14 Kindle Free Books outside the Kindle Store (romance), deals

First, 2 promising Kindle book deals –

  1. Her Last Letter by Nancy C. Johnson. Price: $1. Genre: Romantic Suspense, Woman Sleuths. Rated 4.5 stars on 16 reviews.

    In the Colorado mountain town of Glenwood Springs, not far from Aspen, artist/photographer Gwyn Sanders discovers a cryptic letter her sister Kelly left behind.

    The victim of a deadly hit and run, Kelly reveals she was sexually involved with her sister’s boyfriend and is scared for her life.

    Both Gwyn and her remaining sister Linda have since married their boyfriends, so either of their husbands could be guilty of murder. The sisters received a large inheritance before meeting these men, and know little of either man’s background.

  2. Disintegration by Scott Nicholson. Price: $0.99. This has shot up the charts from #6,740 to #278. Rated 5 stars on 8 reviews. Genre: Romantic Suspense, Mystery, Hard-Boiled.

    When a mysterious fire destroys his home and shatters his family, Jacob Wells is pulled into a downward spiral that draws him ever closer to the past he thought was dead and buried.

    Now his twin brother Joshua is back in town, seeking to settle old scores and claim his half of the Wells birthright. Jacob’s wife Renee is struggling with her own past and her attempts to salvage Jacob are driven by guilt and ambition.

    As Jacob and Joshua return to the twisted roles they adopted at the hands of cruel, demanding parents, they wage a war of pride, wealth, and passion. They share a poisonous obsession with the provocative, manipulative Carlita, whose immigrant family helped build the Wells fortune.  

They both sound pretty interesting.

Next, let’s look at a free $3 coupon for music downloads –

  1. At the MP3 downloads page on Amazon you can click on ‘Enter Your Code’ and type in STUDENT3 as the code and get a $3 credit for free music. You must use it before November 1st, 2010 and it’s only for MP3s.  

This offer and some of the free book deals below were found courtesy MobileRead.

Free Kindle Books outside the Kindle Store

Well, there are some very good offers –

  1. Mills and Boon has 12 free romance books at its Everyone’s Reading site. This is a new set of free books – not their old offer. Choose Mobi format for your Kindle – there’s no DRM.

    Free Books include The Millionaire’s Ultimate Catch by Michelle M., Balfour Legacy: Mia’s Scandal, Wedding at King’s Convenience, and all sorts of romance books.

  2. Simon & Schuster has the Pocket After Dark site with two free romance books – Staked by J. F. Lewis and Flirting with Forever by Gwyn Cready. These are only free to read online and the 2nd one is only free for one more day. 

Interestingly, Borders is offering a free lighted case today with the Sony 350 and 650. Don’t know if it’s worth it and found out about it too late – it ends today and it’s an in-store offer.

B&N is offering refurbished Nooks for $119 and $149. That’s $149 for a refurbished Nook 3G and $119 for a refurbished Nook WiFi.

Kindle Reviews vs Nook Color Reviews

The Kindle page has reviews from customers. It has entire reviews. It lists good reviews, bad reviews, angry reviews, ecstatic reviews. It even lists the opinions of people who’ve never touched the Kindle but hate it.

The Nook Color page has ‘reviews’ from reporters who have had perhaps 3 minutes each with the Nook Color. From those ‘reviews’ B&N has extracted the most promising statements to create this ridiculous list –

  1. Head of the Class.
  2. Go from finding a book to reading it in under 12 seconds.
  3. Nothing short of spectacular.
  4. B&N’s new Nook Color aims to be the Cadillac of eReaders.
  5. Zippy and responsive.

These are all people who have had either a brief look at the Nook Color or, at most, have played with it for a few minutes. Not a single one of them has read a book on it.

It’s remarkable that they’d still consider it ‘spectacular, zippy, responsive’. It’s even more remarkable that B&N would refer to these transitory first impressions as ‘reviews’.

The most interesting snippet is ‘zippy and responsive’ courtesy the NY Times. If we know anything we know that B&N struggles mightily to deliver ‘zippy and responsive’. By November 20th we’ll know how well these initial impressions hold up to reality.

