When it comes to connecting with others, nothing beats a solid interview to find out what makes a person tick and to find out more about the subject you’re interested in. Why discover everything by yourself, if someone else has already gone down that route? In this particular interview you’ll read about the myths and the future of the Indie-author and there’s even a mention of a multi-author signed book giveaway…
As an Indie-author myself, I wanted to know more about the readers who are into work written by Indie Authors. I had so many questions so I joined several Facebook groups and got in touch with multiple people. My natural curiosity took over and questions were bombarded here and there.
That’s how I met the enthusiastic Angel Haze, who’s one of the administrators of the Facebook group Indie Fantasy Addicts. She happily agreed when I spontaneously asked her for an interview to get to the bottom of why it’s so important for readers to focus more on Indie-authors.
Here’s the interview!
Angel: “I’m an avid fantasy reader—mostly epic, sword and sorcery, and dark fantasy. I do read a bit of fantasy romance IF it has a ton of action to balance it out. (I’m an action junkie and love fun, fast-paced, on the edge of your seat reads!)”
Angel: “When the quality of many of the gems I’ve discovered is the same as those traditionally published, and I’m supporting someone’s dream, why not? I’m a member of a bunch of fun fantasy readers’ groups on Facebook. I love trying out new authors and being able to connect with them!”
Angel: “Haha. I’m a shout it from the rooftops kind of reader! Once I find a book, author, or series I’m passionate about, I make it my mission to let the world know!! In a post asking for recommendations, someone commented that, ‘When Angel likes a story, she will climb to the highest point in the lands and shout it until people listen.’ LOL! I review on Goodreads, Amazon, and Bookbub, and share the books in my favorite fantasy FB groups!”
Angel: “Lindsay Buroker and John Locke. Lindsay writes such fun adventures with amazing characters! (I LOVE Sicarus from Emperor’s Edge!!) Emperor’s Edge is a perma-free book (because Lindsay is awesome that way) and John Locke’s Lethal People—a hilarious thriller–was 99 cents at the time. In a blog post I saw years ago, Locke was questioned about how he was outselling every other book on Amazon, including some name brand authors and I absolutely LOVED his answer!! He said, ‘I’m new to the writing game. But if I’d started self-publishing even three years ago, I would have spent all my time trying to prove to the public I’m just as good as the top authors in America. These days, the burden of proof is on them. Now the best authors in America have to prove they’re ten times better than me. And in a game like that, I like my chances’.”
Angel: “I just finished Andy Peloquin’s Darkblade Assassin—amazing dark fantasy that I highly recommend!! Anti-heroes are one of my favorite things to read. Right now, I’m reading Seer of Lost Sands, the second book in JT Williams Half-Elf Chronicles. This is the fifth book I’ve read by JT Williams and anything he writes is guaranteed to be an adventure!”
Angel: “Bahahahaha!! Not a chance! Indie Authors have to work so much harder to get noticed! They are driven, passionate entrepreneurs who would rather blaze their own path than follow the rules and constraints of the Big Houses. While I have DNF’d* some that could have benefited by a more professional edit, those books are few and far between. The best Indies hire their own editors and cover artists, and have beta readers to ensure their books are the best they can be.”
* DNF’d means Do/Did Not Finished
Angel: “That Indies go into self-publishing because no one else will publish them. Haha. Not true! A lot of traditionally published authors are starting to self-publish because they have more control over the final product (covers, etc) and the way it’s marketed. I’ve seen many blog posts claiming they actually make more money doing it this way because there are less hands in the pot! Many indies like Sarah K. L. Wilson, JC Kang, Alisha Klapheke, and Alexia Purdy are USA Today Bestselling authors, and many others have won a bunch of awards!
There are even many self-published authors who started out on the publishing routes and then were later approached by Amazon imprints or big traditional houses—Jeff Wheeler, Michael J. Sullivan, Anthony Ryan, Amanda Hocking, and John Grisham to name a few!!
Another myth is that Indies produce lesser quality books. Honestly, with some of the spectacular covers and the talent overflowing from so many of the amazingly talented indies out there, there are many you cannot even tell the difference! I’ve read soooo many gems lately that rival the brand name authors, and once they get enough eyes on them, are sure to rise to the top!!”
Angel: “Facebook groups mostly. Indie Fantasy Addicts, YA Fantasy Addicts, Epic Fantasy Fanatics, and Fantasy Faction are my favorite! Julia Kitvaria Sarene and Alex Campbell, in particular, have especially passionate reviews that always get me fired up and heading to Amazon! It’s recommendations from the readers in these Facebook groups and the chance to connect with some amazing authors that drive books to the top of my TBR* list!”
* TBR means To Be Read
Angel: “Many are just as good (and some even better) than the big names and tend to be a lot cheaper (which is a bonus when you burn through a ton of books)! They also tend to produce books at a faster rate. Don’t get me wrong, I love the big name authors like Sanderson, Rothfuss, Maas, Bardugo, and Eames, etc. But Indies work doubly hard to get noticed. I’m happy to support their dreams in exchange for amazing adventures!”
Angel: “On par with the big publishers. I would love to see more of these gems in bookstores! Often, indie and small publishers are discriminated against because of the stigma against self-published books. I think if they’ve got the sales and drive to prove they’ll sell, it shouldn’t matter who publishes it!”
Angel: “Recommendations!!! Such a dangerous question to ask an indie fantasy addict!! LOL! But happy to comply!!
Epic Fantasy: Unsouled by Will Wight, Wrecker’s Gate by Eric Knight, Half-Bloods Rising by JT Williams, Soul Render by T.L. Branson, A Threat of Shadows by JA Andrews, Emperor’s Edge by Lindsay Buroker, Kings of Ruin by Daniel Arenson, Sufficiently Advanced Magic by Andrew Rowe, Dragon School by Sarah K.L. Wilson and Waters of Salt and Sin by Alisha Klapheke.
Dark Fantasy: Darkblade Assassin by Andy Peloquin, Chronicles of Nartesis Shazarak by JD Hart, and A Wizard’s Dark Dominion by Lee H. Haywood.
YA Fantasy Romance: hands down Jordan Rivet!
That is my short answer…I could keep going!!”
“One last thing that I have to share! Right now in the Indie Fantasy Addicts group on Facebook, there’s a fantastic Summer Challenge going on with chances to win signed books from some AMAZING indie fantasy authors!! No set reading list! All readers have to do is post about what they’re reading, tag it with #IFASummerChallenge, and they’re automatically entered into the challenge. The goal is to help others discover fun, and talented indie authors.
If you want to join an amazing group of avid fantasy readers, come join the party!
Thanks for having me! This was a lot of fun!”
Thank you Angel, it’s been a blast!
Published author of the Somnia Series. Motivational coach for Fantasy writers, offering all kinds of service on her own Dutch platform www.fantasyschrijfcoaching.nl. Passionate about helping writers write their best Fantasy Stories and promoting Indie Authors who have the courage and determination to make their books worth your (reading) time.