So you have lots of time to read…but you have to pay for it and find some good stories!
Many of you will already be signed up to KU – you pay a monthly fee ($9.99 in the US, £7.99 in the UK) and can then ‘borrow’ up to 10 books at a time. Not every book on Amazon is available in KU, but there are a lot. The reason some authors do not make their books available is that Amazon require exclusivity – so they cannot sell ebooks anywhere else.
Amazon offer a free one month trial of KU, and there are sometimes offers of three month trials (I think there’s one in the US at the moment, but Amazon won’t show it to me because I’m in the UK). So you can effectively get a month’s free borrowing, as long as you remember to cancel it before the end of the month.
I’ve seen Facebook posts from other authors saying they are making some of their books free at the moment, or doing special discounts. So keep an eye on Facebook author pages or sign up for the newsletters of authors you like. If you end up with too many newsletters, you can always unsubscribe from them later when life returns to normal.
In additon, a lot of authors publish the first book in a series free, so you might find some authors you like that way. Just search for ‘free historical romance’ (or any other genre!) in Amazon and you’ll get a long list to choose from.
If you haven’t already signed up for BookBub, it might be a good time to do so. You can pick your genre, and then get daily emails with bargain or free books in the genres you pick. Similar services include Ereader News Today and Robin Reads. You can also follow authors on BookBub, and they will notify you when an author has a new book out.
Advance Reader Copies (ARCs)
Many authors offer ARCs (Advance Reader Copies) – you get a free book before publication, and they ask you to leave a review. Look on their websites or in their newsletters.
If you like writing reviews, there are also websites that organise this for authors. For example, BookSirens and Hidden Gems. You sign up and tell them the genres that interest you, and you’ll get emails allowing to you pick books to review.
Finding new authors
It’s a great feeling when you find a new author you like, not quite so good when you realise you’ve finished all of her/his books. The free books on Amazon are a good place to start, but there are also lots of book blogging sites out there.
Mary Kingswood writes Regency Romance and also reviews books in the genre (and says nice things about my books, so she must be good!)
Helen Hollick runs Discovering Diamonds and writes tales of pirates and the sea, and Arthurian and Saxon stories. You can search for reviews by author name, or by era (there’s a little search box in the side bar for this).
Pauline Barclay runs Chill with a Book. I haven’t worked out how to search by genre (comment below if you do know and I’ll amend this) but you can search by author or title, or look through the monthly newsletters.
Frankie publishes reviews in Chicks, Rogues and Scandals. You can search by genre on the side bar.
Mary Anne Yarde runs the Coffee Pot Book Club (and writes historical fiction herself). The book club recommends reads in all types of historical fiction, not just romance. Check out the 2020 recommendations here. You can look at previous years’ recommendations via the links at the top of the page.
Comment below, or email me, if you know of any other good review sites.