Posts Tagged ‘free ebooks’

Best blogs for advice on book marketing and publicity

Sun, 11 Mar 2012

Every author—this is an enormous blind spot for people—underestimates the amount of work involved in a book’s publicity campaign. Good publicity is the element of a book’s success that more writers overlook than any other aspect of publishing.

I’d go as far as saying that the lack of understanding about how to promote a book is the single most influential reason for the popularity of self-publishing. People simply don’t know what they don’t know about things they’ve never done before. Creating a book has become inexpensive enough that hundreds of thousands of people each year will learn firsthand, and often to their dismay, what it will take to sell a book.

Writers who are more strategic and methodical soon recognize the tactical advantage to be gained if they learn about self-promotion and put marketing and publicity strategies in place before their books are published. There are two steps: knowing and doing. Few authors will proceed to knowing, and an infinitely smaller group will take a crack at doing.

There you have it—the secret that most authors will never know, at least not until it’s too late.

Some writers work harder than others.

Authors can start knowing more about book marketing and publicity by studying the advice offered by the following bloggers. Serious writers will put the effort into doing what these bloggers recommend.

The Book Publicity Blog by Yen Cheong, enterprise community and collaboration specialist at Pearson

Chris Brogan, Human Business Works

Jane Friedman, asst. professor of e-media, University of Cincinnati

Meghan Ward’s Writerland

Paula Margulies, Paula Margulies Communications

A few years ago I posted A list of FREE ebooks about book marketing.

You know of bloggers who cover this topic with intelligence and humor. Please feel free to share your recommendations by leaving a comment.

Read an E-Book Week 2012

Sun, 4 Mar 2012

Read an E-Book Week 2012
March 4-10, 2012, is Read an E-Book Week. Publishers are supporting the celebration by offering special deals, including ebook giveaways.

Organizers of the promotion say:

Last year several E-Book Week participants sat in their favorite coffee shop for a few hours with a sign that said “Ask me about e-books.” They had either an e-reader or other device for reading e-books and showed it to anyone who was interested. “It was a lot of fun!” we were told. Why not try it yourself this year?

For more information, contact author Rita Y. Toews or visit the Read an E-Book Week website or Facebook page.

Ebook: “The Gift of the Magi” by O. Henry

Wed, 8 Dec 2010

If you haven’t yet acquired your first ebook, this is the perfect time to try one. Following are some quick links to a wonderful, classic holiday tale, which you’ll find in the story collection titled The Four Million. “The Gift of the Magi” is the second story in the collection.

You can download the entire book for free using any of the following links.

You won’t need a special ebook reading device (like a Kindle or a Nook) to do this. You can read the book in your web browser by choosing the “Read on your browser” or “Read online” options.

You can also download one or several ebook apps that are compatible with your handheld device. Or you can read the PDF version of the ebook, if Adobe Reader software is installed on your computer.

“The Gift of the Magi”
by O. Henry

Google ebookstore (includes web browser, Android app, iPhone app, iPad app, EPUB, and PDF versions)

Amazon Kindle Store

Open Library (includes web browser, PDF, plain text, DAISY, EPUB, DjVu, MOBI, and Kindle versions)

The Gift of the Magi - O. Henry

A novelist’s guidebook

Wed, 16 Jul 2008

Thriller writer J.A. Konrath has organized the information posted on his blog—about writing, book publishing, marketing, and promotion—and made it available as a free ebook. The Newbie’s Guide to Publishing Book can be downloaded in PDF.

Along with scores of other tips in his guide, Konrath suggests four good methods to help you edit your own writing and outlines a critiquing worksheet used to determine whether a story is publishable. If you’re serious about writing fiction, I urge you to get a copy of his ebook. Konrath is frank, and he speaks from experience. Here’s just one example of his observations about making a living as a writer: “I’ve talked money with a few close writing friends, and I’ve learned something pretty shocking; there’s no rhyme, reason, or sense as to who gets paid what and why.”

