The best indie music books

3 authors have picked their favorite books about indie music and why they recommend each book.

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Scene & Structure (Elements of Fiction Writing)

By Jack M. Bickham,

Book cover of Scene & Structure (Elements of Fiction Writing)

This book gets down to the nitty-gritty of planning your novel and explains the difference between scenes (where the action happens), and sequels (where the reactions happen). Great for meticulous planners and haphazard pantsers alike, this book will help any writer learn some tried and true techniques to organize their story in a professional way.

Who am I?

I have been a published indie author since 2011, and I enjoy reading and studying the craft to make my work the best it can be. I have a passion for indie authors and indie publishing, and I love the flexibility this type of authorship gives me while I homeschool my two young boys, run a non-profit organization, and volunteer at my church.


I wrote...

Deep Blue Sea

By Valerie Howard, Alex McGilvery,

Book cover of Deep Blue Sea

What is my book about?

Jamie Walker has a secret. And she'll do anything to keep it that way. Her missing cousin's cold case has been reopened at the worst time. And by the worst person: a hotshot detective from New York striving to close his 100th case. As the detective gets closer and closer to uncovering the truth of what happened all those years ago, Jamie will go to any lengths to make sure this dusty mystery is one he'll never solve.

Plagued by her guilty conscience, Jamie searches for forgiveness, finding an unlikely ally in a pastor she interviews for her magazine's monthly cover article. Will Pastor Byron Mitchell let Jamie in on the key to lifelong peace before her dark past drags her to drown in the depths of despair?

Portrait of Our Marriage

By Martha Emms,

Book cover of Portrait of Our Marriage

Because it is another ‘Faction’ novel. Martha found the inspiration to write this book from dreams, from watching a TV show featuring Oprah Winfrey interviewing various men suffering from an addiction to pornography, and from information given to her by 8 wives whose marriages were affected by their husbands’ addictions. Addiction to porn is a very real problem in these modern times.

Who am I?

I am, have always been, and always will be a realist. Therefore I find ‘Faction’ books, biographies, and memoirs more interesting, as I can learn from them and know that some or all of the events are true. They say ‘write what you know’ and so when it came to writing A Rather Unusual Romance I did just that. I was diagnosed with Stage 4 thyroid cancer back in 2005, and decided to weave the 15-year journey back to health I undertook into the pages of a fictional romance, with Alan and Erin similarly affected by thyroid cancer. Every procedure they had to endure was true because I had to go through it as well (without the romance)!


I wrote...

A Rather Unusual Romance

By Stevie Turner,

Book cover of A Rather Unusual Romance

What is my book about?

Erin Mason, divorced and with two teenage sons, finds her world begins to fall apart when she undergoes what is termed a "life event", and is diagnosed with cancer. Not too far away somebody else, Alan Beaumont, is also suffering a similar fate. Their paths slowly come together in this inspiring and humorous ‘Faction’ tale (fiction based on fact) which loosely features events during my own journey through thyroid cancer, and shows how love can flourish in the most unlikely of circumstances.

Structuring Your Novel

By K.M. Weiland,

Book cover of Structuring Your Novel: Essential Keys for Writing an Outstanding Story

I can never read too many books about how to structure the overall plot of a novel because I’m a by-the-book plotter. K.M. Weiland brilliantly explains in a down-to-earth way how to make your story work so you are never confused about which plot points should go where in your story, no matter if you plot to the nth degree or like to see where the story takes you with minimal planning.

Who am I?

I have been a published indie author since 2011, and I enjoy reading and studying the craft to make my work the best it can be. I have a passion for indie authors and indie publishing, and I love the flexibility this type of authorship gives me while I homeschool my two young boys, run a non-profit organization, and volunteer at my church.


I wrote...

Deep Blue Sea

By Valerie Howard, Alex McGilvery,

Book cover of Deep Blue Sea

What is my book about?

