The latest craze: Free e-books offerings


James Patterson's latest best seller, "The Angel Experiment," is a little different from his usual hits. The novel isn't new; it came out four years ago. Readers aren't picking it up at bookstores, but mostly on the Kindle site at

And the price is low even for an old release: $0.00.
"I like the notion of introducing people to one book, while promoting the sales of another," says the prolific and mega-selling author (and co-author) of numerous thrillers." His Kindle download is the first book of Patterson's "Maximum Ride" young adult series.

"We've given away thousands of free e-copies," Patterson said. "`Maximum Ride' is big already and we think it could be a lot bigger. That requires getting people to read it."

Story also discusses concerns that other authors have. Full piece here.


the.effing.librarian has FREE books available for download at Scribd.

Or you can buy them for $1,000 from Amazon.

Why $1,000 for a print copy? What do you care? Were you really gonna buy one, anyway? Even for $10? No, so shut up. Besides, once you put something online, you can't guarantee that you'll ever see any money for it, so why not put the book out there for free. But paper is different. When my worthless crap is printed on paper it becomes literature, and that's worth something to me. A thousand somethings, to be exact.

But if you view the FREE version of METAL ASS, you don't see this in the dedication:

"Oh, and since I forgot last time, thanks to the people at LISNews. Although now, I can’t really remember why.

Oh, yeah, because they are awesome.

And thanks to Stephen Michael Kellat for letting me be a part of one (or two) of his podcasts."

For some reason, the "awesome" part was left out of the FREE version (that's what happens when you edit multiple versions).

I'd like to have Kindlized versions, but Amazon requires too much personal information, even if the titles would be available for free. If I could put them on Kindle, I would BECAUSE I KNOW IT WOULD GIVE YOU IMMEASURABLE JOY.

I love that a 2nd copy is listed for $1999.

Brian C. Gray

about a loss leader

Baen's been doing this for years, and not tied to the Kindle, either. Baen Free Library --

Occasionally with the Honor Harrington books out of Baen, CDs are bound in as well. They try to cover a variety of formats on those discs, thankfully.
Stephen Michael Kellat, MSLS

There are a few gems in the Baen Library but it is mostly poor to mediocre fantasy and science fiction.

I present the jury with exhibit #1:

Exhibit #2:

Exhibit #3:

Exhibit #4:

And of course you've read all of these, and aren't just basing your opinions on the covers and blurbs. I read that Mercedes Lackey series when it first came out and enjoyed it well enough.

Not all Baen books are classics, but they're not all rubbish, either. They've also been very progressive when it comes to ebooks. In addition to the free library they sell digital advanced reading copies (though there are only a handful of authors I would pay more to read early, and they aren't at Baen), and packages of books in chunks at a discounted rate. I only read a few of Baens authors, but I find what they are doing in regards to ebooks very interesting.

Even though Baen trends right-ward politically, they've been very progressive with ebooks indeed. Jim Baen created a culture of taking risks. Baen gave me my first positive experience with ebooks as compared to other offerings like OverDrive's. At the least Baen doesn't mess with DRM and makes the works easy to consume in a device-neutral fashion.
Stephen Michael Kellat, MSLS


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