Self-publishing isn't a get-rich scheme for anyone. Book publishing -- whether you're doing it by yourself, through a small independent publishing company, or through a Big Five publishing conglomerate -- requires an enormous amount of work before, during and after publication to pay off.
A good mystery always piques my interest. I'm very excited to see there is a current rise in mysteries for teens. One such series is Alibi. It has a solid plot with well-rounded characterization and twists and turns to boot.
Independent presses have been putting out books every bit as good as those published by New York's major houses. They typically don't get the same media attention or space in bookstores, so here are some of the best small press books of the decade.
I've tried to read Stieg Larsson and never gotten very far, just like I've tried to read dozens of Scandinavian Noir mysteries and thrillers recommended to me by friends. They just haven't been my beer, as the Germans say.
I would wager that consumers of small press books are more aware of who published the work than those of corporate presses, which makes it easier for an independent publisher to sell brand merchandise.