Tag Archives: librarything

Speaking of e-publishing…


ImageWay 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.

Of course we all know Amazon books and their program.They work with CreateSpace to produce your book and select titles to highlight.

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!

When I have a little money, I buy books; and if I have any left, I buy food and clothes.


Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus knows me well. I am helpless in the face of books. I read about them and long for them – hardcovers, softcovers, and the crack of readers everywhere, ebooks. Used, library, bought. I am helpless in a library – hundreds of books and all of them free! I always come home with way too many to read before the loan time expires.

Used book shops used to suck me in for hours before I lost my ability to stand for long periods. Now I bring my walker and sit…and buy. I dress in cast-offs from Value Village, I enjoy frequent nights of pasta and Kraft Dinner, but my bookshelves, virtual and actual, groan under their weight.  I am actually looking at purchasing MORE bookshelves.

But the thing about ebooks is that you can gather hundreds of them in one tiny space. So the feeling of being enclosed by books vanishes and you can merrily stack up “to be reads” in a secret cupboard that only you know about (well, and your credit card company).

Lately I signed up for Librarything http://www.librarything.com/, where I immediately volunteered to be an early reviewer. It is madness. You can skim through books coming out soon and then select ones you are interested in and the authors send it to you in exchange for a review!!! Life is very good. For an addict like myself, it allows me to feed my craze with no payment other than writing, which I should be doing already. It’s like cutting back on chocolate by eating caramels.

True, early reviewers have a time limit on reviewing, and many of the books are not as worth spending time with as others, but it’s fun to see what’s out there and sometimes you are very pleasantly surprised. I just finished reading “Dirty Little Angels” by Chris Tusa, for example, and initially wasn’t prepared to like it. All the characters seemed unlikable, no one to root for in it all, the geography was grim in terms of visuals and people. It seemed totally grey. And yet…I got sucked in. I found myself unable to put it down, this story of helpless people surviving in a nasty place. It took me a while to figure out that the protagonist was a girl (I blame reading it at night), and even before I did, I could feel affinity for her creeping in. Heck, I wanted to invite her over and give her hot chocolate, poor wee mite. But she isn’t a poor wee mite. She’s bristly and dangerous in her own way, but with an inner life that is seriously messing with her or saving her. It’s hard to tell.

I never would have picked up this book. But now I know the author and will keep my eyes open for more. So, library thing, you rock.