Guest Author Monday

Please join me in welcoming today’s guest author — Lorrie Struiff

I’m a curious author with some sound advice about free books

Do you read multiple genres or do you stick to only one, two or three?

Do you follow your favorite authors only, or do you spread your reading wings and try a new author once in a while?

I’m asking because these questions float around in my mind. I’m such a curious person.

Me? I’m a multiple genre reader—very multiple. I do try new authors.

I only have a few hundred books in my E-reader, both purchased and free that I’ve been downloading over the past year. The freebies I see on Facebook and blogs are both from small press publishers and Indies. Again to satisfy my curiosity, I have read roughly over fifteen freebie short stories and novellas in the past few months.

I’m so glad I’m not always a reviewer. I figure if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.

Please forgive my honesty. I do know there are many superb writers out there trying to sell their books on FB and blogs. I’ve read some of them, too, and have given a few reviews.

That said, some of the freebies I’ve been reading lately, well, let’s say I’m not impressed. Yes, yes, I know I have no room to talk, I’m no Hemmingway myself, but I am foremost a reader. Aren’t all writers?

Now, either some of the freebies are the authors’ early works and not their best, or worse–the stories are their best to date.

I know that I still have a lot to learn as writing is a growing process and you get better with each story you write, but…

Some of the freebies I have read have such a thin plot—if any– no substance to the story, and no tension, and most of all, a very weak climax. I go–huh? What did I just read? I call them a ‘nothing story.’ So disappointing.  I won’t purchase a new “for sale” story by that author. Not after I just read a ‘nothing’ story by them.

Let’s get something straight. I’m not talking about the books small presses allow free dates for authors to give their books away for promotion. If they are promoting, the stories are usually worth reading. It’s a great opportunity to find a new author to follow.

But some of the authors, and I did say some authors, who they themselves give freebies away I believe are going to lose future readership.

So dear authors, please be careful what you offer to the readers. If you want to promote yourself as an author, give them a free good sample of your work to read.

I imagine I will get a lot of flak on this article, but, do you agree or don’t you?

Arrgh! Don’t beat me.

I’m almost afraid to promote my two short stories now. Lol. But, of course I will anyway.

From BooksToGoNow, I give you Wild Blackberries and The Last Dance.

And I will offer free, one of these short stories of choice in PDF format that you can convert, to one lovely commenter.

As a multi-genre author, let me tell you a little about them.


Morgan is researching on an Indian reservation in Prescott, Arizona, for her new paranormal novel. She doesn’t believe in the paranormal, but writes it for the trend and the nice royalties. That is until her soon to be divorced husband tries to kill her, and she survives by her wits and a little “strange” help.

On Amazon



Bren’ and Rip have been friends since they met. Now that they are in High School, Brenda finds herself in love with Rip. Growing up in the fifties seems idyllic but in this short story about love and loss, relationships can be more than simple crushes and sometimes young love isn’t enough.

On Amazon:


Where you can find my other works.

Amazon, buy page:

Blog:—-Hit my published works page.



In case you are wondering, I live very near Pittsburgh, PA. I have been writing for over ten years and have led various workshops in my area. I write in my quiet den on my laptop and conjure up my fictional characters to give the readers, I hope, a satisfying read. What fun to see what trouble they get into and how they wiggle out of tense situations?

Thanks, Lorrie, for dropping by and sharing with us today. We wish you much success in your writing.





14 thoughts on “Guest Author Monday

  1. Thanks so much for inviting me to your blog today, Leanne. This article is one I’ve been wanting to get off my chest for a while. I hope the readers and authors who visit today are not upset with me. Most do know that offering your best work will garner more readers in their corner.

  2. I have to say that I agree with you, Lorrie. I have a very small book budget so I tend to find as many freebies as I can, not just to stay within my means, but to also sample new authors. I’ve been lucky enough to find some great new authors (who are now on my autobuy list) thanks to freebies they’ve offered.

    However, with that said, I can’t tell you how many poorly written books I had to read to find that one gem. With self-publishing now being so popular and so easy to do, authors are cranking out books left and right without taking the time to make sure they are the absolute best they can be. It’s disheartening, really.

