Searching for Books on a Kindle Fire

currently playing on my iPod: Spectrum by Florence and the Machine

So today I decided I really needed to download a new book to my Fire. After all, my sweet mother bought the device for me.

When I touch the Store button, a nice little search tab comes up. Seems simple, right? Not so fast. I am currently writing a YA Paranormal Romance and so I thought I’d purchase a book in that genre. When I typed in the genre name, all sorts of books came up. Great, I thought. This is great. But it really wasn’t. Every YA Paranormal Romance written by every Tom, Dick, and Henrietta spilled out into the lengthy list. It was no way to look for a good book. Now, don’t hear what I’m not saying. I have read, enjoyed, and respected several self pubbed ebooks. I hold no blanket bias over self publishing. In fact, I may do it myself one day. BUT most self published ebooks are written by authors who have not yet reached the level of craft necessary to be published by the established houses. Say what you want, you know it is true in many, many cases. It may not be true a year or two from now, but that is a topic for another post.

So, back to my search. How could I browse YA Paranormal Romance novels without wasting my time wading through the mass quantities of less than stellar works? I tried the lists on the sidebar. NYT bestseller (Nah, not getting me where I want to be.), Kindle top paid (Nope. Too slanted by price to be a good judge of what might be good.), Editors’ picks…hmm. When I opened that list, I was pleasantly surprised. Now, don’t think for a moment that I’m fooled into thinking that some fantastic editors somewhere wrote this list in some happy, no-strings-attached situation. Wasn’t born yesterday, folks. But I did find a few YA P.R. titles that have been published by reputable people. Titles I’d heard about around the world of blogs and online chatting. I was happy to make a selection (Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor), knowing my choice at least had the backing of people willing to spend marketing money on the thing.

But the Editors’ picks did not really satisfy my needs. Finally, I typed in the genre in the search bar doohickey and also added the name of a publisher, Simon and Schuster. A few of my favorites come from that joint and so I smile when I see their name. The search worked. I downloaded one of the choices (Torment by Lauren Kate*) and have already read a good chunk of it. It’s not a beautiful, real book, mind you, but the story is there and I’m glad I was able to find it.

So think when you search for books on your e devices. There are so many wonderfully written books available. Don’t lower our collective literary standards by just picking something arbitrarily. Do some research. Search using publishers. Use the goodreads site to find a book. Ask pals. It’s not difficult. Don’t waste your time with less than awesome stuff whether it be self pubbed or traditionally created.

*Torment is the second book in the series that begins with Fallen. I read Fallen a billion years ago so I was aware of the series, but other may not be. It would be great if the Kindle lists mentioned which book is which where series are concerned. I find that greatly lacking.

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