Manuscript submission services on the Web

Wed, 18 Jun 2008

The process of manuscript submission—a crucial part of the business of writing, but one that many authors would love to avoid—is streamlined by several Web startups. The relatively new online services were designed, in theory, to improve efficiency and, in some cases, to gauge consumer feedback. Because some of these online manuscript submission services were launched only recently, it’s difficult to predict how much success they’ll enjoy and exactly who will be reviewing the book manuscripts or sample chapters posted by writers.

Aqua Gloss IconsOstensibly, the goal of Web-based manuscript submission services is to make connections among authors, agents, and book publishers. Readers come into the mix if the hosted submissions can be viewed by the public. They might be required to register as members in order to gain access, but visitors to open manuscript submission sites can peruse, comment on, and sometimes rate the work of writers who hope to gain recognition by displaying their manuscripts on the Web.

The open manuscript submission services have taken their cues from YouTube, Digg, and MySpace. They now need to attract enough contributors to improve the odds that some of the submissions will stand out. They also must solve the riddle of crowdsourcing efforts to cull the best writing from what could be referred to as Web-based slushpiles. The open sites crowdsource the job by enlisting readers, including book publishing professionals, who sift through and sometimes comment on or rank the posted manuscripts. The fee-based sites leave the job of evaluating the manuscripts to those who subscribe.

If you’re looking for new writing from unknown authors, you can read the unpublished work submitted to the following online services; however, some of them are restricted to subscribers only:

Owned by HarperCollins, which launched the site earlier this year, this online community is still in beta. You can request an invitation to become a member by registering online. There are no fees. The Authonomy Blog offers occasional updates as the service is tested and refined.

Authonomy Christian [Updated on January 6, 2013]
See the instructions on the Zondervan website.

This pricey subscription-based service is affiliated with Authorlink Press and Fusion Press.

A free online service, this site claims to have no affiliation with a publisher, producer, or agency.

Bookkus Publishing [Updated on May 8, 2012]
This Canadian company crowdsources the manuscript screening process in order to select books for publication.

Bowker Manuscript Submissions [Updated on April 29, 2010]
This fee-based service is designed to match authors with trade and higher education publishers.
In an exhibit hall at BookExpo America last month, I spoke to the representative of a small Christian book publisher who said her house’s editors checked this fee-based service weekly for manuscripts they might want to acquire. She said she recommended the service to aspiring authors, because the press she worked for charged a reading fee, which could be avoided when the author paid the slightly higher fee charged by to reach a potentially larger number of book publishers. The publishing houses said to use, a service of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association, are listed on the site.

Creative Byline
This service charges writers a monthly fee to make unsolicited submissions available to the publishers listed on the site. Publishers are also charged a subscription fee.

EWR: Literary Magazines [Updated June 21, 2013]
Only magazine and journal editors can view the work of writers who register at no charge to submit material that can be displayed for one month.

Figment [Updated January 6, 2013]
Merged with inkpop, this site (comparable to HarperCollins’ Authonomy) is devoted to the YA market.

InkTip [Updated on August 13, 2009]
This site provides a secure, searchable database of screenplays.

Inkubate [Updated on October 21, 2011]
Publishers and literary agents pay to read excerpts uploaded by writers.

Billed as an online publishing service, this site lets unpublished authors upload PDF manuscripts, which are converted to attractive ebooks or magazines that Issuu currently hosts at no charge. You can display Issuu ebooks on sites that enable Flash embeds, such as Facebook, Blogger, and MySpace. (This service resembles YouTube.)

Long Tale Press [Updated on August 13, 2009]
Writers submit excerpts from their manuscripts, and readers vote on which ones should be published.

Maui Writers Conference – Manuscript Marketplace
This fee-based service was one of the frontrunners. Currently closed to submissions, it might reopen in 2009.

Night Reading [Updated on May 1, 2011]
On this network, writers post samples of their manuscripts, then readers vote on which should be published as ebooks by Night Publishing.
This site lets readers download, rate, and comment on ebooks posted by members. It was founded and is managed by individuals with backgrounds in the technology industry. [Updated on May 25, 2010]
In this free forum, writers submit their work, visitors track each manuscript’s popularity, and patrons are encouraged to contribute financial support.

