mention that I myself have self-published a short story. It's called Skies of Dripping Gold and is a YA Christian dystopian. You might like it.

If you do choose to read any of the above books, please take a few moments to drop a quick review when you've finished. It doesn't have to be a long one, but it will really help the authors out. They are all hard-working, talented, and overall very cool, so they deserve a helping hand.

Do you have any self-published books you would like to share with us? Yes, it is absolutely allowed to be your own. Don't be shy. Leave as many titles as you'd like! I'm always looking for my next read and I know a lot of people who are looking at this post are, too.

Related articles:
Lessons Learned from My Indie Publishing Journey Part 1: 7 Tips for Getting Started
Lessons Learned from My Indie Publishing Journey Part 2: 6 Tips for Novel and eBook FormattingThe 5-Star Rating System: What Book Reviewers Mean vs How Indie Authors Take It

Enjoy this post? Take a look around. If you like what you see, please don't forget to subscribe by email for a new post every Friday! 

Some links are Amazon affiliate. Thank you for your support!


  1. I'm honored to be on this list. I'm honored to have read some of these authors. And if you come up with a recipe for Cabbage Cart Onion Soup, that would be the best thing that's ever happened in my life.

    1. Well, your book is amazing, so the honor is mine. =) I'm so excited to make Onion Soup! I was craving it for the first half of Where the Woods Grow Wild. =D

  2. I really love MAGIC MOST DEADLY by E. L. Bates -- fun Downton-esque murder mystery! I also enjoyed HIS OWN GOOD SWORD by Amanda McCrina.

    I'm definitely going to check out some of the books on this list, and I'm very much looking forward to this post series!

    1. *adds to my TBR list* Downton-esque murder mystery sounds amazing. I'm glad you enjoyed this post! Thanks for the comment!

  3. I haven't read any of these yet, but my TBR list just got longer!

    Some of my favorite indie published books are those in the Alliance series by L. Nicodemus Lyons. The series is full of epic adventures set in the Middle Ages. The writing style and the theme are wonderful. Here's the link to her first book, In the Palace of Rygia:

    And I know you have a liking for fantasy, so here's some shameless self promotion. My first novelette was released today! You can find "The Diplomat's Daughter" on Amazon or Goodreads. (

    1. Right? My TBR list is growing simply from reading this comment section. =D That series looks like a lot of fun! I love a book with a good theme. =)

      I bought your book last week and can't wait to start reading! It looks awesome. Go you!

  4. The Galleries of Stone trilogy by C. J. Milbrandt is an amazing fantasy story about living statues and racial diversity.

    1. Oops! This is me, by the way.

    2. Hey Elza! Thanks for the comment. Living statues and racial diversity? Sounds like quite a book!

  5. I'm so proud to be on the list! And I am excited to check out these other books. This series is such a good idea. I was just thinking the other day about asking you for recommendations.

    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed this post, Beth! I meant to do it months ago, but I'm glad I waited until after I read your book. =D

  6. These all look super intriguing! My book budget may not thank you, but I do!

    Some of my favorite indie fantasy/sci-fi reads include Plenilune by Jennifer Frietag, the Galleries of Stone trilogy by C. J. Milbrandt, Monster by Mirriam Neal, and Prince of Fishes by Suzannah Rowntree

    Plenilune is a portal fantasy meets comedy of manners meets fairy tale meets Rosemary Sutcliff-esque prose... lush and evocative!

    Galleries of Stone is fantasy with heart and humor and loveable characters in a unique setting. Is there cozy fantasy? It's a fantasy world where it's the little things that make the biggest difference.

    Monster is fast paced sci-fi about what happens when you realize that the experiment is human too...

    Prince of Fishes is a fairy tale retelling set in Byzantine Constantinople. It's an unusual combination that works really well!

    1. Oh my goodness. Now I know how you feel about an ungrateful budget and a grateful heart. =) These all look amazing!

      I love cozy fantasy....I always want to call it "light" fantasy, but I feel like that's not the correct term. Hmmm. Now you have me wondering what that specific subgenre is called.

      Monster is probably the one I'm most excited about. I looked it up on Goodreads and like the concept of "I still have a soul."

      Thank you SO much for the comment. I can't wait to start reading these!

  7. You're evil, Hannah. I just bought several of these books for my kindle. Now if I could only find time to read them...

    1. Mwahahaha!

      =D I'd love to hear what you think of them after you find the time to read them!

  8. Hi Hannah! I stumbled across you blog when I was trying to figure out marketing for my self-published book, and I've been following you ever since! You never fail to share helpful tips and put a smile on my face. :)
    I wrote my book "My Father's Princess" over three years ago when I was 14, so looking back on it makes me cringe just a tiny bit, as there are things now that I feel like I could have done much better. (And I still haven't figured out marketing...:P) My book isn't a fantasy novel, but I would be honored if you would consider reviewing it so that I could garner some tips on how to improve my next novel. Here's a link to my (severely lacking) blog, in case you want to check it out:
    Thanks for being awesome! I can't wait to read "Skies of Dripping Gold." Keep doing what you're doing! God bless!

    1. Hi Ceylan! Thank you so much for the sweet comment!

      First off: Published at 14? That is a quite feat. You should be very proud! I would love to read and review your book. I found your email (on the Xulon website press release), so I'm going to contact you there to chat a bit more. =) Hope that's okay.

      I hope you enjoy Skies of Dripping Gold and would love to hear your thoughts on it! I'm so happy to hear that you are enjoying my blog!

  9. This list is awesome! It's so exciting to see indie authors get some love, thank you for extending your blog out to them and help spread the word on their creations :)

    1. My pleasure! I love indie authors and am always excited to share their work with others. I'm so pleased you liked this post! It's good to see them get some love.

  10. Pendragon's Heir has got to be my favourite self-published book, and I only discovered it late last year (but I haven't stopped talking about it since). It's historical fantasy, and the premise is "What if Guinevere had a daughter?" It also involves time-travel, and hard moral questions without easy answers. And I can't talk about romance at all without getting snarky, but this one had a romance I enjoyed (well, a couple of them, actually).

    1. Oooo. What if Guinevere had a daughter? I have no idea. Now I'm intrigued. I love time-travel, too, and it sounds like you and I have a similar outlook on romance, so this sounds perfect. =D Thank you!

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