10 Year Anniversary, Celebration Day 3 ~ INDIE BOOKS

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I’m running behind today, I’m sorry to say. But that didn’t stop me from recording a LONG video on indie books! I’m a wee bit passionate about them and I might have got carried away a little! Despite that, I still forgot to give a shout out to the fabulous Serena Chase and Melissa Tagg whose most recent indie novels I’ve just had the pleasure of reading. You will have to wait a wee bit longer for Serena’s as it isn’t released yet, but it’s worth the wait. Do take the time to read the thoughts the author share below on how readers have impacted them. And be sure to enter both the giveaways – they are AMAZING!

Meet the Authors


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Joanne Bischof ~ The Lady and the Lionheart

What is the most encouraging or challenging reader feedback you have received?

My mind races to the encouraging feedback I’ve received over the years from readers or industry professionals and then I make myself halt for a second, look over my shoulder to the not-so-great feedback, and it’s there that I see the challenges. More importantly, I see God shining in the challenges, using them to grow me as a writer. It’s often in that hard to take feedback where the Lord draws ever so close, draping the situation in His strength and wisdom and in that, there is so much courage and comfort to be had.

Of all these moments, the one that shines the brightest is the final rejection my agent and I received for The Lady and the Lionheart. It had made the publisher rounds and this was the last editorial team to have it. Then came the final word from them—a rejection declaring that it was “too different.” I was saddened and deep was the loss of hopes for traditional publishing, but it also wasn’t disappointment that took the upper hand. It was freedom and joy and the satisfaction of what felt like a job well done. Placed before me had been a task to spin a tale that was very different. That went to places I didn’t know if Christian fiction could go. But God was there, each step of the way, continually shattering those doubts. Because of that joy rushed in, as did a peace and trust that God had not given me this story for nothing. A few years later and with the book now in readers’ hands and with those readers expressing how much it has blessed them, I look back on that season and see so much more than a book. I see a reminder that God completes the good works that He begins, even if the journey is much different than we expected.

 

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Sally Bradley ~ Taken & Homestands

In what ways are readers important to an indie author?

Being a writer is such a solitary profession, but I think it’s solitary to an exponential level, maybe, as an indie author. I don’t have a publisher behind me,

endorsing my book with their name, with their PR, with their staff. It’s all on me, and after twenty-some reads of a manuscript, I can get to a point where I pretty much despise my own book. I mean, there’s no surprise or twist getting by me at that point, you know?

So the reader is all the confirmation I get that, hey, this is a good book. There is an audience for my characters. This is meeting a need in the Christian book world. All those hours I spent? Yes, so worth it!

I’ve had readers contact me to tell me they loved my book hours after a scathing review was posted all over the internet. I’ve had readers tell me how a book changed the way they viewed something–and then changed the way they behaved. That will drive you back to the keyboard faster than anything. The readers are the reason we write, and hearing from them isn’t an ego stroke. It’s that motivation that sometimes you desperately needed to hide yourself again in the unfinished, unheated basement office and write, write, write.

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Heather Day GilbertGod’s Daughter

What is the most encouraging or challenging reader feedback you have received?

I keep a file of emails from readers who respond to various elements in my books–even readers from other countries, such as this reader from the Dominican Republic: “I just finished reading God’s Daughter and I must say it captivated my heart. I’ve never read a book whose heroine portrayed the struggles of a Christian married woman so vividly. In so many ways I identify myself with her and I pray I will always have the wisdom she displayed in alluring situations rooted in her faith in Christ. It’s comforting to know I’m not alone in my battles.”

Sometimes as an author, you’ll get strings of low reviews or receive no recognition for a book you poured your heart into. Then you get an email like this, and you realize that even if your book moved only one reader, made just one person think they weren’t alone in feeling the way they do, then God has blessed your writing and made an eternal impact. My readers are a joy to me and I savor the personal notes they have taken time to share. They encourage me to keep writing.

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Jenny B. JonesI’ll Be Yours

What is the most encouraging or challenging reader feedback you have received?

The most encouraging are the emails/messages about the books bringing some happiness, laughter, or just an escape to someone who needed it at that moment or season in life. The teacher in me also adores the messages from kids who claim to be nonreaders, but found themselves devouring a book. (This makes me happy no matter whose book they’re reading.)  The most challenging would be feedback from very, very conservative readers who feel all my books should have a heavy faith message. Now that I’ve transitioned from Christian fiction to just clean/sweet fiction, my books might not be for a handful of my previous readers. Fortunately there are lots of folks writing awesome Christian fiction who can meet that need for these readers.

In what ways are readers important to an indie author?

Readers are everything. I’d be writing into the void without them. I’m not really one who writes for my own enjoyment, so I’m in this to entertain others and bring some levity and joy into my readers’ lives. I think any author–indie or traditionally published–greatly benefits from readers who spread the word if they likeda book, leave reviews, or even send an encouraging note. Readers are why we’re here, and I’m so grateful for each.

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Dorothy AdamekCarry Me Home

What is the most encouraging or challenging reader feedback you have received?

