Welcome to Books and Novels to Read

News, advice and conversation about the Self-Publishing book industry.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Free ebooks

After very careful consideration I have come to the conclusion that the proliferation of free ebooks is killing the market for paid books. I have downloaded many free ebooks. Whenever an author has advertised their book for free on Facebook, or sent me an email about their free ebook I’ve downloaded it to show my support. I am now at the stage that I have over a year’s worth of reading on my Kindle. In other words I do not need to buy another book for quite some time. I know the idea of giving away your work for free is to promote your other books, but does it work? My wife and I have both tried the free ebook route and apart from one or two sales have seen no change. Perhaps everybody else also has loads of free books on their reading devices and will eventually get around to reading our books and then go onto buy our other tomes. I don´t however hold out much hope though. I truly believe that as long as there are free ebooks available very few people are going to put their hands in their pockets to pay for a book.

At the same time I also believe that authors are selling themselves short. I mean $0.99 for your book that took months to write, plus editing, plus producing a cover and everything else that is involved with putting your work out there. The book warrants a better price. You can buy a newspaper for not much more and dispose of that by the end of the day. A cup of coffee, significantly more than a $0.99 ebook is finished within 5 minutes. I know some advocate sell cheap and you will sell lots more, but some people will think, if it is that cheap it can´t be any good. I would think a price of 2/3 of your print book price would be fair, that’s of course if you have a print version. But then of course you come up against my previous argument, free ebooks. A dilemma that that needs thinking about.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A new departure for Books and Novels to Read

In an effort to attract more of the book reading, buying public to BNR I´ve started adding some of the world's best selling books by the top selling authors to the website. The logic being that once attracted to the website they will browse around and discover the wonderful selection of self-published books available.

I think the public still believe there is something inferior about a self-published book. I'm stating now quite clearly, that this is not the case. Since reading and reviewing many self-published books I've found them to be original in plot, character and twists and turns.b

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Review of Zombie Apocalypse: Redemption By J L Murphey

A Review of

Zombie Apocalypse: Redemption

By J L Murphey

Here is another review and a further book that has taken me outside of my comfort zone. Zombie Apocalypse: Redemption is the very first zombie/horror story I have ever read and if this is the level of writing this subject achieves then I´ll be reading more. This wasn´t what I was expecting, yes you get the lurching walk, the hunger for warm human flesh and the other things associated with zombies but in this story you get a whole lot more. Donna Cairn, the central character is a research scientist in the field of genetics who converted from general medicine and is now devoting her life to finding a cure for Alzheimer´s disease. She lives (for the most part) and works along with her fellow doctors and scientists looking at cures for the world´s diseases in an unusual facility, a disused missile silo sold off by the government at the end of the cold war. Deep underground the silo becomes a safe haven as the zombie apocalypse takes hold. It starts slowly as dogs begin to attack the population, transmitting a virus which transforms the victims into the living dead. These attacks rapidly escalate until more than half of the world´s population is infected. Can Donna along with a fellow doctor, Kit Steger, find a cure for the incurable or will the earth turn into a human free zone populated only by the living dead?
There are numerous sub plots the main one featuring Hapgood´s theory of Earth Crust Displacement, which to you and me means the entire earth´s surface has been displaced around the globe´s central core. The setting of the story, near Omaha in Nebraska has moved and is virtually in the position of where the North Pole used to be. That means snow and ice, will that help or hinder the intrepid scientists?
I hugely enjoyed reading this book, it was a revelation. Well written with characters you can believe in and root for. I would thoroughly recommend it to anybody who wants to try a different genre. Whether or not it is zombie clich├ęd I have no idea, I just know it was a very good read and I look forward to reading more of J L Murphey´s work.
My rating 5 out of 5.

To buy and download a copy of Zombie Apocalypse: Redemption and see other books by J L Murphey click here: J L Murphey

A Review of How to Draw a cat in Six Easy Steps By Tanya Provines

A Review of

How to Draw a cat in Six Easy Steps

By Tanya Provines

Commercial artist, illustrator, freelance author and licensed art teacher, Tanya Provines, has produced a whole series of books entitles How to Draw..........

At $0.99 a book these very simple guides to drawing various objects and animals represent excellent value for money in these austere times and are a great way of entertaining your kids and perhaps giving a helping hand to any budding artists out there. I´d recommend these books if you want to give your children´s artistic talents a boost.

Tanya is also a serious author and you can see her complete listing of books by clicking here

My rating 5 out of 5.

A Review of Shadows of Suspicion By Ashley Dawn

A Review of

Shadows of Suspicion

By Ashley Dawn

Another book and a different genre to get my head around; since starting booksandnovelstoread.com I´ve read a lot of unfamiliar genre and this is the first romance I´ve ever perused. Boy is it different to my usual type of book, that is thrillers if you don´t already know. I asked Sandra my wife and she confirmed that in most romances there is a lot of thinking going on. “Why has he said that?” “Why did she do that?” This goes on throughout the book. I´m more used to the thinking process being restricted to “Shall I kill him with a knife or a gun.” So once I´d gotten used to the thought process this story jogged along at a good pace. I suppose the yarn was written in the classic romantic style. Boy meets girl, they have many problems and then ...... I don´t want to spoil it for you.

