Sunday, December 30, 2012

Free or bargain reads for your Kindle and musings about reviewing

Aha, got your attention, did I?  For all of you fortunate readers who received or already own a Kindle (and for those of you who don't, don't despair, I have the Kindle app on my computer and iPad...and they work perfectly well--having the time to read all of these wonderful titles, well, that's an issue I delight in having to wrestle with)...there are a couple of places that keep me informed of offers.

Naughty Reads on the Cheap (be forewarned, quite a few are adult titles, hence the sobriquet naughty lol!) is at this link.

Free Par-Tay sends out a newsletter (and offers intermittent opportunities for Amazon gift certificates).  Look for them at this link.

Paperback Swap also has a couple of forums where members post the bargains they have found.  If you are a member, you can arrange to have e-mail notification when a new posting is listed.  Link1.  Link 2.

One thing that I have noticed about most authors is that many of them have 'street teams' that allow fans to help support them by getting the word out when new titles are being published or the author is holding appearances or having contests.  I have the privilege of being on several of these teams and one of the most thrilling benefits is the opportunity to read and give an honest review about some of their works.  Those of you who have favorite authors should know that they actively seek honest reviews posted on multiple sites such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, LibraryThing and the individual publishers' sites.  Those using Amazon have 'like' buttons for the individual titles as well as the author's page and 'tag' buttons at the bottom for marking the type of book it is.  I was naive and didn't realize that these are significant but evidently they can alter an author's position and visibility so make sure you vote when you have a particular book you really like!

I originally was reluctant to write reviews because I wondered who would be interested in my opinion about the books I read but I had gone through so many that I was losing track of the storylines and which titles I had already read so I started keeping track on Goodreads.  I eventually applied to a few sites which were looking for reviewers and had the fortune to be accepted by Night Owl Reviews and it has been the best opportunity to indulge my addiction!  I was startled to discover recently that I have written more than 500 reviews for the site and it has been extremely thrilling to see quotes from some of my reviews in the books when they are released.  Sadly, I don't get to see my name specifically and there are quite a few reviewers at Night Owl so I occasionally have to check to make sure that it is indeed a book I have read and reviewed before I do my happy dance, lol.  Anyway, the moral of the story is, if you have a love of reading, an opinion, and an ability to write a clear review objectively (remember that these authors are lovely people and have put a lot of time and effort into producing these stories)...consider applying to a review site.  Given the explosion of self-published titles and e-books, most review sites are overwhelmed by the numbers of titles being offered and quite a few titles are waiting for reviewers because, thank goodness, there are still plenty of great stories still being written.  So, my advice for the new year is...try something new and it might take your life down an entirely different path than you expected!


  1. I like your reviews. I write the occasional review but for the most part I leave that to others who do it better. lol

    I'm on one street team and it's been fun being a part of that.

  2. Thanks for your kind words, Mary. I have found it to be great fun to learn more about the various authors...especially the things they do in their 'spare' time.