As an author, it’s my intention to move readers with deep emotion. If I can, I want to make you cry. Break your heart a little, and send you to a shady corner to mop your tears.

My debut historical romance, Carry Me Home, was released in December 2015, three days before Christmas. In the January, I began receiving reader feedback from all over the world, and in particular from Aussie readers on their summer holidays. One Aussie reader saved her copy for her return to work and commute into the city. She messaged me one evening with this…

I have been reading Carry Me Home on the train. So, on my trip in this morning (SPOILER HAPPENED) as I got to my stop!! Oh, how my heart broke. I thought about (character) for hours. I couldn’t wait until the end of the day to wrap myself in the ending of your beautiful story on my journey home! Well, as I read I couldn’t stop the tears from flowing…all the way home! (I did get quite a few enquiring looks from the people in the seats opposite me!) Congratulations, and thank you so much for sharing your gift with the world. I can’t wait for Carry Me Away!

Knowing I pushed someone to tears in a public place, and messed with her workday until she could return to my characters, was just the encouragement I needed as a debut indie author. I’d wrestled these characters to life over a period of three years. Displaced them and pushed them to the brink, but I had no idea if others would follow them there with the same emotional intensity. Well, now I knew.

This particular reader is not a formal member of my ‘street team’ but she’s bought and gifted over 10 copies of this book and spread her love of the story to her reading friends. She’s invited me to speak to the Women’s Ministry she leads and opened the door for other speaking engagements, and I am SO blessed God has brought her, and many like her, to walk beside me.

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Julie CarobiniWalking on Sea Glass

In what ways are readers important to an indie author?

As an indie author, readers are my number one motivator to write–and to give it my all. I don’t have a team of people reminding me of the deadline, or sending notes of encouragement, as I did when I was traditionally published. So I rely on readers to pull me out of the isolation that I find myself in when I’m deep into a story. So thankful for interaction on social media from readers, including those who write me with “Hey, Julie, when’s the next book coming out?”

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Melissa TaggKeep Holding On

What is the most encouraging or challenging reader feedback you have received?

Definitely the most encouraging feedback is when a reader tells me something in a story I’ve written resonates with her in a deep way. My absolute favorite part of writing is how God uses my own characters and my own storylines to connect with my heart. I always start out thinking I’m writing about one thing…and at some point in the story, God does his magic and suddenly, I’m writing something much more personal, much more reflective of the work he’s doing in my heart…often without even realizing it! So then when I get to hear he’s also working in readers’ hearts, it’s just wonderful and uplifting. At the same time, it’s also somewhat of a challenge…because it’s a reminder that words and stories have power. It’s a weighty privilege to be a part of God speaking to someone else’s heart!

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Julie LessmanIsle of Hope

What is the most encouraging or challenging reader feedback you have received?

My indie novel, Isle of Hope, is a book loosely based on my dysfunctional relationship with my own estranged father, so the spiritual lessons within are very real and very deep concerning forgiveness, hope, and restoration. That said, some of the most encouraging feedback I have ever gotten on Isle of Hope was from a young woman who said it impacted her so much, she felt compelled to contact a woman who once had been her best friend, but who she hadn’t seen or spoken to in over ten years due to a falling out. She told me about the luncheon she planned with this woman, and I told her I would pray for her before and during the meeting. There wasn’t a dry eye on either side of the email when she wrote me that they talked for hours and are now dear friends once more, becoming an important part of each other’s lives all over again. So much so, in fact, that her friend also read Isle of Hope so that the two of them could discuss it. Trust me, Rel— it doesn’t get any better than that for a Christian author!

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Lynnette BonnerSonnets of the Spice Isle

What is the most encouraging or challenging reader feedback you have received?

For one of my favorite pieces of feedback I’d have to go back to very early in my career, perhaps because it was the first time I realized what a truly powerful opportunity I had to reach people for the Kingdom. I did a book signing at a Borders bookstore. The manager of the store bought one of my books, probably more as an encouragement to me than anything. But a few weeks later she called me up and asked me if I could come back in for another signing just before Christmas. I was surprised because my first signing hadn’t *cough* sold a ton of books, but I agreed. When I arrived for that 2nd signing she had set me up at the front of the store (not lost to one side in the middle as I’d been before) and she’d put up a display of my book in the center aisle. She had also put up a poster in a stand on the table with a quote signed by herself as the manager of the store. The quote said that my book was the first Christian fiction book she’d ever read and that the characters had lived long in her memory after she finished the final page. She went on to say that the story had challenged her and made her think about life. That’s a paraphrase because the actual poster (which I asked if I could keep) is buried in a box of mementos somewhere. But it opened my eyes to the power of story to convey truth. I still pray for her when I think about her. I don’t know where she is today as that store shut down only a few weeks later. But I hope and pray that she remembers the message of love and redemption that book contained and that it impacts her life and eternity for the good.

 

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MaryLu TyndallShe Walks in Power

In what ways are readers important to an indie author?

