New reads: trying the Dreame app (and a Werewolf romance)

I have a week off — whoop, whoop! — and I’ve decided to spend pretty much all of it reading. In time honoured tradition, I’ve ducked past my teetering TBR heap, which is now taller than me and 25% dust, and instead bought myself a new book. I’ll work on that habit later.

For my first read, I found a novel excerpt on Facebook, and it was a werewolf romance. Yep, loved-up wolf-people. It’s a new genre for me, even though I’m fairly omnivorous, so I grabbed it, enjoyed it, and then the freebie Facebook chapter ran out and I was directed to the Dreame app to pay for the rest.

I’d never been there before, either, but there was a story to finish, so in I went.

First thing to know about Dreame, if you haven’t tried it, is that not all the work on there is finished. You can pay to read a book by chapter and then once you’ve read everything that’s available, it carries on like a soap opera: you get installments, and it’s pay-per-chapter. You can end up paying quite a bit for a completed book, but it’s hard to drop the story once you’re hooked (especially if you’ve already paid for e.g. 10 chapters, are not sure if there are many more, and then it goes on for 60 more…).

The other thing to note is that since the app provides a selection of both WIP and finished works, the edits may be ongoing — so expect typos. There are plenty of complaints about this on Goodreads, but when I’m reading just for fun, this doesn’t bother me. I sometimes prefer early drafts to the polished final novels because they’re raw: you get a really open sense of what the author’s feeling, which can be slightly muted after all the editors have swooped in with the scissors and dusters. I can hoof my way past a typo without my brain falling out, so from that perspective, it’s all fine.

The book I wanted to read was finished, so I was able to see that there were 71 chapters and 2 epilogues, and download the whole thing as an in-app pdf to read like a standard e-book. This meant I knew what I was paying for the whole story and with the current discount (I don’t know if the prices are always ‘discounted’ or if I got a deal) it ended up being about £10.99. But not a normal £10.99: you have to buy the in-app coins, which felt unnecessarily complicated and slightly dodgy. I bought 1200 coins for £10.99, and received an extra 300 bonus, which covered the 1400-coin cost of the book, leaving me with a spare 100 coins (although it says I still have 416, which I don’t understand — perhaps there are bonuses).

I read the book. I’ll review that separately but in summary, it was a werewolf Mills and Boon with a tiny female who was dominated by a series of large males, with lots of drama (fighting males, little crying female) and overall was the kind of book that I would never have read if I hadn’t found it the way I did. Good or bad? Mixed. Thrilling, fun, sexist, and in parts a bit shit — Haribo for the brain. Worth the read? Yes: I enjoyed a new reading experience for me, and a fun story.

So, the Dreame platform…

Good bits: 

    • Stories, right? 😊
    • It sits happily on the phone, and like all ebooks, is great for buses, cafés, or 2am when your partner wants the light out.
    • For me, a lot of stories / genres that I’ve never read before.
    • Fun!
    • Authors write, authors get paid. I’m not sure how much or whether they get a good deal, but I’m happy to pay for reads.

Neutral bits:

    • The works may need editing, and the quality of writing is variable (but the same can be said for any medium). Some readers will hate this, others won’t mind. I’m OK with it, but just to know what you’re paying for. Bear in mind the free sample posted might be the best bit… 😏
    • There are app bonuses, which can be gained from joining, logging in daily, reading locked chapters, and so on, and these can be used to access further locked chapters. Again some people may love this, but for me, it’s a faff; I read to relax, not to play for points. I literally just want to pay the author and enjoy the story. Frills annoy me, but this will be good for some.

Bad bits:

    • If the book isn’t complete, you’re at the author’s mercy in terms of when it will be finished and how many chapters you need to pay for, which is all a bit unknown (and avoidable if you only buy completed works).
    • In-app currency: hate that. Potentially wasteful as you pay per batch of ‘coins’, which may not match the book price.
    • The app works on Android (mine), iPhone (allegedly), but I haven’t worked out how to get more than the initial free chapters on PC. I like to read on pc sometimes and it bugs me to have to use my phone, but that’s an old-fashioned view and honestly, it’s ok to read on the phone.

So that’s all I have about reading on Dreame. I haven’t written anything for the platform — I’m unlikely to write there at this point because I have other, more traditional projects in the pipeline that will keep me busy for the forseeable.

Will I go back to read more? Haha maybe, yes, for as long as I’m scared of the spiders in my hard copy TBR, I’ll give it another go, crack open some crisps, pour a large cuppa, and chill for a morning. Why not? It’s nice just to kick back and have fun.

 

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