I was entering a giveaway today for a copy of Not Just For Breakfast Anymore, and one of the "bonus" entries was to follow the author's blog. (No bonus for blogging about him, it just fit with this article idea I already had). As I was perusing the site, I saw that he had been blogging about his journey as an indie publisher. For books like this one, priced at $6.99, he needs to sell it to bookstores at half price. Minimum profit $3.49 per sale. That's not taking into account any costs he had with producing the physical book.
I have a Kindle that I bought with Swag bucks last year, and I love it. I like that I can offer to read an e-version of books to do reviews for authors, and that doesn't cut into their profits. I do offer paid ads on my site because I have costs associated with blogging, and that helps to offset them, and allows me to do larger self-sponsored giveaways. It also means that I can offer to do book reviews for authors for free. Granted, I can't afford to purchase each and every book that I review, but I can accept a book in return for a free and honest review. I also like giving books as gifts for birthdays, holidays, and other milestones. When I review a book that I think is perfect for someone I know, I notate it and purchase that for them at the appropriate time as a gift. It supports the author and who doesn't love to get a great book as a gift?!
While I do offer honest reviews on every product I like, sometimes people notice that they see mostly positive reviews. That's for a few reasons.
- I know what type of books I like, and I tend to accept mostly offers in those genres.
- Even if a book doesn't quite mesh with MY personal preferences, it doesn't mean it is poorly written or executed. I can focus on the positive aspects honestly, and point out what might appeal to others. What's great about readers is that we all have different tastes!
- On the rare occasion when I have gotten a book that was poorly written, I contacted the PR company before I wrote my review. I do not feel right about bashing someone's first book. The PR company took my suggestions, and I am sure others suggestions, back to the author. Since the book was still in the galley stage they were able to put a hold on the book and fix the problems. The completed book was MUCH better, and I was able to give a good review. It's ALWAYS a good idea to contact a company before writing something negative.