A Book For Your Kindle: The Emperor’s Edge

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The Emperor’s Edge, a high fantasy novel in an era of steam (Lindsay Buroker)

Long story short: if you read eBooks, you should be reading Lindsay Buroker’s books. Here’s why (short story long)…

So you got a Kindle. If you’re anything like me, one of the first things you did was run a search for whatever genre you’re into (fantasy, scifi, thriller, etc.) and sort the list by price low-high–because you’re cheap! And because, let’s face it–who doesn’t love free stuff? Lo and behold, the first few offerings in the results are FREE. Oh baby. Oh mama. Oh baby. Ummm… what?

That’s one of the first things I did, anyway. And the results were mixed. I DID find a handful of really exciting reads. I also found a lot of slush. But today I’m gonna tell you about a genuinely good FREE read for your Kindle that I didn’t find this way; I found it directly from the author’s platform, namely, her blog. Do yourself a favor and go get a copy of Lindsay Buroker’s The Emperor’s Edge, right now (did I mention it’s free?).

Who is this Lindsay, you may ask? Which emperor? What’s a Buroker?

Lindsay Buroker is another indie (self-published) author who has been building a successful career writing genre fiction and distributing her wares via Amazon, iBooks, Kobo, etc. etc. And like Joanna Penn (who I discussed a few days ago), Buroker has set up a platform online that both directs readers to her books and provides wisdom and information for other indie authors (or her superfans, as we might like to call ourselves). I first discovered her via her blog, and I have found a number of the podcasts with which she has involved herself to be highly informative and inspirational (more on those to come).

The Emperor’s Edge is (was?) Buroker’s flagship series–or at least her first long series. It’s a sort of character-driven action/adventure romp with heavy trappings of both steampunk and fantasy (although, for my money, I’d say action/adventure is the most correct genre for them… I mean, you know. If you’re a purist). They are super, super fun–there’s a cool world with multiple nations and interesting histories, political intrigue, an interesting (if not detailed) magic system, and oh yeah, a sort of steampunk-esque technological landscape–but most importantly, there are the characters. You’ll read the first one because it’s free and not riddled with typos. You’ll read the rest because you’ll need to know what happens next to this band of crazies, and what they’re going to do about it. You’ll be invested. It’s her strength.

Why is it free?

It’s an indie author tactic called ‘permafree.’ Think of it as an extreme loss-leader. Basically you commit to write a series of at least three novels, and you make the first one free (on outlets other than Amazon, so that Amazon in turn will price-match to free) in the hopes that people will grab the free book, love it, and buy the rest.

Pretty good deal if you’re a reader. If you’re an author, should you try it yourself? Opinions vary. There’s been a lot of chatter in the past two years or so on KBoards that permafree has seen its heyday come and go, especially because using that tactic prevents you from going exclusive with Amazon, and therefore prevents you from reaping any of the Kindle Unlimited (KU) benefits, like paid page reads on KU borrows, or possible increased visibility in the Amazon store. So there are potential drawbacks. Nevertheless the common sense in my pea-sized brain still suggests to me that it’s a pretty good tactic, if for no other reason than that I myself, some three years after finally getting my first Kindle, STILL peruse the freebies from time to time, and I still open them up (no matter what anyone on KBoards says!) and read at least a page or two before deciding to never read them. Meh.

But back to Lindsay Buroker.

If you’re an indie author or aspiring indie author, you should read her books to support this invaluable voice and resource. Support her career, because she has already given so much to support yours! If you don’t know what I’m talking about, visit her blog, or the Science Fiction and Fantasy Marketing Podcast, for starters.

If you’re a reader, you should read her books because they are good. Period. They are genuinely entertaining. I’m sort of a picky reader, by the by. I HAVE begun and failed to finish plenty of books on my Kindle. I’m not in the business of reading drivel. But this stuff? It’s not drivel. I’m personally of the opinion that her Dragon Blood series is even better (and the first one of those is free too!). And if you like any sort of space-themed SciFi, you might love her recent character-driven military scifi series, Fallen Empire.

I can personally vouch for the quality of her writing–which is action/adventure in tone, but executed very well–the quality of the product itself (spelling and grammar, what are those?! Whew, she knows), and that ‘oh goody!’ moment when you see she’s released a new book. You’ll find yourself buying them all before long, but don’t stress. They’re very affordable.

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