Before I started this blog, I used to just download free books from Amazon, borrow them from friends, or receive them as gifts. It’s a nice cheap way to indulge in my obsessive compulsive disorder of reading. (Yes, I admit my OCD. And no, I don’t want it cured.) During that time, I would sometimes rate the book but never wrote a review. I mean, what would I actually say? I’m not that expressive in the “real world” so why would that carry over online? I figured a “good book” or “this sucked” was not what a review should look like. As time went on, I started to rate all the books I read – in some shape, form or fashion.
After a while, I would look at reviews for books that I was thinking about downloading but wasn’t sure I would like it – i.e. the descriptions were a little too vague for my taste. I started thinking that it might not be so hard to try that. I asked myself what was important for me in the books I read. Well, the characters should be well-developed, and the plot had to move along nicely while keeping my interest. Grammer and editing troubles? Yes, that was important – although I am more lenient with free books. The philosophy of “you get what you pay for” rings in my mind. I also wanted to make sure the reader understood what the book was about. Some people don’t read descriptions and just look at the reviews. I could help them with that. Everything else seemed to fall in those lines. Okay, I got my list of items that I would want to include in the review.
I started reviewing on Goodreads first and then slowly expanded my way out to other sites such as Library Thing, Amazon, and just recently Net Galley. As I entered in giveaways and reviewed, I got in touch with some authors – usually these are newer and most often self-published authors. But still, it was nice to know that there are real people behind the pages that care what people think. My experiences with authors have been very positive so far. The people are very nice and take the time to answer my emails. I now get more requests to read subsequent books. Sometimes these are books that continue the novel I read, and sometimes they are whole new series or standalone novels.
In a way, I feel like I just received a part-time job in reading. I get “paid” in books. How awesome is that? (Although, I guess I can’t quit my day job!)
It is a delightful experience, and I’m glad that I started blogging my reviews.
Do you have any personal experiences with authors that you want to share?