I asked for one thing for Mother's Day--a couple of hours of shopping (alone!) after which I wanted to come home to find the house cleaner than it was when I left. And, yes, that is exactly what I got. (Thank you, amazing husband and kiddos!)
But that's not what this post is about.
You see, while I was out doing my shopping, I went to Barnes & Noble. I love walking around bookstores. I can spend hours roaming, flipping through books, searching for new things to read.
But I became really frustrated while I was there. Because of what's on the shelf. Or rather, what's not. I've become much more aware, as an author, of small presses and the immense number of great books out there that you'll never see in your local bookstore. Even the bigger houses have tons of authors that are not on bookstore shelves. I have this great wish list going on Amazon...and most of the books I will HAVE to buy through them because you just can't get the books in the stores.
If you were to go back through my blog you'd see quite a few books I've reviewed that have maybe never seen the inside of a bookstore, except, of course, during author book signings. At the very least, you're not going to find them carried on a regular basis at any big chain bookstore.
OK, off the top of my head, here are a few:
Faith Awakened, by Grace Bridges (Splashdown Books)
The Muse, by Fred Warren (Splashdown Books)
Magic, Mensa, and Mayhem, by Karina Fabian (Swimming Kangaroo Books)--This book just won Best Fantasy in the Next Generation INDIE book award, BTW!
Starfire: The Mending, by Stuart Vaugh Stockton (Marcher Lord Press)
A Lever Long Enough, by Amy Deardon (Taegais Publishing--self published)
The Victor, by Marlayne Giron (Tate Publishing)
Behold the Dawn, by K.M. Wieland (PenForASword Publishing)
Weapon of Flesh, by Chris Jackson (Jax Books--self published)
I'm probably forgetting a couple.
Anyway, these books may not be perfect, or the next "big thing." But I read them from beginning to end, and enjoyed them all.
And if you've followed me at all, you know that the current "big thing"--Twilight--is a book I was so bored by I couldn't get past the first few chapters. As a matter of fact, there are a LOT of books by big publishers that I've put down after the first few chapters because I felt they were boring, poorly written, or just plain stupid. Yes, there are small press books that are like that, too. However, the stigma small presses and self-published books are given is VERY OFTEN undeserved.
My point to all this is that small presses need to be given a chance. The big guys have a monopoly on the bookstore shelves, but they do NOT have a monopoly on the talent out there.