Saturday, February 4, 2012

Picking A Winner


We love freebies! Since we are new to blogging, tweeting, and facebooking, we thought we’d share how we decide which free downloads to recommend.  Three of us share this blog and the other social media.  So how do we pick books?

Downloading free titles can become both addictive and destructive.  We try not to look at it from a “free must mean inferior” position, since it simply isn’t true. What is true, however, is that more duds can be found among the free.

Our process is pretty simple, and may be helpful, so we’re sharing it!

1. How many reviews does it have, and are they 4 stars or above? We avoid titles with fewer than 10 reviews. In some cases we’ll grab a title from an author we know or something that simply looks too delicious. Usually, however, the rule of thumb is 10 or more, 4 stars or higher.

2. Does the cover and blurb show care, time, and professionalism?  In a few rare cases we’ve found gems from newer, independent authors where the cover could have used help. The now-famous Amanda Hocking’s first covers were awful. These exceptions are rare, and the reviews usually help. A badly written blurb with grammatical errors or other mistakes is an absolute NO.

3. We ask friends. Nothing is more reliable than word of mouth from a friend with similar tastes.

4. We follow other sites. Twitter and facebook have some wonderful groups readers can subscribe to.

5. Is it on the best-sellers list? If so, how long has it been there?

6. Is the title from a well-known author who is promoting a new release? Or is it part of a series, coinciding with the next title’s release? Very often free titles are promotional tools. These are some of the best snags. Follow your favorite authors and watch for announcements.

Remember, we’ve all been to library sales, yard sales, and discount bins full of books. You can even find some places giving them away. If you wouldn’t bother to put most of those on your physical shelves at home, think carefully before you take up space on your virtual space, too. Downloading every freebie can create a messy, confusing bulk on your Kindle. Choose wisely!


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