Stephen Windwalker at Kindle Nation writes some of the best Kindle related books. His $4.99 book, The Complete User’s Guide to the Amazing Amazon Kindle, was the best-selling Kindle book for all of 2008. Yes, for the entire year of 2008.
This, despite it being at $4.99, and seeing competition from Twilight and Edgar Sawtelle.
He’s just released a new book – Kindle Free For All. It’s about how you can find free books, and other free content, for the Kindle and for Kindle Reading Apps. It’s just $1 – which is surprisingly low. After taking a look at it – it’s easily worth more than five times the price.
A few points worth mentioning, as disclosure -
- I do know Stephen Windwalker personally, so there’s that to consider.
- His book mentions my blog in one place - actually, recommends it. Didn’t know that when deciding to recommend his book – However, you could consider that a source of bias.
- A lot of the resources he recommends are sites he runs. Don’t see anything wrong with that, as Steve knows it won’t be sites that disappear (as they often do), or stop updating. However, you should be aware that he’s pointing to the best resources for the Kindle, and sometimes they are his sites.
- Reviewed a gifted copy of his book. It’s just $1, but it being free obviously inclines me to favor it a tiny bit more than if it were paid.
So there’s a bit of bias in there.
On the other hand, Steve has been running one of the biggest Kindle blogs, and the biggest Kindle weekly newsletter, for years – So he really knows what he’s talking about. Even if you strip away X amount of personal bias on my side, he’s still one of the top Kindle experts.
And there’s something to be said for someone who’s been supporting Kindle owners, and the Kindle, right from the start.
The really good chapters
You might want to jump straight to Chapter 4 - that’s the best chapter, in my opinion. It lists all the major sites that offer public domain books, and also has instructions for each. It’s very helpful.
Chapter 6 is on using Calibre, and it’s a beauty too. Chapter 7 is on using the Kindle’s browser to read blogs for free – Another good chapter.
I like that the chapters are short and well-explained. You can read them one at a time, in quick 5 to 15 minute spurts.
Chapter 8 is on checking email using your Kindle. This chapter alone is worth more than $1.
Chapter 9 is on free audio books from LibriVox.
There’s also a very interesting chapter, at the very end of the book, on ‘the politics of free content’. It discusses DRM and the concept of Free.
Kindle Free for All is a winner
The book has comfortable, conversational language. The chapters can be read in any order, and it’s a bit of a surprise to see it priced this low – $1 means that Steve only gets 30%. So he’s forgoing the 70% cut he’d get by pricing the book at $3 – In return, he can reach more Kindle owners. It’s a really good, customer-focused move by him.
There’s obviously some amount of bias – Steve runs a good blog, and is very pro-Kindle, and very anti-Agency Model, and very pro-Indie Author. It’s hard for me not to like someone like that.
However, with 100% certainty – His book is worth a lot more than $1, and well worth getting. Kindle Free for All is a 5-star book.
My recommendation would be to first go through Chapters 8, 4, and 9. Then chapters 6 and 7. Finally, you can start from Chapter 1 and read everything.