SBPT Tour featuring Roberta from Offbeat YA


Hello Readers,

I’m both sad and super excited about today’s SBPT Tour post. I’m sad because this is the second to last post, which means this great experience is coming to an end. But I’m excited because I’m featuring Roberta from Offbeat YA today!

Before jumping into the post, here’s a little about Roberta…

Roberta R. is a senior blogger with a penchant for YA books. Her love of music has landed her a job as a host for a local radio station. Her fancy for TV series, from police procedural to sci-fi to urban fantasy, causes her to experiment wild adventures with too many fictional characters in her night dreams. Her urge to spread the love for overlooked YA novels drove her to start her blog, Offbeat YA, in 2012.

Today, Roberta is here to talk about some of her fave indie books.
Indie Books Are Not Evil: Four Authors (+ One) You Won’t Regret Giving a Chance To

It’s funny, you know.

Around three years ago, when I joined the book blogging world, I didn’t have a clue about indie writers – though I was well aware of indie musicians. In time, it slowly dawned on me that some of the books I was interested in were published by small presses, and I also realised that there was a big chunk of writers who were putting out their books on their own. Now, a few bloggers frown upon indie authors, and on a level, I can understand where they’re coming from. There are so many of them, queuing into their mailbox. Some barely edit their works. Some were rejected by the publishing industry for a valid reason. On the other hand, this is not always the case. Sometimes, regular presses are just intimidated by anything that doesn’t fit their little boxes. Who cares if the written world is full of gorgeous, mysterious new boys at school – bring on another one, and sc**w the fresh, different scenario someone else has in mind…Who wants to take a risk when there’s a well-oiled mechanism that’s working so smoothly?

Of course, this is wrong on so many counts. And as for us readers, while we’re all screaming for diverse books (where “diverse” doesn’t only covers race or sexual preferences or disability…I assume), we should probably start looking for the diversity that is already out there…

If you’re fed up with same old, same old, and aren’t afraid of/prejudiced against small presses/indie authors, here are four of them (plus one) you should try before you judge…

In chronological order…

B.C. Johnson (author of the Deadgirl and Riven series – both in progress)

Deadgirl first came out in 2012 for a small press, and has been recently reissued (book 2 out next year); The Bad Rescue of Devon Streeter (book 1 of Riven) was released a few months ago, and the sequel should be out next year too. B.C. Johnson is a talented guy with a flair for writing three-dimensional, highly relatable characters who can’t help feeling real even if he keeps throwing them into the craziest adventures :). How come you haven’t heard of him? Duh, because he’s not under the protective umbrella of some bigwigs in the publishing industry. As a matter of fact, he decided to go self-pub with Devon, because apparently this piece was too visionary (as in, it mixed too many genres) for industry to take a chance on it. Your loss, dear publishers.

Erin Callahan & Troy H. Gardner (authors of Mad World series – in progress)

This is a double trilogy coming out for a small press, and I really can’t see a reason why. Oh, but wait, it doesn’t have the required gorgeous, mysterious new boy at school, or blatant love triangle, or lovestruck heroine who manages to find the time to save the world (along with the gorgeous blah and blah). It does have cool magic, though. And well-depeloved characters. And friendship. And bad guys with complex motives. And did I mention cool magic? Not as in, Harry Potter’s kind of magic. But magic nevertheless…

Also, I have to mention that Erin has a new book in the pipeline, which I’m honoured to be beta-reading at the mo. This one will hopefully come out for a bigger publisher…but it doesn’t mean the author jumped on some bandwagon. I’m not allowed to say more on the subject, but I will when the time comes, on my own blog…

Robert Schell (author of Temporal Affairs series – in progress)

So far, only book 1 – The Foster Children of Time – has been released, and the second installment is on its way. I was impressed by Robert’s writing – nothing lazy in that department. TFCOT is a time travel book starring two former childhood friends (male and female…yes! it can be done! *pumps fist in the air*), who reunite just in time for a crazy adventure. While I would have liked more background for their relationship, I highly recommend this one to time travel-slightly alternate history fans and fantasy aficionados.

Allison Rose (author of Tick series – in progress)

I won a copy of Tick – the 1st book in this trilogy – but haven’t gotten round to review it yet *beats herself with a stick*. OK, this one is tough. You are not spared violence, blood and gore. But it has an interesting, if disquieting, premise, and engages your attention all the time. I honestly can’t see why a major press hasn’t picked this book up. More about it later on my blog…when I have organised my thoughts in a more coherent manner :).

Finally, it’s time for a little shout-out :). Two bloggers I’ve been friends with for around three years are putting out a diverse fantasy tetralogy, The Sterling Wayfairer Series. Book 1, The Mark of Noba, is coming out on Aug. 25th! Please welcome Guinevere and Libertad Tomas, also known as the Twinjas, in the self-publishing world! They are putting out their series under the name GL Tomas, and the reason why they are going indie is…they made a conscious decision. I’ve read an unedited version of their book, and I honestly think it has a lot going on for it. Incidentally, it reverses the new-boy-at-school stereotype introducing a new girl who’s…umm…not very typical LOL – not to mention, a relationship that is not your usual love story…

I hope you’re considering trying some of the above books by now! Either way, thanks to Nicole for letting me ramble about them – and long live The Book Bandit!

No, THANK YOU Roberta for this awesome post! I know I especially learned a lot about indie books and I know all of my dear readers will too!

Be sure to check Roberta and Offbeat YA out.

5 thoughts on “SBPT Tour featuring Roberta from Offbeat YA

  1. I’ve always been open to Indie books ( & met amazing indie authors) but I must admit I’ve kind of got pulled away for a bit.

    When indie had a publishing boom there was a lot of mixed quality out there that’s hard to weed though but it’s getting easier, thanks to blogs like yours, Roberta, that are willing to give them a shot.

    I think it’s particularly important in the YA genre, where the publishers seem hell bent on selling only one type of story.

    Roberta and I have talked about this – I do like my romance lol – but there are hundreds of ways to write about relationships and create tension but if you read the most popular YA and romances there are only 2 or 3.

    1. Quote:
      “there are hundreds of ways to write about relationships and create tension but if you read the most popular YA and romances there are only 2 or 3”.

      I trust you on this, since you’re an authority on romance! 😉
      Thanks for commenting here too!

  2. So happy that there are bloggers out there that give indie books a chance! My sister and I for one, started out as bloggers first for nearly 3 years before we decided to release this book and the amount of Indie authors that release just anything make all indies look bad XD But Roberta is probably indisputably our favorite blogger bud 🙂 So happy when she drops a meaningful guest post!

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