Press release is here.
In partnership with the ABA, Kobo has developed a unique program designed for independent booksellers and their customers. Booksellers will be able to offer a total experience for their customers including a full line of eReaders, eReading accessories, and ebooks from Kobo’s catalog of nearly 3 million titles. ABA members will share in the revenue on every sale. The program includes valuable training, in-store merchandising, marketing, sales, and logistics solutions to help independents be successful. ABA members will also be able to offer ebooks directly to their customers online. Kobo expects to launch with the first 400 bookstores this fall.

As a Kobo owner and someone who avoids giving money to Amazon whenever possible, I am very, very pleased with this announcement.
160 het-ish and 145 gay-ish romance ebooks free at They require a login & don't allow some email addresses (when I signed up, a few years ago, they required a non-free email address, but I don't know if that's changed since they started selling books in addition to having freebies.)

Het(ish) books: (160 books) Some of these are public-domain works.

Gay(ish) books: (145 books) A small number of these are nonfiction.

Some are full-length novels; some are short stories. All are locked PDFs; they may not work well on some e-readers. (I always strip the locks & crop out the margins before I put them on a portable device.) Long lists under the cuts.

160-or-so 'Romance' books )

145-or-so Gay & Lesbian books )
A couple of days ago, [personal profile] james_davis_nicoll posted a list of women SF authors who got their start in the 70's (LJ crosspost), and I happily copied out the list, bolded and italicized as appropriate, and then looked over my results and thought, huh. So, these other authors that I don't know... they probably wrote some great stuff. Some of them are names I'd heard of and *know* they've written some shiny books, which I just never had or got around to; some are total strangers to me, and they must be at least noteworthy to make it onto the list. (I'm assuming that more than 50 women wrote at least one SF book or short story in the 70s, and that these are prolific, award-winning, or groundbreaking authors.)

So I went looking for their ebooks (because I don't read paper anymore if I can avoid it), and... damn. About half have nothing available at all. A handful only have DRM'd ebooks (and you can guess who those are); the rest tend to have a small selection, often a few short stories only.

20 with DRM-free ebooks )

I didn't list Amazon books; other than being sure that the Agency 6 books are all DRM'd, I have no way of telling if a Kindlebook is DRM-free. A handful of others have ebooks available (Anne Rice and Kurtz's Deryni novels are both available from Agency 6 publishers; a few others have DRM'd ebooks available) but almost half are out of print entirely.

This, THIS is why we need copyright reform: so that important works of art & culture aren't lost, so that our children can read the books that were important to our childhoods. Because waiting another 50+ years for some of these to hit the public domain means "by the time this book is freely available for copying, not only is there almost no chance of commercial value, there'll be no cultural context for it."

Much of science fiction ages poorly; we're now able to look at the books of the 70's with a critical eye, noting what worked & what didn't, what guesses were right and which were entirely off-base. In another 50-100 years? Nobody will care who predicted cellphones and who thought we'd have colonies on the moon by now. Nobody will understand how groundbreaking some gender-focused stories were. Nobody will know why it mattered that the name on the book jacket was a woman's name.
Cat Valente's The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making is free for download through the weekend
Does everybody know about this feed on Dreamwidth? [syndicated profile] booksontheknob_feed 

The author of the blog does post a lot but occasionally the posts are for books that look really interesting.  There is sometimes a very heavy emphasis on Kindle books but lately, B&N, Sony, Kobo and other booksellers are being included more and more.

Independent Bookstores Selling Google E-Books.  So you can support your local store--and community!--while still getting the ebook you want.  The only problem I can see is that Google offers no way to tell which books have DRM.

I like Smashwords. I buy stuff there; I get free stuff from there. I like that they have a style guide, even if it's so complicated most authors apparently just ignore it and the ebooks come out as poorly-formatted almost-plain-text with no chapter breaks. I like that they have ebooks in several formats--everything except .lit and ereader. (I don't care about .lit, and I don't currently read ereader PDBs, although I love the format.) What I don't like? Their search engine. Or rather, their lack of search options.

I like that they'll show free ebooks in each category. I don't like that they won't show "Pay what you like" books with the free ebooks, although that's probably going to be obsolete, because those can't feed to other bookstores.

What I want to see at Smashwords:
Here in the US, this week starts our bargain shopping season.  I thought I'd throw up a post for people to post any ebook-related deals that they find.

I'll start.

Best Buy has the B&N Nook Wireless on sale for $99.99.  They are already sold out online but the ad says that each store is guaranteed to have at least 10 in stock to start.

ETA:  Best Buy has these in stock online.
Pandigital - Novel Digital Book $139.99
The Sharper Image - Literati Digital Reader $119.99
Velocity Micro Cruz Digital Reader $159.99

CVS has the Shift3 LookBook Wireless Read on sale for $118.88.  It looks like they still have them in stock online.

but freeeeee ebooks. Legitimate and in many file formats ; enjoy.
Self-pub & independent ebook store list. This post may change over time & get new additions. Feel free to comment with new stores & news about current stores (e.g. "has shut down/main url has changed" or "switched focus from horror to sci-fi" or "includes some DRM'd titles," etc.).

