The Best Self-Published Books of 2016

Every year readers are faced with “best of” lists of books, from outlets ranging from “GoodReads Choice” to NPR. And every year they all pretty much feature the same titles (this year they include Colson Whitehead’s THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD, Stephanie Danler’s SWEETBITTER, Michael Chabon’s MOONGLOW, Zadie Smith’s SWING TIME and THE GIRLS by Emma Kline).

We’re not saying those books aren’t good, but really, is that all there is? What about the indie titles? The hot romances, off-beat memoirs, the cool science fiction, fantasy and YA, worlds created and envisioned by one person, the indie author?

So get out your gift lists and your Kindles, Nooks and Kobos, or order them in print from your favorite local bookstore.

Presenting IndieReader’s annual list of their best reviewed indie titles of 2016.

FICTION

fast trackACTION/ADVENTURE

A university professor is tasked with a secret mission to verify a recently discovered artifact, but is thrown into a strange conspiracy with a madman at the helm in FAST TRACK TO GLORY By Tomasz Chrusciel

 

BABYGIRLCHICK LIT

A whirlwind romance turns into life-changing decisions with the onset of an unplanned pregnancy in BABY GIRL By Bette Lee Crosby

 

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000041_00008]An on again/off again relationship turns into a long-term love/hate situation when an unplanned pregnancy creates seemingly irreconcilable differences in ONCE BROKEN By D.M. Hamblin

 

 

TROPHYCHILDREN’S

Whisker and the Pie Rats compete for a coveted prize in THE TROPHY OF CHAMPIONS By Cameron Stelzer

 

KINGDOMSUNMOONHuman and animal kingdoms interact in: THE KINGDOM OF THE SUN AND THE MOON By Lowell H. Press

 

 

hector's

A child gets to the heart of heroism in: HECTOR’S HEROIC DAY By Patrick Jones

 

 

the-king

 

Experiences in an alternate universe create a wake up call in an average student’s life in: KING OF AVERAGE By Gary Schwartz

 

runDYSTOPIAN

Female domination creates a modern day Orwellian environs in: RUN RAGGED By Kari Aguila

 

masters'FANTASY

A fantastical showdown between the heavenly host and the sinister demons: MASTERS’ MYSTERIUM: LAS VEGAS By R.R. Reynolds

 

servant-of-fireA three series blockbuster encompassing demonic battles in SERVANT OF DARKNESS, SERVANT OF LIES and SERVANT OF FIRE By Simon J Cambridge

 

 

catHISTORICAL FICTION

A Sequel to Yeshua’s Cat, CAT BORN TO THE PURPLE, a poetic tale with a flair for description and a welcoming, hopeful heart By C.L. Francisco

 

constant

 

History, mysterious pasts, and tarot cards intertwine in: CONSTANT GUESTS By Patricia Nedelea

 

Outrageous5

 

The lives of two clairvoyant sisters make a drastic shift into the world of wealth when they befriend one of the richest men in the nation in: OUTRAGEOUS By Neal Katz

 

HEAVENEARTHA young nobleman struggles to balance honor with survival in the turbulent politics of the court of Henry VIII in: HEAVEN, EARTH OR HELL By Maeve Nolan.

 

 

when-it

 

An American in England turns her nose up at aristocratic expectations in: WHEN IT RAINED AT HEMBRY CASTLE By Meredith Allard

 

monsterlandHORROR

An amusement park featuring werewolves, vampires, and zombies is a facade for a diabolical plan: MONSTERLAND By Michael Phillip Cash

 

MAYSLITERARY FICTION

A man contends with depression as he takes on the role of a human lab rat in: MAYS LANDING By J.C. Mercer

 

coinman

 

Social commentary highlighted through a curmudgeon’s antics in: COINMAN By Pawan Mishra

 

east of

Danger and intrigue when an American woman moves to Saudi Arabia and befriends a Saudi woman in: EAST OF MECCA By Sheila Flaherty

 

 

first-killMYSTERY/THRILLER

FIRST KILL and DRONE By Robert Roy Britt, are fast-faced detective stories with some thought-provoking twists, featuring PI Eli Quinn

 

9780996350730-Perfect.indd

 

Love, murder, betrayal, thieves, Russians, Colombians and the FBI in: IMPALA By Andrew Diamond

 

DARKROOM

 

DARKROOM By Mary Maddox is a highly-polished atmospheric descent into a seedy world of drugs, murder and photography populated by vibrant characters

 

GODINTERNET

 

An unusual Islamic-based cyber attack threatens the United States in GOD OF THE INTERNET By Lynn Lipinski, a cleverly orchestrated work of suspense fiction with a modern-day twist

 

VILEMEANSNearing the end of America’s hold on the Panama Canal, a series of horrific attacks deep in the jungle bring a plot to light involving international banking, the CIA, and a violent madman in: VILE MEANS By Steve Dimodica

