I received a Kindle last year for Mother’s Day, and I am so loving it. As a writer it is imperative that I read—a lot. I love to buy books. I use the library, too, but I want the book when I want it. Buying books can become an expensive habit. I have found my Kindle so economical. Since receiving it I have spent less than $40 on books all year. Yet, I have downloaded almost 100 books.

Finding free e-books

Want to know my secret? First I look at the free e-book downloads offered on Amazon. Those change weekly. There are all your classics: Charles Dickens, Jane Austin, Arthur Conan Doyle, and more. Each week there are books by well-known and new authors to choose from. Click the buy button, and they download instantly.

Peruse the list

Rather than mindlessly downloading every free book, I read the descriptions and some of the reviews.  I have found new favorite authors that way. Unfortunately, I have also found some badly written novels or some that weren’t my cup of tea.  Hey, they are free, and I can simply delete them.

Friend Authors

Second, I friend lots of writers on Facebook. They post when theirs or other authors books are free to download. The trick is to not wait. Often it’s only available for a day or two. This is a marketing strategy for them. Some authors offer a previously published book to attract our attention to purchase the sequel. Sometimes it’s their latest. I download the book and pass on the info to my friends.

Because they are so gracious to make them available I often post book reviews. That in turn generates sales for the author.

Borrowing e-books

Many libraries allow you to borrow e-books, and you can now lend a book to a friend’s Kindle or kindle app. The only catch is you must read it in two weeks before it disappears from your device.

E-books and “real” books

I still adore the feel of a book in my hand. I love being able to go back to the very page that inspired me.  This is my preference for books on writing. My shelves are filled with highlighted tomes of helpful information. You can highlight as you read your Kindle (I haven’t figured that out yet.) and save those clips to download to your computer. Not quite ready to embrace that application. I am resisting it like I did Facebook and LinkedIn a few years ago.

Nook and other e-book applications offer free books, as well. This is a good way to test drive a book before you purchase. Hooked: write fiction that grabs readers at page one and never lets them go by Les Edgerton had so much to offer that I ordered several copies to give my writers group.

What has your experience been with e-book technology?