Books

The Ultimate List of Indie Books

November 16, 2022
15 indie books on a dark blue background. The books from top left to bottom right are Gloria, Lesser Known Monsters, Labours of Stone, The Stars Will Guide Us Back, Salmonweird, One Of Us Has To Go, Each Little Universe, Heroes and Harbingers, Not Quite Out, The Murder Next Door, The Shield Road, Early Bird Special, Untouched, Perception Check, Cherrington Academy

Are you a book lover? Or do you have a book lover in your life? Would you like to expand your horizons beyond the big name books of the year and maybe find a new favourite read or author? Then look no further, I’ve got you covered. Here is my ultimate list to indie books.

What are indie books?

Indie books are those which have either been self published by the author, or published by a small, independent press. By independent press I mean not one of the big names in publishing. There are so many amazing indie books out there, but unless you follow small presses or lots of writers online you might not hear about them, because they don’t have the same level of marketing opportunities available to them.

I’ve been lucky enough to get to know a wide range of indie authors over the past couple of years, and have added many of their books to my shelf. Some are even in my top ten all time favourite books! So I’ve put together this list of books I have both loved and which my friends have loved too, to help you find your next perfect read.

A note about the list

I considered breaking up the list via genre, age, or representation. But the fab thing about indie books is they often transcend traditional categories, which makes it harder to do this. So in the end I decided to just make the list alphabetical.

The Book Cherrington Academy by Rebecca J Caffery. It shows the back of a red headed boy looking towards a red brick building called Cherrington Academy. There are several boys in uniform looking out the windows.

The Cherrington Academy Duology by Rebecca J Caffery

The Cherrington Academy duology is a queer, young adult series, following Logan and his new friends at boarding school. Filled with a ton of teenage angst, Cherrington Academy takes us through what it’s like to attempt to navigate the world of love, friendship, loss, and betrayal.

You can buy The Cherrington Academy duology in both paperback and eBook versions.

The book Chronicles from the World of Guilt which has an image of the earth as seen from space, with a golden glow around it. There is a subtitle that reads "The Age of HUmanity is over. The Age of Guilt has begun"

Chronicles from the World of Guilt by Chris Durston

Chronicles from the World of Guilt is a collection of short stories exploring life on Earth after a giant, whale shaped creature begins orbiting the globe and wreaking havoc. The stories chronicle the story of Earth in the centuries that follow the apocalpyse.

Chronicles from the World of Guilt is available in both paperback and eBook versions. It is also available on Kindle Unlimited.

The book The Daylight Chasers by Rue Sparks. The cover has a black male face hand sketched looking out. Half of his face is coloured gold, with the book's title written over it.

Daylight Chasers by Rue Sparks

Daylight Chasers is a modern fable based on mortality, bravery, and acceptance. It is told from the point of view of Keenan, a guide at Daylight Chasers, a company that helps people experience a day that “nearly” never ends by crossing time zones and enjoying various activities. We follow Keenan as he helps Isabella, whose reactions to the activities start to make Keenan question himself and the script he has always relied on.

Daylight Chasers is available in both paperback and eBook versions, as well as on Audible.

The book Each Little Universe, which has a purple cover with a black cat playing with a golden star and a role playing dice.

Each Little Universe by Chris Durston

Each Little Universe follows two friends – T and Veggie – as they try to guide Ziggy – a fallen star – around all that earth has to offer. Unfortunately, Ziggy’s fall to earth means that others are after her return. How will it all play out?

Each Little Universe is available in both paperback and eBook versions. It is also available on Kindle Unlimited.

The book Early Bird Special by Priscilla Goins which has a painted picture of a pink house with a palm tree in front of it. It has a subtitle which says "An Oak Grove Story" and a small icon of a golf cart next to it.

Early Bird Special by Priscilla Goins

Early Bird Special is a contemporary romance set in a retirement village in Miami known as Oak Grove. It follows both Dylan and his Grandmother Delores, as they navigate this next stage in their lives both together and as individuals. Dylan wants to look after Delores, Delores wants Dylan to find a relationship. Will it all work out?

You can buy Early Bird Special in both paperback and eBook versions. It is also included in Kindle Unlimited.

I have also previously written a more in depth review of Early Bird Special.

The book The Fable of Wren by Rue Sparks. It has a hand drawn sketch of a person looking to the left and a bird flying to the right.

The Fable of Wren by Rue Sparks

The Fable of Wren follows Wren, a headstrong, fairly reclusive non-binary person, who is grieving the loss of their beloved uncle. When their uncle’s best friend is found dead in the woods, Wren decides to ‘help’ the sheriff in unravelling the mystery, and must accept the help of Jethro, a chatty newcomer to the town. Can they trust him?

