Well, the blog’s been dead for a while, eh? Some of that is because I’ve been spending time trying to finish my NaNo book (word-count-per-week is way down, natch, but we’re getting there), and some of it is due to the holidays (also coming to an end). I’ve also been trying to read more, which leads to the idea I had recently: why not blog about reading a bit more?
Well, mostly because I don’t think it’s a great habit for a writer (even one such as myself) to get into the reviewing habit – publicly anyway. Reviews are very important to writers, and it’s hard to hit the balance between just cheerleading your friends or contacts and genuinely pushing good books. Even if you do it, readers aren’t going to know the difference. And it’s not usually a good idea to write a heavily critical review, again for many reasons.
However, this is tensioned against the fact that as an ‘undiscovered’ author, I know the value of exposure and I am also passionate about a bunch of good books that a lot of people may not have heard about. I’ve mentioned some of them before, and I tend to share them on twitter and reddit and Goodreads as well. These books deserve to find an audience.
So, while I won’t be starting a regular review column or anything, I have a few ideas how to share some of the books I’ve found. The first is straightforward, but the second is a bit of an experiment…
First, I’ll make a list of all the indie books I can recommend, some of which are by people I know (some as a result of reading their books). I’ll admit right away that they aren’t necessarily the best books ever, but they definitely all have something about them to recommend them and are well worth a read.
Second, I’ve been collecting a lot of books on my kindle, because there are a lot of books available on Amazon for FREE. Now, we all should know the theory of the free ebook by now – it’s a sample designed to hook readers into the rest of a series, and by many accounts it works. It doesn’t necessarily work for me: one, because I don’t read series very often; and two, because when you collect them almost purely on price, there’s not a lot of motivation to actually open them and read.
Now, I don’t collect EVERY free book I see, obviously, just the ones with a blurb or premise that catches my eye, and perhaps a few interesting reviews. However, I have a huge pile of books on my TBR anyway – recommended, reputed, professionally-published books – and I’m not sure when I’m ever going to get around to reading the freebies…unless I do something.
So, I’ve decided to devote a day (or maybe as many hours over a week) to the freebies on my kindle, reading until I lose interest, and blogging the results. This is a bit like the format for Mark Lawrence’s SPFBO, or like slush reading. Hopefully it will be interesting and illuminating, and I might even find myself a new book and author to enjoy!