Obviously readers are very important to any author. Without readers we wouldn’t sell any books!  But I believe readers are even more important to an Indie author. The reason? Indie authors do not have a powerful publisher backing them up. A publisher that would spend money on marketing, place ads in magazines, pay for trips for book signings, and get authors’ books in bookstores.  Because we Indies don’t have any of that, we rely solely on our readers to help get the word out about our books, to generate buzz about them, recommend them to friends and libraries, write glowing reviews on online sites, etc. Without a strong reader base willing to do that, we Indies are doomed to fail, even if we have written the best book on the planet.

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Amber Lynn PerryDaughters of His Kingdom Series

What is the most encouraging or challenging reader feedback you have received?

Once I got an email from a reader who said she was *so* inspired by the history of my series. She said she’d had no idea how much the colonists sacrificed for our independence, and that it resonated very deeply with her. That above any other compliment is what I love to hear! I love to know my stories are bringing history to life and helping people know more about the Revolutionary era.

In what ways are readers important to an indie author?

They are VITAL! Without my readers I would have no way of getting the word out about my stories–I *live* by word of mouth. As an indie, I have little to no budget for promotions and advertising–without my reader-friends telling their friends and “sharing”…I don’t know what I’d do! I can’t begin to express my gratitude for everyone who has been so supportive to me in my tiny corner of the book world. 😉

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Serena ChaseEyes of E’Veria & Intermission

What is the most encouraging or challenging reader feedback you have received?

I’ve been blessed with a lot of complimentary reviews, but every once in a while a random reader will be offended by something–or even a subplot or theme–in one of my books. It is really hard not to respond to those reviews, those readers who seem to question my faith based on the fictional happenings within my books. But… I’m usually able to choose to be amused by the negative reviews rather than hurt or discouraged. As Randy Ingermanson says, “That’s not your audience.”

I love hearing from readers, and when they write to tell me that something in one of my books helped them through a difficult time or encouraged them, I am moved, sometimes to tears. It’s a good reminder for me as an author, an artist, and a human being, that stories matter, regardless of sales. THAT ONE PERSON is the reason that particular moment of story was created, even if that particular book exists only for the benefit of that ONE PERSON, ever. To me, touching the heart of even one reader is the definition of success–and the reason to continue–as a Christian author.

In what ways are readers important to an indie author?

Oh, wow. Readers are everything. Most indie authors cannot afford big marketing campaigns (or even small ones!) We don’t get advances against royalties to cover our expenses while we research and develop the next book or promote the existing ones. Most of us can’t afford full-time (or even part-time!) assistants to help out with the business end of operating our own publishing companies or the promotional and clerical busy-work aspects of being an author … while also being a publicist, marketing department, accountant, designer, service contractor, paperwork filer, etc.

Without readers, indie authors are invisible. Our books don’t naturally show up in Wal-Mart or Target stores or brick and mortar bookshops. Indie authors absolutely depend on readers’ word of mouth (and keystrokes, nowadays) to make our books visible to the greater reading public. And those little notes of encouragement, those social media post tags readers bless us with? You have no idea how timely they can be, how often independent authors need that little boost of encouragement to know that someone out there likes the stories we produce . . . and that they want us to keep writing. Readers are a FORCE and an absolutely essential part of any indie author’s business model . . . and the author’s mental wellbeing, as well.

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

Historical Indie Bundle contains one copy of each of the following:

The Lady and the Lionheart by Joanne Bischof (paperback)

Carry Me Home by Dorothy Adamek (paperback)

Baron of Blackwood by Tamara Leigh (ebook – or winner’s choice of another Tamara Leigh ebook)

Forever Safe by Jody Hedlund (paperback)

She Walks in Power by MaryLu Tyndall (paperback)

God’s Daughter by Heather Day Gilbert (paperback)

Sonnets of the Spice Isle series by Lynnette Bonner (ebook – 6 episodes)

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Contemporary Indie Bundle contains one copy of each of the following:

Taken by Sally Bradley (paperback)

Homestands by Sally Bradley (paperback)

Walking on Sea Glass by Julie Carobini (paperback)

Keep Holding On by Melissa Tagg (paperback)

Isle of Hope by Julie Lessman (paperback)

Hazardous Duty by Christy Barritt (paperback)

Told You Twice by Kristen Heitzmann (ebook – or Told You So ebook)

I’ll Be Yours by Jenny B. Jones (paperback)

Intermission by Serena Chase (ARC paperback when available or winner’s choice of one Eyes of E’Veria paperback)

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229 Responses to 10 Year Anniversary, Celebration Day 3 ~ INDIE BOOKS

  1. I think what I love about indie publishing is that some of those authors, for whom I have the greatest respect, and will always pick up their books, are getting to write stories they might not otherwise be able to. And some…lots… of those stories are just wow! I love that this is a way for authors to try new things, spread their wings, or even just break into the market. I mean, imagine if Dotti’s book had been rejected by a publisher who didn’t have space for a new author? Boy would we be missing out!!!!

