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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Can you get something for nothing? Yes, but maybe you shouldn't.


I've been developing a new website filled with information on books for self-publishing authors. It's not quite finished yet but I won't be embarrassed if you take a look now. 

My personal library includes about a hundred books about publishing and I'm not including every one of them. To fill out the online 'collection,' I've bought some new p-books and downloaded some new e-books.

I was particularly curious to see what was available for $2.99, $1.99 -- and even lower. As expected, there is a lot of crap, but I also discovered some unexpected very good books.

The New Author is a 200 page book in three sections: writing basics, developing a 'social media platform' and e-publishing as an independent author.

I read and review lots of books about writing (I write them, too). I've even written a book about bad books. I have no interest in writing novels, and assumed this FREE book would be terrible.

There are two reasons I downloaded this book:

  1. I  think the new website should include some books about writing fiction, which I know nothing about.
  2. I wanted to see just how crappy the book was. I could not imagine that a book with a price of ZERO would have anything good in it. I didn't think I could get something good for nothing.
I was prepared to write an extremely negative review, but I can't find anything bad to say about The New Author (except that the free e-book is underpriced). It is an excellent book, with advice and information that will be useful for all new authors -- not just new novelists, and not just e-bookers.
     It is better than many books selling for $10 - $20. Author Ruby Barnes is missing a lot of money. I hope the good reviews will encourage him to raise the price of this valuable book, and he hopes this book will encourage readers to buy his other books.
     I recommend that you buy the paperback. Authors deserve to be paid for their work. That's why I'm providing a link for the paperback, not the freebie. If you want the free book, you'll have to do a bit of work to get it.

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Some readers of this blog have complained that I write only negative reviews. Today's posting proves that isn't so. I'd much rather recommend good books than criticize bad books. However, some books are dangerously inaccurate or misleading rather than being merely inept, dull, ugly or obsolete -- and it's important to point them out. Also, reviews of bad books can be funny. Funny is good.




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