The market is driven by just that, the market. If a book doesn't fit the cubbyhole a certain agent or publisher has, then the book is passed over and it may be a great read you'll never see because of it.
But the Indies are bringing it to you. You might dreat light reading in your favorite genre or discover very specific technical or research materials.
There is still a bit of a negative image of self-published writers and many misconceptions. So let's talk about that and see where we are.
One thought is that a self-published author can't be any good or that author would have publishing contracts with an established house. Well, I won't dispute there are lots of self-published books out there that probably should never have been published. But, if you think back over all the stuff you've read you no doubt feel similarly about a lot of books that were traditionally published. I know there were a good number of those I never finished.
The reality right now is that publishing is changing - fast. Writers have a lot more freedom and many more choices. Some self-publish because they find themselves in a niche so narrow not enough people would buy the book to warrant a big publishing house or even a smaller one to publish. Others want to keep the entire process in their own hands and not be dependent on the publishing house's whims. Still other writers make the decision to self publish because it's business - they can actually make more money. Yes, writers, just like you, actually have to earn money to live.
I'm doing some self publishing now and I have been published by major houses Doubleday, Harlequin, Five Star, Pinnacle, Manor and internationally as well. Why? Because I like it. I like the process and the control. I can pick my own designer, my own art work, etc. And there are other reasons. That's just an example. Everyone has his or her reasons for being an Indie.
So, why would you, should you be interested in Indie authors?
You might like to support individual artists.
If it's non-fiction you like you might unearth helpful books published by experts in your field - and you might not even realize they're self-published.
You might be interested in shorter works like novellas and such that major publishing houses don't do much of.
There are lots more reasons to support Indie authors, but that's just a few.
So, how do fascinated readers who want to become avid fans find these gems?
Well, Amazon is one obvious place to look. There you can find lots of Ebooks as well as paperbacks, etc. through their hard copy arm, CreateSpace. Smashwords offers a wide variety of Ebooks as well. You can toss a search into your search engine searching for your favorite genres and see what turns up. There are smaller Ebook publishers as well. The Fictionworks handled publication of my book, Stormrider (2 5 star reviews so far and a recommendation from Tony Award Winning Actor John Cullum) and offer a wide variety of Ebooks and sees to it they're available in a variety of formats. Your local bookstore will no doubt carry Indie published titles by local authors and maybe some from afar. There are others, Kobo for example.
So go forth and seek. Oh, and hey, if you find a great source, a great book, or an equally great Indie writer let us all know. Post your suggestions in the comments box below and tell the world.