  2. I love how dedicated Indy authors are.They are willing to take a nontraditional approach to get their stories out.

  3. I loved reading over all these fellow indies’ stories! So many of these women have encouraged me along the way and I love that we read, endorse, and support each other, as well! The Christian indie community is just thriving and growing and bringing new readers into it every day. Thank you so much for sharing these stories and the giveaways today, Rel, and congrats on your blogiversary! :)

  4. I totally get the whole “scary” thing and have been there. I was really weary about reading indie novels, even from authors I LOVE because I wasn’t sure what I would be getting. I’m so glad you brought that up! I really, really hope readers will go out on a limb and even take your up on your offer for questions. The books I’ve read so far (from your list) are FANtastic.

  5. I love getting ideas for new authors. I remember my first review for Laurie Alice Eakes. I was a new ACFW member and so nervous but she said I did a great job. I wish I could remember the name of the book.

  6. I love Kristen Heitzman!

  7. This is so sweet, Rel, and such an encouragement. I’ve read many of these books and love the authors … and their words will stay in my heart forever because they are so amazing. Congratulations, Rel.

  8. Wow… I’m blown away to be in such great company. Thank you for celebrating the journey with so many of us indies. You’ve cheered us on and now it’s our turn to honour you on this special occasion.
    You’re the best!! I am loving the VLOGS. Happy Anniversary and may there be many more for the fabulous Rel and her RelzReviews. xoxo

  9. I like the tenacity of these authors to persevere –their courage to get their stories out to a sometimes fickle public! Thank you for sharing and for the he contest.

  10. Congrats, Rel! This is to much more happy blogging years!!!

    As for indie lit love – well, I love the courage of the authors to own their publishing and to take their own path! I also love that this way they are free to express themselves the way they feel.

    I love jenny B. Jones and Julie Lessman (what a lady!).

  11. Tamara Leigh, as she was the first one I had read. But I enjoy the ones I have read that you have listed and I have just updated my wishlist with the ones I have not read.

  12. I love how dedicated the Indie authors are. They are a blessing for us.

  13. It seems that indie stories are fresh and different from most books regularly published these days. I like that they give new authors a start and seasoned authors the chance to get great stories out there.

  14. What a great giveaway! And so excited for you with this big celebration!!! Congrats to you!!

  15. Thanks so much for including indie authors (and me!) in your wonderful feature today… and all those in the past. Congratulations on your 10 year blogging anniversary, Rel! {{big hugs!}}
    Serena

  16. Love getting to read new, unique stories that aren’t just knock-offs from what’s current. Often their stories are ones they’ve had in their mind and heart for a while and I love that they get the chance to publish them!

  17. I am LOVING these vlogs and blogs. Listening to you talk about books and writers makes my heart swell. You’re an amazing cheerleader for writers of all walks.

  18. I love almost all Christian books!

  19. I love the variety in the indie books and these authors you have featured have such a God given talent when it comes to writing a beautiful story with a message woven through it! :) oh and the covers are also stunning!!!

  20. I’m honored to be in such great company with these other ladies! Great authors, one and all. Happy anniversary, Rel. Thanks for doing what you do.

  21. I love indie books because I know when I read it I’m absolutely reading a piece of this author’s heart! Of course, all books are like that, but even more so with indie releases.

  22. I love reading indie books because many times they touch on things that might not be in traditional publishing, plus, it allows the author do things on their own timeline, and many times that is of the benefit to the reader!

    Several of my favorite indie authors are listed here – Heather Day Gilbert, Melissa Tagg, Amber Perry, Joanne Bischof and many that I can’t wait to read!

  23. My first indie book that I read would probably be Sally Bradley’s Kept, or Cathy West’s Yesterday’s Tomorrow. I love all of these writers. They keep it real, and yet show how Christ can redeem the years the locusts have destroyed. I love that. I think they are fantastic!

  24. I love that indie authors are often allowed to touch on subjects they may not have been allowed to do in traditional publishing houses, and that’s often a reason why I pick an indie book, because I know it’ll very likely be unique.

    My favourite indie authors are in the moment Kristen Heitzmann and Jenny B. Jones.

  25. An indie author I love? Julie Lessman…. Joanne Bischof… Sally Bradley…Kristen Heitzmann… Amber Lynn Perry… Pepper Basham (indie release next April)… Jody Hedlund…Melissa Tagg… Tamara Leigh… i could keep going here 😉

  26. I love indie books because they are often a lovely, life like mix of many genres. Often traditionally published novels fit into precise categories which I think limit the stories immensely. Now, that is not always the case but as been my general experience. What is also attractive to me is that in the ebook case, you often get a phenomenal book for a reasonable price. I’m an avid reader on a very tight budget. I like that more of the money goes to the author as well (or at least that is my understanding).

    There are several indie authors that I have enjoyed: Heather Gilbet, Sally Bradley, Jody Headland, Julie Lessman and many others.

    • Thanks so much, Jessica! Grateful to be in such good company there. :)

    • Jessica » You are right on both fronts, Jessica. In most circumstances, indie authors earn more per book, but also bear the entire cost of producing the book. When finances are tight, the lower prices are appealing, too. That said, I do feel sad for authors who expend so much time and effort – blood, sweat, and tears – to write a book and then readers expect it to cost a less than a cup of coffee! I do feel that the pros outweigh the cons, though!

