No, this isn’t the obvious call to go to Gutenberg and download out-of-copyright titles, handy as that is. But it is a testament to how useful a good grasp of the deal alert resources out there – and by no means only for the Kindle Store – can be if you want to build a great library for nothing, or almost nothing.
I’m a daily user of the Deals, Freebies, and Resources forum at Mobileread.com, one of Teleread’s peers in the pro-ebook online community. This is updated daily with tips from fans and regulars on discounted or free-offer titles available for Kindle and for other platforms – indeed, a great many of the posts aren’t simply reruns of the Top 100 Free Best Sellers in the Kindle Store categories, but are genuine tip-offs about publisher and author offers, etc. Obviously, some of these are more useful than others, but it’s rare that a single day goes by without something of interest.
At this moment, I have 90 titles in the History Collection on my Kindle alone. Some of those were purchases, but a great many were one-off freebies from publishers like Charles River Editors or Pyrrhus Press. Of course, many of these are repackaged out-of-print titles, but if the quality is good, who’s complaining when the publisher has nicely re-presented an originally free title, and is now putting it out there for free again? Many of them, though, are not: they’re solid works of history that have been put up for free on a one-time-only basis.
And fine, there’s the usual problem of having more books than you can read in one lifetime, but hasn’t it always been the way, probably from the days of papyrus onwards? I wouldn’t have missed any of these titles, and thanks to the kind community of ebook fans, I didn’t have to. Now does anyone else have a favourite community resource or newsgroup that they’d like to recommend?