 

 

the diaries bigFrom the opening scene on an airplane, where a former special operations soldier has to subdue an unruly passenger…Chuck Driskell creates life-like characters and constant tension in THE DIARIES

 

 

MAYNWARINGSA ranching mogul/senator returns from D.C to his Nevada homestead unaware that a series of sinister situations are in the works to destroy his ranch empire in: THE MAYNWARINGS By Digger Cartwright

 

 

SWITCH 4

 

When a young married couple struggles with imposter syndrome and newfound special powers, more than just their marriage is on the line in: SWITCH By Geoff Visgilio

 

drachen

 

Opposing forces traverse Northern Europe to seek out a medieval treasure of mythical proportions in: DRACHEN By Brendan le Grange

 

the-blind

 

Well-researched and grounded in legal reality, THE BLIND MULE By Russell S. Babcock is an intriguing look at the court system through the eyes of an accused

 

in-the

 

The kidnapping of a college student is just one in a chilling series of events in: IN THE DARK By Chris Patchell

 

us

 

Siblings take gambling to a whole new level when they realize they can use a time advanced satellite system to make mega bucks in: US VS WELKNER By Sonny Hayes

 

ODD

 

A Jesuit priest stumbles upon a secret society determined to remain secret, and members will kill, if necessary, to maintain secrets that are centuries old in: THE ODD FELLOWS SOCIETY By C. G. Barrett

 

COWBOYVAMPIREPARANORMAL

A Western Gothic adventure with a unique take on vampire mythology in: THE LAST SUNSET, the fourth book in the Vampire and the Cowboy series By Clark Hays and Kathleen McFall

 

RAVEN

A hell of a series start finds a demon hunter searching for a way of rescuing her adoptive father from the grips of a demon and solving the mystery of RAVEN’S PEAK By Lincoln Cole

 

 

endingsPOETRY

Author William Poe pulls back the curtain on some desperate characters, from a gay man looking for love in the wrong places, to a tormented boy who wants to be a tiger, in: ENDINGS: Poetry and Prose

 

paper

ROMANCE

While early 1960s Georgia is rocked by the stirrings of change and tragedy, a socialite’s high profile life collapses when her husband is found murdered in this gripping contemporary romance in: PAPER CASTLES By Terri Lee

 

philomena

 

SCIENCE FICTION
Part swashbuckling adventure, part richly detailed fantasy universe, part coming of age tale, PHILOMENA By Mark Guiney spans multiple genres

 

the-darkestIt’s science versus religion as an asteroid heads for earth in: THE DARKEST SIDE OF SATURN By Tony Taylor

 

 

the prelap

 

A group of hardened mercenaries take an idealistic young smuggler under their protection as she transports a cache of the one drug that keeps humanity alive in: THE PRELAPSARIANS By John Gaiserich

 

shrivers

 

Humanity’s attempt to survive first contact with a civilization that reaches back to the early days of the universe in: SHRIVERS By Jeb Kinnison

 

maxYOUNG ADULT

In MAX AND THE MARA By Jesse Arnold, an action-packed, endearing young adult fiction, a group of brave, living teddy bears band together on a quest to rescue a boy kidnapped into the nightmare realm

 

the monster

 

A girl’s search for her missing sister evolves into the unexpected when she discovers an impending war between monsters and humans in: THE MONSTER REALM By Nara Duffie

 

edge

 

An outcast freshman’s attempt for revenge makes waves when she posts sensitive student information on her blog in: EDGE THE BARE GARDEN By Rosanne Cheng

 

moxie's

 

A teen princess plans revenge when she learns that her sly uncle takes over her rightful place as queen in: MOXIE’S DECISION By Hank Quense

 

NON-FICTION

deathBUSINESS

An intelligent and exhaustive examination of labor regulations and their negative effect on employment practices is the main topic addressed in DEATH BY HR: HOW AFFIRMATIVE ACTION CRIPPLES ORGANIZATIONS By Jeb Kinnison

 

it-aint

 

Practical solutions to technical problems in: IT AIN’T ROCKET SCIENCE By Susan C. Cooper

 

 

NETWORKING karma

 

With the help of nearly a dozen contributing experts in networking, career counselor and self-described introvert Gail Tolstoi-Miller provides an easy-to-read and clearly expressed insider’s guide to quick and comfortable communication in: NETWORKING KARMA

 

if-itCHILDREN’S

IF IT DOES NOT GROW SAY NO By Kerry Alison Wekelo is an activity book for kids that teaches a holistic approach to healthy eating

 

HAYLEY

 

A young girl faces ridicule and bullying about her birthmark in: HAYLEY’S COURAGE By Linda M. Steiner

 

 

cook-yourCOOK BOOK

A first person memoir about the healing properties of home cooking and a strong family life, written from the perspective of a newly married man navigating his relationship and the heart-wrenching difficulties of aging parents in: COOK YOUR WAY TO LOVE & HARMONY By Agus Ekanurdi and Frida Antony

