Thursday afternoon free kindle books

There’s a smattering of free kindle books and even after weeding out the short stories it’s still a bit spotty on quality –

  1. Cookouts Veggie Style! by Jolinda Hackett. Price: $0. Genre: Barbecuing & Grilling, Outdoor Cooking. Rated 4 stars on 4 reviews.
  2. The Adventures of Kid Combat Volume I: A Secret Lost by Christopher A. Helwink. Price: $0. Genre: Action & Adventure, A Trap for Kid Combat. My thoughts on the cover will have to wait because the 2nd book in the series takes things to the next level.
  3. The Adventures of Kid Combat Volume II: The Heist of Spring Road Toys by Christopher A. Helwink. Price: $0. Genre: The Heist of Toys?, Kid Combat, A Secret Base. The cover compelled me to click on it and see it in full-screen – there is absolutely nothing as bone-chilling as a mysterious man in a shroud and Top Gun sunglasses making a grab for a bunch of toys (just before he heads out to the beach for a bit of beach volleyball). It’s 519 kb so might be a big book.
  4. Virtual Strangers by Ola Zaltin and Susanne O’Leary. Price: $0. Genre: Mystery, Crime, Detective Story with a Romantic Twist. Rated 4.5 stars on 9 reviews. The man on the cover looks like you’d hope you never make his acquaintance.
  5. Dead Man’s Eye by Shaun Jeffrey. Price: $0. Genre: A Corneal Transplant operation unlike any other, A Legion of Demons, Girl vs the Demon Hordes. Rated 4 stars on 13 reviews. Reviewers think it’s a dark and brilliant novella. It’s got a bunch of reviews so it sneaks into the full book list.

Here are the ones that are novellas:

  1. Soul Swap – Promises (Five Worlds) by Carrie Olquin. Price: $0. Genre: Fantasy Romance, It benefits the National Breast Cancer Foundation (not sure how, given it’s free), The Prize for an all-too-sexy Warrior. Impressed by the fact that the cover shows 5 planets and 2 moons. Was almost expecting it to be called 5 Worlds and show 10 on the cover – in keeping with the grand tradition of indie book cover-artistry.
  2. The Magic of Windlier Wood (The Adventures of Newert) by N. R. Williams. Price: $0. Genre: Fantasy, A World losing its Magic, A Big Red Truck that isn’t very Magical. Rated 5 stars on 2 reviews.
  3. Wings of Evil by J. R. Tomlin and C. R. Daems. Price: $0. Genre: Young Adult Fantasy, The First Ones aren’t the Enemy, Mysterious Allies, Danger lies where you least expect it, Children’s Books. Rated 3 stars on 7 reviews.
  4. The Essence of Buddhism by David Tuffley. Price: $0. Genre: Short Novella, Buddhism Introduction. So, this gets a 2-star review from a person who complains this is ‘only an introduction to Buddhism’ – Did the fact that it’s called ‘the essence of Buddhism’ not strike the person as a good reason for it being ‘only’ an ‘introduction’ to Buddhism.

There were also a bunch of short stories that really put the short in short story.

Wednesday Night smattering of random offers for your Kindle

Just an oddball bunch of offers tonight –

  1. His Lady Mistress (Harlequin Historical) by Elizabeth Rolls. Price: 1 Cent. Genre: Regency, Historical Romance. This used to be free – now it’s a steep 1 Cent (the perils of infinite inflation).
  2. The Odyssey by Homer (translated by Robert Fagles). Price: 95 cents. Genre: Penguin Classics, Homer’s Odyssey, Classics, Greek Classics, Poetry. If you can live with the fact that this is as expensive as 95 Regency Romances this is a steal. 560 pages.
  3. Roll of the Die by Sean Bridges. Price: $1. Genre: Demented version of Russian Roulette, Thriller, Edgy & Gritty. Rated 4.5 stars on 7 reviews. A little about the author –

    … a 2001 Finalist and 2004 Semi-Finalist for the prestigious Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Nicholl Fellowship … had a project invited to the 2005 Sundance Institute Producers Conference … placed in a variety of writing competitions, including the Austin Film Festival, PAGE International, FADE IN Awards, Cynosure Screenwriting and Scriptapalooza.