Publishers’ Desk [Updated on October 3, 2011, and February 9, 2012]
This service charges writers an annual fee to upload samples of their manuscripts. Publishers and agents can view the posted writing samples for free. For Victoria Strauss’s opinion of the service, see “Publisher’s Desk: Display or Misplay?” on Writer Beware Blogs!

Pubmission [Updated on July 14, 2010]
Using this service, writers can upload sample chapters. Publishers and agents pay a fee to search the manuscripts. Writers also pay a fee each time they use the site to submit their work to the publishers that appear to be the best matches for their manuscripts.

Publetariat Vault
For a fee, self-published authors who want to sell publication or performance rights can upload their books to this service.

Slush Pile Reader
Writers upload their manuscripts, and readers vote on which ones should be published.

Timbus Books [Updated on March 8, 2012]
Writers pay a monthly fee for this service, which makes their submission packages available for literary agents to view at no charge.

Though it calls itself an “online book publishing company,” this site could be a source of innovative writing. For one person’s opinion of the program, read the critique on Writer Beware Blogs!
Aspiring comic book creators can display their work by registering as members of this online community sponsored by DC Comics.

Remember that some well-known publishers, such as Avon, a HarperCollins imprint, accept email queries from aspiring authors. Using any sort of Web-based manuscript submission service is neither a requirement nor a recommendation; it’s an option for some adventurous writers.Aqua Gloss Icons

Take the time to learn how to evaluate manuscript submission services by reading the tips posted on Writer Beware, a free consumer protection service provided by Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Inc.

If you’ve heard of other Web services whose primary purpose is manuscript submission (in contrast to book marketing, which is a different enterprise), please let me know what they are. I’ll be happy to add them to this list.

I’d also like to know what you think of these manuscript submission services and whether you would use (or have used) any of them. Feel free to include a link, if you have a manuscript hosted on one of these types of sites.

Those FREE ebooks you want

Sat, 17 May 2008

The most popular posts here at Treated & Released are lists of free ebooks. Publishers, authors, software developers, and mobile device manufacturers offer free ebook downloads to accustom readers to their business models and familiarize them with their brands.

Sony Reader

At Matthew McClintock’s, ebooks are generated on demand in a variety of formats as a public service. McClintock maintains a running count of the most popular formats downloaded by users of the site. PDF currently tops the list.

Websites designed to generate advertising revenue are already beginning to capitalize on the demand for free ebooks by presenting large collections for browsing. Before long, there will be a truly comprehensive free ebook library on the Web.

Meanwhile, here’s one more helping of free ebooks:

This one-year-old technology company based in Paris, France, developed a universal ebook platform and offers free out-of-copyright ebooks and short stories on its nicely organized site.

This digital publisher offers a bookshelf of 100 free classics, as well as free digital magazine samples in exchange for your online registration, but its best bet is its digital textbook division.

We Tell Stories
Six Penguin authors took part in an experiment with the creative delivery of digital fiction.

Poet’s Press & Grim Reaper Ebooks
Because it prints only limited editions, this private press in Providence, Rhode Island, offers some of its older titles as ebook downloads.

Scott Sigler & Seth Harwood
Sigler, who specializes in science fiction, and Harwood, who writes crime fiction, amassed audiences on the Web by serializing their novels as free podcasts before they appeared in print. Writing for the San Francisco Chronicle last month, Chris Cadelago described how the two authors landed book deals by proving they could attract readers.

Small Beer Press
This independent publisher in Easthampton, Massachusetts, has offered three of its short-story collections as ebooks with Creative Commons licenses.

Smart Pop
BenBella Books, an independent publisher based in Dallas, Texas, includes a few free ebook downloads on the site devoted to its pop-culture titles.

The Yggyssey
Although it won’t be published by Houghton Mifflin until 2009, Daniel Pinkwater’s children’s book is being released on the Web in weekly installments.

DQ Books
These experimental online magazines resemble graphic novels set to music.

Samizdat Press
Hosted by the Colorado School of Mines, this site distributes free ebooks and lecture notes.

