To Indie or to Query… that is the question!

Should I self publish or set out on a quest to find that mythical agent to represent me to the publishing world.

New to the world of publishing? Me too.

Welcome! it’s a bit crowded in the pre-published pool of writers. I find that it’s also very lonely — but that’s a side issue. I guess we are all swimming in different directions with our plots and our genres and our cast of characters swirling around us, we can forget about what happens when our novel is ready to meet the world.

As I finish up my novel I find myself pondering the path my soon-to-be-completed novel should take.

What kind of publishing is best?

It’s a bit intimidating. Do I take the world by storm — just me, my computer and Amazon? Or do I write countless query letters and novel proposals and send them out to the agent world in the hopes of finding someone who believes that they can sell my story?

At what point can I call myself an author?

Personally, I’ve always wanted an agent. I’ve dreamed of seeing my book in a bookstore, having a (potentially) big audience and proving myself by having a publishing house see my potential and give me that ever-elusive advance. But, not everyone wants to go that route anymore.

With eBooks and CreateSpace an author no longer has to be traditional.

Enter Indie published authors.

My friend, Rachael Ritchey loves her self publishing platform. Sure, things can be frustrating and hard, but she gets to avoid the publishing hoops and bureaucracy.

Down side? No marketing support, no insider advice and no big names pushing for your book to be in their stores.

Upside? She gets to produce the book she loves from start to finish including cover design and doesn’t have to fight to keep her beloved titles; the artist in her shines through.

Ritchey just released Captive Hope the second book in The Chronicles of the Twelve Realms fiction series.

I’ve read both of her books in the series and I have to say they don’t seem like what I would assume Indie books should be. For one thing, her books look like books. I expect indie books to be kind of crappy, cheesy looking and flimsy. Total stereotype, I know, but stereotypes are there for a reason, aren’t they. Never-the-less, CreateSpace and other Indie Publishers have taken the book world by storm.

I am a “hold the book and smell it” kind of gal and have not tried eBooks, but I loved Ritchey’s self published books. They’re gorgeous, she has a book model on her newest one, and I’d never know by looking at them that she created them herself.

Another important issue for Indie books: So many are unedited that they give the entire group a bad wrap. Ritchey has an editor. As a result of her talent as a writer and money spent on editing, her books make sense. I don’t find myself self-editing as I read them (any more than I do traditional books, that is).

I bet that kind of readable book tends to be a shot in the dark with Indie books. I hope more Indie authors take note of the importance of editing and creating a great cover to get their book noticed on the shelves. If there was a way to tell if a writer had taken the time to create a well polished book, rather than a quickly thrown together first draft, then I think I might try and search them out.

Welcome to my first Indie Book Review.

I recently read Captive Hope by Rachael Ritchey. It took me about a day, partly because I was sick, but mostly because I was entertained.

Ritchey writes Magical Realism for grownups — No ogres, no elves. Personally, that’s not my genre. I’m a mystery and suspense gal, but I enjoyed the read as it had many suspenseful moments packed in.

Captive Hope is the second novel in The Chronicles of the Twelve Realms series. It focuses in on Idra — a secondary character from her first novel The Beauty Thief. Idra is kidnapped and taken out of the Twelve Realms. Although she started as a secondary character in the previous novel, Idra comes shining through as a strong leading lady in book two. The novel was well developed and had great pacing that built upon compounding suspense and stress. The ending was a satisfying conclusion to the ordeal.

A typical love triangle is built up in Captive Hope. I struggled with it — not because I didn’t believe in the characters, but because I found myself loving each of them at different times. I wanted to love them both at the same time, but they kept angering me! Looking back, that feeling was also satisfying.

I did find myself missing the evil character from The Beauty Thief because he was pure evil that coveted the beauty of others and fed on the most beautiful — inside and out — to live forever. He had no redeeming qualities and was on a mission of destruction. The new bad guy in Captive Hope (also a secondary character from Ritchey’s first novel) was bad, but in my opinion, not pure evil. He struggled with his choices of right and wrong and didn’t seem to fully commit to one agenda. There were multiple times he seemed to waffle over his plans. I do love seeing the struggle of potential good bubbling out of evil characters, but it was a step away from the previous unadulterated hatred of the first book. He seemed more normal — it didn’t make the read better or worse — but it had a different feel.

Mysticism wasn’t as prevalent in Captive Hope as it was in The Beauty Thief. There were mystical characters, but the main plot line was a simple kidnapping not a mystical situation like in the previous novel. For those looking for a strong mystical element, this book heads in a different direction than its predecessor.

Captive Hope ended in a way that I didn’t expect, which is always exciting to me. As a suspense writer, I tend to figure out a book half way through. It’s a nice surprise when the ending is fresh and enjoyable. I was left with some questions, but none that were irritating. Ritchey left me wanting more — the perfect combination.

I look at her two books in her (to be) twelve book series as fresh and enjoyable fiction. They stand on their own, but make for the start of a well rounded saga. I had heard that some preferred her first book, The Beauty Thief to the newly released Captive Hope. I disagree. I enjoyed the new direction of the series, the completely different scenery and the larger cast of characters.

I say again that magical realism isn’t my genre, perhaps that’s why I prefer Captive Hope, since the mysticism isn’t quite as prevalent, but it also seemed more suspenseful and harder to predict the outcome than her previous book.

While reading Ritchey’s Indie books, I never once thought they weren’t “worthy to be published books.” I found them to be fun reads that were full of suspense that wrapped me up in a new and delightful story world that did not stay stagnant, but evolved throughout each book. I couldn’t ask for anything else from any type of published book.

Indie Author Rachael Ritchey

It’s authors like Ritchie that make Indie books great.

Ritchey’s next book The Treasonous — Book Three in The Chronicles of the Twelve Realms series is set to release in December. If you would like to know more about Ritchey click here.

If you would like to look at both her books on Amazon click here.

What’s your opinion of Indie Books? Are there any worthy reads that you recommend? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

I received no compensation for this review.

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