As I’ve mentioned, I love my Kindle. Currently I have 120 “books” waiting to be read. Well, 119 because I’m reading one of them now. I can’t tell you how many I’ve already read but I go through two or three a week.
Almost all of the books I’ve downloaded have been free. If you go to the Kindle site you’ll find a list of the 100 Best Sellers on Kindle. The hundred best that can run from 99¢ to $12.99 for the latest Jonathan Kellerman and John Grisham offerings. Sorry, but I’m not going to pay $12.99 for any of their books even if they were in the dead tree format.
One of the big rips going around in the literary field is that with the advent of such services as Smashwords and Kindle Direct Publishing making it possible for anybody to “publish” is that the markets are being flooded with crap that’s not worth reading. Well, that’s certainly true to some extent, but there’s a lot of crap that’s being foisted upon the reading public by the established publishing houses, too. And most of it is horribly overpriced.
The majority of the free books on the Kindle Best Seller list come from independent and first-time authors, though I’ve found quite a few mid-list writers whose books are offered for free and have enjoyed them. I’m a sucker for mysteries and have enjoyed Paul Levine’s Jake Lassiter series having read four so far, as well as H. Terrel Griffin’s Matt Royal series. Both authors books are based in Florida where I lived for nearly half of my life. But I’ve also found some wonderful first-timers, too. Bubba and the Dead Woman by C.L. Blevill and Charlotte Figg Takes Over Paradise by Joyce Magnin were two of many.
I check out the Best Sellers list every morning since a lot of the books only stay there for a day or two and if you don’t download them when you see them they’ll be gone and if you weren’t fast enough downloading them you’d have to pay. That’s why there’s a 120 books in my active list. The one thing about these free books is that if they don’t capture me in the first couple of chapters I can toss them and I’ve lost nothing but an hour or two.
This morning, coming in at #23 is, Excuse Me, My Brains Have Stepped Out by Pandora Poikilos.
The title intrigued me so I clicked on it to find out what it was about. This is the product description:
“Anya Michaels is having the time of her life. She has the man of her dreams by her side. She has graduated at the top of her class. She has the job others were lining up for. Between late night drinks at her favourite bar and fancy dinners at the most expensive restaurants, she has a string of adoring friends. Everything changes when she hears the dreaded words, “You are sick.”
“Being diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder, her world starts to fall apart, one piece at a time. Now dumped, her four year relationship is nothing but a memory filled with pictures, thoughts and a very broken heart. Her job becomes an even further challenge as she tries to hide her condition. Her friends suddenly have more important things to do, what is a party without a party girl? Perfect could not crumble any faster.
“Soon, caught between situations, people and pieces of life that she never dreamed of planning for herself, Anya begins to wonder if her brain condition is all that bad. As she absorbs the changes in her life and realization sets in, she begins to wonder if she is the only one saying: Excuse Me, My Brains Have Stepped Out.”
The book received 12 five-star reviews and 6 single-stars. Thirteen other readers gave it 2, 3 and 4 stars.
What I found really interesting was the last line of the product review: “20% of royalties will be donated to the National Organization of Rare Disorders.” Since it’s a FREE book, 20% of nothing is NOTHING!
Okay, I admit I’m being sarcastic here. These free books only stay free for a couple of days, as I said, and it will soon cost $2.99 to buy it when it’s back on the regular lists. And yes, there IS a National Organization for rare diseases: http://www.rarediseases.org/
One response to “Twenty Percent of Nothing”
Since I haven’t made the move to an electronic reader yet, a lot of this is news to me, and I appreciate your perspectives on it all. It sounds as though sorting through the Kindle thicket is a lot like blog reading. There’s a lot that’s good, a lot that’s bad, some that’s horrible, and a big middle where you get “sometimes this, sometimes that”.
I laughed at your tale of the 20% – and of course you know what song popped to mind immediately, right? Of course you do – this one!.
Billy Preston! Wow, that takes me back to Chicago around the time of the Democratic Convention. Billy Preston, Leon Russel, Sly and the Family Stone, and the sad demises of Janis and Jimmy.