Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Want a Cheap Read With Great Ratings?

As an indie author I try to read as many books by other indie authors (click for a good author and book site)that I can.  My goal this year is to always pick an indie book (click for another good indie site)  whenever I buy a new book.  I don't necessarily want to buy the cheapest.  A lot of the .99 cents books are rife with formatting, spelling and grammar errors. 

And the free ones!  Oh, my.  Too many times I have downloaded "free" just to delete them.  That does not mean free or "cheap" has to be bad.  Here are a couple of hints for finding good books by indies:

1. Don't just download free books or .99.  I mean, come on.  Is $2.99 or even $4.99 a lot for a book nowadays?  Seriously!  Authors need to eat too. 

2. If you do download free or .99 look to see what rating the book has and how many reviews.  I am not talking about reviews from Joe Blow.  I am talking about reviews from reviewers or book bloggers.  Those are more honest.  Some people are suspicious of a book with all high reviews, but if most of them are from reviewers or bloggers it is probably just a really good book!

3. Again, when considering free or .99 does the author have more than one book out?  If so, they may be using this book as a loss leader to build a following.  That is great.  Check out the ratings and go for it!

4. Also when considering free or .99 look to see if it is part of a series. If so, it is probably being used as a loss leader to promote the series.  Again, a good thing!  You can see if you want to read the whole series for little of no money.  Check the ratings.

You may ask "Why bother to worry if it is free or under a buck?"  Well, because people who download books rife with errors are not authors.  They don't want to do the work to be an author.  If people don't download their books they either learn to improve or go away.  Either is fine.  We don't need the e-book market flooded with books full of errors.

I am not talking about a couple of mistakes in a full novel.  That happens all the time in books that have been put out by major publishers too.  I am talking about the flood of books with a dozen errors in a couple hundred pages.  Books that don't know how and when to use a comma.  Things like that.

You can find good books for free or under a buck if you just research the book on the site you are going to download it from a little bit.  But, please, don't just buy .99 and download free.  The best books do, or will eventually (after the sale goes off) cost more...even if only a dollar or two.  If you love reading, support the art of writing!

Here is a great site for finding quality books for under a buck to get you started: In order to even get on this site you need at least 4 (or was it 5?) reviews from verified purchases on Amazon and at least a 4 star rating average from those reviews.   Many of those featured put a book on sale to get on that site.  It is a great way to increase readership for us indies and Michael should be commended for it.  Stop by and check out the site.  You will find a lot of fabulous reading on there!

Don't forget: if you like the book you got for free or under a buck, please continue to support that author.  Books by indies are a bargain even at $2.99, $3.99 or $4.99 and higher.  Don't expect a quality author to offer every book for free or .99.  When you find an author you love, give them some love back.  Chances are you don't work for free or a buck, either!

I thank you and other indies will thank you, too.  Now, go out and grab a great book.  There is a world of escape waiting for you!

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