Carrie swore up and down she’d have all the html perfect, so I’m not going to needle her too much about stuff – especially since it was her birthday yesterday. So, anyway, guest post! Go! And remember to wish Ms. Carrie a very happy [belated] birthday!
honor, and well worth the year wait
One of the first free reads I came across was Anne Stuart’s The Wicked House of Rohan. I had just read Ruthless and found out that Rohan was a free prequel to the book I had just read. I really enjoyed Ruthless and wanted more, so I was eager to read Rohan. However, Rohan, IMO was a complete mess. I actually really disliked it. The story was kind of all over the place, and way too short, created more questions, than answers (and not in a good way that would make you want to read the upcoming books in the series, but to avoid them at all costs kind of way). This was a free read disaster for both me and the author. It’s time I could have better spent on other things, and was not a good representation of the type of story I knew the author could tell. If I had read The Wicked House of Rohan first, I never would have read anything else by this author. To this day I’ve not read another of her books. So there you go.
A free read that I also thought was a failure, was Lorelei James’ Slow Ride. And unlike the previous book, it’s not because the story was bad, in fact I actually loved it because it was a snippet into the lives of characters that I had already come to love. That, right there was the problem with this short story as a free read. It was written as a freebie for readers of the already well established Rough Riders series, not any reader who may happen upon the free read. If you didn’t already know the characters, then more than likely you wouldn’t connect with the characters since you learned very little about them, just a moment from their lives. Which makes this book as a free read, a complete and utter failure. The writing was good (as always), but it didn’t present this series in a favorable light, which is why I thing the book suffered in the Amazon reviews, and it made me sad
because Ms. James is one of my all time favorite authors! Hands down,
I will buy whatever she writes because I know it will be good. But if I
was a reader who had never read one of her books….then Slow Ride
wouldn’t necessarily make me want to buy more of her work because there was little to no character development. Slow Ride would have been much better as a free read on the author’s site, or newsletter as a “thank you” to fans of the series, instead of a possible introduction to the series, which is what many of the free reads are to readers.
Now I’d like to share two free reads that I thought were very effective because it made me want to read more by the author. The first is All’s Fair In Love & Seduction by Beverley Kendall. I don’t know if she wrote this as a free read to promote the rest of the books in her Elusive Lords series, but if she did then I give her big kudo’s because All’s Fair didn’t read like a “freebie”, but just a great story that happened to have been free. And it also made me want to pay to read the rest of the books in this series. Brilliant! And exactly what a free read should do if you are using it as a marketing tool.
The second book that was fabulous freebie (unfortunately it’s not free any longer) was Sweet Release by Pamela Clare. This book was originally published in print several years ago, then went out of print, and was re-released by the author last year. And occasionally Ms. Clare will have this book, or one of her others, as free reads, which is how I first read it. I think this is the best type of free read. It’s a book that was never written to be a free read, it’s just a great story that happened to be offered for free. I know there have to be many readers, like myself, who send many many thanks to Ms. Clare…not necessarily for the free read, but for the opportunity to discover her books. I think she is an AMAZING author that I might have missed out on if it had not been for a free read. I have purchased all of her backlist, and even purchased and given a few of her books away on my blog as gifts, resulting in countless other sales I’m sure (because they are that addictively good). Right there, is why free reads are so powerful.