I want to do something to help support new and indie writers publishing in the Kindle store. I also want to read more this year.
As for the latter, I'm reading and reviewing all of the Tor Free eBooks as well as taking part in LibraryThing's 50 Book Reading Challenge.
As for the former…
I'm going to do something nice for a change (for the first time, if you ask my wife) and attempt to give something back to the writing community. I plan to do this by selecting, once a month, an eBook from Amazon's Kindle Store to read and review. There are some criteria (listed below) to which I will adhere to when making a selection, the most notable being that the eBook will have to have been written by a relatively unknown or completely unknown author. I want to help out people like myself who are exploring the self-publishing route or indie authors by giving a shout-out of their work. The stage on this blog is pretty small, but every lit bit of attention helps, right?
That being said, I can't guarantee my review will be positive (see #1 below). I can't even guarantee it will help foster new sales for that particular writer. The only thing I can guarantee is a single sale and a subsequent review. That's all.
Now, to lay some ground rules:
1.) I'm going to give an honest review. If the book doesn't work for me (or if it just stinks), I'll say so. I figure anyone brave enough to put their work up for sale should be able to stand some criticism.
2.) As far as price, I'll likely stick to eBooks selling for less than about $4-5. This isn't set in stone, and, to be honest, I'm not sure what I'll find at that price range. I sell my eBook, The Hall of the Wood, for less than that and everyone knows it is of dubious quality. ;-) Also, I support the boycott on eBooks costing more than $9.99, so I certainly won't go over that threshold.
3.) I'll target new writers, or at least those eBooks that currently do not have any reviews (or a small number of reviews).
4.) The eBook has to have a cover. I think book covers are important. In the eBook world, I think it shows a heightening of professionalism, a sort of minimum requirement that all eBooks should have in order to be taken seriously. This will be one of the first criteria I will use to eliminate potential review candidates.
5.) I'll (obviously) post my review up here, but I'll also add it to Amazon along with a rating. Amazon reviews are extremely important. Perhaps even more so for new writers or books that are languishing without any reviews at all. Hopefully (for the writer), my review is positive and helps their sales.
6.) I'll generally stick with fantasy and science fiction. However, I might stray into historical fiction or even mystery/detective, depending on what I find.
7.) The eBook has to have a Product Description. If I don't know what the book is about, why would I want to read it? Also, the description has to be well-written. In other words, product descriptions full of sentences that don't make sense or are fraught with typos are a reflection on the content within and will keep me from hitting the 'buy' button.
8.) The eBook has to be a novel, and not a short story. Lots of people selling short fiction in the Kindle store. That's fine, but not what I want to buy/review. Best way to determine this is to look at the file/download size.
What this amounts to is (hopefully) a way of giving back and promoting little-known or unknown authors. Everyone knows the publishing game is changing; I'd like to be a part of that change in a positive way.
One last comment… If you, dear reader, happen to have an eBook for sale in the Kindle Store that you might want me to read and review, feel free to post it up below.
I should hopefully have my first eBook selected by the end of the week.
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