4 Reasons why you should read indie books

January is over, it felt like a whole damn year but we got there. It’s February now and my reading list continues to grow as I continue to network with fellow indie authors.

How many reviews have you left recently? I’ve left 4 this month, and they constitute to 4 reasons why you should read indie books because all of them are written by indie authors!

altaica

I opened my reading account with ‘Altaica’ (The Chronicles of Altaica) By Tracy M Joyce. Late last year I reached out via the tweet machine to the indie author writing community. One post particularly gathered a lot of interest including Australia! Tracy M Joyce introduced me to her fantasy world that flowed and read like historic fiction.

In my review I made comparisons to Wilbur Smith and even Tolkien and that is no way an exaggeration because this accessible and immersive book is world building at its finest.

Even if you’re not convinced by my review there is an abundance of them via amazon…

undertown

The best cure for completing a book is starting another and so I consulted my list which consisted of many different indie books but ‘Undertown’ by K.Noel Moore just stuck out to me.

“Something happened tonight, I don’t know what. Something that ripped the veil between the Chicago of the living and the Chicago of the dead…” 

This novella (which I managed to read in one sitting) is a gripping and clever fusing of real events intertwined with paranormal fiction. If you were to combine the crime wave era of 1930’s america and a deep but subtle building ghost element you’ll get ‘Undertown’ which is available now via amazon…. 

I kept the ghostly and paranormal tempo going by reading ‘Blood of the Sixth By K. R. Rowe’ next…

sitch

In this book there is a lot going on, but it is written with such clarity it never clouds or confuses the reader. To quote my review ‘Blood of the Sixth has a complex interwoven plot which is delivered in a way that makes it an easy to follow read; something I imagine the author has worked tremendously hard to achieve. The whole layout of the book from short sharp chapter length, to characters all the way to general story has been well thought out’.

I found the story to slowly build and gather steam later on but in the earlier stages I was gripped by what is a compelling and sometimes chilling tale with some twists and a little gore (I’m dead inside so not a lot phases me..). Overall a great read which you can grab via amazon here..

And finally, and by no means least The Alien Diaries by Glenn J. Devlin: my review literally dropped the other day! 

alien diraries

I’ve had this novel pegged for a while as the premise is so damn intriguing and without giving any spoilers away, it is!

‘The Alien Diaries’ has two simultaneous stories running throughout, one of which is via a diary from the 1700’s and the other set in modern day as those characters read the diary. It’s a clever combination in which the narration and tenses changes in what seems like an effortless style (although I imagine the writer put in a huge amount of work to achieve).

I really enjoyed this book and even found myself taking my time because there was a small element of me not wanting it to end. Check it out here….  

So I’ve managed 4 books this month, with 30 as my target this year. Remember folks above all, reviews are gold dust, so leave one!

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A letter to Netflix

Dear Netflix,

I write this with hope it reaches someone who can at least entertain my thoughts and ideas for just one moment. Thoughts and ideas is my craft and the industry I represent is made up of them. I’m talking about authors and specifically in my case independently published authors. An indie author is an unpublished writer who never gave up and found their own path towards publication. They never let main stream rejection stop their dreams being achieved and they put their life and soul into their passion; telling stories. This also applies to ‘traditionally published’ authors and there is no deviation between indie and traditional in terms of hard work, passion and quality of work.

Most authors all share the same struggle of telling the world their work exists. The ways I have seen fellow wordsmiths spread the word is indeed creative, insightful and inspirational. But the distribution of our product is only as good as the ‘distributor’ and by that I frankly refer to the one mainstream book distributor who claims to be in everything from ‘A to Z’.

This is no way an attempt to bash or slander such a large scale business, what they have done in recent times to literally provide anyone with content the opportunity to publish is truly wonderful; this also includes me, but a market dominated by one solitary force results in just a single winner; the business. They get to write the rules and by that I mean they take high percentages of small scale authors royalties and overall treat everyone like a number; again not a bash, just an observation and hence comes an opportunity.

Specifically looking at the e-book market in a broad sense, there is no particular large scale competitor who can provide writers and readers with an alternative. Healthy competition in any market will always have an outcome that benefits the customer and the future of e-books is just waiting for the opportunity for it’s market to be opened with genuine competitors.

E-books will only ever go so far with a sole distributor but what if there was another on the same scale? What if someone else stepped in to the market with large scale aspirations who also gave authors and creators not a better opportunity but an alternative opportunity? That is indeed why I have written this letter because e-books are such a fantastic opportunity for a content provider as large as Netflix. This idea is indeed in its conceptual infancy and there is a bunch to think about, but in essence would ‘streaming’ or ‘lending’ e-books be that much of a difficult feat? Sure you’ll probably have to buy a bunch of extra servers but there are hundreds if not thousands of authors who would be more than willing to give out their work for the world to read and at the same time the market will be fairer for everyone involved.

