I have a dirty secret. I’m an avid reader who buys several books a month, borrow books from the library, and… I troll the Kindle freebie list. That’s right. I’m a secret Kindle freebie hoarder Cue visual of a woman with messy hair, hands on hips, and puffed up chest (no, not the inflatable kind). I’m proud to admit I’m a freebie hoarder.
My Kindle has over 900 hundred books: most of them unread. As an aspiring writer, I feel bad for these books because I know these freebies were given to me by indie authors and some small publishers hoping I’ll read them, love them, and spread the word. And I do, but only a handful of lucky free ebooks gets my attention each month.
Bad books are like bad dates!
I’ve also learned to hit the delete button faster than money leaking from my colander of a bank account. Why? Life is just too short for bad books.
I’m actually considered pretty generous based on an informal survey of my reading buddies. I give the author until the end of Chapter 1 to make an impression on me. Some of my friends? Two clicks on their Kindle.
That’s right. Two clicks! Depending on the font size on their ereader or Kindle app, that’s not even two hardcopy pages. Talk about the pressure.
If you’re on a blind date, this means as soon as you sat down, the other person has already decided whether she is going to stay for coffee. How shallow is that? She is only going to take one look and poof, she’s outta here. I guess my mom lied and it’s all about appearance and not my personality after all.
Click, click, delete
What would cause my reading buddies to hit the delete button after two clicks? Here’s where it gets interesting:
- Grammar (apparently this is a big one. I thought no one cares anymore with text speak.)
- Boring character
- Boring situation
So when I translate this back to writers speak, this means:
- Likeable character
- Interesting opening situation
Like me, my friends are looking for an escape from their daily grind when they pick up fiction. They’re not going to slog through a book where there are problems at the sentence level. So yes, while we love Kindle freebies and have gone on to purchase other books on an author’s back list, first impression counts. Yeah, we’re shallow like that.
Of course, this means I’ve a long way to go before any of my writing could be considered publishable. Cue visual of messy hair woman doing a face plant on her keyboard. But then again, “long way” in internet time means a couple of eye blinks and bam, I’m ready. 🙂
Happy reading and thanks for visiting Anne R. Tan.