One of my goals as an author is to give back and encourage other indie authors to keep going. I know how hard it has become to get reviews for my books, but I refuse to take the path of paying anyone (or any site) for reviews. I want organic reviews that are from readers who have been inspired enough to add a review.
This strategy has its downside, as the reality is that the percentage of readers who leave reviews is incredibly low. And on top of this, Amazon has become very tyrannical when it comes to reviews. Luckily I haven’t had first-hand experience, but I’ve read of many instances where book reviews are being deleted by Amazon without warning, justification, or communication with the author. It’s become a very flawed system that punishes all for the actions of a few.
Whilst I don’t accept review requests from other authors, I am happy to add their titles to my TBR so they can be part of the pool I choose my next reads from. The books I read (and review) have been chosen by me, not read with any agreement with the author to post a review. When choosing my next read I look at my TBR, favorite authors, Amazon charts, search Amazon for genre or subject (eg. Science Fiction, Action, Thriller, Young Adult, Middle Grade etc). This strategy is as hit and miss as anything. Sometimes I make good choices, sometimes bad.
A few months ago I recieved an email from Amazon offering me a free 30 day trial of Kindle Unlimited (KU). Over the years I have enrolled my own books in KU and have had some good numbers where KU members have read my books. For an author, the KU pages read income per book is definitely less than a true sale, but it’s still another way to get your books out there.
So, I decided to take up the KU trial to see if it would help me with my reading choices. But now the trial is over, the bottom line is that I found the content available on KU wasn’t really what I expected (as a reader). While I knew it would have plenty of indie books (which I do like to read), I thought there would also be a load of books by popular and well known authors. When I went through the list of my most wanted TBRs, I soon found that most (if not all) of them weren’t available in KU, which meant that I would still need to purchase copies if I chose to continue the subscription.
Kindle Unlimited wasn’t for me. I didn’t think it gave me the choices I had expected so I didn’t sign-up for an ongoing term. The amount of reading I get time for doesn’t justify a monthly fee plus the need to still purchase additional books.
During my Kindle unlimited trial I did read a couple of short novellas. Here are my thoughts.
The Fossil By Greig Beck
Kindle edition | 85 pages
Released 4 March 2019
THE FOSSIL is a time jumping detective novella where humans soon find that time can be the greatest weapon of all.
The Fossil was under 100 pages. In a nutshell, it’s a time-travel mystery that spans from Neanderthal times to well into the future. A number of plots in different times are in play and they all have something in common. Over the course of the story the links are revealed and things tie together. I’d describe the underlying story as the future returning to fix mistakes of the past.
Given that it was only a novella, the story was brisk and light on detail. But it was the switching between multiple plotlines and settings that I found a little bit unsettling. Each chapter was short and moved from one to plotline to the next just as I was becoming invested in what was happening. This made it difficult to keep up with which characters were which, who was with who, and who was doing what.
The Fossil is a quick read. I think the story has loads of potential and feel that its complexity would suit a full length novel. With the addition of more mystery, detail, and character development I think it would become a great read. (Oh, and I do love the cover)
Jurassic Island by Viktor Zarkov
Kindle edition | 133 pages
Released 20 October 2015
Nothing could have prepared billionaire explorer Joseph Thornton and washed up archaeologist Christopher “Colt” McKinnon for the terrifying prehistoric creatures that wait for them on JURASSIC ISLAND!
Yes, I hear you. My first impression of this title was that it would be a spin-off of the Jurassic books and movies we all know. Its first chapter was actually included at the end of The Fossil (see above) – although it’s by a different author. So, I took the bait and read the first chapter and it intrigued me enough to get the book and give it a go.
This novella was a little longer than The Fossil, at around 130 pages. ‘Colt’ McKinnon is an out of work TV star – who used to have a show about the ‘unusual’. He, along with a mixed band of new associates are gathered together by a billionaire to explore a new discovery in the southern Indian Ocean – Jurassic Island.
Although the early chapter that I mentioned above hooked me, I’m sorry to say that the rest of the book didn’t seem original to me at all. The plot was very predictable and I felt it was just meandering through a list of events that occur in all similar stories. I hate to be negative but it just didn’t connect with me. There was nothing in Jurassic Island that I felt was memorable enough to make it stand out from the crowd.
If you’re up for a New York City thriller full of twists and suspense, then SUBWAY | PALLIATOPIA should be your next read. Hunger Games and Maze Runner fans love it.
They will take your life.
They will take your dreams.
They will take your future.
Palliatopia is the place you don’t want to be, and the place you can never leave.