Ravenous romance offered a group of books on http://www.allromanceebooks.com/ for free about a month ago. They did this as a special gift to loyal readers to give back for so much the readers have given them. And I love when they do this. I love that my readers get a chance to get a free book. It’s like the old book-of-the-month clubs I used to belong to, where after you buy so many books, they send you a free book of your choice.
I also love giving the free books away because it’s my choice; it’s the publisher’s choice. And with all the book pirates out there just stealing everyone’s books it’s nice to have this control over them. Without going into pirates in this post, I actually had one tell me he pirates the e-books to know whether or not he’s going to buy the print books. He doesn’t think e-books are important, and doesn’t think they deserve to be treated like print books. I know; he’s an idiot who must believing under a rock. What else can I say?
But, the interesting thing about publishers giving away free books is that while it is a nice gesture for readers, and all authors love doing this, it does tend to bring out all the haters. Oh, they crawl out from beneath their rocks and slither toward the light. You know, those Internet loons who can’t wait to spread all their negativity. By haters I mean those people who don’t leave good constructive book reviews. They just leave one or two lines about how much they hated the book…blah, blah, blah…
My book, AN OFFICER AND HIS GENTLEMAN, is one of the free books on ARe right now. It’s been there for free for about a month. This book was released almost two years ago, it’s had wonderful reviews, and it was bought by Alyson Publications in collaboration with Ravenous Romance for the Alyson line of erotic fiction. This was an honor for me. I have the highest regards for Alyson Publications and everything they print. And to be part of their list was a nice quiet accomplishment for me as well. There’s even been talk about doing a m/m movie based on this book, but I can’t go into details about that right now. Generally speaking, this book has made me happy.
Now, I have always stood firmly that I believe everyone has the right to review and offer their personal criticism about what they read. I may not always agree with them, but I agree it’s a good thing to have this type of freedom of speech. Personally though, I have a problem leaving bad reviews for books I didn’t pay for. It’s a freebie; I’m thankful someone gave it to me and if I don’t like it I just smile, nod, and move on politely. But I do find it interesting (and almost a little funny) that the haters just can’t wait to get a free book and trash it. You just know, instinctively, these are not the type of people you’d ever want to socialize with in public. Tacky is as tacky does, and it’s just as simple as that.
Thankfully, for the most part, I have received so many wonderful thank you e-mails from nice, decent readers who were thrilled to get the free books it all balances out. I even sent a few of them free e-books on my own, without the publisher knowing I did this (I don’t think they’d get upset; they’re cool about these things). And just so the haters know this for sure, I’ll be giving away as many free books as I can and the haters don’t have any control over me (smile).
Besides, I don’t think anyone really takes any anonymous reviews about anything seriously anymore. I wouldn’t trust a review for a toaster on Amazon if the reviewer didn’t leave a valid name. It’s becoming the biggest joke of the Internets. I had granite counters installed in my kitchen last spring, and I have an interesting blog post coming up about how the granite company has to deal with their competition leaving negative reviews. And it’s not much different from books, movies, or anything else in the internet.