  27. Oh So Many Indie authors that I just LOVE to read…T.K. Chapin, April W. Gardner, Pepper Basham, Vanessa Riley, Carol Moncado, Sharon Srock, Jan Thompson, Brenda Anderson, Naomi Rawlings, and SOOO Many More!!! Just love indie authors!

  28. I love indie books because these authors are getting the opportunity to write what they are passionate about and are not constrained to the ideals of a major publisher. I have the utmost respect for indie authors and will almost always choose their work over a more “mainstream” writer. Anymore, especially in romance or Christian fiction indie authors can paint with a broader brush and aren’t as cookie cutter as mainstream and frankly, it’s a breath of fresh air!

  29. I have to admit, until a little while ago, I wasn’t interested in indie published authors. Now that I have read some and some of my favorite authors are doing a bit more, I am starting to enjoy them. I’m more willing now to give an indie author a try.

    Thank you for the opportunity,
    Stephanie

    • Stephanie » Love your honesty, Stephanie. I agree that there was a time that indie books needed to be treated cautiously. The quality, variety, and author talent pool has expanded so much now, they are well worth exploring. Hope you find more to love!

  30. i love to read, and i feel so blesed to know so many Christian authors

  31. I have only recently discovered Indie books and I have yet to read one I didn’t like! My most recent favorite was The Lady and the Lionheart. What a wonderful story. :)

  32. Like you said, Rel. I like the “messiness” of indie books. The characters can be much more gritty and their problems more relatable. Too many favorites to name them all so I’ll name one historical (Tamara Leigh – of course), and one contemporary (Julie Lessman). Thank you for getting the word about indies, as you are my most trusted source of what to read. Without your reviews/suggestions I would have missed out on some fantastic books. Yet another reason I adore you so much!

  33. Historicals are my very, very favorites! Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House

  34. Rel, I’m enjoying your vlogs! Today’s and the previous ones. Thanks so much for all you do for writers and readers. You truly are a blessing to us all. Hugs, friend!

  35. I love indie writers/books! They have such passion and you can sense the love for their characters and settings in their work. Their stories tend to be more raw, organic, and emotional. Some of them don’t follow the traditional formulas out there, which can be very refreshing.

    I recently read The Lady and the Lionheart by Joanne Bischof. I haven’t felt that way about a book since Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. I’ve had a hard time getting into anything new. It’s my favorite read of 2016.

    Being an aspiring writer, indie writers give me hope. They love their readership and are always so gracious in giving an encouraging word to those of us wading in the waters. They’re in the deep end having fun and waving us out, telling us it’s going to be okay.

    I hope all the writers here know how important their stories are to us and keep up the amazing work!

  36. I love indie books by authors whom I’ve read in the mainstream market (Jody Hedlund, Melissa Tagg, etc.) but discovering new authors is great too. One of my favorite indie authors is Jenny B. Jones. Her books always make me laugh!

  37. I think the indie authors may be a little more free to express what they want in their stories. One of my favorites is Melissa Tagg. (Would love to live in Maple Valley! lol)

  38. Thanks so much for this giveaway and many congratulations to you!!

  39. This is a good selection of books,I believe I’ve read some by these authors,and they were wonderful. Thanks for having this giveaway.

  40. With indie books, I love that authors are able to produce story lines that traditional publishing houses decline/reject.

  41. I like finding new authors to read.

  42. I’ve discovered some great must-read authors by taking a chance on an Indie author. Congrats on 10 years!

  43. What I love about Indie novels is that I know it’s what the author has wanted to write, and not the publisher. It truly is the story from their heart. I recently read The Lady and The Lionheart and I loved it!

  44. I love Joanne Bischof and Julie Lessman, although they have not always been Indie!

  45. I love all of Joanne Bischoff’s books. This is a great give-a-way. I would love to win.

  46. I recently read Leaving Independence by Leanne W. Smith. I would cast John Wayne as Hoke Matthews, but that isn’t an option. I really could imagine him in that role though.

  47. My favorite indie author is Marcy Dyer.

  48. I absolutely love Jenny B. Jones, and I’ll Be Yours! I’d also love to explore these other new authors.

  49. Rel!!! I LOVE your vlogs!! Keep them coming!

    Thank you for including me in this group. I am so proud to be indie and so honored to be among such a wonderful group of indie authors who publish their works with courage and faith. :) <3

  50. REL, I love your vlogs! So fun to enjoy a cuppa with you and appreciate amazing authors and their journeys to publication.

    I appreciate the determination and perseverance of an Indie author! :)

  51. I LOVE Julie Lessman, Jody Hedlund, Heather Day Gilbert and MaryLu Tyndall! :)

  52. I like that some of them are able to publish a little more often. I’m impatient when it comes to waiting a year or more for a sequel, or even a new book from a favorite author.

  53. A few Indie authors I’ve read recently are Jody Hedlund, Lisa Bergren, Tamara Leigh, Marylu Tyndall, Stephenia H. McGee, Lynette Bonner and Anne Elisabeth Stengl. I didn’t intend for manliest to be so long but they’re all such Amazon authors and I couldn’t stand to leave anyone off the list. I’ve really been enjoying a lot of amazing Indie reads this year!

