Kindle Book List – Authors sharing a free kindle book

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There’s a third book category for your kindle in addition to paid books and public domain free books – a book that its author is sharing for free or as a trial. This Kindle book list focuses on authors that give away an entire book for the kindle (or in general) for free. Also, thanks to Kindle Korner for the Rifter’s Trilogy (Peter Watts) and John Kessel free books information.

  1. Cory Doctorow -arguably the first author to start the trend of releasing his books (under a Creative Commons license) free on the web. I’d start with OverClocked – a collection of stories that was nominated for the Nebula awards. His blog also has links to nearly all his books for free.
  2. Paulo Coelho also gives away some of his books free at his Pirate Coelho Free Book blog.There were three books originally (and there might be more now) –
    1. Stories for Parents, Children, and Grandchildren. The Kindle compatible Editions Part 1, and Part 2.
    2. The Warrior of the Light Part1, Part2 and Part 3. Again, these are pdfs converted into prc format.
    3. The Way of the Bow. Kindle compatible Edition.
  3. From Pedro Vera – 2 free novels.
  4. Seth Godin’s Tribes is free at Audible.
  5. Charlie Huston has his books for free  at his blog PulpNoir and at Amazon.
  6. Jeff Vander Meer’s Situation is free at Wired/Geek Dad.
  7. Author Peter Watts shares his Rifter’s Trilogy books for free.
  8. Baen’s Science Fiction Library has a lot of free books. Authors include David Weber, Larry Niven, John F. Carr, John Ringo, and Sarah Hoyt. It offers 1 or more free books from the authors to help you develop a taste (or addiction ;)) for them.
  9. John Kessel has his award winning (as far as I understand) collection of stories Baum Plan for Financial Independence and other Stories for free.

If you want to find books that are free on a limited time basis, I’d recommend checking the free books category and the official Amazon kindle blog. I’ll keep adding any free book that the author has available for the kindle here. The two criteria are – not public domain, free without time limits. Feel free to leave infromation about your own free book(s) in the comments.

Kindle Store – 7K+ free books

The Kindle Store just added 7,000 public domain books. Quite an interesting change. 

Update: Aug 28th 2009. There are some problems with Amazon’s API. Instead –

  1. Check out the new free kindle books list.
  2. Use the link above to find public domain books.

Update: June 11th, 2009.

I’ve coded a site at BookMonk dot com that lets you search Kindle free books (and normal kindle books) –

  1. Pressing the ‘Free Books’ button searches  through kindle public domain and new free kindle books.
  2. Do this search ( ‘-public’) for free new kindle books.

You could always find 10 or so free books when you searched the Kindle Store by low to high priced books. Now the first 389 pages of results are full of free public domain books – that’s approximately 7,000 free public domain books.

Quite a cool addition. Authors covered include H.G. Wells (The First Men in the Moon), Nietzsche, Sir Walter Scott, P. G. Wodehouse,  Tesla, Mark Twain, Samuel Pepys, Winston Churchill and many more.

A rather nice gesture by Amazon. And they do need to do more things like this since Google is threatening to play already playing the ‘being good and sharing books’ card. Google at the moment has scanned a total of 1 million public domain books, 1 million in print books, and 7 million out of print, not in public domain books. The focus on out of print, sellable books clearly shows exactly where Google’s intentions lie with Google Books.

If you find any good free books in the list – do leave a comment so others can download it too. Also, the number of free books seems to be increasing – it increased by something like 20 or 30 books just in the time it took me to write this – so perhaps I caught them right in the middle of this ‘free books’ addition. Yes – it does seem that way – they’re now up to over 7000.

the Kindle, Books 2.0 and evolved literary forms

Len will be covering this in a future Kindle Chronicles podcast – However, I couldn’t resist writing about it. Tim (via Kindle Chronicles) suggested a really interesting topic for discussion.

How the Kindle might affect literary forms in general … Netflix and DVDs have changed my viewing habits considerably (shows rather than movies)… how then might the kindle affect books? I also wonder what the special features of digital books might end up being.

 

Here’s my take on why the Kindle has basically unlimited potential to change literary forms, and what some of those forms might be.

What the Kindle Really Is

It’s really important to see the Kindle for what it is – A device optimized for reading that still incorporates big technological advances that books do not have. Here are a few elements that creators and authors should take advantage of. 

  1. The Internet – An always-on connection to the internet. 
  2. Non Linearity – The option to have hyperlinks and create non linear books.
  3. Audio – The option to incorporate audio into books. Imagine having audio snippets as footnotes.
  4. Touch (soon) – Down the line adding the option of touch. 
  5. Communication – Having communication between readers. Instant ‘while you read the book’ communication.
  6. Social – Connection with other people. When Amazon does open this up, it’ll create an extremely powerful well knit community.
  7. Direct Feedback – Having feedback for authors and publishers.
  8. Moving Images (down the line). Hitting yet more of our senses.

The Kindle is giving creators much more powerful tools and giving readers a much more varied experience involving more of the senses than a book.

How will the Kindle’s features be used?

Having all these new tools and means to tell your story creates an interesting problem – there is not much precedent here. In many ways we’re still thinking too in the box. We’re still thinking – a better book. We should be thinking in much bigger terms.

We are beginning to see, mostly on the internet, some examples of new creative forms – blogs, podcasts, life-streaming, home made movies, multi-player games, virtual worlds, crowd-sourced websites.

The Kindle creates the possibility of having advances of this scale in the world of reading and books.

Three big trends I see

The Kindle will result in a few trends (which, to be fair, started with the internet) –

  1. Network Effects – Very strong network effects with good books becoming runaway successes much quicker and at a larger scale than ever before. 
  2. Socialization of Reading – Readers will be much more connected with each other and will start depending on each other much more for reading decisions.
  3. Democratization of Publishing – A lot more varied books and media will be published giving readers and authors unprecedented freedom and choice.

These are important – however, equally important is the possibility that entirely new literary forms and new forms of media emerge. 

Big new literary and media forms

The Kindle does allow for new forms and my money is on –

  1. Micro News – snippets of news delivered every few hours that will supplant newspapers.
  2. A new type of ‘collage book’ that while it retains the essence of what it is to be a book i.e. some variant of “a book comprehends a treatise written on any material … put together in any portable form”, it uses all the means at the Kindle’s disposal to create a fuller, richer treatise. Example – I’m a musician and my book is a collection of my songs, samples from the songs that inspired me, pictures of my loves, my essays on music, and snippets from books and movies that made me.
  3. Social Recommendations – a crowd sourced recommendations and ratings engine that will help you decide what to read next. It’ll be bigger than YouTube because it’ll not just determine what you watch (read), it’ll determine what you buy.
  4. Audio-Text Hybrids – Plays with context, Books with ambient sound, Game Books with sound effects, and other combinations. 
  5. Micro Radio – some variant of Podcasts. Again, I believe that shorter, consume when you want micro-radio with updates every few hours is what will become popular here.

In addition to the new products that I see here, I also see the Kindle 2.0 becoming an important purchase device. Buying straight from the device is an important, important part of the Kindle eco-system.

Alongside Netbooks, Kindle 2.0 and future iterations have the most potential to become primary devices and purchase devices. Phones are just too small, and laptops and desktops aren’t mobile enough. The Kindle 2.0 and Netbooks really do hit the sweet spot and have the most potential to become our connections to the internet and by extension the world.