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How to find good e-books?

Discussion in 'Novels & Stories' started by Amanita, Jan 9, 2013.

  1. Amanita

    Amanita Maester

    I might get an e-book reader for my birthday or I'm going to buy one if get money. ;)
    So now I'm asking myself how I can find good books among the countless Amazon submissions. I've already taken a look (and bought a few things from forum members. ) Haven't read them through so far, because it's quite hard on the computer screen after a while) but didn't find a useful way to filter all the rest.
    I have some very special interests and would like to find something as close as possible but searching for key words at Amazon hasn't been very helpful so far.
    Does anyone have any tips?

    I know, the discussions are usually from the other perspective around here, but maybe it will helpful this way as well. ;)
  2. Ankari

    Ankari Hero Breaker Moderator

    Check out Goodreads. Enter the books you've read and they will suggest other books for you. I tend to buy my books through B&N nook.com. To me, I find their "You might like" suggestions are closer to the styles I do enjoy.
  3. JCFarnham

    JCFarnham Auror

    Recommendations. If someone I know and love says, try this out, I'll probably get the book.

    It all depends for me on whether we're talking about self-published vs. traditional. I don't use Amazon any different to how I'd browse around book store, to be honest.

    Recommendations, reviews, "you might also like", etc. = fine by me.
  4. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

    I echo Ankari's suggestion. I've only just begun using Goodreads and have already found some good books.
  5. PaulineMRoss

    PaulineMRoss Inkling

    Start with books you already know and enjoy, favourites from your bookshelf or the library. Look them up on Amazon, and then look for the 'Customers who bought this also bought...' section below it. Then check out anything that catches your eye. Read the blurb and some of the reviews. Look it up on Goodreads or Shelfari or LibraryThing to get a better cross-section of reviews. Then read the sample on Amazon. If you're still onboard by the end of the sample - consider buying it.

    You could also do worse than look at the Kindle bestsellers lists, but again, take your time to check them out thoroughly, don't just pick up anything with a snappy title, a pretty cover and a rash of glowing reviews.

    If you have very specific requirements, I would suggest signing up with the reddit fantasy group and asking them for suggestions. They're incredibly good with ideas (even for those people who say 'what was this book I read in 1973 that had a drunken dragon and a one-eyed dwarf in it....' - they usually come up with the answer).
  6. TWErvin2

    TWErvin2 Auror

    Recommendations from folks you trust, from personal friends, online aquaintances, review blogs that have steered you right in the past.

    Read some of the reviews and the look inside feature (if available) for the ebook vendor.

    I've sadly found that much of the free stuff out there isn't worth the time. There are gems, but a lot of digging. There is at least some measureable truth in that you get what you paid for.
  7. PaulineMRoss

    PaulineMRoss Inkling

    Much of the paid-for stuff out there isn't worth the time, either. It pays to be very, very selective. I don't download anything by an unknown author, free or not, unless I've read the whole sample and I really want to read the rest.
  8. Wanara009

    Wanara009 Troubadour

    PaulineMRoss is right. Start with the book you know. Then go to online review sites to find the books you don't know.

    However, not all the free stuff is worthless... since if you know where to look, you can actually get electronic copies of good books that you know for free. There's a lot of site where you can download eBook for free. In fact, this is how I get the eBook copy of the whole Artemis Fowl series, the Westerfeld's Leviathan trilogy, and Wayne Barlowe's Expedition (I don't even pay the internet service, since I did this in a public library computer).
  9. PaulineMRoss

    PaulineMRoss Inkling

    This sounds like you're recommending pirate sites (which we don't advise, do we, people?), but there's plenty of legitimately free stuff out there.

    I don't recommend new ebook buyers start with the free stuff, because it's much, much harder to find the gems amongst the dross. Amazon does a top 100 list for free Kindle books by genre, so that's a good place to start. If you have Amazon Prime, you can download a lot of books for free (and we Brits have this now, too), but they tend not to be the big name ones and you only get one at a time.

    Cheap stuff is another matter. Amazon does a Daily Deal, where they heavily discount a full-price book. There are also seasonal discounts - Christmas and the summer, for instance. These are terrific opportunities to pick up bargains and fill up an empty Kindle.
  10. Chilari

    Chilari Staff Moderator

    I tried a few free books when I first got my Kindle because my debit card got frozen for fraud (someone decided to do their Christmas shopping on me). None of them were any good. I was selective: I read blurbs, only looked at books with at least 3 reviews averaging 4 stars or higher, and still found they weren't exactly great. One was full of typos, another started with a boring situation, etc.

    Go with recommendations. I can, for example, recommend our very own Telcontar's (Tristan Gregory) A Swordsman of Carn Nebeth. I enjoyed that a lot. And Michael Sullivan's Theft of Swords is one I am enjoying too. Well worth the money. Plus, with people who post here, you can ask them over PM for a sample of their first chapter before buying if you want to be super careful.
  11. Amanita

    Amanita Maester

    Thank you for answering me. I'll check out the options you've mentioned. ;)

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