  54. I need to read all of these books ASAP! They all look so good! Julie, Melissa, & Jenny are some of my favorite authors! I love all their books and have read all most all of them!

  55. I also forgot to mention that I absolutely adore Jody Hedlund and MaryLu’s books! I really need to get some of these books. You all are great authors! I’m so happy I found some new ones that I can check out!

  56. What I like about indy books is they give the authors a chance to publish books that God has given them to write, even though they may not fit in the mold of traditional publishing. Joanne Bischof said The Lady and the Lionheart wasn’t accepted by a publishing house because it was “too different.” I think it’s that difference that sets it apart and into the “best top ten books I’ve ever read” category.

  57. I like that authors who write independently are able to delve into subject matter that many publishing houses would not allow and/or restrict. For example, being able to speak freely and honestly about real life situations. This is not to say that they cross the line as far as clean content.

  58. Since starting blogging I have discovered loads of really great indie books. It’s been awesome to find authors I would probably have never heard of otherwise, there’s still loads more I want to try. I think I often prefer my Christian books to be a bit more gritty than done traditional publishers would want, so I often gravitate towards these, the quality is always excellent as well.

  59. The indie authors I’ve read are ones whose other books I’ve also read and enjoyed: Joanne Bischof and Julie Lessman come to mind. I’m currently reading Kristen Heitzmann’s Told You So, which I’m really enjoying.

  60. I like that I know the author personally.

  61. I like reading Indie authors because it gives me a chance to discover new authors and some fabulous books.

  62. I enjoy books by Joanne Bischof.

  63. Congratulations Rel!! You’ve been such a support and encouragement to me and many other authors. Thank you! I’m so honored to be listed here among the greatest Indie authors out there on the Christian market. :-) I love being Indie. It gives me a chance to tell the story the Lord gives me.. just as He gives me. What an awesome privilege. Sending hugs to all the readers and authors! And to you, Rel!

  64. What is not to love about indie books? You can find stories you might not find in traditional publishing. But seriously, I love both traditional and indie books as they both have something to offer. I think the first truly indie author I read and still love is Tammy Gray (plus the other authors you’ve mentioned in this blog). I’m also a fan of Leigh Bale, Pepper Bashan, Julianne Donaldson(love her!), Jaima Fixsen, Kathleen Baldwin, Heather Burch, VR Christensen, Rebecca Connolly, Debra Clopton, Dawn Crandall, Amanda DeWees(another favorite), Joyce DiPastena (writes medieval fiction similar to Tamera Leigh), Becky Doughty(love her!), Mary Jane Hathaway, Lara Hays, Elizabeth Johns, Chana Keefer, Naomi Rawlings, Jennifer Rodewald, Rachel Rossano, RH Russell, Paula Scott, Amy Leigh Simpson (another new favorite), Brandy Vallance, Lara Van Hulzen, Nicole Van, Catherine West and Grace Walton. I know that’s a long list, but I’ve enjoyed so many indie books that I’ve made it a challenge to constantly seek out new authors I love. There are so many great indie authors, so my list just keeps expanding.

  65. I guess I’ve never really distinguished between indie and traditionally published books!
    Of those in the giveaway I have downloaded some of Heather Day Gilbert’s books and enjoyed them…

  66. I love the romance! I love that the author can stretch outside of what a traditional publisher has in mind. One of my favorites is Amber Lynn Perry!

  67. To be perfectly honest, I can’t think of many indie books that I’ve read. Or maybe I’ve read them without really realizing they were indie. I didn’t even realize that some of these were! Nonetheless, I’m very excited about the chance to discover some. Thanks for such a fun giveaway!

    • Rachelle O’Neil » “Or maybe I’ve read them without realizing they were indie.” Love this, Rachelle, quality writing is quality writing regardless :)

  68. I love indie books because they’re each one of a kind and it encourages me as I hope to be an indie author myself one day. :)

    I love Heather Day Gilbert and her writing! Same goes for Melissa Tagg! :)

  69. I just love good Christian fiction!

  70. Melissa Tagg is a must read!

  71. I’ll share two new to me authors that are independently published. First, Dorothy Adamek, which is discovered as a result of this blog!! Second, Sally Bradley’s Kept. Both fabulous novels.

  72. Happy anniversary!! I’m so thankful for all you do and pray for blessings and many more years.
    Sincerely,
    Janet W. Ferguson :)

  73. Wow Rel,
    There are so many authors and I’m finding more with each of your posts! Many of these authors I already love reading their books, but now I’ve got new ones to explore!
    Thanks!

    • Great – come back and tell me which ones you’ve read and loved!

