Tag Archives: Kim Curran

This week’s challenge: writer or characters?

This is slightly off-topic from my free reading challenge (once more: “I read some books” makes for a less than fascinating post), but my blog this week was prompted by a question on twitter about whether readers prefer standalone novels or series.

It’s one of the “rules” of independent publishing that series sell vastly better than standalone books because it’s now an established “fact” that readers prefer series of books that they can revisit time and again, like going back to a favourite holiday resort.

So, I started looking at my own reading preferences – and came to the conclusion that it depends – although series have become so ubiquitous in YA that it’s a little hard to tell.

New out - click for preview and to buy!
New out – click for preview and to buy!

I’ve just finished Gill-Marie Stewart’s No More Lies, which is the conclusion to her George and Finn trilogy of books. That’s a terrifically fun series – romance and cosy crime for teens. But I know perfectly well that whatever Gill-Marie does next I’ll go with her – whether it’s in the George and Finn universe or something completely different.

Good, but...
Good, but…

On the other hand, I fell utterly in love with Marissa Meyer’s Cinder and went on to consume Scarlet and Cress in the Lunar Chronicles series in short order. And yet, Fairest and Winter are sitting on my bookshelves, watching me (I’m sure) with resentment every time I pick something else out or settle down with my Kindle. Perhaps it was the gap of time waiting for Winter that made my attention wane; maybe it’s because the book is about a mile thick and there are too many books out there for me to want to read one that’s the size of three. I don’t really know the cause, but my passion for that series has definitely faded.

rain-stormI can’t actually find very many standalone YA books in my shelves, which is remarkable. I followed Kim Curran from trilogy Shift, Control, Delete to standalone Glaze (and they’re all fabulous), and I read Virginia Bergin’s The Rain and The Storm duology and wait impatiently for her next. I can’t find an author whose books I’ve liked that I’ve deliberately not followed into another world or genre.

Overall I think I care more for the author and the writing than for the world, but it really does depend. If I like a book and there’s another by that author I’ll take a look. If I like it I’ll read it, if I don’t I won’t. I don’t think that marks any change in my reading habits to what I’ve always done.

Over to you, dear reader – do you prefer series or would you rather settle down with a standalone book?

Spread the (book) love

I love books. You might have noticed. I don’t love ALL books, though, that would be impossible (and ambitious, given how many now exist in the world). I have my go-to genres, and even within them there are books I pick up and put down, books I abandon after reading the first couple of pages, those I read and enjoy, and those I LOVE.

We all have them – books you adore and want to foist on complete strangers in the street because they are SO GOOD.

Now, I’m British so I would never dream of foisting anything on a stranger, which may or may not be an opportunity lost to the authors I love. But there is another way of shouting about brilliant books.

It’s reviews, of course – a way to tell the world about a great book and help recruit a new audience for it. I participate in a book blog (as one of the Paisley Piranhas, check us out), and I also post reviews on Goodreads and Amazon. Please, if you enjoy a book, tell people so. I promise, you will make the writer’s day.

Tell the world

This next bit is for hardcore fans, or book reviewers who want to get a bigger audience for their reviews because, I’ll be honest, it is a bit more work. However, it’s not a lot more work for the impact it has.

I’ve just discovered (apologies, I can’t link to the original post because I didn’t save it – I didn’t think it couldn’t possibly work until I actually tried it – my bad!) that it’s possible to share reviews across numerous Amazon platforms with very little effort – and given that you’ve exerted yourself to compose a review, don’t you want the biggest possible audience for it?

If you want to shout about a favourite book or writer and make sure EVERYONE hears, all you need to do is follow the steps below:

1. Open up your local version of Amazon and find the book you want to review. I’m using Kim Curran as my example because her books are fabulous and should have a bigger audience (i.e. everyone), and also because this is the first review I’ve done using this method and I’m wired that it works.

2. On the address line, you’ll have something that looks like this: http://www.amazon.co.uk/GLAZE-Kim-Curran-ebook/dp/B00K9UYLR4/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1453468983&sr=1-1&keywords=glaze+kim+curran

Yeah – snappy or what?! Remove everything except for http://www.amazon.WHATEVER/dp/B00K1REF321/, so it looks like this: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00K9UYLR4/

3. Copy this shortened address and paste it into a new line. Change the .WHATEVER to the alternative Amazon location where you want to leave your review (I ended up with a row of address lines with .com; .co.uk; .ca; .com.au to cover the main English-speaking sites.

4. Write your review at one of the addresses.

5. Cut and paste it to the other locations. Save them all.

Ta da – four reviews for the price of one, and a couple more continents full of readers have the benefit of your views on the book you loved so they can decide whether to try it.

I’ve just done my second review, for the equally fantastic The Territory by Sarah Govett and it was even faster than my first. Do give it a try!