The Reading Corner is a place where books of all genres are examined and reviewed. Comments, questions and disagreement are welcomed. Grab some coffee and a comfy chair and make yourself at home.

Monday, October 5, 2009


Gasp! Exposed flesh! I'm surprised her ankles aren't showing, the little hussy.

No, for real though -that's me. There is, I promise, I reason I am baring my pale and tattooed ribcage at you. I like my tattoo. That's not the reason, I just thought you should know. I kind of want another one (don't freak out, Mom, it won't be happening anytime soon). :)

The reason I'm showing off my little Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired piece of body art is that I'm going to be writing about a book that hasn't even been released yet.

It's called Inked.

It was written and self-published by Renda Dodge, using (the same place I'll be using to publish Leaves & Flowers when the time comes) and it. Looks. Awesome.

The basic gist of the story -I'll let it speak for itself in a moment -is that Tori Liddell has an undiagnosed psychological disorder that she deals with by getting tattoos as her lifestyle and personality change, "but when her widowed mother reveals her battle with AIDS Tori returns to small town Oregon to facilitate her care. At her homecoming Tori faces her own mortality, the inevitable loss of her mother and her new enigmatic neighbor's interest. Tori also confronts the realization that things and people are not always the way she remembers as she searches for the meaning of home in the rubble of her past."

Cool, amirite?
(I am right)

You can even read the first chapter by going to Renda's website, which is awesome (the first chapter and the website both).

The most encouraging thing about Inked to me (aside from the fact that it looks like a good read) as an aspiring author/editor, is how professional this book looks. The cover art is fabulous, the PDF of the first chapter not only has all of the usual information you'd expect from a book, it also has some artwork to introduce the story and it just looks damn good.

For years, big publishers have derided self-publishing as a way for people who couldn't get published to do so anyway. In many cases, that's true. But, but but but, in many (perhaps many more) cases, that is no longer true. Self-publishing is a way for authors to retain greater control over their work -its design, its marketing, its sale -and while self-publishing can have its limits (professional editing can be an immense help to a book), it is quickly becoming a viable and respectable way to publish.

People like Renda Dodge who know their stuff -maintaining a good blog, having a professional website, networking in beneficial and supportive ways -find opportunities to successfully publish a book that would be indistinguishable from one that was worked on for a couple of years before ever seeing the light of a bookstore, if it ever even got that far (seriously, the more I learn about the publishing world as it is today, the further I fall in love with small presses and self-publishing).

I've already ordered a copy of Inked. It comes out the 20th of this month and it's reasonably priced. For a debut novel, self-publishing is a leap of faith -but for somebody who knows their way around the social networking sphere and has a quality piece of work to offer, I think it's fair to say that faith is justified.

Additionally, Renda is writing for Leaves & Flowers!! How awesome is that? I'm really excited to be working with someone who has used the same tools I'll be using and produced something that I can't wait to read. Here's hoping L&F turns out the same way. Be supportive of us both -order a copy of Inked and find more people to write, draw, paint, sculpt or take pictures for L&F. :)