The Fable of Wren is available in book paperback and eBook versions.

The book Gloria by Katherine Shaw, which has a drawing of a woman looking out, with her long, brown hair blowing across her face in the wind and a blue eye peering out. She stands in front of a city by the sea.

Gloria by Katherine Shaw

Gloria is “a tale of suspense and self-discovery”, which follows Gloria Harrison as she tries to escape from her manipulative husband and rediscover who she is. If you’re looking for a contemporary thriller, check this out.

You can buy Gloria in both paperback and eBook versions.

The book Heroes and Harbingers by Ark Horton. The cover has a dark illustration of a city scape with birds flying around it. It has a subtitle that reads, "An adult fantasy academia novel"

Heroes and Harbingers by Ark Horton

Heroes and Harbingers is an adult fantasy academia novel, and is the first book in the Secrets of Pantheons series. Set in an alternative reality of Jacksonville, Florida, this magic school book focuses on the Chosen One and their teachers, which is a nice change to see their perspective. If you enjoy a good dose of mythology, found family, and emotionally driven characters you should give this a try.

Heroes and Harbingers is available in both paperback and eBook versions. It is also available on Kindle Unlimited.

The book Judd which has a dark blue cover and the back of a teenage boy wearing a hoodie and a beanie hat facing a car with its headlights on.

Judd by J. D. Toombs and Erika Schulze

Judd is a young adult, supernatural novel and is the first book in The Fragmented Chronicles. It follows Samael Judd, who lives in Comet Cove where everybody gets their own special powers when the come of age. Except Sam doesn’t. In order for him to get his powers he needs to confront a part of himself he would rather stay buried. But can he trust the people he shares his secret with?

Judd is available in paperback, eBook, and audiobook versions.

The book Labours of Stone which has an illustration of two men walking together hand in hand in front of a small stone ornamental building.

Labours of Stone by EM Harding

Labours of Stone is a contemporary, gay romance, following the life of Ephra Stone, a romance novelist who never seems to be able to be able to find his own love. That is until Ron Brook comes along. On paper it all seems so perfect, but all may not be as it seems (I have heard great things about the twist at the end!)

Labours of Stone is available in both paperback and eBook versions.

The book Lesser Known Monsters which has a white cover with a black logo on the front which is the shape of a skull with London landmarks coming out the top - the London Eye and Big Ben, as well as 2 crosses and a gravestone.

The Lesser Known Monsters Trilogy by Rory Michaelson

Lesser Known Monsters is an own voices, queer, dark fantasy. It follows Oscar Tundale and his friends, as they discover that monsters are real, and that they have a big role to play in preventing something terrible from happening to the world.

You can buy each of the books in the series – Lesser Known Monsters, The Bone Gate, and The Torn Earth in both paperback and eBook format (and they are included in Kindle Unlimited). The first book in the series has just come out on Audible too.

The book L.I.F.E. which has an illustration of two teen boys holding hands and staring out over a lake with mountains in the background at sunset.

L.I.F.E. by Felyx Lawson

L.I.F.E. is a young adult novel follows Rider as he tries to finish his senior year of high school whilst trying to accept himself and hide his secret. And he might have succeeded if not for an assignment on love, and the new transfer student, Cameron.

L.I.F.E. is available in both paperback and eBook versions.

The sequel, L.I.F.E Too is also available as both a paperback and an eBook.

The book Moon-Sitting which has a blue cover with a character in the same colour as the background and red hair, in front of a white sphere with grid lines on it.

Moon-Sitting by EM Harding

Another novella by EM Harding, this time it’s a sci fi novella. Moon-Sitting weaves a fascinating tale in which the Moon’s arrival off the shores of Infinity brought with it death and destruction. Now the moon-sitters watch this threat, acting as a warning system to the last city. They are meant to watch but not touch, however for Lucky Marsh, this rule is becoming increasingly difficult to abide.

Moon-Sitting is available in both paperback and eBook versions. It is also available on Kindle Unlimited.

The book The Murder Next Door which is a white cover with fancy writing on, and the book's title overlaid. There;s a blood and ink splodge in the bottom right hand corner.

The Murder Next Door by Sarah Bell

The Murder Next Door is a queer, historical novel, with great asexual representation. Set in 1912, it follows Louisa and Ada as they investigate the death of their neighbour and his missing wife.

You can buy The Murder Next Door in both paperback and eBook versions. It is also included in Kindle Unlimited.