    I always wonder, as a newer author myself, if a reader picks up a “bad” freebie, will that then turn them off to taking a chance on one of my books should it be offered for free? Maybe I’m just being paranoid. lol.

    Great post =)

    1. I have found some gems also. And when I do, I give a review. When it’s poorly written, I won’t insult them. I find it is both Indie and small press authors that hope to gain a readership. But, as you wrote, gems can be found in both. It’s the wading through to find that gem that’s tough.

  3. Oh Lorrie, you made me smile! Great post! I always figured the only reason they were offered for free was for promotion. I also agree, with self publishing becoming so easy, there are a lot of stories that aren’t quite up to snuff! Your idea of throwing out a great excerpt or chapter is a good one!

    Now to your books! Prescott, AZ – Two hours from where I live! They sound great!!

    1. Hi Penny, glad you stopped by. I’m glad I made you smile. I don’t mind Indies if they throw out a decent freebie, but some from any author whether Indie or other, wow, they blow my mind–the wrong way.

  4. I am finding that a lot of books I pick up lately lack tension and have a thin plot. They just don’t hold my interest and that disturbs me. I love free books too, but I think authors , especially newbies, are just too excited to get their books out there, they don’t take the time to test their books before marketing them.

  5. You have a good point, Brandi. When a book doesn’t hold me after I give it a fair shot, I delete them. And it is disturbing to pick up the book when the blurb sounds so great, then you start reading and think, ‘what the heck am I reading? Where is the story line? What is this book about? Yes, very disheartening and it makes you feel bad for the author.

  6. Being in the midst of not one, but two giveaways (new release blog tour and Kids Book Giveaway), I’ll have to come down on the side of some giveaways. Honestly, I wouldn’t have found some really good books without them being free. But there have been some stinkers. I also only review the ones I can read clear through. I won’t give a bad review, but I also don’t throw five stars at everything either.

    1. I think giveaways on blogs are a different ball of wax. Those giveaways are usually what is just being released and are usually decent reads if not great reads. I’ve found some good new authors, but wow, if some of the authors I’ve read with free FB and Amazon giveaways…well, need I say more?

  7. Hi Lorrie,
    I tend to agree with you, and being an English teacher, I find myself quickly turned off by grammatical errors, sentence errors, spelling errors, etc. I now download a free sample to my kindle to read through first. Saves me many a headache! Have also found some good books!

  8. Hi Cheryl, I actually find the books I win from bloggers are better. Some of the giveaways for promotional purposes have generally been decent. But most of the other freebies are not good at all. It stymies me as to why a person would give away a book that has not been critiqued, have such thin plots–if any–and as I stated, are nothing books. That is not a way to garner future readers. In my opinion, that makes us all look bad.

  9. Hi Lorrie! *waves vigorously*

    I read many genres. I’d be bored if I only read one or two. There are few genres I won’t try. And any author is a new one until you meet and read him/her, right? Even the classics!

    Now, on to your question concerning free reads. To put it succinctly, you get what you pay for.

    I know that some authors do it for promotion. But at the same time, I can’t help but thinking that if they considered the free read to be worth more than a free read, they’d sub it somewhere and make some money doing it? I’m not talking about the ones that are free for a limited time or anything like that. Or the free reads at particular sites that are usually done for love, not money. But face it, if an author can sell it, he/she will.

    Then they become incensed if someone dares to criticize the free read, and say what did they expect for free? You can’t have it both ways. So I tend to shy away from totally free reads, and I don’t believe the authors are doing themselves any favors. There are other ways of promoting and gaining readers.

    Interesting blog, Lorrie, as usual.

    Good news – I have a Kindle Paperwhite – got it for Mother’s Day! I’ll be a reading fool before you know it lol Soon as I finish Crime and Punishment 🙂

  10. Hi Julie, thanks for your input. I have to think about that one. Possibly, if they couldn’t sub it anywhere, they went the Indie route and would like to see a little gain on their work. I’m thinking some freebies are older novels that have been around the block a few times and probably the very first work of said author that did not sell well. Now they are trying to drum up sales for just released or future novels. Making a name for themselves. And the older novels do not bode well for their intention because they turn a reader off. Does that make sense? And some may think their book is so good, but no one wanted it, now maybe their baby will be read by someone of importance and be picked up.
    All I know is it is not good advertising for future books.

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