This list is limited to stores that sell, not just give away, ebooks with no DRM. Stores that sell a mix of DRM & non-DRM'd books (Fictionwise, Amazon, etc.) go on a different list. Sites that give away ebooks and don't sell them go on a different list. I'm also not listing stores on the Three Press Consulting's list of DRM-Free Ebook Publishers, to avoid duplicated effort, and to keep this to "sites not easily found on other lists." They have 8 nonfic, 19 "regular" fic, and 40 romance/erotica publishers listed; some of those don't have direct ebook stores.

Science fiction, horror & romance are popular genres; I'd appreciate links to mystery or thriller-focused ebookstores.

11 ebook stores under the cut: AKW, Angry Robot, Apex, BeWrite, Book View Cafe, Closed Circle, Double Dragon, L-Book, Lulu, Smashwords, Take Control )
Just thought I would pass this along.

Found this site when I was looking for "The Stepford Wives". Apparently they just give away the books with the expectation that you will delete them when you are done. Use it if you wish.
March 7-13 is Read an Ebook Week and there's a contest and free ebooks and whatnot at the site. (Click; read. Try not to think too much about the tiny white text on blue background; presumably, it looks professional or something. Firefox has Ctrl-plus to let the font get big enough to read; yay.)

I thought I'd list some free ebook sources so people can go find an ebook or a dozen to read.

Mobileread's Free Ebooks page has lists of dozens of free ebook sites, both downloadable and read-online ebooks. (Lots. Lots and lots and lots. Mygods, you can read Shakespeare in dozens of badly-formatted filetypes. While I dearly love Project Gutenberg, I get twitchy every time a new booksite opens with a feed from them.)

Links to free booksites & some recs inside )
C. J. Cherryh, Jane Fancher and Lynn Abbey have made their own ebook store to sell readers copies of their out-of-print books read for ebooks. Here's the link:

This project is just beginning, but there are books ready to buy and download, and more on the way. They are doing all the work themselves, setting up the site, getting text and illustrations ready, figuring out how to make their books readable on a variety of formats and providing links to some basic reading software. I just bought "Faery Moon" - a version of Cherryh's "Faery in Shadow" that has been re-written to make it what she originally wanted it to be. Each author has a free book to download; you can use one to see that one of the available formats works for you, or to try out the ebook concept if you've never read one.

I'm using Stanza on a MacBookPro. It's an adequate reader - text appears in three columns, and the cover art, created by Jane Fancher, shows well.

Given the mess in commercial publishing now I think authors may start looking at ebooks as a way to get things out to readers and make some money for themselves. The three at Closed Circle will continue to work with commercial publishers who will put their books in print on paper, but backlist books are just not available. If this goes well all three may write books just for the ebook format. I know Cherryh has several series that have ceased because of publisher issues. She talks about this from time to time on her blog 'Wave Without A Shore'. There's a link on Closed Circle.
from the other day about what I look for in ebooks and new books....

Today I was on another site that I write short stories for. There was a discussion about Gor and the author of that series. I participated in the conversation since I've read some of those books. I made my thoughts known, and someone else mentioned "If you loved Gor you will Love David Weber!"

So what do I do, go to Baen's site to see what's up there. I see that he's got several books out, like 50 or something, and then I look on Wikipedia about the author and the series of books.

Next, I plug "David Weber" into IsoHunt and pulled up three different torrents that are sci-fi ebook torrents, and so I set them to download ONLY the stuff by David Weber, and I plan on reading the start of the various series. I figure between three different torrents that it should get all the books, and if not all of them, at least the most popular.

I'll read three or four books, determine if I like the series/author and then decide whether or not to keep the rest and to buy them in the future.

While waiting, I plan on going around and checking on the book series and the author.

That's how I find new series these days.
The large ebook stores online (amazon, diesel, booksonboard) would like you to believe that *of course* you should have to give them personal info, and tie your purchased ebooks to a small set of devices (device includes your computer and ebook readers), and that it's perfectly reasonable that you can't reformat your ebooks--afer all, you can't reformat a paper book, right?

Well, yes. But you can look at a paper book's format before you buy it, and decide that the font is hard on your eyes or the letters are too cramped to read, or the table of contents sucks, or that it's just too thin for the price they want. You often don't have that option with ebooks. And with a pbook, when you're done, you can give it to a friend, or sell it, or cut it up and make paper mache out of it. With an ebook... the publishing industry, like the recording industry, has worked very hard to convince people the digital equivalents of these actions are illegal. (Some other time, I'll post about copyright law and ebooks. It's a mess.)

But some ebook publishers offer books without DRM--"digital rights management," sometimes called Digital Restrictions Management. They offer books, usually in several formats (because without DRM, it's a minor matter for them to do so), that you can reformat, or read on any device you have handy. You can also give them away to someone else; some publishers tacitly encourage this (Baen); others tell you it's forbidden (Fictionwise).

Inside: List of some non-DRM publishers I've found )


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