Netflix lending e-books is a future I think we can all agree would be an awesome thing. I can even imagine Netflix original books becoming Netflix original series or films. And whilst Netflix is truly a red hot business right now it would be taking a huge step for producing way more content with e-books.

I look forward to hearing what you think about this concept.

Yours faithfully

Lee Hall

Indie Author, Netflix customer since ’12 and ideasmith.

 

For anyone reading what do you think? All industry thrives upon healthy competition in the market, and if you agree with this concept we need to get this in front of the right eyes. Please share, comment and tweet so we can prove that words and ideas can change the world for the better.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Red Headed Book Lover: A warning to Authors

Unfortunately we live in a world that is rife with the dishonest, and this is especially so in the Uber Democracy known as the internet. A place without any real regulation. I intend for this blog entry to act as a service first and foremost to my fellow wordsmiths who have delved into the world of publishing, independent or not, it is with great importance I come to you with this.

warning

I don’t see other writers as competition but as fellows where we are all trying to convince the world our words exist. And it is our responsibility to look out for one another especially when our ultimate integrity is threatened. I use the word threat because what we do takes so much work and only a select will understand what that truly means, but for everyone concerned with writing books I have to do my duty for our industry. 

So here’s the story… and subsequent investigation… 

On the evening of April 19th 2018 I received an interesting email from someone called ‘Aimee Ann’ if that is ‘her’ real name is neither here or there. But what this person said is as follows… 

aimee

Sounds good right, I thought so, and initial ideas began to stir around my head in how I was to reply in order to sound as professional as possible, that is without sounding desperate for reviews. Because all writers need more reviews and the fact I overlooked where this person got my email from I was ready to bite her hand off for a review… 

I checked out the website, and initially I was impressed. This person is good, damn good. 

weird

You cant deny the About section appears to be innocent and worded in such a tactical way for nobody to call bullshit. It’s all positive and draws attention away from anyone with an ounce of suspicion, that includes me. 

Of course the whole deal is written in a way to draw a level of sympathy, truth or not, and who the hell has 4 kids and still has the time to read, review and keep a damn blog up to date? I have no kids and have barely enough time to brush my hair! 

weird 2

And so I scrolled further down her rather wordy and ever so  positively innocent bio, until the ultimate red flag destroyed all perception of me believing this whole deal was genuine… 

 

weird 3

 

Red flag uno… is highlighted in pink above. No pictures personally tells me there is a hell of a lot to hide but this paragraph is very clever in delivery, its almost dastardly, as in evil villain dastardly. And I should know a thing or two about such characters, I’m a writer…

Look how she addresses the red flag and then diverts by involving her family and then even sub diverts by making the reader forget completely about the fact there are no photos of her by mentioning the husband and even diverts that as well. 

Next comes more diversion…

diversion

And let me state here, there is no shame in supporting military charities, but this is just another diversion away from the real facts here. All of this is to give an author a sense of security and trust. 

And that is, red flag numero dos…

wres

At this point I knew the dream was over. ‘She’ charges for reviews… 

Any type of paid review service is quite simply unethical and viewed in the literary industry as morally wrong. Its cheating, its lying, its false. 

And so I used the google machine for a cold slap of reality to the face.

red

The Alliance of Independent Authors provided me with the above testimony.  

Yes folks that’s 75 big ones for a damn review! And so I poked around the interweb some more and found only a few people have lifted the lid on the Red Headed Book Lover’s blog. 

evide

As you can see this email I screen grabbed from Blank Pages Revealed is identical to the one I got! 

And so my whole premise is simply to lift the lid of future authors who type Red Headed Book Lover into google and tell them simply, its an unethical scam! 

I will never reply to the email, it isn’t worth any more words. All you have to do is actually read some of her reviews; they are complete and utter trash, she clearly reads the blurb and that only. Look how she never comments on style, voice and quality of writing; that’s because she has never read a damn thing!

The problem is, there are so many authors who have fallen for this. Reviews are basically currency for authors, especially indie ones, and so when desperation for reviews meets opportunist, Red Headed Book Lover sits there waiting, and its wrong, so wrong.  

It is never right for an author to pay for reviews! You should ask me instead fellow writer, yes you! I review books for nothing, check out my review section via the menu above.

I can happily say Red Headed Book Lover and Aimee Ann, I call bullshit and by the power vested by me as an author and creator of worlds, you are banished by the realm of genuine writers. We pride ourselves on hard work and the money we spend to give readers an escape. We can do that without paying for reviews! So kindly fu** off!” 

Now you have read this as an author it is your duty to reach out to others and spread the word, together we can stop scams like this one writer at a time…