Way back when I started in this biz, all the magazines kept saying to read read read in their area before you decided to write anything. So I read read read mysteries and thrillers and literary novels and short stories.
I still do that now, sometimes, it may be said, to the detriment of my own writing. But there are such glories in the ebook world that I could wallow endlessly for free and enjoy.
For those not quite yet in the know, you should check out the sites below. Free books or cheap ones are available for the cost of a review – I know they expect good ones, but I’ve tried to stay honest (without being too cruel) and they still send me books, so I think you can write pretty much how you feel.
What I love best about these places is that they give me access to authors and genres and stories that I might never have found otherwise. We tend, when buying books, to try for the sure thing, the ones we know will bring us good value. I used to pick my books by thickness, which meant I missed novellas and short stories – I read too fast to make it economical to buy these.
It makes it hard for new writers to get a toehold. Through these venues, even the starting out writer can get some feedback on their novel – you can release it and withdraw it and fix it if you want, based on comments, until you get the thing right – provided you’re the one doing the book. It’s a great way to get your book read, especially if you are with a smaller publisher or whatever.
Library thing – get signed up for their early readers program as well as the members giveaways.
Smashwords – many authors release their works through here for free or low cost
NetGalley – become a member and they put these wonderful books in front of you and you can request them. I’ve only been denied once but I have a lot of reviews to write as all the books look so tasty I had to ask for them.
Goodreads – everyone should be on here.
Penguin – has now started circles of reviewers for different genres – you join the circle through google and apparently get to review books – it’s totally new so I’m not sure how it will work. I’m in the Penguin.ca mystery circle, for example.
Public libraries have ebooks, too, and if you are wanting people to read what you’ve written you might consider donating a copy of your ebook to them.
It’s all about being read, and supporting other authors by reading them. All wonderful.
And using a lot of time…but in a good way…now if only I could get myself organized to put something of mine on one of these places!