Saturday, March 8, 2014

Reading Roulette - Try it!

For a change of pace, live dangerously; try your hand with “reading roulette” (my term). As the seasons hint of change, pick a genre or category of writing you’ve never read from. If you’ve never read romance, try it. If you’ve never experienced reading a mystery or spy thriller, give them a try.

Once you’ve selected that different genre, you’re ready to make a selection of an unknown (to you) author. Most online sites give you the option of searching for books by “top 100,” release dates, and whether “free” or the price ranges.

Still having difficulty making a choice? Try this for FREE: From the top 100 list of free books, download one book (your choice) from the top ten. Then scroll to the bottom of the list (that’s right, the bottom of the top 100) and download one book (your choice) from those listed 90 to 100. Read both and compare them according to your own likes and dislikes. You’ll be amazed; often the book at the bottom of the top 100 is more enjoyable than the one at the top. My point is? The “hype” and the “herd” following the “hype” of a particular book may be misleading. I’ve read some terrible bestsellers that hit the sacred NYT and USAToday lists. And I’ve read some very enjoyable books that weren’t on anyone’s list. No, I’m not “anti” traditional lists, I’m simply suggesting a way to “break-out” as a reader and exercise your independent judgment.

So what’s the solution to picking a book that you’ll enjoy? Become an Independent Reader; make decisions for yourself; influence the “herd.” You can do that by reading the preview of a book before you download it. Amazon offers a standard 10 percent of a book you can read before downloading. That gives you a chance to get a feel for story content, quality of format, and the quality and writing style of the author. Smashwords and other online sites will allow a higher percentage of the book for the reader to preview.

And after you’ve finished the book, do the gracious thing; write a genuine review of the book. Genuine reviews can be helpful to other readers. But please remember; constructive criticism can be expressed with a civil tone. Most authors welcome feedback from readers. Reader feedback has always been helpful to me, as a writer.

Give reading roulette a spin; you might discover it isn’t as much of a gamble as blindly following the bellowing “hype” and “herd” that you heard regarding a book.

Enjoy being an Indie Reader, that is, unless you’d prefer someone else decide what you should read.