Kindle free book, kindle book deals, invisible rankings

First, let’s start with a free book deal that’s free again –

  1. Tahn: A Novel by L. A. Kelly is free again. Price: Free. Genre: Fantasy, Religious, Fiction. Rated 4 stars on 22 reviews.

    The lovely Lady Netta Trilett is kidnapped by a cold-blooded killer, Tahn Dorn, who slew her husband several years before. This time, however, Dorn is acting out of a somewhat unexplained newfound desire to turn over a new leaf.

    After Dorn stashes Netta in a cave for her safety, the evil Samis, Dorn’s former leader, burns her family’s home. Dorn rounds up eight children Samis had tutored in villainy and spirits them away to the cave, where he and Netta care for them and Netta wrestles with forgiving Dorn—and understanding her newfound feelings for him.

Next we have a bunch of Kindle book deals.

Kindle Book Deals

Here they are –

  1. Grave Witch: An Alex Craft Novel by Kalayna Price. Price: $5.99. Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Urban Fantasy. Rated 4 stars on 21 reviews.

    Only a thin border separates the worlds of the living and the dead in Price’s captivating series debut. Alex Craft is a penniless PI attached to two very high-profile cases: she’s raising the first shade ever to take the witness stand and has discovered that the death of a local official involves magic.

    Nekros City police detective Falin Andrews wants her out of the latter investigation, which would suit Alex just fine if she hadn’t been infected by a soul-sucking virus that only solving the case can cure. Add a little work freelancing for Death and a budding romance with Falin, and Alex is in way over her head.  

  2. The Vampire Diaries: The Awakening by L.J. Smith. Price: $5.99. Genre: Vampire, Romance, TV Series. Rated 4.5 stars on 153 reviews.

    Elena: beautiful and popular, the girl who can have any guy she wants.

    Stefan: brooding and mysterious, desperately trying to resist his desire for Elena . . . for her own good.

    Damon: sexy, dangerous, and driven by an urge for revenge against Stefan, the brother who betrayed him.

    Elena finds herself drawn to both brothers . . . who will she choose?

  3. Forbidden the Stars by Valmore Daniels. Price: $2.99. Genre: Science Fiction, Space Opera. Rated 4.5 stars on 6 reviews.

    At the end of the 21st century, a catastrophic accident in the asteroid belt has left two surveyors dead. There is no trace of their young son, Alex Manez, or of the asteroid itself.

    On the outer edge of the solar system, the first manned mission to Pluto, led by the youngest female astronaut in NASA history, has led to an historic discovery: there is a marker left there by an alien race for humankind to find. We are not alone!

    While studying the alien marker, it begins to react and, four hours later, the missing asteroid appears in a Plutonian orbit, along with young Alex Manez, who has developed some alarming side-effects from his exposure to the kinetic element they call Kinemet.

  4. A Wish After Midnight by Zetta Elliott. This Amazon Encore book is seeing an upsurge in sales. Price: $3.99. Genre: Fantasy, Children, Science Fiction.

    Genna is a fifteen-year-old girl who wants out of her tough Brooklyn neighborhood. But she gets more than she bargained for when a wish gone awry transports her back in time. Facing the perilous realities of Civil War–era Brooklyn, Genna must use all her wits to survive. In the tradition of Octavia Butler’s Kindred and Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time, A Wish After Midnight is the affecting and inspiring tale of a fearless young woman’s fight to hold on to her individuality and her humanity in two different worlds.

There are also two free previews of James Patterson books – Cross Fire and Witch & Wizard.

Finally, there’s a preview of an Amazon Encore book, The Hangman’s Daughter by Oliver Potzsch, which has an absolutely beautiful cover.

Germany, 1660: When a dying boy is pulled from the river with a mark crudely tattooed on his shoulder, hangman Jakob Kuisl is called upon to investigate whether witchcraft is at play in his small Bavarian town.

