Free = good?

Since I have a kindle, I do occasionally give in to these first in the series free type books, and usually find that they’re self published novels, and often because of that they lack a little polish.  It strikes me that the line between writer and reader is becoming far more blurred than it used to be; once upon a time there were a few creators and lots of consumers, and now in so many ways there are lots of creators and far more of those who consume are tempted into crossing the line and creating for themselves.

Not just with books; look at youtube to see that people are creating their own video content, anything from filming their pet cat to a full production.  Many people now publish their art.

Is this good or bad?  Both, I think.  It’s good that so many more people are able to create and find an audience, but at the same time it makes it harder to pick out the good stuff.  Just like with the hundreds of channels on TV with nothing to watch, we can be faced with a wide choice of things with a problem picking out the quality stuff.

But every so often we can pick out a nugget of gold from amongst the rest.  In my case it was one of these first books free, and it came from a review on someone’s blog.  From the first page I could relax recognising the hand of a master, and from halfway through the book I already love the characters, am intrigued by the story and know that I’ll be buying the rest of the series.

The book?  It’s called The Changelings by Elle Casey.

As to all this self publishing – I still feel that some authors let themselves down by going this route too early, and publishing before their writing is completely polished and edited.  But this doesn’t mean that I’m going to avoid all the free books on principle – if a writer chooses to put their reputation on the line by publishing, then I’m willing to put my time into reading; at the very least I’ll gain experience in spotting what doesn’t quite work, and at best I’ll come across further gems like this.

PS no idea if this particular book is self-published, but that’s my general assumption with a lot of the books published this way, rightly or wrongly.


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