Scott Marlowe, fantasy author

Scott Marlowe

Author of the Alchemancer and Assassin Without a Name fantasy series

Here's one way to get free copies of my eBooks

There's an easy way to get one of my eBooks for free that's perfectly legit in literary circles. This method also does not violate retailers' review guidelines. How you accomplish this is by agreeing to write and post a review.

Exchanging a free book for a review is really the only legitimate manner in which an author can obtain a review (beyond a person just buying the book and leaving a review themselves, of course). There are other means being employed, though, including some that are outright wrong and others that maybe are a bit borderline. On one hand you have authors who pay people, who in some cases don't even read the book, to leave a review. That's wrong. On the other, you have authors running various promotions including giveaways of, for example, Kindle Fires or Amazon gift cards. This violates the 'free book for a review' guideline of which Amazon explicitly condemns under their "What's not allowed" section:

Reviews written for any form of compensation other than a free copy of the product

I personally don't condemn this practice. I've thought about using it myself. Getting reviews is tough, so you do what you have to.

Further, Amazon has been cracking down on the "author exchange" of reviews recently and I'd guess they would also crack down on the giveaways for reviews crowd as well if there were some easy way for them to establish that link. Too bad Amazon doesn't crack down on idiots leaving reviews.

I should mention that I'm not real big on the whole free thing. In too many cases it doesn't work in terms of return on investment. I'm not in this to get rich, but I wouldn't complain if I could support myself and therefore have more time to write.

All that aside, if you want to give one of my books a read AND agree to leave a review somewhere (your blog or web site, Amazon, B&N, Smashwords, Goodreads, or somewhere else) then I've got free copies waiting for you. I can do Kindle/MOBI, EPUB, PDF, or just about anything else.

If you would like a free copy of either The Five Elements or The Hall of the Wood, contact me with your format preference and I'd be happy to send you a copy.

On the other hand, if you want to avoid having the overwhelming pressure of having to write a review hanging over your head, you can obtain either book (or both) at any of the retailers listed on my site or, for a limited time, for $0.99 at Smashwords using a couple of handy coupon codes.

As for the review, the only obligation is to actually leave it. The content is entirely up to you. 5 stars, 3 stars, good, bad, like, dislike, critical, or full of praise, all up to you, my friend.

Contact me and let's make a deal.

Free Today: The Hall of the Wood

The Hall of the Wood is free today on Amazon.

The novel is straightforward, classic fantasy: goblins, witches, rangers, sorcerers, knights, and murky woods. It's a bit of a mystery story with elements of suspense and plenty of action and adventure. There's some magic, too. Readers have complemented me on the development of the characters, which is more than they expect given the nature of the story.

Here's the "official" blurb:

All is not right in the Simarron Woods.

The King's Patrol has vanished. Their Hall stands empty. Goblins prowl the fringes of the forest and folk whisper of a sitheri witch brewing evil from the darkest hollows.

Once a patroller of the Hall, Jerrick is duty-bound to investigate. He is joined by Kayra Weslin, knight errant, and her chronicler, Holly, who go to answer a plea for help from nearby Homewood. Along with Murik Alon Rin'kres, an eslar sorcerer who harbors a secret purpose all his own, the four attempt to unravel the mystery of the missing patrollers. They soon find tales of their disappearance frighteningly untrue.

If you've been on the fence on this one, now you can get it for free. Hard to argue with free.

And, while you're over on Amazon, why not pick up a copy of The Five Elements? It's an unrelated story that begins the tale of the alchemancer, a character I plan on taking through a story arc of 4-5 books when all is said and done. This first novel is a self-contained story, though, and many readers have said some very nice things about the characters, writing, and the story.

The Five Elements is FREE 3/21-3/22

Starting tomorrow (or today depending on when you're reading this), The Five Elements, my fantasy/pseudoscience novel that has been described by one reader as "an enveloping story that drags you in and doesn't let go" will be free on Amazon in Kindle format.

The promotion runs for two days—from 3/21 to 3/22. I would greatly appreciate it if everyone and anyone would download the eBook on one of those dates. I'm really curious to see how the novel does in the rankings this time around. This will be the second free promotion I've run. The first went great. But I'd really like to do better. That's why I'm bought some ad space here and there. That's why I've given advanced notice to my Twitter followers. This post will hit Goodreads—where almost 1,000 people entered to win a print copy of The Five Elements—and Amazon either tonight or tomorrow; plenty of time for everyone to find out about this promotion and take advantage of it.

Last but not least, I'm giving YOU, dear blog reader, advanced notice, too. You see, free rankings translate over into paid rankings; last time I achieved some very good free rankings that wound up giving me a real good paid run thereafter. My goal is to at least do that again.

We'll see how it goes. Meanwhile, get ready to download!

Upcoming giveaway for The Five Elements

I'm running a giveaway on GoodReads for 5 print copies of The Five Elements!

The giveaway begins on Feb. 10 (this Friday) and runs for a month. Lots of time to sign-up, but wanted to give some advance notice.

GoodReads giveaways are made with no expectation of anything in return—namely a book review—though it is greatly appreciated.

I'll post again when the giveaway period begins.

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Dragon Keeper by Robin Hobb: Free Kindle Edition

View this book on Amazon.comSee my follow-up post to see why Dragon Keeper is no longer offered for free.

Dragon Keeper by Robin Hobb is the first of three novels in the author's new Rain Wilds Chronicles and, at least for now, it's free for Kindle owners.

While this is a new series, it takes place in the same world as Hobb's Farseer, Liveship Traders, and Tawny Man trilogies. It most closely follows the Liveship Traders series as both contain elements of the Rain Wilds. Of course, the Farseer Trilogy had dragons, and so does this new series, so perhaps it's best to say it builds on most of Hobb's previous work in this world. Wikipedia collectively calls all of these books The Realm of the Elderlings series.

Apparently this freebie idea was tried with great success when the Farseer Trilogy came to the Kindle last year. The first eBook in the series was released and sales for books two and three did very well. Guess you could call it a "3 for 2" deal.

While I loved the Farseer books, I wasn't terribly enamored with the Liveship Traders series. In fact, I barely made it through book one. But I enjoyed The Soldier Son Trilogy (even if some others did not), so I was actually looking forward to giving Hobb another shot.

This one is already sitting on my Kindle, waiting to be read.

Of course, the kicker here is you have to own a Kindle. Sorry traditional book readers.