On behalf of all the Smart Girls Read Romance contributors, thank you to all those who are serving or who have served in the armed forces!
But what's this got to do with the
Freedom to read?
So you frown and say, "Of course I can read what I want. I've always read what I wanted to."
Well, you can. Now.
Up until a few years ago, a hundred or so people decided what everyone in North America would read. If your tastes ran more to the eclectic, such as genre blends and the like (you like mystery mixed with ghosts, romance, and humor? Ann Charles says yes!), then you'd have been out of luck. Not so today.
What if you prefer a genre that isn't popular? Three years ago you'd have been hard pressed to find many Westerns or Western Historical Romance because the large publishers weren't buying them. Not only that, they dumped the authors who were already writing for them. Now, there are enough releases in these two genres to keep even the most voracious reader satisfied. And guess what? Readers want them!
Just yesterday, Caroline Clemmon's The Most Unsuitable Wife was #10 in all of Amazon, and #1 in the Western and Western Historical Romance genres. Hmmm, it sounds to me like people are reading that genre! (Congratulations, Caroline!)
Go to any online store, whether Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple, or many others, and you'll find a variety of books and authors that you've never had access to before, and at a lower price, too. What's not to like? There's never been a better time to be a reader.
Like free books? Join a Facebook author event--they're held all the time--and you're likely to win a book. Commenting on blogs will get you more free books. And besides, you'll find loads of bargain books, too.
Lots of authors offer the first book in a series for the low, low price of 99¢. I do. My Hearts of Owyhee series is set in a location that most people have never heard of--Owyhee County, Idaho. Currently, four books are available and I'm writing the fifth one now. But you can buy the first one, Much Ado About Marshals, for only 99¢. Yes, it took me a year to write. Yes, the cover and editing cost money. But I think it's a good low-risk opportunity to see if readers enjoy my kind of stories, the way I tell them.
Five years ago, a 99¢ book was unheard of--or if you did come across one, you'd assume it was low quality. Not so in 2014. The rest of my books are $2.99, which is also less expensive than most books five years ago.
That means not only do we have the choice of what to read, we can read more! Sounds like heaven to me. Might even have time to get a manicure.
Yes, it took me a while to figure out how to work in the picture of those terrific nails, but I just had to do it. :grin:
Have a happy and safe holiday!
♥ Hearts of Owyhee ♥