SELF-e Circs: Top Ten Most Read Fantasy Titles in SELF-e Select

Fantasy

1

Brannigan, Grace. Find Me. Questor. (Faeries Lost, Bk. 1). 2013. 226p. ebk. ISBN 9781939061355.

2

Young, Nancy. Strum. First. 2013. 380p. ebk. ISBN N/A.

3

Ingle, Adam. Necessary Evil and the Greater Good. CreateSpace: Amazon. 2014. 288p. ebk. ISBN N/A.

4

Ardito, Gina. Eternally Yours. CreateSpace: Amazon. (Afterlife, Bk. 1). 2012. 276p. ebk. ISBN 9781478132448.

5

Madore, Nancy. The Hidden Ones. CreateSpace: Amazon. (Legacy of the Watchers, Bk. 1). 2013. 434p. ebk. IBSN N/A.

6

St. Clair, Anthony. Forever the Road. Rucksack. (Rucksack Universe, Bk. 3). 2014. 458p. ebk. ISBN 9781940119083.

7

McPhail, Melissa. Cephrael’s Hand. Five Strands. (Pattern of Shadow & Light, Bk. 1). 2014. 780p. ebk. ISBN N/A.

8

Luria, Alia. Compendium. Willowslip. (Artifacts of Lumin, Bk. 1). 2015. 490p. ebk. ISBN N/A.

9

Fehmel, Cindy. The Knight Errant Courts Disaster. ebk. ISBN N/A.

10

Beguesse, Nicole. Angelboy. angelboy.com. 2013. 212p. ebk IBSN N/A.

Q&A: ANTHONY ST. cLAIR

anthony st clair.jpg42517A 2015 Honorable Mention in LJ’s annual Indie Ebook Awards, Anthony St. Clair’s Forever the Road is a quirky offering filled with fantasy, travel, and beer. Here, he discusses his influences, his “Rucksack Universe” series, and being a self-published author.

What fantasy authors have influenced you, and what do you enjoy about the genre?
I’ve been a “Discworld” series fan since college, and Terry Pratchett [the author of that series] has been a big influence on my work. These books remind me not to take fantasy too seriously, yet ­Pratchett does an unparalleled job of taking aim at events in our world.

I love how Neil Gaiman intertwines the fantastical and the realistic in his novel American Gods; TV’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer shaped my sense of dialog and mythology; and Louise Penny’s “Chief Inspector Gamache” [mystery] series wows me with every read.

I endeavor to hold true to a sense of the amazing underlying the ordinary. Fantasy is a far more encompassing genre than people give it credit for. It helps us gain perspective and understanding.

The concept of destiny is a running theme in Forever the Road. What drew you to exploring those complexities?
foreverroad.jpg42517Growing up, I was surrounded by people who talked about life being just a matter of circumstance. What happened to you was what happened to you, and there was nothing you could do about it. I became determined to set my own course. I’ve come to understand that life is a mixture of choice, circumstance, and what we choose to do with the circumstances we have.

What inspired your worldbuilding?
I started [writing the stories] in 2004. I’d just come back from traveling India, Thailand, and Cambodia and had an idea about a traveler who faces an impossible decision. I fiddled with it, but it wasn’t until around 2011 that I got more serious.

I began worldbuilding in earnest and have never stopped. Pratchett kept evolving Discworld, and that helped me find my confidence that my world wasn’t static but would broaden with effort. Drawing on my travels, I researched Celtic and Buddhist mythology and geography. I dedicated writing sessions to worldbuilding: 1,000 words on a character, a setting, an event. I still turn to those exercises so I can keep expanding the universe and my understanding of it.

Why did you decide to self-publish? Were there any specific resources you used to learn about the process?
Back in 2010, I was planning to leave my job and set up shop as a self-employed professional writer. I spent months researching the publishing industry and where things might go. I drew on all sorts of resources, such as Joanna Penn’s [website] the Creative Penn and Dan Poynter’s Self-Publishing Manual. I also joined the Alliance of Independent Authors.

I chose self-publishing because I wanted to maintain control of my rights and set the course of my work. I’m also an admin nerd. I like spreadsheets and keeping the books. I even get a kick out of setting up ISBNs. That doesn’t mean I’ll never work with a publisher, but if I did, it would be in a situation where I was confident that it would be a win for everyone.

What do you wish you knew about self-publishing when you were first getting started?
I wish I had understood more about categorizing a book and writing descriptions. Copywriting and commercial writing are part of my business, but just as the cobbler’s children have no shoes, I have found it devil hard to write descriptions for my own stories.

Categorizing is also tough. My books are fantastical, but not in the mainstream genre sense. I have no vampires, werewolves, or witches. I take some comfort from Gaiman though. He’s said he doesn’t necessarily consider his books fantasy, but he concedes that you’ve got to put them somewhere.—Kate DiGirolomo

These titles are currently the top fantasy novels being read through SELF-e Select, a subscription-based digital discovery platform that culls the best self-published submissions. To bring SELF-e to your library, visit the SELF-e website.

This article was published in Library Journal's May 1, 2017 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

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Kate DiGirolomo About Kate DiGirolomo

Kate DiGirolomo is the SELF-e Community Coordinator at Library Journal. She received her Master's degree in Library and Information Science at Pratt Institute. Follow her on Twitter @KateDiGirolomo.

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