  4. Branded (Fall of Angels) by Keary Taylor. Price: $1. Genre: City of Angels (of a type you couldn’t imagine), Fantasy, Nightmares & Scars, Two Men she Can’t Ignore. Rated 4 stars on 34 reviews. The first in a series – the second book is rated highly too. 374 pages.
  5. The Best Intentions (A Regency Romance) by Candice Hern. Price: $1. Genre: It’s in the title. Rated 4.5 stars on 12 reviews. 382 kb in size. No idea what that means in terms of page count.
  6. Hangman 4 Kids by Sonic Boom. Price: $1. On Sale until July 11th. This is a word game for kids – guess the word or the hanging man gets it. It’s rated 4.5 stars on 22 reviews.
  7. The Kult by Sean Jeffrey. Price: $3.95. Genre: Creepy Character-Driven Thriller, Labyrinth of Thrills & Terror, Never Blame Your Murder on a Serial Killer. Rated 4.5 stars on 19 reviews. According to the author a film just got made on this. 481 kb so might be a long book.

That brings us to some rather strange news.

Apparently eReaders aren’t dead

The Bookseller reports on a study done by the Pew Internet Project that finds eReader ownership has doubled over the past 6 months. The study must not have been funded by multi-purpose device makers (indirectly via advertising) or perhaps Pew lost its marbles.

Here’s what the report says (the important parts are bolded) –

E-reader ownership in the US has doubled over the past six months, …

Sales of tablet computers, however, have not seen the same level of growth, with e-reader growth outpacing tablet growth since November last year, confounding predictions that multimedia devices would overtake single-purpose devices.

But no one reads any more.

Steve Jobs –

 40% of people in the U.S. read one book or less last year … people don’t read anymore.

Apparently Mr. Jobs forgot that 100 – 40 = 60. Which means that 60% of people do read two books or more per year. Funny how reality has a way of dispelling marketing spin.

Sergey Brin (Google Founder and CIS) also claimed ‘no one reads any more’.

Interesting that –

  1. Both Apple and Google released eBook offerings – quite soon after their Main Men claimed that no one reads any more.
  2. Both Apple and Google got thrashed – not just by Amazon, but also by B&N.

Pew’s study suggests that as many as 25 million Americans own eReading devices – that seems wildly optimistic to me.

It’s a bit strange. Kindle 3 and Kindle WiFi came out in July/August. That must have increased eReader ownership a lot. So, eReader ownership doubling from November 2011 to May 2011 suggests that either everyone waited until Christmas to buy Kindle 3 or that Amazon found some magical lever in 2011 to massively increase sales.

It (the mythical doubling) just seems wrong to me. If the study were to say ‘eReader ownership doubled once Kindle 3 came out’ or if it counted Nook Color as an eReader then a doubling would make sense – but not otherwise. Additionally, that figure of 25 million Americans owning an eReader seems way too high.

Kindle Offers Crazy Train – A few free books and deals at midnight

For your Kindle, courtesy eReaderIQ, Happy Reader Joyce, and the Movers and Shakers List, we have a few interesting offers and deals –

  1. Spiderwork (Apocalypto 2) by L. K. Rigel. Price: $0. Genre: Occult, Mythology, Fantasy Romance. Rated 4.5 stars on 3 reviews.
  2. Shrinkage by Luke Young. Price: $0. Genre: Somewhat Raunchy Comedy, Be Careful what You Wish For. Rated 4.5 stars on 5 reviews. The author says that he is offering a price shrinkage on Shrinkage.
  3. Yahtzee by EA. Price: $1 (Down from $5). Genre: Dice Game, Kindle Game. Just launched and on sale until July 11th.
  4. Word Soup by Fuzzy Bug Interactive. Price: $1 (also on sale until July 11th). Genre: Word Game, Kindle Word Game. Rated 3.5 stars on 16 reviews.

Update: Thanks to Jeffrey for finding this steal – Spin by Robert Charles Wilson. Price: $2.99. This won the Hugo Award in 2006 for best novel.

… builds an astonishingly successful mélange of SF thriller, growing-up saga,
tender love story, father-son conflict, ecological parable and apocalyptic fable
in prose that sings the music of the spheres.

That’s it for the midnight train.