Jamie Walker has a secret. And she'll do anything to keep it that way. Her missing cousin's cold case has been reopened at the worst time. And by the worst person: a hotshot detective from New York striving to close his 100th case. As the detective gets closer and closer to uncovering the truth of what happened all those years ago, Jamie will go to any lengths to make sure this dusty mystery is one he'll never solve.

Plagued by her guilty conscience, Jamie searches for forgiveness, finding an unlikely ally in a pastor she interviews for her magazine's monthly cover article. Will Pastor Byron Mitchell let Jamie in on the key to lifelong peace before her dark past drags her to drown in the depths of despair?

Rust

By Christopher Ruz,

Book cover of Rust: One

What would you get if Stephen King fathered a love-child on the corpse of HP Lovecraft? You'd get Rust, a full-throated scream of confusion and despair expressed in the chaotic afterlife of one Kimberley Archer. Is she single and dead? Or is she trapped in a living hell populated by the devoted husband and loving child she cannot remember knowing? This one creeped me out completely.

Who am I?

As host of ImmerseOrDie, I've tested over 600 indie novels so far, searching for books that can hold me in their spell for at least 40 minutes. Unfortunately, self-publishing is rife with the quirks and gaffs that burst such glamours: bad spelling, bad formatting, ludicrous dialogue... Even allowing three failures before bailing, only 9% survived. And reading those to completion whittled the herd still further. So here then are the surviving 1%. A glittering few, plucked from the muck so that you don't have to. I don't promise you'll love them, but I do make one guarantee: they do not suck. And in the Swamps of Indie, that is high praise indeed.


I wrote...

Strange Places

By Jefferson Smith,

Book cover of Strange Places

What is my book about?

Unlovable. That's what they call her. According to the nuns who run the orphanage, girls like Tayna, with minds of their own, are too unruly to ever be loved. So they're put to work in the kitchens and never shown to the wanna-dads and mommy-bes who might offer them a loving home.

But that all changes when Tayna learns that her entire life has been built on a lie. Her parents are still alive! Only they're trapped in a world of magic and now it's up to her to rescue them. All she has to do is escape her nunnish prison, find her way into that secret world, and lead a rescue mission. But compared to being a slave? This oughta be a piece of cake.

One Hot Summer

By Ian Barker,

Book cover of One Hot Summer

If you were a teenager (like I was) at the same time as the book’s main character, John Burton, you will be swept away on a journey of nostalgia back to your youth in the 1970s. Memories will come flooding back about that special time in your life when you were young and finding out about love, sex, loss, and death.  Recommended!


Who am I?

I am, have always been, and always will be a realist. Therefore I find ‘Faction’ books, biographies, and memoirs more interesting, as I can learn from them and know that some or all of the events are true. They say ‘write what you know’ and so when it came to writing A Rather Unusual Romance I did just that. I was diagnosed with Stage 4 thyroid cancer back in 2005, and decided to weave the 15-year journey back to health I undertook into the pages of a fictional romance, with Alan and Erin similarly affected by thyroid cancer. Every procedure they had to endure was true because I had to go through it as well (without the romance)!


I wrote...

A Rather Unusual Romance

By Stevie Turner,

Book cover of A Rather Unusual Romance

What is my book about?

Erin Mason, divorced and with two teenage sons, finds her world begins to fall apart when she undergoes what is termed a "life event", and is diagnosed with cancer. Not too far away somebody else, Alan Beaumont, is also suffering a similar fate. Their paths slowly come together in this inspiring and humorous ‘Faction’ tale (fiction based on fact) which loosely features events during my own journey through thyroid cancer, and shows how love can flourish in the most unlikely of circumstances.

They Call Me Mom

By Pete Springer,

Book cover of They Call Me Mom: Making a Difference as an Elementary School Teacher

This book is based on fact and is more of a memoir. Pete Springer takes us, sometimes with humor, through the ups and downs of his 30-year teaching career.  In doing so he gives much advice suitable for new recruits to the teaching profession.  My son Leon, once labelled by teachers as ‘distracted and distracting’, would have benefited from Pete’s superior teaching skills I’m sure.  


