June 26, 2013

Free Book Tips With Some Dash of Advice

Don't know how to pick free books on Amazon?

You look at all of those free books and wonder: Gee how can I pick ONE that I like?

Well, don't worry: I'm here to help. 

As you probably noticed, I've been reviewing A LOT of free books lately. I love reading a book that is free and great, then support the author by buying more from them.

That's the great thing about a free book: It gives you insight into what the author is like without the money entering into.

So without further ado, here are my helpful hints as to how to pick a great free book:

1. Pick off the Top 100 Free List

This is practically guaranteed great books. You can pick any genre you want and literally pick a couple of them off this list and be certain that these books are great.

I literally check this list everyday for great new books from authors I haven't heard from and read. 

You will thank me later. :)

2. Check the bad reviews

I know this seems like a slap on the forehead, duh move but sometimes in the excitement of a free book, you might forget to check the reviews. 

And don't look at the great, glowing reviews. Look for the most horrible review. Why? Because they will honestly tell you why they don't like the book. And this will let you know if you want to read the book or not. 

And if you don't want to look at simply the bad reviews? Then check out the best detailed review. Look for the positive and negative reviews. At least two of each, that way before you read the book, you'll get a good feel of if you want to read the book or not.

And if the book doesn't have any reviews . . .

3. Read the first few pages

I will fully admit, I don't read the first few pages until after I get the book. But boy, would I have loved this hint BEFORE getting the book. I get so caught in, "Gee, this book is FREE! How can it possibly go wrong?"attitude.

But just spare yourself the heartache: Read the first few pages first. ESPECIALLY if the book doesn't have any reviews. This is a good indicator if the book suits your flavor or your expectations. 

This blog is especially helpful to people who are like, "I don't want to read what EVERYBODY else is reading!" But you still want an awesome book with reviews to back it up.

This blog has helped me find a tremendous number of free books that are just not that popular but are awesome all the same. It's like veering off the New York Bestsellers list but has the same quality book wise. 

Additionally, they give you the scoop on free apps. Bonus! *fist pump!*

5. Don't be cheap

If you love the first book by the author, please don't be cheap by NOT buying the second book. Buy it. It may be a little more expensive (but not crazy expensive like traditional publishing), but please don't be cheap. Buy it. Support that author for giving you a FREE book and buy the second book of the series.

Show that author some love for giving you a free book, which leaves us to my next tip . . .

6. Leave a Positive Review

If you LOVED the free book, please leave a positive review. Sure, that author may have 300 reviews, but be kind and leave your review too. It might help somebody decide if they want to get that book.

Especially leave a review if you bought the second book. Some people need reassurance that the second book is as good as the first book. That would include me in that group. 

And the author would appreciate it if you would reassure her/his readers that they continue their quality standards into the second book. So please, be so kind and leave a review.

7. Limit Yourself/Open Yourself Up

I know this is a conflicting title: How can I limit and open myself up?

All I'm saying is: Don't limit yourself as to broaching new topics in fiction. When you are looking at these free books, don't snub the indie authors. Don't harrumph at an author that doesn't have the publishing title behind them.

I know this might surprise you, but I'm glad they don't. Why? Because their books are A LOT cheaper.

Don't get me wrong. Love the author of Firelight series by Sophie Jordan. Love, love, LOVE that book. I might actually do a review on it.

But have you seen those prices for the ebooks?! Oh. My. God. I've been totally spoiled on indie author prices now. The highest I go, and this was for a really, really, really good book: $4.99

Anyway, back to my main point: Don't snub indie authors. Try them first (especially if they made it into the top 100 free), then say if you don't like or like indie authors.

Some indie authors you will fall madly in love with. Others you will ditch on the first date, a.k.a. on the first page. It's all based on opinion and taste. 

As Dr. Seuss states, "Try it, you may like it." Green Eggs and Ham.

Now, I will step back from my podium and stop preaching at you and give you another conflicting line of advice: Limit yourself.

Please don't go crazy and get all of the 100 free books and feel weighted down by reading them. If you're a book blogger like me, you'll feel obligated to read AND review each one. Do yourself a huge favor: Only get  books when you read a whole bunch.

Or let me translate that: Only get more books, when you read a couple of books. For example, I've probably read, about twenty books (yes, and they were ALL free), so I would go back and download ONLY twenty or less books when I go back to look at that list. 

Trust me, you will thank me later. I have about 164 books on my Kindle app, and I'm still trying to read them all (and some of them I bought!). So just saying, go easy. The list, the reviews, and lastly, the books aren't going anywhere.

Take it slow and easy. Get like 20 books and try them on for size. Read and enjoy!

Don't ever stop reading! :)

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