1) Most books are competently written nowadays. However, is Competence a benchmark to strive for? I do wish Indie authors would try a bit harder to shine. I love a beautiful sentence, a wonderful paragraph. Story is only one aspect of being a writer. (Or maybe Indie is different?)
Where Are The Outsider Writers on Indie?
2) There are a few exceptions. There are two books on my Kindle fire which are shamefully bad. Not dirty or filthy, but just shit.
I wonder what thought process underpins their decision to publish? Who are their friends? Who encouraged the publication? One of the books - from a relentless pimper on my feed - is so mangled, particularly with Tense, I felt like taking the Kindle back to the shop. Surely someone close to the man must have noticed the flaws in advance?
3) I tended to flick from book to book with all the gimmicks on there. So, at one point, I found myself reading six books at once this week. if I got bored with one, I would switch to another.
A Kindle Fire is manna from heaven for an ADHD sufferer or someone who likes a read after an afternoon session on the crack pipe.*
4) You get huge contrasts, switches that seem perfectly normal on a Kindle. I am currently on an Australian mission so yesterday, I switched between Gladys Quintal's Life After Hell: - dark and harrowing, a solid true life memoir of sexual abuse, which made me angrier than I have been in a long time, and Rebecca Raisin's Bookshop On The Corner, a romantic novella so sweet, innocent and accessible, it would make her a millionaire if it could break out of the e-book bazaar into Waterstones or Liongate.
I wouldn't contrast like that with paperbacks, which seem much more mood dependent.
5) Writers. If your novel doesn't have a strong first chapter, its unlikely I'm going to reach your second, unless you are a friend of mine.
Thanks to the Kindle, the art of finishing a book (my strength) is far less of an asset than the ability to start strongly.
But then you know that already. I'm boring you.
So why not put it into practice? *wink*
6) The reading experience on a Kindle Fire is completely different. I can't explain it. I just can't connect with a screen based book in the same way as I can a paperback. Emotionally, I mean.
E - books don't linger. Take After The Sucker Punch.**
While a superb book like that is going to be memorable in whatever medium it is read, in paperback, you are talking a completely different emotional experience, the difference, say, between watching an Opera on TV or live, in the flesh.
7) Thus, I'm going to fill my Kindle with cheap books and if I like your stuff, and its available in paperback, I'll buy it in that media and ditch the e-book, Kindle Fire or no Kindle Fire.
In a sense, the device in itself has become a marketing media, which is intensely post-modern, innit.
8) Thus Part II. I am not going to buy an expensive e-book unless it comes with added extras. Remember those old comics with the Free Gifts? Weird plaggy flying machines or badly moulded toy soldiers? That's what I mean.
Some of your books are ludicrously expensive. I don't know whether its the publisher in charge, or just your own weird bloody mindedness, but if I think that your book is too expensive to buy, someone else will also think the same.
Check the bazaar to see what other similar authors are charging.
Readers don't know in advance if your book is a nugget or not and evidence suggests that as the price rises, the more risk averse a reader becomes.
9) Buy a Kindle Fire holder. I bought one so cool I felt like the Fonz on the bus home yesterday.
10) Er...I've run out of numbers. Er...it's...er...good looking. And, er, it's...like...er, got Twitter on it...and er...(shepherd's hook approaches)
* That bit was a joke.
** Have you bought it yet? It's a brilliant book. Seriously. Stop fannying about and buy it.
And no, I'm not Lorraine as someone archly suggested last week, which made me laugh and that.
The Scribes of Seely is out.
Buy the Brilliant Books Anthology here and support a reluctant readers project