Who am I?

I am, have always been, and always will be a realist. Therefore I find ‘Faction’ books, biographies, and memoirs more interesting, as I can learn from them and know that some or all of the events are true. They say ‘write what you know’ and so when it came to writing A Rather Unusual Romance I did just that. I was diagnosed with Stage 4 thyroid cancer back in 2005, and decided to weave the 15-year journey back to health I undertook into the pages of a fictional romance, with Alan and Erin similarly affected by thyroid cancer. Every procedure they had to endure was true because I had to go through it as well (without the romance)!


I wrote...

A Rather Unusual Romance

By Stevie Turner,

Book cover of A Rather Unusual Romance

What is my book about?

Erin Mason, divorced and with two teenage sons, finds her world begins to fall apart when she undergoes what is termed a "life event", and is diagnosed with cancer. Not too far away somebody else, Alan Beaumont, is also suffering a similar fate. Their paths slowly come together in this inspiring and humorous ‘Faction’ tale (fiction based on fact) which loosely features events during my own journey through thyroid cancer, and shows how love can flourish in the most unlikely of circumstances.

Save the Cat! Writes a Novel

By Jessica Brody,

Book cover of Save the Cat! Writes a Novel: The Last Book on Novel Writing You'll Ever Need

This book teaches the secrets of storytelling and story structure from a popular screenplay perspective. When I start a new novel, this is the first book I reach for every time. It teaches how to keep your story engaging to readers and how to best structure the overall plot so your story flows beautifully throughout and ends with satisfaction.


Who am I?

I have been a published indie author since 2011, and I enjoy reading and studying the craft to make my work the best it can be. I have a passion for indie authors and indie publishing, and I love the flexibility this type of authorship gives me while I homeschool my two young boys, run a non-profit organization, and volunteer at my church.


I wrote...

Deep Blue Sea

By Valerie Howard, Alex McGilvery,

Book cover of Deep Blue Sea

What is my book about?

Jamie Walker has a secret. And she'll do anything to keep it that way. Her missing cousin's cold case has been reopened at the worst time. And by the worst person: a hotshot detective from New York striving to close his 100th case. As the detective gets closer and closer to uncovering the truth of what happened all those years ago, Jamie will go to any lengths to make sure this dusty mystery is one he'll never solve.

Plagued by her guilty conscience, Jamie searches for forgiveness, finding an unlikely ally in a pastor she interviews for her magazine's monthly cover article. Will Pastor Byron Mitchell let Jamie in on the key to lifelong peace before her dark past drags her to drown in the depths of despair?

Book Cover Design Secrets You Can Use to Sell More Books

By Derek Murphy,

Book cover of Book Cover Design Secrets You Can Use to Sell More Books

When indie authors make their own book covers, most of them are awful. This book by Derek Murphy walks authors through the tips and tricks to make a book cover so professional no one would ever guess you made them yourself. Once I read this book and took the advice contained in it, my book covers blossomed, and no one can tell I didn’t pay a professional designer a single penny!

Who am I?

I have been a published indie author since 2011, and I enjoy reading and studying the craft to make my work the best it can be. I have a passion for indie authors and indie publishing, and I love the flexibility this type of authorship gives me while I homeschool my two young boys, run a non-profit organization, and volunteer at my church.


I wrote...

Deep Blue Sea

By Valerie Howard, Alex McGilvery,

Book cover of Deep Blue Sea

What is my book about?

Jamie Walker has a secret. And she'll do anything to keep it that way. Her missing cousin's cold case has been reopened at the worst time. And by the worst person: a hotshot detective from New York striving to close his 100th case. As the detective gets closer and closer to uncovering the truth of what happened all those years ago, Jamie will go to any lengths to make sure this dusty mystery is one he'll never solve.