HISTORY

PARTFAMILY

The horror of the Holocaust and the rise of Nazi Germany can never be overstated, but conveying the tragedy effectively is often best done by focusing on a single incident or aspect as in: PART OF THE FAMILY By Jason Hensley

 

the-writersHOW-TO

The write way around creative roadblocks in: THE WRITER’S PROCESS By Anne H. Janzer

 

 

SELFIEHUMOR

A a unique spin on a world of sound bites and quippy, overused and trite sayings in: SELFIE-FACING By John Branning

 

my-millionMEMOIRS

Ginny East has no idea what she’s getting herself into when she trades a million-dollar business for a simpler and sustainable life style in: MY MILLION-DOLLAR DONKEY

 

the teachingsTHE TEACHINGS OF SHIRELLE – LIFE LESSONS FROM A DIVINE KNUCKLEHEAD By Douglas Green has a message that most dog owners would agree with: you can train your dog, but your dog will also be training you

 

BUZZIn an experiment to discover what the rideshare business is about, one middle-aged business man takes it upon himself to tackle the dangers and excitement of becoming a rideshare driver in: BUZZ RIDE By P.M. White

 

 

hungry

 

With the help of an unconventional psychiatrist, a woman struggles to recover from childhood sexual abuse in: HUNGRY FOR TOUCH By Laureen Marie Peltier

 

HAPPY

 

From a teenage thug to a man who understands happiness, a man rises above his drug addiction in: HAPPY CHASING HAPPY By Jerome “jay” Isip

 

and then there

 

In AND THEN THERE WERE THREE, Julia Fox tells the story of her unconventional three-person relationship through a series of sixty-seven letters addressed to her beloved

 

tradingTime spent mothering an elderly mother produces a collection of “mom-isms” in: TRADING PLACES: BECOMING MY MOTHER’S MOTHER By Sandra Bullock Smith

 

 

TRUTHEVOLVESPHILOSOPHY

A philosopher offers innovative theories about the nature of knowledge in: TRUTH EVOLVES By Dustin Arand

 

SIGHTSEEINGRELIGION/SPIRITUALITY

Stories about the paranormal in: SIGHTSEEING IN THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY TALES RETOLD BY A PSYCHIC BYSTANDER By Louisa Oakley Green

 

EVANGELICALEVANGELICAL

A former Evangelical Christian gives his experiences with the movement, and explains the beliefs and perspectives of those within it in: THE EVANGELICAL EXPERIENCE By Anthony Coleman

 

a-journeySELF HELP

A JOURNEY WITH PANIC By Dr. James Manning and Dr. Nicola Ridgeway offers cognitive behavioral techniques for dealing with panic attacks

 

find-yourPaul N. Larsen, a professional performance coach, shares advice on how to become a leader in: FIND YOUR VOICE AS A LEADER, a well-organized guide to understanding your own personal values

 

 

the moreMoving past inertia towards positive action and joy in: THE MORE YOU DO THE BETTER YOU FEEL – HOW TO OVERCOME PROCRASTINATION AND LIVE A HAPPIER LIFE By David Parker, a well-organized method for overcoming procrastination and the depression

 

 

hiddenAuthor, attorney, entrepreneur, and inspirational speaker, Daniel Castro explains why some people can look at perfectly ordinary situations and see opportunities that others miss in: HIDDEN SOLUTIONS ALL AROUND YOU

 

 

WEIGHTWEIGHT TRAINING WITHOUT INJURY By Fred Stellabote and Rachel Straub is a user’s guide to help prevent injury for beginners as well as advanced individuals looking to maximize their weight training regimes

 

my-questMY QUEST TO LOVE By Daniel C. Davis provides practical guidelines on how to achieve the illusive perfect relationship, based on his familiarity with common pitfalls along the way

 

 

MANUAL3
A wide range of methods to optimize learning in different fields are revealed in THE MANUAL: A Guide to the Ultimate Study Method (USM) By Rod Bremer

 

riseStraightforward and encouraging guidance out of depression in: RISE FROM DARKNESS – PATHS OUT OF DEPRESSION TOWARD HAPPINESS By Kristian Hall

 

 

MANAGEFINANCIAL2An independent consultant offers advice on how to manage an investment portfolio in: MANAGE YOUR FINANCIAL LIFE – A THOUGHTFUL, ORGANIZED APPROACH FOR WOMEN By Nancy Doyle

 

 

maybe godA collection of life experiences and lessons learned turn into thought-provoking insights and life-changing activities in: MAYBE GOD HAS A BETTER IDEA By Robb F

 

 

ARTHEARTSPIRITUAL

Events in a young and promising cardiologist’s life send a wake up call, and it all begins with a heart attack in: ART ON THE HUMAN HEART By Paul C. Ho, MD