What I have learned from reading free books

I have downloaded a few free books from Amazon including three by bloggers, who each offered their new book free for a limited time.  I read two of them from cover to cover, one in a very short time.  It was a good story and I had a cold, which left me short of energy for other tasks.  The third book irritated me, so I gave up on it.

My reaction to the books I read made me stop and consider what I need to watch out for if I ever venture along the self-publishing route.  The following points stood out as being of particular importance.

  • Proof-reading is necessary.
  • The structure of the book is important.
  • The style should be consistent.
  • While clichés should be avoided, any invented imagery should help the flow of the writing rather than bring the reader up sharp.
  • Variation in pace is desirable.

To expand on the bullet points above, I’d like to mention a few pitfalls for self-publishing authors.

  • The automatic spell-checker sometimes substitutes a word, which is different from the one the author intended.
  • Words which sound the same, but have different meanings (homophones) need particular care.
  • If a book is written with a particular audience in  mind, such as the author’s friends and family, other readers may feel excluded if relevant information (taken for granted by the original readership) is not included.
  • Grammatical mistakes may be off-putting.  You might like to check out your knowledge of grammar here.

I prefer to hold a book in my hand – or read one at a table rather than on a computer screen.  I like to know how thick the book is.  Kindle’s location does not mean much to me yet.

I have to say that not having ventured into self-publishing, I admire those who have negotiated all the steps involved.

Here are some tips from a successful writer.

4 thoughts on “What I have learned from reading free books

  1. Very good points and I agree with what you say here. I’ve been reading more on the computer as well (I don’t have a reader) and have a number of books on queue to be read. It takes me longer to read on the screen. Like you, I much prefer an actual book in my hands.

    I don’t understand what you mean by “any invented imagery should help the flow of the writing rather than bring the reader up sharp”. I have an idea of what you are trying to say, but perhaps you can clarify.

    In any case, good post.

    Wrote By Rote


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