9 thoughts on “How to give a book away – harder than you’d think

  1. Goodness, Elizabeth I hadn’t thought of this from your perspective.

    I tell you this so that you may be aware of a member of the reluctant public’s point of view.

    When I got my ipad I was eager to download the kindle app and then downloaded a few free books to try it out. They were on the “most popular” list and I began reading with anticipation only to be hugely disappointed by a poorly written, grammatically incorrect and factually inaccurate story that I persevered with to approximately half way through before deleting it.

    The second book I read to the end was fine although the story timeline was woefully poorly thought through and many of the spelling and grammar errors had been left uncorrected.

    Another two, after perusal of the first few pages, were poorly written smut.

    Sadly, I’m now of the opinion that, where free books for your kindle are concerned, you get what you pay for! Ironically, I keep getting emails asking me to review the books but amazon refuses to accept my less than complimentary review because I haven’t paid for them …. what’s that all about?

    I’ve probably been unlucky and until reading your blog post I admit it never occurred to me that there are genuinely good writers out there who are offering free books. Good luck and I hope to find your eloquent tomes in the near future.

    • Absolutely no denying ebooks aren’t up to the quality of professionally published ones, and even some professional ones have been hastily scanned into ebooks, with some hilarious results where the scanning software has misread a word!

      The average ebook has only had one editor (a traditionally published one is worked on, and double-checked, by several) so there will ALWAYS be annoying glitches for the reader. I download a few free ebooks every week for my commuting, and although I check the samples carefully, I’ve had many disappointments too. (Even where the reviews were rapturous.)

      However, I’ve had some great finds as well, books that kept me absorbed from station to station, reluctant to get off the train, even when they’ve had glitches and oddities, so do keep trying because there really are some readable books out there.

      I review all the time on Amazon, even on the free books I’ve taken (reviewing as Elegsabiff, my twitter name) but there are around 4 million* registered reviewers and they get a bit beady-eyed about reviewers generally. I think the ruling is you have to have bought at least one product to activate your account, but after that you’re fine, you don’t even need to have bought the product (or book) through them. If you’ve bought anything, any product, via Amazon, review that first, and then you’ll be added to the list 🙂

      *I’m really moving up the ranks. I’m in the top 90 thousand!

      • I don’t think I’ve ever bought anything from Amazon which probably explains a lot!
        As I feared … I’ve been unlucky.
        I shall try to find your fabulous tomes and see if we can get you into the top 89,000 😉

    • Haha my tomes are not excellent, please lower your expectations! No, lower than that. Lower. Okay. The links are on the About tab, or (I think we follow each other on Twitter?) on my profile – but remember One Two is on free promo soon (I think 25th) so you should wait until then unless of course you want to spend actual money sooner and become an accredited reviewer. 🙂

      A beta reader reads the book before it’s published and usually (eek) before the final edit, and lets the writer know where the worst glitches are, where they were puzzled, or bored, where it needs tightening up and where it needs filling out. Feedback ranges from a straight reader opinion to thought-out suggestions and, in the absence of that traditional publishing team, is pretty much the most important factor in the production of an ebook. Good beta readers = better book. Ideally you’d read in your favourite genres rather than manfully taking on something you’d never normally read. My stuff may genuinely horrify you but there isn’t an ebook writer out there who wouldn’t, or shouldn’t, be anxious to have more beta readers – especially anyone writing a series! There seems to be only one book on the subject on Amazon, you can only get a tiny fragment on the 10% sample preview but that explains it a bit : http://getbook.at/BetaReader

      • I’ll take a look and thank you for explaining beta readers. It sounds like a great job!
        Yes, we do follow one another on twitter. I was BalkissockLodge but now @NorthernAspect. i think that we were chatting recently about your three mother of the bride outfits. I hope that was you or I’ll be very embarrassed soon!

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