Author Stephen Fender is offering a great deal for those who have not yet read the first two of his military space science fiction novels in The Kestrel Saga. First, let me tell you why you want to take advantage of this (it's my blog, after all—not his) and then we'll get back to the Fabulous Mr. Fender.
FIrst of all, I can't stress the importance of leaving a review after finishing a book. Although technically, reviews are for the benefit of future readers, they also help indie authors in many ways.
Self-publishing gives a lot of freedom for authors in the form of creative rights, editing options, cover design, and more. However, the downside to having all that freedom comes in the form of self-promotion.
If you're an author who's been fortunate enough to work with a publishing house, the publishers do the promoting for you. I'm sure the author doesn't sit back and wait for the big bucks to come rolling in, but face it: the big-name publishers have connections and know how to use them. This adds up to lots of exposure in very visible places.
Indie authors not only write the book, but they scrape up the money for an editor. They are then expected to format the book themselves, and either design their own cover or hire an artist to design one. By the time the book is ready to launch, the hard part is just getting started: making people see it.
With thousands of new books released each month, I'm amazed anyone gets noticed amid the sheer volume. There are promoters out there who, for a price, will get your book synopsis (and perhaps an interview) posted on a variety of blogs. Good stuff, all of it, but once again, the average reader may still not run into these sites unless they're already immersed in all things bibliophilic. What does the average book purchaser look at?
Amazon. Smashwords. Goodreads. Nook.
Yep, they look at reviews. An indie author can be selling thousands of books, but if there are only a handful of reviews posted for each title, a purchaser may hesitate to try out an unfamiliar name.
So here's the fun deal (since, when all is said and done, Stephen Fender is a fun guy):
Contact Mr. Fender through his website, www.stephenfender.com on his "About" page and he'll provide you with a copy of the first Kestrel book, The Army of Light, free of charge in exchange for an honest review. You can post your review on Amazon or Goodreads (or both), and he'll provide the second book, Icarus, with the same deal. Free book for honest review. If you haven't read either of them, you have the opportunity to read them at no cost to you. If you've read the first one and haven't left a review, do it. Then get the second one free and review it, too.
And that's not all! Stephen Fender will send you a primo set of Ginsu knives—
No, wait. He won't do that. BUT if you, the reader, post reviews for both books prior to December 15, he will provide you with an early (and—yes—FREE) copy of Second Earth, the third installment in the series. There is pretty much no way you're going to get the short end of this deal. I've read all three (multiple times, in fact) and I can tell you in all honesty that I'm already anxiously awaiting the next one, because I've enjoyed Shawn Kestrel's world so much. (See my earlier post that tells a little bit about Mr. Kestrel.)
Good deal? Good deal. Go get 'em.