Whispers and dark memories of witch trials and the women burned at the stake just seventy years earlier still haunt the streets of Schongau. When more children disappear and an orphan boy is found dead—marked by the same tattoo—the mounting hysteria threatens to erupt into chaos.

Is there a need for a Kindle Top 500 list?

It’d be safe to assume that some portion of Kindle owners don’t really dig into the genre specific best seller lists and that some Kindle owners miss out on really good books in genres they wouldn’t normally consider.

The Top 100 Paid Bestsellers List is the de-facto place to look for books that have proven to be good. However, it misses out on a lot of good books that have enough sales and quality to make it into the hundreds but which miss out on the Top 100 Bestsellers List.

There are a lot of deserving books amongst the 725,000 in the Kindle Store and a Top 100 Bestsellers List is ludicrously small. If a book makes it to number 231 out of 725,000 books it deserves to be highlighted.

The ideal would be a continuous Top Bestsellers List. If Amazon wants to make things simpler it could limit things to a Top 250 or Top 500 list. Highlighting only the top 100 out of 725,000 Kindle books is a bit tough on authors.

A typical store highlights hundreds of books even though it carries less than 100,000 books. Why can’t Amazon maintain a similar ratio?

In fact, if Amazon doesn’t build out a better system soon it’ll lead to a ‘winner takes all’ market where bestsellers start selling much more than they do in stores and sales of books that don’t make it to the bestsellers list get decimated.

Kindle eInk vs Everyone else's LCD, 2 Kandles for $10, Book Bargains for Charity

Let’s start with the deal on the Kandle Kindle Reading Light –

  1. 2 Kandles for $10.  Here’s how to get them – First add 2 Kandles to your Cart (must be same color). Then on the Review Order page you will see $15 off the second Kandle and a total price of $35. Now enter code: KANDLELT. After applying this code the total price for both Kandles will go down to $10.

There’s only 1 left in stock of the black variant and you can’t mix and match so white Kandles are the only option. Kandles only ship to the US.

These are well reviewed with 4 stars on 302 reviews. At $10 for 2 you can’t really complain. You might have bought them earlier when there was a 2 for $25 deal – It’s unfortunate that the price is now 2 for $10 but it seems to be a stock clearing sale and there’s little that can be done.

Charity Book Bargains from Simon Wood

In honor of his recently deceased cat, Bug, Simon Wood is doing a fundraiser for Best Friends (guessing it’s an animal care organization) and will donate ALL the royalties from his book sales for the next two weeks.

He’s got quite a few good books with two in particular being great bargains –

  1. The Scrubs by Simon Wood and Simon Janus. Price: $1. Genre: Horror, Occult. Rated 5 stars on 12 reviews.

    James Jeter, the notorious serial killer with a sixth sense, holds court inside London’s Wormwood Scrubs Prison. He’s the focus of the “North Wing Project.” Under the influence of a hallucinogen, Jeter can create an alternative world known as “The Rift” containing the souls of his victims. Pardons are on offer to inmates who’ll enter The Rift. Michael Keeler has nothing to lose and little to live for. He’s sent into The Rift to learn the identity of Jeter’s last victim.

    It’s a mission where the guilty can be redeemed, but at a price…

  2. Working Stiffs by Simon Wood. Price: $2.39. Genre: Suspense, Mystery, Crime Anthology . Rated 4.5 stars on 10 reviews.

    Until now, Vincent’s father has kept one side of the business a secret from his son. Vincent is about to learn the family business.

    On the most important day of his career, Sam’s world will unravel when he helps a woman in distress.

    Todd has failed in every job he’s undertaken, but that changes when he backs into a drug dealer’s car. Now he’s in hock with organized crime and can only get himself out from under if he works for them to pay off his debt.

    Kenneth Casper is ailing and so is his business empire. His shareholders circle like vultures. Casper pins all his hopes on a Peruvian shaman with a miracle cure.  

You can find the remaining Simon Woods books in the Kindle Store. There are some other deals in there.

