The ability to publish quickly and free of charge onto Amazon’s Kindle platform has led to an explosion in the numbers of self-published ebooks. The problem facing the would-be readers is how to find books worth reading among the poorly-written, non-proofread dross.
The problem facing the self-publishing writers is how to make their work stand out among the deluge of ebooks pouring onto the market.
One might think that reviews would help both parties. The trouble is that there are very few websites offering genuinely independent reviews and given the number of ebooks appearing on a daily basis the proportion that can ever be properly reviewed is minute. It is all too easy for writers to persuade friends and relations to post rave reviews, so unless a book has large number of reviews, or reviews that offer a spread of opinion, they may not be a reliable guide.
Sentence of Marriage is an ebook that I came across on a forum that also provided a link to the author’s website: http://sites.google.com/site/shayneparkinson/ and her blog. It all looked good to me and this book was on offer free of charge. I’m usually cautious about free books, (modern ones that is, not the out-of-copyright classics), but when it is the first book in a series offering it free can be an effective marketing tool.
I suspect that I’m revealing too much of my feminine side when I say that I really enjoyed this book. It isn’t my usual read; it’s a gentle-paced, family saga that describes the growing to maturity of a young girl in a remote farming community in 19th century New Zealand. The descriptions of the local fauna and flora are just sufficient to create realism, although I was briefly confused by the mention of a rifleman in the undergrowth – until I found that a rifleman is a small bird and not a sniper.
Occasionally, in the early chapters, I asked myself why I was reading it, but the book sucked me in and I couldn’t stop. For me it was a page-turner, not because it was action-packed and I was desperate to find what happened next, but because the writing is so smooth that it simply carried me along. The characters are lovingly drawn. The formatting is flawless and I didn’t spot a single typo – which is depressingly unusual in a self-published ebook.
Now it’s on to the next one in the series.