So you might have been resistant to buying an eReader, vowing it would never replace your "real" books. Then you received one this past holiday, and quickly discovered it wasn't as bad as you thought, which made you say, "Hey, this is pretty cool," and after 24 hours exclaim, "What the heck took me so long?"
And if you're like me, and many others, you probably spent the next couple of days downloading anything free you could. This includes games. And in my case, I went for the Kindle because it was easy to read outdoors and, I wanted, "just an eReader, nothing else...I don't want to become distracted." Haha! Yeah, free games are available for Kindle. I probably have all of them. And I was right, I am easily distracted. Luckily the thrill of them wore off after a couple of days.
I bought my Kindle a couple of months ago, right before I published Fractured Facade. Since I had no plans to print up hard copies, I figured the least I could do was have my own book on my own eReader. I downloaded it from Smashwords, and it looks great. So it was back to looking for good eBooks from other authors to read.
I quickly filled up my eLibrary with many free classics, many of which I already had on my physical book shelves. I think I now have every word written by one of my favorite authors, Edgar Allen Poe. Since I downloaded all his works, I believe I have only read one, "Annabelle Lee." It's not because I don't want to read more from Poe, but until my Kindle can download more hours in a day for me, I'm not able to read as much as I would like.
After I began downloading other free eBooks, I realized the mantra, "If it's free, it's for me!" definitely did not apply to all eBooks. Now don't get me wrong, there are excellent free eBooks available as many are made free by an author as a promotional tool. I recently downloaded some free J.A. Konrath books to see what all the hub-bub was. Of course, I haven't found the time to read any yet, but when I do, and if I like what I read, I will buy some of his other books, so his promotion would have worked. Now Konrath was a name I recognized, but how do I find other authors worthy of a download?
Since I could check out most well known authors' books from my local library, I prefer to use my eReader to check out independent authors, but I am discriminating. Before I download a book, even if it's free, I read the description, sample it, and check out the reviews. I've found the best way to find a good book is through word of mouth. There's also a site called 5-Star Books which lists by genre books by independent authors that have received five stars. Fractured Facade is listed, and it's not free. Be advised, I believe most of the books featured are not free. And they shouldn't be.
Recently I read a post on the Kindle Community Boards by someone who proudly claimed they had downloaded over 3,000 free books over a weekend. That's insane. They will never read all those books, especially if they didn't pay anything for them.
Have fun downloading free eBooks, but once in a while throw an author a bone and pay for their book. $4.99 is less than a fast food meal or a fancy cup of coffee. Besides, if you pay for it, it's more likely you'll actually read it, and that's what an author wants.