5 Self-Published Authors to Watch
As most of you know, I love 'undiscovered talent.' Be it in literature, film, music, any kind of creative arena.. one of my favorite things is stumbling across those gems that haven't quite caught the light yet. Though I'm sure these authors are getting plenty of love, being self-pubbed is no easy task and certainly doesn't afford them the same widespread public notice that they might get with a professional team dedicated to promoting them.
In no particular order, I present you with my top 5 self-published reads of the year.. and 5 authors you really should be watching going forward. Each of these authors is well-rounded. Some develop elaborate magic systems or extremely creative retellings, but all offer deep back story, strong character development, and a unique storytelling voice.
Isabella August - Crown of Whispers (Faerie Lords series)
Benedict Patrick - To Dream and Die as a Taniwha Girl (Yarnsworld series)
On the Isle of Sound and Wonder - Alyson Grauer
Olivia Atwater - Ten-Thousand Stitches (Regency Faerie Tales)
Jesse Nolan Bailey - The Jealousy of Jalice (A Disaster of Dokojin series)
5 Indie Press Authors to Watch
Truth be told, though 2020 was rough in a lot of ways.. it was a great year for quality indie titles. I know the health crisis has made it really difficult for indie authors to get their books noticed and to ramp up their releases with physical appearances.. so I wanted to share my top 5 indie reads.
If you aren't familiar with them yet, there's still plenty of time to check out their work. Again, this list is filled with unique talents, wildly creative worlds to explore, and in one case.. an intriguing almost circular storytelling style.. the likes of which I've only seen in film.
Wren Handman - Wire Wings
Sean Gibson - The Part About the Dragon was (Mostly) True
Ryan La Sala - Reverie
A.J. Vrana - The Hollow Gods (Chaos Cycle Duology)
Marie Brennan - Driftwood
Honorable mentions go out to Lillah Lawson (Dead Rockstar), Daven McQueen (The Invincible Summer of Juniper Jones), A.E. Ross (To The Flame), Sarah Burton (The Strange Adventures of H), and Maggie Tokuda-Hall (The Mermaid, The Witch, and the Sea.)
Top 10 Big Press Favorites
I read a ton of big press titles this year and enjoyed so many of them that it wasn't easy narrowing this down to just the top ten. Though some of these authors have been around for some time, these were also my first experiences with them and I really loved their stories.. even when they broke my heart. Especially so..
The result of that is a top ten, followed by a handful of honorable mentions as in the indie group.
If you'd like to know more about any of the titles in my 2020 Year in Review lists, you can find complete reviews for them in the Index above.
Aiden Thomas - Cemetery Boys
Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff - Aurora Burning (Aurora Cycle series)
Alice Oseman - Loveless
Sarah J. Maas - House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City series)
Silvia Moreno-Garcia - Mexican Gothic
Erica Waters - Ghost Wood Song
Dylan Farrow - Hush
Noelle Harrison - The Island Girls
Janella Angeles - Where Dreams Descend
Ivy Pochoda - These Women
Though they didn't make my Big Press top ten, the following authors and titles were also standouts for me this year - Robert Jackson Bennett (Shorefall), Andrew Eliopulos (The Fascinators), and April Genevieve Tucholke (Seven Endless Forests.)