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Hedda’s Hot Picks “Reading for Writers” : A Look at Ebooks

Published on Thursday, April 22, 2010 by

ereaderThis post will be slightly different from the usual. Instead of focusing on a particular genre of new titles I thought it might be useful to talk about ebooks. The future of ebooks looks promising. They are becoming more available along with a variety of ereaders. Some may have thought they would never catch on or be a fad for a short time but it looks like they are here to stay. Last year 7% of all trade sales in the U.S. were ebooks. Amazon reported 60% of their book sales were Kindle editions. Having finally gotten my first e-reader a week ago, a Sony reader from Borders (on sale), I quickly launched into searching the internet for sources for ebooks. Since I have discovered a treasure trove of web sources I thought I would share.

There are of course a variety of ereaders and downloadable book formats vary for each reader. You should try to determine the formats your reader can handle. In some cases there appear to be software downloads that can convert formats. The Kindle which is available from Amazon seems to favor pretty much only Amazon downloads. Other ereaders are able to accept a very common epub format which is found on numerous sites. Many sites have at least one free ebook that you can download to test your format. Prices seem to be pretty comparable, ranging from $9.99 to $20.00 depending on how new the book is and where it falls on the bestseller list. Many have specials and reward systems and I will focus separately on those that have free ebooks.

What are the advantages of ebooks?

  • Lower prices
  • Great variety of content on ebook sites
  • Instant gratification – instant book available, no waiting, no postage.
  • Enlarge print to read at size that suits

Advantages for authors to publish with ebooks:

  • Instant worldwide audience
  • Won’t go out of print
  • Flexibility in length of book, page count, word count
  • Faster, easier and cheaper to produce
  • No printing or distribution costs
  • Lower price to consumer means larger market

Mainstream Book Sources:

Books on Board – www.booksonboard.com/index.html?ebooks=ebooks

Nice author info. Wide selection of book categories. Has a UK site as well. No free titles.

Reader Store – http://ebookstore.sony.com

Prices range from $9.99 to $13.86 for the most part. Good selection. Author info, book reviews and excerpts. No free titles. SONY also provides a Library Finder which will help you find a library near you that offers eBooks.

eBooks.comwww.ebooks.com

Provides books for formats of epub (newer titles), PDF, Mobipocket (Palms or Kindle) or Microsoft Reader. Book descriptions and excerpts. Newer releases range from $9.99 to $15.95. No free titles.

Fictionwisewww.fictionwise.com/home.html

Seems to specialize more in romance and sci-fi titles but does carry mainstream. Book descriptions, excerpts and reader ratings. Prices for mainstream seem to range from $6.79 to $12.75. Free eBooks available after free registration. Free classics and reference.

Diesel eBook storewww.diesel-ebooks.com

Bestsellers, book excerpts and ratings. Prices seem to be considerably higher, provides a 5% discount off next purchase.

eReader.comhttps://secure.ereader.com/ereader/home.htm

Nice rewards deal here but this site requires a download of software for a very small selection of readers listed at site or to be read on your laptop. Requires registration for newsletter.

kobowww.kobobooks.com

Synopses, reader ratings, excerpts. Comparable prices.

Smashwordswww.smashwords.com

Wide variety of material from self-publishers.

Stanza – a free download app for iphone and ipod touch. You can use your iphone or ipod as an ereader with the free app and go to this site for books. Some are free as well. http://stanza.fictionwise.com

All Romancewww.allromanceebooks.com

Just what it says, all romance ebooks.

THE FREE!

Classic literature can be found for free on many sites along with many obscure and out of print, no longer copyrighted titles or what is called public domain. I recently joined a new group in SL called Classic Literature Book Group and I was pleased to be able to download several of the upcoming titles to my ereader for free! Great way to catch up on rereading the classics or maybe many you overlooked and will read for the first time. I also have found some historical documents that will be very helpful in my historical novel research and some which may even give me new novel ideas. Be aware that most of these sites do not carry mainstream fiction, or titles from the bestseller lists and some specialize only in historical or technical publications. For specific needs however these are all worth a look.

Free ebooks – www.free-ebooks.net

Feedbooks – www.feedbooks.com

Books on the Knob – http://booksontheknob.blogspot.com (for Kindle)

ManyBooks.net – http://manybooks.net

obooko – www.obooko.com/index.html

Online Novels – http://online-novels.blogspot.com

The Online Books Page – http://digital.library.upenn.edu/books/index.html

The Burgomeister’s Books – www.truly-free.org

Project Gutenberg – www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Main_Page

Goodreads – www.goodreads.com/ebooks?utm_medium=email&utm_source=Apr_newsletter

Book Glutton – www.bookglutton.com/portal/books.html

kobo – www.kobobooks.com/lists/Free_eBooks/iAelgfsVRkeCoTvSmlCADw-1.html

World Public Library – http://worldlibrary.net

Get Free ebooks – www.getfreeebooks.com

Google books – http://books.google.com/books

20 Best Websites to Download Free ebooks – www.hongkiat.com/blog/20-best-websites-to-download-free-e-books

More Free ebook links – http://wiki.mobileread.com/wiki/Free_eBooks

Munsey’s.com – www.munseys.com/site/home

You may want to use this search site to find a location where you can buy a particular title as an  ebook.

Overdrive http://search.overdrive.com/retail

Be sure to post a comment about any of these sites or others that you have used.

5 Responses
    • Excellent thank you! I look forward to browsing these sites. My own favourite is http://www.baen.com/ for Science Fiction/Fantasy including well known authors like Larry Niven and Andre Norton as well as new talent. They also have a subscription offer where you get parts of several authors work spread over a few months till the stories are complete. Fun way to try new things! ARC books are unedited works as sent to publisher, interesting to see. Look at Sharon Lee & Steve Miller, a husband & wife team often in SL, you can download examples of their work at the SF Portal on Info Island too.

    • Thanks for your comment on an additional site Judi. I also discovered an additional site right after finishing the post. Another e-mail daily bits of books and more. Try http://www.dailylit.com and you can get book reviews, daily book bites and even language and grammar instruction, all for free!

    • Great information, Hedda. I’ve been meaning to explore ebooks from both a publishing opportunity and as a reader. They do seem to be growing in popularity. Since I tend to travel with half a suitcase full of books, I can see an advantage in storing those books on one reader. How do you find it to read? Does it bother your eyes at all?

      Love this blog!

    • Hi Bethany, Thanks for being a blog reader. I love the ereader. I just flew 8 hours cross country and the ereader was my mainstay for entertainment. No problem with reading even into the late hours as I use the magnified print which is so much easier to read than most books.

    • Thanks for all the information Hedda, I have a new folder of ebooks resources in my bookmarks thanks to you. Super jealous of the Sony reader, I like reading ebooks on my netbook but it would be fabulous to have a reader as well.

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