As a Kindle owner and a person who lives in a country without libraries, I pretty much get all of my reading material from the Top 10 free downloads on Amazon’s Kindle store. It’s a form of entertainment for me, but also a bit of market research. I don’t feel intimidated by the majority of these books or authors, and believe my writing is at least on par with what is popular. One of the obvious reasons to list a book for free is to invite your potential audience is to buy additional books in your library (well, if you have a library). Unfortunately, and I am being completely honest here, most authors do not encourage me to keep reading and actually pay for their books. Funny then, that my last two downloads have motivated me to do just that.
I don’t go into a free e-book with a lot of expectations. I want to be entertained, to see how a story is put together and that’s about all I ask. If I’m not brought into the book after the first 20% or so, I can always delete the book from my device.
Maybe it was the jet lag or reference to the school where I currently work, but Kissed in Paris by Julia Sobanet was a recent fun read. Yes, I read ‘those’ kind of books. No, I’m not going to apologize for my preferences. The premise was fun and drew me in straight away. The characters had great tension. The setting was fantastic. The author has spent considerable time in France and she plays to her strengths. Having only visited Paris and a bit of the French countryside, I can tell you I was curious to check out the cities mentioned in the book. Were some parts of the plot cliched? Yes, but I enjoyed the main characters so much, I wasn’t bothered at all. At the end of the book, I was very pleased to see Julia had continued writing (and a book with a similar idea). She had smartly included a hook from the next novel, and I will be downloading (paying for it!) soon. The cover isn’t much to speak of, but that didn’t deter me from downloading.
Another book I read (while in a similar incapacitated jet lagged state), was Brainrush by Richard Bard. As with Kissed in Paris, neither the cover or the title particularly drew me in. Both books were free and that’s the only reason I downloaded them. While the premise of Brainrush is a bit farfetched and there is perhaps a bit too much testosterone getting thrown around (as well as cultural stereotyping), I did keep reading and enjoyed getting taken along for the ride. While my other manuscript is not in an identical genre, I do think there would be some interest for Mr. Bard’s readers and my own. As I consider my book a thriller of sorts, I absolutely admire the pacing the author sets up. Furthermore, while the end of the book works within the novel, the reader (me!) is compelled to see what happens next. The cliffhanger is big enough to force the reader to want to download the following book – and for me, a highly skeptical reader, that is a big success.
So, there are great takeaways from each – and now I’m off to enjoy reading what else these authors have to offer!