      • Rel, there are so many but I’ll try to remember some. Okay just saying …I’ve read ALL Serena Chase’s books, and almost all of Tamara Leigh’s books! Those two ladies are great authors. I’ve read MANY of Lisa T. Bergren’s books and have actually had my name in two of her books.(in the acknowledgement) I lived the River of Time Series. I’ve ALL of Christy Barritt’s Squeaky Clean books, as well as her Random Acts series, and have been on her launch teams. I’ve also read MANY of Kristen Heitzmann books. I seem to find authors and then just devour anything they write. ALL OF THESE AUTHORS AND THEIR BOOKS ARE FANTASTIC!
        I have many more, but this reply is really getting long and I need to go to work. UGH! Rel, I really enjoyed hearing all about your years in this endeavor. Wow to be able to do this! Fun!

  74. To be honest, I’ve never really payed much attention to publishers… I mean, I couldn’t begin to tell you which authors or books are indie published. Perhaps I should pay more attention?
    I have read some of the authors you mentioned: Rachel Hauck, Julie Lessman, Kristen Heitzmann, MaryLu Tyndall, Lynette Bonner, Susan May Warren, Colleen Coble, Melissa Tagg… Those last two are definitely on my favorite authors list! :)

  75. So many wonderful indie published books from gifted authors – just a few of my faves are Julie Lessman, MaryLu Tyndall, Joanne Bischof. I so appreciate the dedication, perseverance, and work necessary to indie pub without benefit of the help received when contracted by a traditional publisher, also the fact the indie author has more freedom in topics she writes about. Thanks for the wonderful giveaway opportunity, Rel!!

  76. I love the freedom that Indie authors are allowed and as mentioned in the earlier comments it often gives us greater insight into the authors hearts and faith. I love the indies I have read and I love the book partying with them on Facebook!!!! The rock ! Love you ladies!

  77. I honestly had never heard of the term indie author before. I do love Jody Hedlund and Julie Lessman.

  78. O, I would LOVE this bundle!!! Historical!! And Contemporary! WOW! Thanks and congratulations again! Happy anniversary!!

    OK, to the questions. What I love about Indie books and authors is the freedom they seem to show. Many of the indie publications I’ve read, their message is stronger with lots of Christian elements that may not be as evident in traditional publishing houses. I also enjoy seeing different genres that these authors play with when they branch out.

    Many know that my top book from 2015 is Julie Lessman’s Isle of Hope and how I adore her! So she is my fave indie author. However, I was first introduced to her writing from her Revell books. I guess that goes with Melissa Tagg too. Joanne Bischof (Her This Quiet Sky – LOVE), Sarah Monzon, Pepper Basham and recently introduced to Janet Ferguson. All great indie authors. Hmmm… I think I can name a few more. I am never good at just naming one.

    • Annie JC » Thank you, sweet Annie. Isn’t a terrific bundle? I’d love it, too :) Love the indie author tips, too. Sarah has just recently popped up on my radar and I hope to get to Finders Keepers soon.

  79. I love finding new author and the style of writing is new and unique. Jennifer Wilson is an indie author I enjoy. She writes YA books.

  80. I love many of the authors you mentioned and I’ll also add Chautona Havig, T.I. Lowe, and Misty M. Beller to the list :)

  81. I love the Indie books I’ve read because they are so heartfelt! I love how much of the author that you can see in their books.

  82. I really love Taylor Dean’s books and I’m pretty sure she’s Indie.

  83. Jenny B. Jones is the best :) I didn’t realise she was considered an indie author though until today

  84. Thanks for highlighting and supporting indie authors. You’ve got a terrific variety in your book bundle. One of the many things I like about reading indies.

  85. Many of the indie books I’ve read embrace more authentic Christianity with flawed people and the authors are not afraid to address some tough issues and the brokenness of the world we live in in their books. I greatly appreciate that. I love seeing the power of God’s grace and redemption over the brokenness come through in those books.

  86. What an awesome giveaway. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen so many in a bundle. Thank you for the opportunity. #Feelingexcited

  87. I love that so many of my favorite authors are now publishing indie. It’s not just people I’ve never heard of any more, which makes me more willing to try new authors.

  88. I have several indie authors that I love. Tamara Leigh writes some of the best historical romance I’ve read. Joanne Bischoff is also ah-mazing! Sally Bradley, Jenny B. Jones, and the list goes on!

  89. Ooh, great giveaways! I have been wanting to read by Amber Lynn Perry … her book covers are gorgeous and the stories sound lovely! ^_^ Also, can hardly wait to read The Lady and the Lionheart by Joanne Bischof! Love her books!

    Thanks and blessings!

  90. Quite often, indie authors are so unique and creative! They really seem to write from their heart! ^_^ I love how some indie books have such deep and moving faith themes.

    As for an indie author I love, Jaye L. Knight! Her fantasy books are incredible! She now has three novels out to her Ilyon Chronicles, and one novella. They are definitely worth reading. <3

    Thanks and blessings!

  91. Love indie authors! Melissa tagg and Amy Harmon are the ones I think of right away.

  92. My favorite indie author is MaryLu Tyndall.

  93. I haven’t yet read many of the Indie books here, but look forward to them. One of my favorite Indie authors is Kristen Heitzmann. Her books that I have read have been page turners for me. I like how she builds the characters and the surprises she weaves in.

