The Great Self-Published: Indy Writers for Your Reading Pleasure

For the past year I’ve been reading, and enjoying, mysteries by self-published authors. I’m impressed with the care they take with crafting their stories as well as with editing, formatting, and cover designs. Here are a few of the authors whose works I’ve especially enjoyed:

Anne R. Allen is the author of the hilarious Camilla Randall mysteries. She has a terrific blog on her site designed with writers in mind.

A Cereal Killer

Morgana Best This Australian author has turned out four series to date. Her covers are a work of art.

Rod Hoisington created a series set in steamy Florida. Intrepid Sandy Reid balances solving murder mysteries with romance and law studies.

Ellen Elizabeth Hunter pens the Magnolia Mysteries, a series of cozy mysteries set in historic Wilmington, North Carolina and nearby Wrightsville Beach.

C.A. Larmer, another author from Down Under, created the Ghostwriter Mystery Series, set in Sydney.

Vivian Lawry and W. Lawrence Gulick co-wrote the Chesapeake Bay series with sleuths from the academic world.

Tony Piazza

Tony Piazza is a film historian and author of mysteries set in 1930s Southern California. He worked regularly as an extra and stand-in on multiple Hollywood movies and television shows shot in San Francisco during the 1970s, including Towering Inferno, High Anxiety, Magnum Force, and Streets of San Francisco. Read about his Hollywood experiences on his blog.

Cindy Sample is the national bestselling author of the humorous and romantic Laurel McKay mysteries, a  series set in Sacramento.

Angela M. Sanders writes smart, quirky mysteries featuring Joanna Hayworth, owner of a vintage clothing store in Portland, Oregon. She has started a series of wacky caper novels. She puts out a monthly newsletter that I think is one of the best around. Subscribe on her web site at

Jeff Sherratt wrote the Jimmy O’Brien mystery series, set in 1970s Southern California. Sadly, he passed away in 2012. Read my tribute to him in my “In Memory Of” post here.


Pamela Samuels Young, described by one reviewer as “John Grisham with a sister’s twist,” is an attorney who turns out page-turning legal thrillers and doesn’t shy away from sex scenes. She also gives workshops on self-publishing.


There are many other self-published authors I can recommend, but this is a good start. Some, like Tina Glasneck and M.E. Maki, are next up on my list. You can find books by the authors mentioned in this post on Amazon and other online book stores; your local brick-and-mortar store will order copies for you.


Readers, do you have your own favorite self-published authors to recommend? All genres are welcome.


The Great Self-Published: Indy Writers for Your Reading Pleasure — 13 Comments

  1. Thank you so much for helping me find some new authors to read, although I already love the books of Pamela Samuels Young. They are of the “I-can’t-put-it-down” genre. I get Ann R. Allen’s blog, but I hadn’t checked out her books. I will now. And there are others I will add to my list.

    • Jackie, thanks for commenting. PSY wins hands down for page-turning. If you like gritty stories, I suggest Jeff Sherratt, Rod Hoisington, or Tony Piazza. The rest fall in the cozy category, some cozier than others.

  2. I’ve enjoyed reading many self-pubbed mysteries, and have even self-pubbed a few myself. My one complaint is that some books are not well edited. I say “some,”
    and wish that those authors would hire editors to edit their books.

    • You’re right, Marilyn. I think the ones I’ve listed are pretty well-edited. it’s important to have a good editor, formatter, and cover designer.

      • Yes!! A necessity if indie authors want the respect that other published writers receive.

        I find it interesting that the big houses seem to be taking lessons from indie authors regarding promotion.:)

  3. Thanks for the list of new authors to try!

    My first mystery, Bound for Eternity, was self-published (after trying about 60 agents and several small presses). It was a finalist in the Best First Traditional Mystery St. Martin’s contest (2004).

    After discovering typos, I reissued it with a new cover and corrected text.

  4. Of course I’d like to add my three mystery novels! They feature Cinnamon Greene, a scuba diving photographer who lives on California’s Central Coast. The first book is set on California’s Central Coast, the second in the Bahamas and the third in the Caribbean. They are The Bride Wore Black, Murder Dives the Bahamas and Murder Dives the Caribbean. You don’t have to be a diver to enjoy them, they are fun to read.

    • Bonnie, thanks for adding your books to the list. I think it’s fabulous that readers have an unending supply of great authors. I’ll post something about your books on Facebook later today.

  5. I’m glad you’re giving these authors their due. Self-publishing is a great trend that doesn’t get enough respect.

    After selling 100 novels in various genres to traditional publishers, I’m launching a self-pubbed mystery series in April, featuring an obstetrician who solves murders that affect his patients. It’s called The Case of the Questionable Quadruplet. Thanks for the encouragement!

    • Jacqueline, good wishes for your new series. I just friended you and liked your page, so I’ll be on the lookout for QQ.

  6. Like Bonnie, I would like to mention my Kado Mystery…both available on and Kindle. Set in NJ, Berry Township is the town, and Kado Dolan is the amateur sleuth. Fall of Indian Summer & Winter of Berry Discontent.