I like to read, OK you figured that out before you started reading this... And I post the occasional Pastafarian sermon. Mostly I read, and I try to write a review for everything I read.
I like to read stories that are new, that stretch my mind and my imagination. Smashwords provides a vehicle for exercising that desire. There are more works posted here for free than I can possibly read, I download the ones that I would like to read, and the ones that look most inviting I try and get read this week. Every week I try to read a few that I downloaded a while back and have not got to yet, so you may see reviews from recent downloads to ones from long ago.
Authors post their work on Smashwords because they want to share what they have often spent a lot of effort working on. I try to review every work that I read, in repayment for allowing me to read it.
My early reviewers are a bit kinder than my more recent reviews. Sometime ago I realized that some works were better than most of the ones I was giving 5 stars to. As there is no way to give 6 stars, I dialed back my ratings a bit. Here is how I currently am awarding stars.
1 Star; this work was not ready to be published
2 Stars: The presentation made me think I would like it, but I didn't like it. I probably did not finish reading it (defined in each review)
3 Stars: AVERAGE - not good or bad, the presentation and the work match, I was not disappointed or overly excited. I am glad I read it and will likely look for other works by the author.
4 Stars: I got more than I was expecting from this work, I am actively looking for more works by this author
5 Stars: I can not believe I did not have to pay for this work! Looking for more works by the author, keeping this one so I can read it again later, it will probably be the foundation of a later famous work by this author.
Review with no stars or no review: I read a book, even though the presentation did not reach out to me. I am not the authors target audience so it is inappropriate for me to rate it with stars.
I read your book and did not give it 5 star review... Sorry but that is not something I do lightly, here are a few popular books that I would give 5 stars to. Before you take offense, ask yourself if your work is really equal to these.
* Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
* James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
* Have Space Suit—Will Travel by Robert A. Heinlein
* Spaceling by Doris Piserchia.
* Number of the Beast by Robert A. Heinlein
How to fail as a self-published author OR things I see authors do, that don't seem to add value to their work.
Smashwords is wonderful venue for the self-published author to get exposure. It is great place for readers find works that bypass the narrow focus of major publishing houses.
• Ask your friends to post a review as soon as you post your new book on Smashwords.
• Use the description to tell why you are the best author EVER and why the reader should download your book NOW.
• Use lots of descriptive words in your work, never use 2 words if you can get a 100 to say the same thing
• Don’t worry about universe plausibility
• You religion is the best, be sure your readers are left with no doubt about it.
• Publish the first chapter of your novel as soon as possible.
• Try to sell the first book in your series, while offering the other non-stand alone works for free.
• Don't bother proof reading your work
• WRITE YOUR INTRO IN ALL CAPS