Plagued by her guilty conscience, Jamie searches for forgiveness, finding an unlikely ally in a pastor she interviews for her magazine's monthly cover article. Will Pastor Byron Mitchell let Jamie in on the key to lifelong peace before her dark past drags her to drown in the depths of despair?

Catskinner's Book

By Misha Burnett,

Book cover of Catskinner's Book: The Book of Lost Doors

The books that grab me most firmly are the ones where the premise itself gets me in a headlock and screams: "READ ME!" at the top of its lungs while twisting my ear until I give in. Case in point: Catskinner's Book.

After years of failure, long-time loser James Ozwrycke has finally assembled a life. Sort of. He's got a tiny apartment and a crappy job, which might not be much to you, but it's enough to pay the bills and fuel his video game habit, and that's the best life James has ever known. So how did he manage to score this skid row utopia? By entering an unusual agreement. All he has to do is let a demon use his body every now and then. You know, to kill people. But that's not so bad. Is it?


Who am I?

As host of ImmerseOrDie, I've tested over 600 indie novels so far, searching for books that can hold me in their spell for at least 40 minutes. Unfortunately, self-publishing is rife with the quirks and gaffs that burst such glamours: bad spelling, bad formatting, ludicrous dialogue... Even allowing three failures before bailing, only 9% survived. And reading those to completion whittled the herd still further. So here then are the surviving 1%. A glittering few, plucked from the muck so that you don't have to. I don't promise you'll love them, but I do make one guarantee: they do not suck. And in the Swamps of Indie, that is high praise indeed.


I wrote...

Strange Places

By Jefferson Smith,

Book cover of Strange Places

What is my book about?

Unlovable. That's what they call her. According to the nuns who run the orphanage, girls like Tayna, with minds of their own, are too unruly to ever be loved. So they're put to work in the kitchens and never shown to the wanna-dads and mommy-bes who might offer them a loving home.

But that all changes when Tayna learns that her entire life has been built on a lie. Her parents are still alive! Only they're trapped in a world of magic and now it's up to her to rescue them. All she has to do is escape her nunnish prison, find her way into that secret world, and lead a rescue mission. But compared to being a slave? This oughta be a piece of cake.

Sugar Man's Daughter

By Lucy Crowe,

Book cover of Sugar Man's Daughter

Sugar Man’s Daughter follows Nicola’s journey as she tries to escape her demons by returning to her childhood roots. It’s mysterious and dark; the characters are vivid and perfectly flawed; it sucks you in and keeps you turning the page. Sugar Man’s Daughter is an introspective piece that examines the dysfunction created in the wake of illegal drugs and corruption.

Who am I?

As a kindergarten teacher and a mother of three boys, I live at the intersection of weird and wonderful, so I expect nothing less from my library. Indie authors offer unique points of view, aren’t afraid to break the rules, and are motivated by their passion for the craft of writing. I'm drawn to those writers who let the voices in their heads lead the way, creating characters you become invested in from page one. I love writing around my characters, because once I have them developed, the books tend to write themselves. Some of my best storylines are ones where my characters took over and led me in weird and wonderful directions.


I wrote...

Hitchhiker

By Audra Middleton,

Book cover of Hitchhiker

What is my book about?

Supernatural abilities haunt her. Brainiac students taunt her. The FBI "Freak Squad" wants her. Will she abandon her extra sensory talents in favor of freedom, or will she hone them to help catch crooks?

Former army brat, Ainsley Benton, may have finally found her place in this world, and it’s among the freaks. This small-town art teacher has the ability to see, hear, and feel what other people are experiencing, and now the FBI’s freak squad wants to use her “human bug” abilities to catch bad guys. Despite her fear of commitment, failure, and responsibility, Ainsley temporarily agrees to join this team of misfits and ends up risking her life to investigate a conspiracy that may only be one of her schizophrenic coworker’s paranoid delusions.

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