IR’s Best Books of 2014

INDIEREADER’S BEST OF 2014

It’s that time of year where everyone composes a “Best Of” list.  Top 10, Top 12, Top 25.  When best-selling author Ayelet Waldman found her latest book left off The New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2014, she was “mad as hell and not going to take it anymore.”  She vented her anger on Twitter.

IndieReaders feel your pain, Ayelet Waldman. Most “Best of” lists snub talented IndieAuthors even though a great story is a great story.  It isn’t fair, but as Mahatma Gandhi said, be the change you wish to see in the world.  On that note, we’d like to celebrate these IndieAuthors and their books with IndieReader’s Best of 2014.  We hope you’ll join us in giving them a round of applause and spreading the joy of IndieReading.

IT’S YOUR (BOOK) PARTY AND YOU’LL…

Shine if you want to.  Shine if you want to.

‘Tis the season for lots of parties.  Office parties, holiday parties, and, in some cases, book parties.  IndieAuthors are often 100 percent responsible for the sales, promotion and success of their books.  The question, then, is whether a book launch party is worth the expense.  Parties can be stressful, but they also provide excellent opportunities for you to shine.  You can talk about your work, your inspirations, and why you wrote this book.  Poet Chris Robley offers tips on how to make the most of your party.  Please share your party planning insights and experiences in the comments below.

OUTSIDE THE BOX (OF BOOKS)

If you’re really not into throwing book parties, that’s okay.  In fact, you’re in good company, but you still need to promote yourself and your work.  How best to stand out and get noticed?   IndieAuthors are also entrepreneurs so many already know the answer to this one:  Think outside the box.  Be creative.

Gordon Bloor (AKA Douglas Westcott) self-published Go Swift and Far and decided to sell his book exclusively in Bath, England, where the novel is set. He targeted local shops, hotels and the Bath tourist office.  Bloor printed pamphlets advertising his book and distributed them to every bed and breakfast in Bath.  Why only Bath?

Bloor’s response:  “I am not and never will be a classical writer, but having taken eight years to research and write my book I believed that I had a good tale to tell and people, especially in Bath, would enjoy it.”

Traditionally published authors are also venturing outside the box to gain notoriety and increase sales.  Last week Nikesh Shukla launched a lamb chop into space to promote the paperback release of his novel Meatspace. His YouTube video garnered more than 225,000 views in less than week.  Shukla claims that his book was “the most talked-about book in the world” for three days.

What’s the most “outrageous” thing you’ve done to promote your book?

MARKETPLACE A-TWITTER

Many IndieAuthors are active on social media — promoting their work, connecting with readers, and sharing their journeys.  This week Hachette announced that it was going to sell print books directly to potential readers via Twitter.  Hachette is starting out with a few select authors, hoping an author’s big name plus author’s big following equals big sales.  If the experiment works, Hachette plans to add more authors to the Twitter marketplace.  Will readers click the buy button?  One thing we know for sure:  Where IndieAuthors go, Hachette will follow.

POTTERMORE

On the 12th day before Christmas Eve, J.K. Rowling gave to me….

That’s right, starting today, J.K Rowling is sharing riddles, moments and thoughts on her publishing website Pottermore (making them self-pubbed and without-a-doubt-INDIE!). A brand new piece of writing released every day for your reading pleasure.  Merry Hogwart Christmas!

HOTTEST SPOT IN THE WORLD

New Yorkers have another reason to claim New York is the greatest city in the world.  New York City libraries are allowing local patrons with a library card to “borrow” home broadband Internet hotspots for up to year.  For free.

Local residents can connect up to 10 mobile devices with these hotspots, which normally cost $49 with a two-year service agreement plus a $110 a month for 30 GB of data.

Hundreds of local residents will get free unlimited data as part of this program, called “Check Out The Internet.”  To qualify, you must be enrolled in a library program, from citizenship classes to adult literary.  Check each library branch for the fine print as rules vary slightly from branch to branch.  If users don’t return the hotspots, they will be turned off and users may be subject to a $100 fine, says New York Public Library president Tony Marx.

MAKE ME LAUGH

If the youth are our future, what do the youth want to read?  Scholastic surveyed parents and their children between the ages of six and seventeen to find out what kids want in books.  The complete Kids & Family Reading Report won’t be released until next month, but Scholastic gave us a sneak preview with this infographic.

The future looks pretty bright for IndieAuthors who write for children. Seventy percent of kids who responded want books that make them laugh.  Fifty-four percent want books that allow them to use their imagination.  Forty-three percent want to learn something new.  Forty-one percent enjoy solving a mystery or problem.

25 FOR UNDER $25

No question books make great gifts, but sometimes you want to delight your favorite readers with your creativity.  Here are 25 gift ideas, each under 25 dollars.  Please share some of your favorite gifts, given and received.

IR WANTS YOU!

IndieReader is all about you.  In order to serve you better, we invite you to take a very short survey – if you haven’t already.  Here’s your chance to let us know what you want.  Three minutes is all it takes, and you could win a $50 Amazon gift card.  Survey closes 12/29.  Thank you for your ongoing support.

THIS WEEK’S HOT LIST

IndieReader’s “The List Where Indies Count” began May 2, 2011 because there was no other list that tracked self-published books.

Here’s this week’s IndieReader top ten list as of December 8, 2014.   There are eight newcomers including Milly Taiden’s Curves ‘Em Right which tops the list with “panty-melting sex, adult language and violence.”

Titles are compiled on Sunday for Monday’s post, culled from The New York Times, USA Today and Amazon best-seller lists.

Happy Indie reading!

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