  94. Tamara Leigh…. well I love so many but her name popped into my head first :)

  95. I haven’t had a chance to read any (many?) indie authors, but I recently won Amber Lynn Perry’s series, and I can’t wait to dig in! I absolutely love Revolutionary War history, and I’ve already been told how spectacular the series is! I’m so grateful to indie authors who choose to follow their hearts and put themselves out there!

  96. I’ve enjoyed the few indie books that I’ve read just as much as the books put out by publishing houses. To me, there’s no differentiation as they are both of the same caliber and full of the same heart and spirit! You can really tell when an author pours their heart into their work!

  97. I really like Carol Moncado, Valerie Comer, Melissa Tagg, Kirsten Heitzmann, and the list goes on and on and on…

  98. There’s just something about these super independent writers. :)

  99. I have enjoyed so many books by indie authors. The first one to come to mind is Alana Terry.

  100. I must confess, I’ve never really heard of Indie books. You have me convinced that I have been missing out, and now I can’t wait to try some of these that you show on this video! Because of my huge love of reading, I am always looking for new authors & books to read, so this is wonderful!! thanks for sharing! :)

  101. Hard to choose a favorite, but I do like Kristen Heitzmann

  102. I love the fresh perspective.

  103. I’m not that familiar with these indie authors and their books, but I hope to know them better soon.

  104. What I really like about Indie authors and books is their freedom to publish on their own timelines rather than the one a year (or there about) you get in traditional publishing. Especially when books are part of a series.

    Some of my favorite indie published authors are Tammy L. Gray, Nicole Deese, Jenny B. Jones, Amy Matayo, and more recently Julie Lessman’s indie books. Now I can also add Susan May Warren to that list since she recently indie published the Montana Fire series.

  105. I haven’t read a lot of Indie works, as libraries are less likely to carry them (my preference is to try out new authors at a library before committing to purchasing). But one thing I appreciate is their freedom to explore less popular settings, like in Carry Me Home–I could list on one hand the number of books I’ve read with Australian settings, and only one (Carry Me Home) is christian fiction. I love learning about new places and new pieces of history, so they can fill that niche.

    As for beloved Indie authors, I really enjoyed Dorothy Adamek’s Carry Me Home, and having immensely enjoyed Melissa Tagg’s previous novels, I can only imagine I will enjoy her Indies just as much.

    • Hi Rachael, thanks so much for making the journey to Australia with the characters of Carry Me Home. I’m delighted to share my beautiful part of the world with readers who would not otherwise get the the chance to visit. Bless you, Dorothy xoxo

    • Rachael K » Love hearing your thoughts on Carry Me Home and Melissa’s books, too. I can highly recommend her latest indie novel :)

  106. I’m not sure I have read an Indie author

  107. I don’t recall ever reading an indie book. So I really don’t have a favorite yet

  108. I’m not exactly sure what an Indie author is but with all the reading that I have done I am sure that I have come acrossed it at some point.

    • Sarah » I probably should have explained this, Sarah! An indie author is a writer who is publishing their books themselves, so not with a traditional publisher.

    • Sarah » An indie author is a writer who publishes their book themselves, without a publisher who would normally do the printing, editing, marketing, etc. It’s a lot more work for the author but gives them independence and flexibility.

  109. Rel I enjoy your daily vlog. You may have answered this question in one of your blogs, how many books do you read in a week. If you don’t like the storyline do you finish it anyway and do you review it?

    • Penny » Hi Penny, I haven’t answered those questions but I better tell you here or I might forget! I used to read around 4 – 5 books a week, but I can’t keep up that schedule anymore with work and family commitments. So, I’m probably down to 2 or 3 a week now.

      If I don’t like a book, I still finish it! I’m always hopeful things will improve and I like to know what happens 😉 I don’t review everything I read, simply because I don’t have the time, but in most cases if I can find something good to say along with the bad, I’ll still review it. Great questions!

  110. Love learning about new to me authors. Thanks!

  111. I love the freedom indie authors have. I remember when an author I know chose to go indie to keep her writing her own and more spiritual. I know the path to publishing isn’t easy when an author is indie and they need readers support. Thanks for highlighting them. Not only does this help us in how to promote their books, but how we can encourage then personally.

  112. I love Julie Lessman, Melissa Tagg, Jody Hedlund, Heather Day Gilbert, Marylu Tyndall, Dorothy Adameck, Tamara Leigh. I know I’m leaving several out!

  113. Honestly, I admire what it takes for any author to take a story from idea to print whether they are traditional or Indie. They’re livin’ the dream, makin’ it happen every day–and that is inspiring!!

  114. Jody Hedlund – I am so happy that she continued with her lighthouse series through indie publishing.

  115. I love how Indie authors can write without strict guidelines from pub companies so they can be a little grittier and edgy.

  116. I love Rachel Dylan!

  117. I am willing to branch out and read anything with a 4 1/2 star review or higher, and Indie books are a great way to find new and talented writing!

  118. I love that Indie books authors can pop up anytime, and if I read a book they write and I really like, I keep following them and reading their books. Then you see them grow as an author too, the plotlines and writing style get better, etc. Love Indie authors!

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