Russian Virtual Library
Classical and modern works of Russian literature are made available in electronic format by this service.

Amazon Kindle Guide, Free Ebooks & Resources
A Kindle evangelist links to scores of additional free ebook sources on the Web.

For more online resources, see the previous posts:

The growing list of FREE ebooks

Mon, 25 Feb 2008

Each month, more authors, publishers, libraries, and promoters of books experiment with the free distribution of ebooks. I assume and hope the trend will encourage technology companies to develop better devices for reading ebooks. I also expect more writers to adopt the practice of publishing on the Web, because it’s quick and easy, and undiluted feedback is guaranteed. (The absence of feedback is one form of criticism.)

This month, well-publicized examples of strategic marketing with free ebook downloads were news. After Oprah Winfrey announced she would make Suze Orman’s Women & Money temporarily available as a free ebook, a million copies were reportedly downloaded from Oprah’s website.

Book publishers

Several more publishers recently began distributing free ebooks on their websites or via email.

(a subsidiary of News Corporation)
This major publisher’s online promotion, prominently advertised on its homepage, gives readers full access to a few ebook downloads for limited periods. Along with other authors’ books, one of Paulo Coelho’s titles will be made available each month during 2008.

No Starch Press
This publisher of books on computing is offering free downloads of Cult of Mac and Cult of iPod by Leander Kahney.
[Updated on March 28, 2008]

Random House
(a subsidiary of Bertelsmann)
For three days only (February 27, 28, and 29, 2008), this major publisher is giving away a free ebook version of the New York Times bestseller Beautiful Children by Charles Bock.
[Updated on February 27, 2008]

Tor and Forge Books
(subsidiaries of Macmillan and Holtzbrinck)
Lovers of science fiction and fantasy can register on this site for a weekly link to a free ebook download. The publisher has already given away John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War and Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn.

Berrett-Koehler Publishers
As an independent, this publisher is participating in the latest trend by offering Capitalism 3.0 by Peter Barnes as a free download with a Creative Commons license.

Digital library collections

Digital library projects continue to develop, expand, and merge.

The Open Library
Aaron Swartz calls for volunteers to contribute to a free Web-based catalog of every book ever published.

The University of Adelaide Library website offers a collection of 1,200 works in digital format, including portions of Marcel Proust’s À la recherche du temps perdu.

Renascence Editions
The University of Oregon makes available “an online repository of works printed in English between the years 1477 and 1799.”

Representative Poetry Online
The Department of English at the University of Toronto and the University of Toronto Press make 3,162 English-language poems available online.

Authors and editors

Book editors and authors are distributing their digital works on the Web.

Lawrence Lessig
The Stanford law professor, Wired columnist, and chair of the Creative Commons project shares his work freely on the Web.

Disraeli Avenue
With the support of The Friday Project, readers can download a novella by Caroline Smailes in exchange for a donation to One in Four, a charity that provides support to people who have experienced sexual abuse and sexual violence.

Party-Directed Mediation: Helping Others Resolve Differences
This book by Gregorio Billikopf is available online as a PDF. I enjoyed working on the second edition as Billikopf’s copyeditor. His book is a great resource for employers and mediators.
[Updated on February 4, 2009]

No Chinook
K. Sawyer Paul’s novel, published through Lulu and bearing a Creative Commons license, can be downloaded for free from the author’s website, which also links to a video trailer for the book.
[Updated on February 25, 2008]

38 Poems by George Mattingly
The PDF ebook was created for a reading given at Moe’s Books in Berkeley, California, and five audio poems in MP3 format were recorded at the Monterey County Free Libraries’ Seaside Branch.
[Updated on March 31, 2008]

Flash Fiction by Ian Hocking
A weekly flash fiction podcast, released with a Creative Commons license, is read by the author who blogs at This Writing Life.
[Updated on February 26, 2008]


Booksellers are also changing shape.

Ebooks are delivered in installments via email or RSS by this subscription-based service. More than 750 titles in the public domain, serialized in increments that can be read in five minutes, are available for free.

