I read a decent number of books that are self-published or published by small press. This is typically a very mixed bag—in fact, some reviews never see the light of day because the books feel too unfinished and unpolished.
Many self-pub and small press books are wonderful. However, they can be easily overlooked or hard to find without the backing of a larger publisher. Often, I find out about them because the author or publisher contacts me directly.
Here are some of my favorites that I read and reviewed in 2012 that I think deserve a much wider audience.
Dinocalypse Now by Chuck Wendig.
This is probably my son’s favorite book of the year. He’s still talking about it months after he read it, and he’s eager for the sequels. It appeals to kids and adults alike, as long as you’re into jet packs, psychosaurs, and dirigibles!
Hapenny Magick by Jennifer Carson
This story is so sweet and cute. My daughter and I both adored this book. The artwork is just amazing.
Johnny Graphic and the Etheric Bomb by D.R. Martin
A pulp-inspired romp with a unique take on ghosts and zombies. My son loved this book and looks forward to the sequel. He and I have had some really interesting conversations about the ghosts and their role as mostly invisible citizens in the setting.
Miri Attwater and the Ocean’s Secret by E.S. Ivy
A wonderful book for young readers who love mermaids and princesses. It’s in a modern setting, so it’s easy for them to put themselves in Miri’s shoes (fins?). Sequel coming soon, and paperbacks will hopefully come out in 2013.
The Moon Coin by Richard Due
A strong opening to a promising fantasy series, especially for fans of Narnia. Beautiful full color artwork. (ebook edition – Kindle, B&N, iTunes – available for $.99 for a limited time)
I’m excited that paperbacks of these are now available! I love the art, which you can find more of on the website, along with a ton more content. This is a funny series about a fantasy kingdom hidden in modern day Indiana.