More and more people are switching from hard copies of books to reading electronically, with most people finding it more convenient than traditional books. If you have a tablet or an e-reader you can store thousands of books, you can adjust the contrast and the fonts so that it doesn’t bother your eyes. One of the other perks of reading electronically are the amount of free books that are out there for you. You can simply download them and start reading, even some of your favorite authors offer free short stories or novellas that you can only read electronically. Finding free e-books online is easier than you think, here’s how.
Finding a Good Site
There are plenty of site that you can find free e-books but make sure that they are reputable sites. Find one that contains books that you’re interested in so that you have some choices. Amazon has a section of free and cheap read for your Kindle. You can find a ton of free books from authors that just want some exposure and reviews to boost sales in the future. There are also plenty of books that only cost $0.99, while not quite free that is still pretty cheap.
Be Wary of the Format
EBooks come in a bunch of different formats and your ereader or your reading app may not be able to read them all. You may want to look for books that come in the PDF format if you can find them. It is the most common format and it is visually appealing. PDFs display images, graphs and tables really well making them easy to ready. You may also want to use an app that will convert books from one format to another.
Books in Exchange for Reviews
If you participate in the various groups and communities on Goodreads or LibraryThing there are often plenty of independent authors willing to exchange ebooks for a review. Good reviews help them to sell more books so if you have a number of connections then they are more than willing to make the trade. Check for different groups where you can find authors who write the style you want to read and then check for the threads where they are willing to exchange a book for a review. Goodreads is really a social media platform for authors and book lovers to connect and it is great for finding new books to read.
Don’t forget to check your local library and see if they have a way to “borrow” electronic books, some will and it can be hit or miss. Don’t worry there are plenty of places to grab free ebooks online for a dedicated reader.
Book clubs are a great way to connect with other readers and talk about some of your favorite books and authors. They can range from the formal to the very casual, most people just get together and have some nibbles while discussing their favorite reads. If there isn’t a book club in your area then you should start one, starting a book club is easier than you think. Here’s how to get started.
Establish your core group. Find a couple of people, maybe two or three that like the same books as you and are able and willing to show up to your book club meetings. You can always grow your book club from there but you need a foundation to start with.
Establish your niche. There is a book club for every style of writing under the sun. This is where you set your book club apart from others, but first you need to decide what you want to read. Are you a fan of science fiction or biographies? Pick a niche and a theme to go along with what you want to read. Set your book club apart from others and that will attract members that share your tastes in books.
Find a location to meet. You need to find a location that is safe and convenient for all of your members. You can host it in your home of your book club is relatively small. You can alternate who is hosting amongst the members or you can choose to meet in a public setting. Many local independent book stores will allow book clubs to meet there or you can choose a local coffee shop or restaurant.
Pick a leader. If this is your book club then you might want to take on that role yourself, basically you will decide how the meetings will be structured and the topics of discussion. You can either be the one who picks the books or you can let your book club vote on what you are going to read next.
Advertise for new members. You can advertise in local bookstores, you can set up something on social media or simply tell friends to attract new members. You want to have as many people as possible sign up for you group. You can update members via social media or with an email blast. Don’t forget to put your group on other sites like MeetUp, it’s a great place to meet people who share your tastes in books.
Starting a book club is easier than you think and it is a great way to meet people and make new friends that share your interests in literature.
If you love to read and want to get paid for doing so then becoming a book reviewer might be great choice for you. The next question you need answered is how exactly you go about reviewing books and getting paid for it? Here are some tips for breaking into the world of reading, writing and publishing and how you can become a book reviewer.
Becoming a book reviewer isn’t as hard as you think, in fact you don’t need any particular qualifications and you don’t have to go back to university to pursue a degree in English. You will need to have a decent command of the English language and the ability to eloquently express yourself. You need to put yourself in the shoes of the books intended audience and critique the book.
In order to get started you might want to register at some of the reader and book lover sites like GoodReads or LibraryThing. Creating a blog where you can post your reviews may also be a good idea. Since so many book reviewers are independent agents you will have to connect with other reviewers and authors on your own.
Finding Your Own Space
In the beginning you may be willing to review any book that comes your way to build your reputation and some credibility. However you should focus your attention on the kind of books that you like to read. Do you prefer fantasy or romance novels? Whatever genre of novels you like to read in your spare time is what you should pursue. Start out with some Indie authors it is easier to become a reviewer for their books and well established authors already have big sales channels in place.
In the beginning as you build your following you will probably end up reviewing books for free. Once you have establishes a reputation and have some credentials under your belt then you can approach an author’s association and off reviews at a discounted price. As your reputation grows you can charge more in the future, don’t under-price your services reading a book and preparing a well thought out review takes time and work, you should get paid for it.
As a book reviewer you have to give your honest opinion and sometimes that is going to be favorable. If you’re getting paid for a review there are many authors who will expect you to write a positive review no matter what. Don’t fall into that trap it will ruin your credibility; a poorly written book is still a poorly written book. You should establish a policy early on that your reviews will be honest regardless of compensation. You can show the author your review before you publish it and offer tips on how the book could be made better.
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