The publishing world is oft-criticized for being male-, hetero-, cis- and white-centric. But because the world of indie-publishing gives authors more freedom, previously marginalized writers are able to reach a wider audience—and readers can be treated to a wealth of new perspectives and experiences than those most explored in the traditional realm of publishing.
Check out your favorite indie market and you’ll find some great works by women of color, trans authors, homosexual romance and more. Here, we’re putting the spotlight on some authors who don’t fit into the cis-white-male mold—all of whom got their start by going indie!
For first-rate and quirky gay (m/m) romance, look no further than the work of Dani Alexander. Alexander is all about high-suspense plot and fun characters, and his work is as goofy as it is heartbreaking. But we’re not just treated to a cute romance—Shattered Glass, for example, is fraught with intrigue, murder, prostitution and Russian gangsters. Because he’s pretty kinky with the saucier scenes, Alexander’s work isn’t for the faint of heart—but after reading Shattered Glass, you’ll never look at bunny slippers the same way again.
Not So Innocent, Alexander’s next book, is coming soon! You can find more about him on his website.
With a whopping 14 titles available on Amazon, Pavarti Tyler is seriously productive. Tyler has a history in New York’s theater scene, having studied dramaturgy and working on and off Broadway after graduating from Smith College. Tyler eventually moved on to the finance industry, and has since used her business know-how as the Director of Marketing at Novel Publicity.
Tyler is essentially the indie scene’s Margaret Atwood; she incorporates sci-fi elements into her novels, which deal with topics such as spirituality, gender, sexuality and power dynamics. A great entry point for getting into her stuff is The Sugar House Novellas, a smart erotica series that begins with the classic archetype of forbidden lovers. You can also check out her guest post for IndieReader, Anaïs Nin: 50 Shades’ Foreplay.
Shan is now under SBR Publications, but she got her start by self-publishing years ago, finally presenting to the world her lifelong writing hobby. SBR found Shan just one year after self-publishing her first book, Rozalyn— an instant bestseller. Shan’s novels are high-drama but emotional: Rozalyn, for example, follows a young woman abandoned by her mother and left with a neglectful father. The Rosalyn series (there are six books in all!) presents a life in struggle that will keep you turning pages.
Rozalyn received a second-edition publication with SBR, which is available on Amazon.
The African American author of the 3rd place winner of the 2014 IR Discovery Awards for her illustrated children’s book, Princess Cupcake Jones and the Missing Tutu, Fields, the mother of three daughters was looking for books to read her eldest daughter and was “struck by the limited number of titles featuring African American characters.” So she blended the personalities and images of her two oldest daughters to creat Princess Cupcake Jones.
Her latest title, Princess Cupcake Jones Won’t Go To School! is available now on Amazon.
David Greene is the author of two novels, Unmentionables and Detonate, and Photographs, a selection of his work from two of his past exhibits. Greene began writing fiction after being guided into a hypnotic trance by a researcher documenting past life memories. David’s memories from that past-life regression session were the genesis for his Unmentionables, a story about slaves who lived and loved during the Civil War era and which IndieReader called, “a moving and profound novel, exploring the ways in which love counters cruelty in even the harshest of conditions.”
Detonate is a thriller and an homage to Hitchcock and the first of a series of books that feature private investigator Tyrone King, who is half white, half black, half straight and half gay. He’s a hero who seeks to get the bad guys without using guns or violence.
Davis and Hultz’s Spoon and the Moon is a full-length, whimsically risqué adult fairytale that features a laugh-out-loud storyline that is decidedly crisp, cleaver, comical, and crafty. It is the winner of the 2013 IndieReader Discovery Award for LGBT fiction, a gold medal winner of the international eLit Awards and a third place winner of the Best App Ever Awards.
“Built” by lesbians for and about the LGBT community, the iNovel and App is a groundbreaking confluence between the visual—it features clever animations—and a hot soundtrack by musicians from Europe and North America, all woven through a magical storyline based loosely on the English nursery rhyme, Hey Diddle Diddle. If you’re looking for a flirtatious romp of a lascivious, lesbian, interactive fairytale, look no further than Spoon and the Moon. See the full IndieReader review here.
The Glen & Tyler series of adventure books are about a happily married couple that solve crimes, the twist being that they are both bi-sexual men and—due to a plot twist in the first book—are married to each other. Oh, and they enjoy playing hockey.
In the second title of the series, Glen & Tyler’s Scottish Troubles, the guys find out what happens when you inherit a Scottish castle, tussle with international crime gangs and host formal balls. The third title, Glen & Tyler’s Paris Double-Cross was a Finalist in the 2013 Rainbow Awards and the fourth book, Glen & Tyler’s High Seas Hijinks, coming out March 31st, and available for pre-order now at Glen & Tyler’s High Seas Hijinks.
Sanders is also the author of also two books of short erotic stories titles, illustrated by famed artist Michael Broderick.
Seaton dedicated her novel, Amo, Amas, Amat (the Latin conjugation of the verb to love), to anyone who – in their early and uninformed lives – practiced any form of discrimination toward gays or lesbians, knowingly or unknowingly.
Set in the 1980s, Amo, Amas, Amat, states IndieReader in its review, “successfully presents the difficulties of homosexuals trying to live with their homosexuality in a time when homophobia was rampant.” The story concerns Mary Cate Randolph, a privileged, naïve woman in her thirties who meets and eventually marries the tennis pro at her country club. She loves him, but he is interested in someone else. Mary Cate’s experience with Nick pushes her to seek out a new start, but what she discovers is that you can’t run away from love or life. The book is ultimately about love triangles and connections in life and love and about how Mary Cate casts off her home-grown fears, ignorance and negative behavior towards homosexuality so she is able to see the true essence of a person beyond sexual preference.
Our final featured author is quite decorated: Clare Ashton has been long listed for the Polari Prize, and her novel After Mrs. Hamilton is a Golden Crown Literary Society winner. The Welsh author has penned four novels, all of which are shining examples of literature featuring lesbian romance.
Her first novel, Penance, is a hauntingly moving ghost story, and the romance that blossoms from tragedy demonstrate Ashton’s unique ability to spin a yarn.