The two protagonists (that´s the thriller side of me coming out) Kerry and Luke meet in extremely dangerous circumstances, she´s been kidnapped for reasons you´ll discover and he is sent to rescue her not realising that she is a feisty, independent woman and from there the story develops. At times I wanted to bang their two heads together as they made such hard work of falling in love, thinking too much for their own good. However the dialogue between the two of them is both realistic, funny at times, antagonistic at others, but always very well written. When God was mentioned early in the book I´ll admit I found it a bit off putting. I am not a religious person and feared He was going to be rammed down my throat but it turned out it was an extremely important and integral aspect of the story which didn´t actually spoil the narrative for me. You can believe in the characters, the book makes you want to know what is going to happen next and you find yourself rooting for them.

Ashley Dawn is a very talented writer. Shadows of Suspicion is an extremely good story which I admit I enjoyed immensely once I had overcome my trepidation of reading a romance. I read books and write reviews about them because authors have been kind enough to send me their works and I believe it is my duty to read every word. Some of the books I´ve reviewed have been very good but I can´t say I really enjoyed reading them. This was different; I ended up truly taking pleasure from this yarn which is a sign that the author knows how to write a good story.
I would thoroughly recommend Shadows of Suspicion to anybody and look forward to reading more books by Ashley.

My rating 5 out of 5.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Review of How To Understand The Book Of Revelation, Revelation 1:1 – 3:22

A Review of

How To Understand The Book Of Revelation, Revelation 1:1 – 3:22

By Tanya provines

Being a non believer I don´t know where to start with this book review. First I´ll say that the research Tanya has put into this work is awesome. I´m always staggered at the amount of research people go to in order to compile a work of this sort. Tanya obviously knows her Holy Bible, the King James Version as she continuously, throughout the book, references other scriptures to explain and amplify her message. Tanya states quite clearly.

“Studying the book of Revelation, the reader is lead to virtually every other book of the Bible. All that we need to know about God and about ourselves is in this book; past, present, and future.” Which to me is an extremely bold statement.

Now I´m aware that the Book of Revelations is an extremely important scripture, I know that many works of fiction use this book as a basis for their stories and for believers it can be the very basis of their belief. Tanya has taken the first three chapters of Revelation, perhaps the three that get passed over more quickly than the rest and carries out an in-depth exploration of their meaning. The Holy Bible is to my understanding not to be taken too literally and a great deal of thought is needed to fully comprehend what you are reading. Tanya´s work attempts to explain the first three chapters of the Book of Revelations and to a large extent I believe she achieves her aim. Using her insight as an artist and an accomplished word smith she wends her way through the chapters explaining and clarifying.

I feel however this is a book for a committed Christian to increase their depth of knowledge of the Book of Revelations rather than a work to convert the non believer. I wasn´t moved by the book no matter the high merit of the work. However I will still rate the book 5 out of 5 because I recognize the quality of the research, the quality of the writing and the belief and commitment that comes across in Tanya´s words.

My rating 5 out of 5.

Tanya is also an commercial artist and you can see her complete listing of books by clicking here

A Review of Yes China! An English Teacher's Love-Hate Relationship with a Foreign Country

A Review of

Yes China! An English Teacher's Love-Hate Relationship with a Foreign Country

By Clark Nielsen

A book about China, this should be fascinating and parts of it were, but it´s also about Clark's experience, or should I say lack of experience, teaching English in China. I nearly gave up on Yes China after the first three chapters. They are all about his time in the classroom and I´m afraid to say they were repetitive and dull. Clark then went onto tell the reader about life in China and the book suddenly got interesting.

Unfortunately between every interesting chapter is another about Clark´s life in the classroom. Okay I know the book's blurb clearly states "I was there to pretend like I knew how to teach," but you can have too much of a good thing and quite honestly every chapter about being in the teaching environment felt the same. The incidents might be different but as I progressed it just felt I'd read it all before. Now when Clark writes about his life in China and the people, then the interest level soars. From restrooms to food, travel to accommodation, Clark covers them all. He talks about the Chinese people and the huge cultural differences existing between them and the U.S. Towards the end of the book he even finds love, good reading as you will find out.

In the snippet from the blurb, above, you will also gather there is an attempt at humour. This went over my head, but that´s me. Humour is subjective and I'm sure many people would find Clark's writing hilarious.

The author is brutally honest about his feelings starting with his resignation from the Mormon Church to his thoughts about some of the kids he tries to teach English too. At times I found him embarrassingly open, revealing too much of himself, but you've got to admire somebody prepared to wear their heart on their sleeve in front of the reading public.

So, I found Yes China a very mixed bag of tricks, some very good and others to be honest, boring. I suppose I was disappointed it was not more of a travelogue, which just goes to show I could not have read the book's blurb properly. Having said all that I did enjoy parts of the book and am glad I read it. If you are at all interested in travel or China I believe you should give it a try even though I´ve not given the book a very good review.

If you would like to buy or download a copy of this book click here. Yes China

My rating 3 out of 5.