CNet’s thank you to B&N for the Nook scoop

Consider this sequence of events –

  1. CNet gets a ‘tip’ from a tipster that a Nook Color exists.
  2. CNet gets a ‘tip’ that B&N mistakenly put up a page with a photo of the Color Nook. A page that isn’t cached in the search engines and can’t be found. So, apparently, B&N’s mistake only lasted long enough for CNet to find it – Imagine the fortuitiousness of CNet searching at the very moment the mistake was made and capturing the photo in a split instant.
  3. CNet publishes an article claiming that LCD and eInk are equally good for reading. It just happens to talk about the Nook Color’s LCD screen and its suitability for reading.

All of this happened in just a week or so. Which brings us to one of the Press’ Favorite claims.

Kindle eInk Screen is no better than LCD for reading

First it was the New York Times talking about iPad’s LCD screen being just as good as eInk. Now it’s CNet talking about Nook Color’s LCD screen being just as good as eInk.

Here is the token ‘expert comment’ in the CNet article –

I dialed up my ophthalmologist, Dr. Mark Hornfeld, who has a practice in Manhattan.

However, the problem, he said, is that when a lot of people hit 40, their near vision starts to diminish, which is why people need reading glasses.

Yeah, go ahead. Now, it’s all our fault.

Then we get the obligatory ‘bright light shining into your eyes doesn’t make a difference’ part –

if you’re reading a bright screen in the dark, your eyes will adjust. Your pupil gets large in the dark, so when you turn on a brightly lit display, it may bother your eyes at first, but they’ll compensate.

It’s like when you wake up in the morning, open the shades, and are blinded by the light at first. But then you get used to it.

Really, did he just compare having a back-lit screen shining into your eyes at night with natural light in the morning?

Finally, we get the ‘blame something else entirely’ part –

when you read or watch a movie, you simply don’t blink as much, so your eyes can get dry–especially if you’re already prone to having an underlying dry-eye problem.

Now blame both watching movies and reading books. What do we know at the end of that ‘expert discussion’

Absolutely nothing. There’s no scientific study or proof to back up his claims – it’s just one person’s opinion.

He might be an opthamologist but each of us is an expert on what we like and don’t like and how our eyes feel with different reading screens. It’s getting tiring to hear experts say that it’s because you’re 40 and need reading glasses.

There are people who don’t mind LCDs and there are people who do

The truth is, for a lot of people, there is a very clear distinction –

  1. Reading on eInk is just like reading on paper – painless. We can read for hours and hours without headaches or eye-strain.
  2. Reading on LCD screens is painful/stressful beyond a certain point (15 to 30 minutes). It’s just not possible to read on LCD screens for hours at a time without getting very tired eyes or even a headache.

We are talking about the LCD incompatibles here. Not to be mistaken with the LCD compatibles who are unaffected by LCDs and in fact cherish the ability to have their books in color which, undoubtedly, greatly increases their enjoyment of the book.

The LCD incompatibles are different – We know that having a bright light shine into their eyes bothers them, that they want something other than LCDs after using LCDs all day at work, and we also know that reading from a back-lit screen at night disrupts their sleeping patterns.

They seemed to have missed the countless generations of evolutionary development that trained the LCD compatibles to be completely unaffected by LCDs. Perhaps LCD compatibles are all people from a tribe that grew up on the side of the earth that had a 24 hour LCD screen shining down on them instead of the sun and the moon.

A dislike of LCD screens and an incompatibility with them is not an imaginary thing. It’s a very real thing.

Yet, the LCD compatibles are so in love with LCD that they can’t imagine anything being better and they therefore decide that LCD incompatibles must be imagining things.

In the absence of solid proof that LCDs are just as good as eInk when it comes to reading LCD lovers will just have to accept that a lot of people don’t like reading on LCD screens, that they experience real eye strain when reading on LCD screens, and for them eInk is much better than LCDs.

It’s amazing that the Press continues to attack the #1 selling point for Kindle and other dedicated reading devices. We’ve gone from zero to 5 million Kindles and still we hear the same ridiculous arguments. In another 3 years we’ll be at 50 million Kindles and we’ll still have reporters writing about how eInk is no better than LCD and how a Tablet is a better eReader because you can play games on it.