So, are you familiar with the Underground Book Reviews website? I wasn’t, until I looked around for a site that might review specifically self-published works. Lots of reviews and author interviews here. The site looks professional, but since I have no idea how critical the reviewers are, or what their preferences might be, it’s hard to guess how helpful this website would be in identifying gems in the self-published “slushpile.” On the other hand, here this website is, and it is certainly better than nothing.
A lot better.
Infinitely better, really.
There is a “suggested readings” page where you can get a better idea about the reviewers, and obviously following reviews for a while would give you an excellent idea about the taste and focus of each reviewer. I can’t say that I desperately need more books on my TBR pile, but it would be nice to read one or two self-published titles now and then, rather than sticking strictly to the shiny hyped new releases from the Big Five. This might be the place to pick a couple out.
Also, every now and then, someone runs a useful feature on self-published titles. For example, World blog, which picked out a handful of standouts from last year. Mostly these are not fantasy titles, but on the other hand, how about this:
Beneath the Chipvole Mountains A.K. Brennan (Scherzo, 2011)
In a way reminiscent of the classic Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, Brennan tells of a mouse whose husband had gotten entangled with an up-to-no-good weasel king, so she and her children decide to move back to the Chipvole Mountains.
Do you remember Mrs Frisby and the Rats of Nimh? Because I loved that book when I was a kid.
Okay, one more link: Here at Fantasy Review Barn, we have a post about a handful of self-published gems from 2013, and of course this time they are all SFF. Plus, this time the reviwer establishes her credibility by naming two of Andrea Höst’s books. That right there makes me inclined to check out the reviewer’s other picks.
The Demon of Cliffside by Nathan Fierro sounds really intriguing. So does The Five Elements by Scott Marlowe. In fact, all of the titles mentioned in this post sound like the deserve a second look.
So there you go: hopefully a boost to discoverability right there.