Exact Editions
This company sells magazines, books, and other documents as PDF files. Users can view free trial issues on its website.

For additional online resources, see these posts:

More FREE ebooks

Sat, 15 Dec 2007


November’s post regarding free ebooks has been remarkably evergreen, so I decided to release a sequel just in time for Christmas. Wikipedia also provides a list of digital library projects.

Remember: If you plan to purchase a device for reading ebooks, first make sure it’s compatible with the ebook format you prefer.

Directories and large repositories

The Online Books Page, edited by John Mark Ockerbloom, a digital library planner and researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, is a directory of links to more than 30,000 free books on the Web.

Digital Book Index is a meta-index of the major free ebook websites, including the next two listed in this post.

Project Gutenberg offers golden (as in out-of-copyright) oldies like The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus. Some of the selections are available as audio books. hosts the digital versions of great reference works, poetry, and fiction, such as Andrew Lang and S. H. Butcher’s translation of The Odyssey, the 1914 Oxford edition of the Complete Works of William Shakespeare, and Curtis Hidden Page’s translation of Tartuffe., administered by Matthew McClintock, includes much of the same content as Project Gutenberg, as well as other ebooks in the public domain or licensed under Creative Commons. The site includes ebook reviews that can be helpful.

Luminarium: Anthology of English Literature is Anniina Jokinen’s beautiful portal to electronic texts, which is designed for students and enthusiasts.

[Updated on December 16, 2009] The Online Medieval and Classical Library (OMACL) is a small collection of important works of classical and medieval literature.

[Updated on March 8, 2010] AustLit, the Australian Literature Resource offers the full text of selected creative and critical works, including poetry, fiction, and children’s books.

[Updated on March 14, 2010] EServer publishes free electronic texts on subjects in the arts and humanities, including art, architecture, drama, fiction, poetry, history, political theory, cultural studies, philosophy, women’s studies, and music.

[Updated on June 22, 2010] Making of America (MoA) is a collection of approximately 10,000 books and 50,000 journal articles from the 1800s covering American social history in the areas of education, psychology, American history, sociology, religion, science, and technology.

[Updated on June 22, 2010] Eric Lease Morgan’s Alex Catalogue of Electronic Texts “is a collection of public domain and open access documents with a focus on American and English literature as well as Western philosophy.”

[Updated on June 22, 2010] Project Runeberg, based at Linköping University in Linköping, Sweden, provides electronic editions of classic Nordic (Scandinavian) literature. gives schools in the U.S. that have enrolled students with qualifying disabilities free accessible electronic books and software for reading them. The organization is funded by a federal grant for the next five years.

Science fiction is where Cory Doctorow, co-editor of Boing Boing, distributes his science fiction ebooks for free.

Baen Free Library was created for a group of science fiction authors who believe the positive publicity generated by giving away ebooks increases sales of the printed versions of their work.

Accelerando, a novel by science fiction writer Charles Stross, was released on the Web as a free download in 2005, even before it could be purchased in bookstores.


CNET’s has an odd selection of over 300 free ebooks. Be sure to set the filter to “free.” You can download Le Petit Prince as an ebook that will allow you to click with the left mouse button in each paragraph of text for a pop-up translation. Some of the free downloads lack features that are included in the retail versions. For example, the audio portion of Le Petit Prince wasn’t free.

Fictionwise is an online ebook seller with a list of 15 free downloads offered to induce prospective customers to register on the site.

Adventures in wonderland

Globusz Publishing distributes free ebooks on the Web. My friend Frank appeared in the film adaptation of one of the titles offered by Globusz. No kidding. I’ll let Frank comment on that.

Lulu offers some of its customers’ self-published books as free downloads. You’ll be more likely to find one if you use the advanced search feature and check the box labeled “Find me works I can copy and distribute.”

Audio books

LibriVox aims to make all books in the public domain available as free audio books. Download audio files from the site, and then check out its impressive list of links for additional freebies.

[Updated on April 7, 2009] NewFiction delivers MP3 audio books as well as text versions.

Also see:

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