I was surfing on the Kindle Boards and saw a message from another Indie writer asking for criticism for his book.  He went so far as to ask for people to trade reviews with and my first thought was:  Is this ethical?  I flipped over to his book description and read his blurb.  It’s not a book that I would normally read, but it’s close to my genre and since I am also frustrated about the lack of reviews on my book, I thought I’d give it a try.

Another bonus was he was offering his book for free this week in an effort to generate interest and readers and maybe even a few reviews.  I was still skeptical about how ethical it was, so I made myself a promise that I would read the book and if it was horrible, I wouldn’t review it.

Why would I not want to review a book that was just plain bad?  I wholeheartedly subscribe to the philosophy that if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.  I do not want to be one of those critics that finds fault and beats up another person.  I don’t want to be one of the angry, negative people that seem so willing to spew venom on the ‘net, hiding under anonymity.  With that promise in my mind, I downloaded his book and started reading…

After about sixty words, I was mentally preparing myself to read objectively since it was really more science fiction (which I knew from the blurb) and I wasn’t sure I could warm to it.  You know what?  I read more than half of it last night and I’m loving it!  His style is crisp, polished, and fast paced.  There’s not a lot of explanation that’s fed to you – he lets it develop and the flow allows the reader to catch the threads and accept the story as probable – even though it’s science fiction.

So today, I will take my Kindle to work and read some more, and then I will post a review, because the book is good enough (possibly even great…but I’m not done with it yet).  It is ethical, because it’s how we launch ourselves as Indie authors.  If I didn’t read his plea, I wouldn’t have read his book and I wouldn’t have spent a few very enjoyable hours last night reading a really good book.

I’m so inspired by his approach that I’m going to offer my own book for free starting March 9 for a limited time.  I think this is the way the community functions.

I’ll post a review here as well…and you know that it will be good.

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