Welcome to my Blogger page, thank you for visiting. This is where I will share my reviews of books, movies and other things I enjoy. If you would like to see my ramblings, fanfiction and other general posts, please visit my Livejournal: beren_writes. Visit my pages to learn about me and my books.
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Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Trying - Sometimes the Only Way - #TipsTuesdays 33

Welcome to my blog, today I would like to talk about trying things, because sometimes it's the only way to know if you are going to like something. I hasten to add this does not apply to things that may endanger your health, more things that will open your mind in the intellectual sense :).

Trying - Sometimes the Only Way

This whole topic came about because of the film Pride and Prejudice with Zombies. I kid you not. I didn't think I was going to like it, then I watched it and it is awesome. I also though my mother might like it. Now what you have to realise is that my mother is a staunch Pride and Prejudice fan and would never in a million years have watched this film. However, because Soph and I recommended it, she actually tried it and she enjoyed it. The trick was pointing out that it's really Pride and Prejudice with a touch of historical war romance thrown in - the war just happens to be against zombies.

This illustrates to me completely that sometimes you cannot know if you will enjoy something without trying it first. This applies to books as well as films (you guessed where I was heading, didn't you ;)).

There are many ways to sample an author's work before we buy, because sometimes even the most fantastic cover and awesome description can't quite make us spend our hard earned cash.

1. Free Books

With the advent of the eBook era, there are many free books out there, especially from Indie authors. If a new author has caught our eye we can check out their Amazon (UKUS) or Smashwords profile and see if there are any free books on offer. Often there are.

Always check both because sometimes Amazon can be a little tricky on price matching.

For example, I have five free books out there, only four of which are price matched on Amazon (click images to visit book pages).

I have never been able to get them to price match Chip Off the Old Block? and I have no idea why - so it's free on Smashwords and everywhere they ship to, but not Amazon.

2. KDP Select Books

eBooks in the KDP Select program provide two ways for try before we buy:
  • book free days - authors can put their books for free for five days in every 90, but you have to look out for these.
  • Kindle Unlimited- the books are available free to read to  Kindle Unlimited members.
I have one book in KDP Select, because I object to the fact books have to be exclusive to Amazon, but it seems the only way to get Amazon algorithms to work for you.
Amazon : UK | US

3. The Look Inside Option

Most eBook sites have the equivilant the Amazon's look inside option. This allows us to see the first section of the book to see if it grabs us. I know I use it all the time, because, just occasionally, a perfect description and lovely cover hide terrible grammar or a writing style that does not grab me at all. We all have different tastes, so the look inside is a great option for dipping our toes in the water.

4. Author's Blogs

If we want to check out an author's writing style, their blog is often a good place to start. These are often links from their author profiles on Amazon and Smashwords - I know mine is.

Authors often post flash fiction to their blogs; just keep in mind that it might not be as polished as their published work :).

All of my posted fiction on this blog is here: Free Reads.

5. Mailing List/ Newsletters

If we look around, often we will find that authors give away a free book when we sign up for their mailing list or newsletter. Now this may sound like the wrong way round to be handling finding a new author, but it's very easy to unsubscribe if it turns out they are not the author for us.

Soph and I will give you two free eBooks for joining our newsletter :)

We'll send you details of book releases, competitions and other news from our authors, BUT we WON'T spam you, or pass your details on to anyone else.
Wittegen Press

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So there you have it, four ways we can try before we buy. There is also the option of buying the book and then returning it only partially read, but I have to say, this really, really frustrates authors, because it is a technique used by pirates and it's impossible to tell who is who. Please use the look inside option instead.

Many thanks for visiting.

[Addition] - 6. Wattpad

Thanks to Patricia Lynne for mentioning one that I had totally forgotten. Wattpad is a place where writers of all kinds give away fiction for free, so check it out for new indie authors too.

Do you have any other suggestions for trying out new authors? Do you have any author recs?


  1. Those are all good suggestions. I'd add Wattpad, if the author has it, is another good way to try before you buy.

    1. Thank you - I totally forgot about Wattpad. :)


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