The book Not Quite Out which has a pale blue cover and two illustrated men on the front. One is blond haired and facing front, the other is brown haired with glasses and he is walking away but looking over his shoulder.

Not Quite Out by Louise Willingham

Not Quite Out is a queer, new adult, rainy day romance. It follow William Ansom (Will) as he befriends Daniel (Dan) as he is facing addiction withdrawal and the effects of an abusive relationship.

You can buy Not Quite Out in both paperback and eBook versions. There is also a companion novella, which takes place straight after the events in Not Quite Out, called Marshmallows, which you can also buy in both paperback and eBook versions.

I have previously written a far more in depth review of both Not Quite Out and Marshmallows.

The book One Of Us Has To Go which has a dark and stormy sky with two female characters with their backs to the cover. They are both blonde haired, but one has her hair up and the other has her hair down.

One Of Us Has To Go by Katya Schulz

One Of Us Has To Go is a novel that takes Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and personifies it into one of the book’s characters, named Sonja. Sonja has been Finja’s best friend for years, and they have kept each other safe. However it has become a toxic, co-dependent relationship and Finja needs to break free – can she?

One Of Us Has To Go is available in hardback, paperback, and eBook versions. It is also available on Kindle Unlimited.

One Of Us Has To Go has been reviewed by many people who have OCD, including on the OCDUK website.

The book Perception CHeck which has a deep red cover with an illustration on of the back of a girl with long brown hair, wearing a red beanie hat. She is looking towards a city scape, which turns into a fantasy landscape. There are crystals, flames, leaves, and lighting around her.

Perception Check by Astrid Knight

Perception Check is a queer, fantasy novel, and is the first in The Mages of Velmyra saga. It follows Violet and her friends as they embark on a journey into the world of Velmyra, a place they only previously knew as a role-playing game. But it turns out it is real, and that Violet’s childhood friend who was abducted years ago is actually stuck there. Can they work together, putting old differences aside and trusting their new companions, to find and free her friend?

Perception Check is available in hardback, paperback and eBook versions. It is also available in Kindle Unlimited.

I have previously written a more in depth review of Perception Check.

The book Salmonweird which has a parchment coloured cover with various illustrations in black - the tip of Cornwall on a map, a celtic warrior woman, a roman legion, a monk, and a ship with sails.

Salmonweird by MG Mason

Salmonweird is a paranormal, crime comedy set in Cornwall. It follows retired detective Karl Blackman, who lives in Salmonweir, a town inhabited by ghosts from various eras throughout history. As the only living resident of the town, he’d established a comfortable existence amongst the town’s ghosts. But then one day one of the ghosts is murdered – can you even murder a ghost? It looks like Karl is going to have to come out of retirement after all.

Salmonweird is available in both paperback and eBook versions. It is also available on Kindle Unlimited.

There are two further companion books to go with Salmonweird – Spooky Salmonweird and A Salmonweird Sleighing.

The book The Shielf Road which has a dark blue cover and an illustration of a castle in front of the full moon in the background. In the foreground a figure stands hunched under a bare tree with a white shield on his back.

The Shield Road by Dewi Hargreaves

The Shield Road is a collection of short fantasy stories that all pull together into one larger narrative. The stories follow different characters, each with their own problems and missions, joined together by The Shield Road and the discovery of a certain artefact.

The Shield Road is available in both paperback and eBook versions.

I have also previously written a more in depth review of The Shield Road.

The book The Stars with Guide us Back which has a starry sky with an illustration of a face laying down and looking up at them.

The Stars Will Guide Us Back by Rue Sparks

The Stars Will Guide Us Back is a collection of 13 short stories exploring the themes of mental health, loss, mortality, self confidence, and finding hope in the difficult times. The stories combine elements of speculative fiction and magical realism, with a cast of diverse characters.

The Stars Will Guide Us Back is available in both paperback and eBook versions, and is also available on Audible.

The book Untouched which has a dark cover and a face made out of brown vines laying at the bottom of it. There is text which reads "Some places are left Untouched"

Untouched by Jayme Bean

Untouched is a queer adventure novel, set in the heart of the Amazon Rainforest. It follows two graduate students, David and Marisol, as they embark on a research trip only to end up trapped in a forest that is quite literally changing around them. With the help of Ben, another researcher, will they find their way back home?

Untouched is available in hardback, paperback, and eBook versions. It is also included in Kindle Unlimited. And keep your eye out for a forthcoming audio version too!

I have previously written a more in depth review of Untouched.

These are the indie books I have either read or which are sitting on my TBR (to be read) pile as I’ve heard so many good things about them. Which books would you add to this list?


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