Tag Archives: book reviews

Author Katie Hamstead Teller reviews “Fool’s Ride”

Fool’s Ride got a wonderful blog review by author Katie Hamstead Teller:


From one author observing another, I couldn’t help admire the beautiful cover of her debut novel Hope of the Pharaoh.



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Filed under Reviews

Three Steps For Awesome Indie Success

I woke up this morning to polish off the last 500 or so words in this week’s word count (and then some), when I came to a rather profound and marvelous conclusion — the Awesome Indie Project is officially a success. Since the project began, there have been a number of cool developments.

  • I’ve become friends with most of the authors. I send them news/tips, and they send me news/tips. I promote them, and they promote me (though I never ask).  Two of them have become friends with each other. And most of them reblog, retweet, and re-facebook anything I have to say about the other Awesome Indies.
  • Recently, Carol Ervin (the second Awesome Indie added) turned around and cross-promoted the other indies (and me too, though I’m not in the list) in her 3 part blog series: “Indie Authors: Where are they Now?”
  • Every single Awesome Indie has now been reviewed by Vine Voice and professional reviewer Carol Kean of PerihelionSF Online Magazine (though only two of the books were sci-fi and thus appropriate to be reviewed by the magazine).

More about Carol Kean: all the indies now have Vine Voice Amazon reviews, and five have Goodreads reviews from her, and she regularly tweets and facebooks about these authors.  Important note: I did NOT solicit her reviews.  She discovered them after reviewing my book and following me to my blog. This is one of the amplification effects of indies banding together.

Here are Carol Kean’s Amazon reviews:

Carol Kean’s Perhehelion SF reviews:

Carol Kean’s Goodreads reviews:

Step 1: Hoard your indies

The project started out with a post at the beginning of the year, which I eventually made a permanent tab at the top: https://john-l-monk.com/2014/02/14/indie-readingsupport-project/

In this post, I’d tasked myself with reading more indie books, hunting for those gems in the stacks at Amazon that were particularly glittery and bright (to me, of course — this is all very subjective stuff).  I then laid out the ground rules for getting onto the Awesome Indie list.

As of today, I’ve found 6 Awesome Indies and posted about their inclusion to the list (look under ‘categories’ on the left side to see all posts that I’ve tagged ‘Awesome Indies’). All but one author got on the list without knowing I was reading his or her book. For the others, I simply read their books and then asked for permission to list them.

Step 2: Promote them

After the indies got on the list, the fun didn’t end there — I tweeted about them, facebooked about them, and badgered them about news on any upcoming books. Every time something big happened in their Awesome Indie lives, I made sure to blog about it and tweet it. In turn, without asking, they promoted the sequel to my first novel “Kick.”  Four of them actually beta read it and helped me edit it.  Talk about Awesome People.

Step 3: Keep promoting them

In addition to the blog, the facebooking, the tweeting, and the emailing, I’ve also gone back to my books “Kick” and “Fool’s Ride” and inserted a page at the back listing each author and their books, and describing the Awesome Indie Project.  On November 8th, I have a Bookbub promotion. On November 9th I have an Ereader News Today promotion.  Both are free, for “Kick.”  It’s my hope that the tens of thousands of almost guaranteed downloads of “Kick” will expose those same readers to these Awesome Indies. I’ve also asked these authors to tell me if they see an uptick in sales a week or so following the promotion.

So there it is 🙂


Filed under Awesome Indies, Indie Publishing, Writing Market

Indie reading/support project

If you look over on the left side of my humble blog, you’ll see a number of books written by great indie authors. I don’t read nearly enough indie authors, despite wanting to “in theory.” My reasons:

  • I also haven’t read any James Patterson novels, but I hope to one day, time willing.  Right now, it’s much easier to go with a sure win.  For example, anything by Robert B. Parker.
  • There are too many indie authors to wade through in search of something I can really sink my teeth into, and again it comes down to time.
  • When I’m not writing or watching TV or going-out with the wife or working, I’m probably sleeping.

But I love indie authors. I mean, I am one. And I want to support them, learn from them, and be entertained by them. So I’m making it my mission to read more indies.  And when I find one that I love, I’ll post the book over on the left side in the order in which I find it.


  1. I won’t tell anyone what I’m reading unless I end up liking it…and, therefore, if I don’t like something, nobody will ever know.
  2. I won’t post anyone’s book that I regularly have regular, previous contact with through facebook/email. I’m trying to avoid the natural pressure to “help my friends”.  For the two already there, I read them before we became friends.
  3. I won’t post any books by mega-indie authors like Hugh Howey and Russel Blake.  Because they don’t need my help.
  4. I won’t take any free books from people, nor respond to lobbying efforts. I will probably build my reading list from the billions of indie authors over on kboards.com.  If anyone replies to this post with books that they want me to read, more power to you, but I can’t respond.
  5. If I like a book, I may put a review here, but I won’t on Goodreads or Amazon.  It’s complicated…

So that’s it.


Filed under Favorite Books, Writing Market