It’s because the readers of this exceptional book-review and book-club blog have such passion for books and all things reading that I’m excited to be given this space to introduce you to Backword Books (backwordbooks.com).
Backword Books is a collective of authors publishing under their own imprints, and whose novels have received critical acclaim and attracted media attention. From our website:
There has never been a time like this. There’s a perfect storm brewing: publishers less willing to take chances on new fiction writers and emerging media making it easier for writers to reach readers…
People read good books. The BACKWORD authors write good books. There are no longer any valid barriers keeping the two groups from finding each other.
Popular perception is that independently released novels are substandard. We don’t completely disagree—many of them are. Just as many traditionally released books are substandard. Our purpose, our goal, is to introduce the good independent work to readers and break down the belief that if it’s self-published—no matter what it is (and if it’s not by someone famous)—it should be discounted. Publishers don’t make good writers. Good writers make good writers.
Kristen Tsetsi's 'Homefront' has a cab-driving former English professor, an unpredictable alcoholic Vietnam Veteran, an anti-war soldier, and a morbid mother in-law coming together in this realistic, sensual, and darkly humorous semi-autobiographical tale of waiting through a war deployment. [Heather J.'s note: I reviewed her book here - it was quite good!]
* 'One of the most powerful and brilliant books I have read in a long time. Make this the next book you read.' –PopCultureZoo* ‘Love and pain is the plot of Homefront, but in the hands of this talented artist they are a mighty force.' --Karl Rove Made George W. Bush Presidential' , co-author of the bestselling, 'Bush's Brain: How
Bonnie Kozek's 'Threshold' is a take-no-prisoners noir thriller whose protagonist, Honey McGuinness descends into a dark, seedy, and dangerously seductive underworld in the fearless pursuit of her best friend's killer.
* 'This book kicked me in the teeth. Every few scenes your get you jaw rocked and your gut punched. It hurts like hell, but once the literary adrenalin starts juicing, there's no way you are going to stop.' -Ron Fortier, Pulp Fiction Reviews
* 'Let's face it, living life can be pretty graphic. And, ignoring it doesn't solve problems. Ms. Kozek takes the reader into such a seedy world brilliantly.' --Susan Haley, Fascinating Authors
Andrew Kent's 'Spam and Eggs: A Johnny Denovo Mystery' has the world-renowned detective finding a message hidden in a spam email, which sets in motion a case filled with metaphors and double-meaning.
* 'This book is different from any other that I have read. 'Spam & Eggs' is a clever, intellectual mystery that will leave you wanting more of Johnny Denovo in the future. I look forward to many more intriguing cases!' --RebeccasReads.com
* 'This is a book that in fact puts the writing of a lot of very seasoned and famous mystery writers to shame. . . . If rises to the top then this is not the last we have heard from Johnny Denovo and his creator Andrew Kent.' --The Book Friar
Eddie Wright's 'Broken Bulbs' tells the story of Frank Fisher who finds himself involved in a twisting mystery full of addiction, desperation, toothaches, hamsters, a vindictive postal worker, and self-discovery.
* 'A brilliant and stunningly original work, by far the best novel I read in 2008.' --Alternative Reel
* 'This slim volume is the bastard child of Memento and William S. Burroughs, absolutely not for the faint of heart nor for anyone seeking a nice, simple beach read.' --Jason Pettus, The Chicago Center for and Photography
R.J. Keller's 'Waiting for Spring' takes readers beyond the Maine tourists know, beyond lighthouses and lobster and rocky beaches, and drops them instead into a rural town whose citizens struggle with poverty and loss, yet push onward with stubbornness and humor.
* 'A strong debut. Her voice is strong, her talent is evident. [... This is the spring of Keller's work, the beginning and now we can anticipate the full bloom of summer in her next work.' --Barb Radmore, Front Street Reviews
* ''Waiting for Spring' is a very well-written, consistent story with a skillful eye for characterization. It's not a showy fantasy or clever comedy or groundbreaking genre-maker -- but it accomplishes something even better. It shows you a main character, and unfolding group of secondary characters, that live and breathe and...touch the reader's heart and mind.' --Sarah Suleski, Web Fiction Guide
Christopher Meeks's 'The Brightest Moon of the Century' brings Minnesotan Edward Meopian across thirty-six years, and such situations as an all-boys high school, a drive-in in mid-winter, and a mini-mart in an Alabama trailer park to find his place in the universe.
* 'Meeks manages to put together a thoughtful, fresh-feeling portrait of how we become who we are.' --Cherie Parker, Minneapolis Star-Tribune
* 'This focus on introspection is what pins the story together into more than a series of vignettes. No matter where Edward is, or what age he may be, his talent for both engineering frustrating, socially awkward situations and learning from them make him supremely sympathetic.' --Jennie Blake, Book Geeks
'American Book of the Dead' by Henry Baum will release soon. In the meantime, to read Baum’s work, pick up The Golden Calf or the self-published North of Sunset, listed in as the #1 Self-Published Novel. North of Sunset also won the Hollywood Book Festival Grand Prize.
Meeks' and Baum's work both made the EW list of best self-published novels, and critically-acclaimed Homefront--whose true-to-life characters and unique relationships continue to make it an increasingly popular book club selection--has been featured on NPR’s “Faith Middleton Show,” “Front Page,” and a number of other radio programs.
The novels at Backword Books are working with others and are looking at branching out. Because genre books have generally had an easier time of self-publishing, Backword is—for the moment, anyway—sticking to books that aren’t too genre-specific. But we’re thinking of connecting with a number of different niche publishers – a sort of Gawker-esque network of publishing collectives that all cross-promote. Thinking big: the idea is to have a romance self-publishing group, horror, science fiction, non-fiction, etc. But that’s something that will take a little time and planning.. All this means is that they can’t easily be categorized on a shelf under “Romance,” “Mystery,” or “Sci-Fi.” As a new collective, we’re understandably still relatively small, but we’re open to
Thanks Kristen! And thank you also for the copy of HOMEFRONT that you are going to ship to one lucky reader.
*** How To Enter ***
- Leave a comment with your thoughts on Backword Books' authors collective - what do you think of their approach to self-publishing? Did any of their books catch your eye? A simple "enter me!" won't get you in.
- If your email address is not available through your profile or your blog, please include it in your comment.
- Everyone is eligible to win no matter where you live. Kristen has graciously offered to ship anywhere in the world - yeah!
- I'll choose the winner on Friday morning (8/14) so be sure to get your comment posted before then.