When I first started blogging at Cloth Diaper Guru, I did a number of product reviews. Since moving to my new site, I really haven't had much of any interest in reviewing. There are a few reasons for this, but mainly I decided that reviewing was a lot of work and I valued my time too much to keep up with it. However, I recently decided to offer up my reviewing services on several eBooks. I was contacted by Tomoson and if you've ever worked as a blogger, you'll know actually getting a review with Tomoson is kind of like finding gold at the end of a rainbow. It's a mysterious process and there are a lot of bloggers who are fighting for the chance to try out and share their experiences with a product! It was kind of cool to get a few books to review and generally I've had pretty good experiences with the books I'm asked to review. Reviews I provide are always honest and I'm never obligated to provide a positive review in exchange for a product.
The rise of eBooks is really making ePublishing extremely popular among new and budding authors. Authors who who may never be published in print due to being in a niche genre can easily write, edit, publish, and sell their own eBooks. Although I still prefer to have books in print (so I can share with friends!), I do like to have a few eBooks on my computer to keep me de-stressed while traveling for work. The latest eBook I received free for review is the Subtle Beauty. Honestly, this book was not meant for me (a 30-something mom of two). It would be a great read for a teenage boy, but the characters were just not developed enough to hold my interest. This has definitely been a trend I'm seeing in recent eBook reviews--books directed at teenage boys are becoming more popular and the rest of us might not "get it" or understand why they think the story is amazing. I guess that's OK. From my (distant) memory, not many teenage boys spend a ton of time reading and having options that appeal to them is important! If the books keep the cursing to a tolerable level (which Subtle Beauty did), then that gets a bonus star.
Although the eBooks are never as captivating as the Newbery award books I read to my daughter, I think these books do have a purpose and add value to the literary community. I remember being obsessed with stories as a child--I would come up with stories and replay them over and over again in my mind until I could get a perfect scene and script. Having the option to ePublish is an amazing outlet for young and old authors! The sky is the limit and I hope we can encourage people to keep dreaming up stories that entertain us--even if the stories appeal to a small audience or a specific age group.