Christian Speculative Fiction discussion

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Marketing and Reviewing Topics > Creating Buzz - Q1

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message 1: by Lara (new)

Lara Lee | 507 comments Mod
Starting out our series, how do you personally find new books to read? (Word of mouth, bookstores, online stores, Amazon, Goodreads, blogs, news sites, etc.)


message 2: by Glen (new)

Glen (gbraden712) | 7 comments With me, it is usually word of mouth, amazon freebies, goodreads and blog reviews.


message 3: by Steve (new)

Steve Pillinger | 517 comments Mod
With me it used to be Bookbub and the occasional recommendation from friends; but since getting heavily involved in GR reviewing, I've had little time for any other reading!


message 4: by Lara (new)

Lara Lee | 507 comments Mod
Steve wrote: "With me it used to be Bookbub and the occasional recommendation from friends; but since getting heavily involved in GR reviewing, I've had little time for any other reading!"

I had never heard of Bookbub. I think you just gave me another shiny thing to distract from writing. Lol!


message 5: by Steve (new)

Steve Pillinger | 517 comments Mod
Haha! Get thee behind me…


message 6: by Stan (last edited Jun 11, 2018 10:36AM) (new)

Stan | 288 comments Mod
I read far more non-fiction than fiction. So, most of my reading is driven by current subject of interest and/or research for personal writing projects.

This year, I'm focusing on more fiction - thanks to this group. Goodreads is where I find descriptions and recommendations of fiction that interests me. And, I don't mind reading indie and new authors. I have some friends who don't read anything by an author without multiple published works - I think they miss out on a lot of good writing!

I also set a personal goal this year to read more non-fiction from authors who have already passed on, with a preference for those who are long since gone. Some are considered classics; some are obscure. After I finish The Imitation of Christ, I want to read Spiritual Combat, the latter written in the 1400-1500's. And, surprising to me, I found a section in The Imitation of Christ that fits very well to a conversion narrative I had in mind for a character in one of my fiction story lines.

That might not be where you wanted this thread to go, but that's my two cents worth.


message 7: by Lara (new)

Lara Lee | 507 comments Mod
Stan wrote: "I read far more non-fiction than fiction. So, most of my reading is driven by current subject of interest and/or research for personal writing projects.

This year, I'm focusing on more fiction - t..."


I think this is good feedback! I know a lot of people who want to read the newest thing out, but I find myself leaning towards the tried and true classics. It has taken a lot of effort for me to give new books, indie or not, a try. I lean heavily on reviews of books for my choices, but my goals are to be more adventurous and read more new things.


message 8: by Janelle (new)

Janelle (janelle5) Mostly freebies. I get a couple of emails each day with offers. And my husband is always picking up free books. I listen to a lot of classics as well and keep an ear out for books that are newly recorded.


message 9: by Lara (new)

Lara Lee | 507 comments Mod
Janelle wrote: "Mostly freebies. I get a couple of emails each day with offers. And my husband is always picking up free books. I listen to a lot of classics as well and keep an ear out for books that are newly re..."

I read a lot of the Kindle free books of classics. It is kind of a guilty pleasure for me because I do feel like a book is worth paying for. How can you argue with free, though?


message 10: by Janelle (new)

Janelle (janelle5) Yeah, it’s hard to argue with free. A lot of authors make the first book in a series free. It’s good publicity and helps lure in the readers.
I try to leave a good review for any freebies I get. I would feel guilty if I read a freebie and didn’t offer the author something in return. And if I really enjoy book one, then I will invest in other books in the series.
It’s a bit more of a conundrum if I don’t like the book. A negative review doesn’t seem like much of a thank you.


message 11: by Steve (new)

Steve Pillinger | 517 comments Mod
Right, but are we out to help the author, or potential buyers?


message 12: by Janelle (new)

Janelle (janelle5) That's a good question, Steve, one I've been thinking over since I wrote my comment. I'm currently reading a freebie that has been a disappointment to me, although I will probably give it three stars. Unless a book is truly awful, I try say something positive about it. In this case, along with a few positive comments I have some very specific negative comments to make. This book is not a read for review, just a freebie that my husband picked up about 4 years ago and has been sitting unread on my virtual shelves.
I realised after I wrote my comment that I can't stay true to my idea of giving an author a review as a thank you, and always be completely honest at the same time.


message 13: by Lara (new)

Lara Lee | 507 comments Mod
I do give 2-star reviews sometimes, but I always try to think of who else might like this book better than me. I try to only give 3-stars or more. Every book has an audience, even if it isn't up to our standards. I think the message and story that the book is trying to communicate is essential, more so that the technical issues. If I dislike a book enough to give it a one-star review, then I don't rate it at all. That book was obviously not written for me.


message 14: by Stan (new)

Stan | 288 comments Mod
I have also chosen not to write a review for a few books. Reading a book does not obligate me to write a review. I am especially mindful of this when the aspect of the book that I didn't like is a personal pet peeve.

When I did my most recent master's degree, our class on research methodology included some advice on writing book reviews for academic journals. We were asked to always keep in mind the effort that goes into writing publishable (not indie) academic non-fiction. Just accomplishing that should give most authors the benefit of the doubt on minor issues that could be nit-picked. Where academic writing is concerned, the author probably knows more about his or her subject than 99.9% of the possible reviewers, so assuming he's wrong an an interpretation is somewhat arrogant for most reviewers.

I think the latter point can apply to our reviews when we have opinions about inconsistency in world building and scene development. There may be things in the authors mind about his or her world and/or scenes that just don't make it into the book we're reading. So, being critical in that area should be done carefully, and only when seasoned with grace and mercy.

I hope I posted this in the appropriate thread.


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