I read an article this morning about how Amazon is lifting free ebooks from my beloved Project Gutenberg and selling them. They are making a profit from content that's available elsewhere for free.
There's a reason they can do that.
Amazon has done a really good job of chaining Kindle users to their website. The Kindle can connect to their website via a wireless internet connection, log in automatically, and boom - you can buy an ebook without removing butt from couch.
Woo! Convenience! Well, convenience sometimes costs you money, honey.
Guess what. You don't HAVE to get all your ebooks from Barnes and Noble or Amazon or whoever else sold you that shiny ereader.
I have a Kindle, so I'm going to talk about that one.
When you plug your Kindle into your computer with a USB cord, it can be read as a mass storage device, like a USB drive. If you download an ebook to your computer and want to add it to the Kindle, you go to My Computer --> Removable Storage Media (or whatever your computer calls it) --> Documents.
Your books are in that documents folder. All you have to do is drag and drop ebook files from the computer into that Documents folder. I'm willing to bet that other ereaders work in a similar fashion.
There is probably a way to download from other sites wirelessly too (on the Kindle itself), but I don't do it that way.
Anyway, now that I have hopefully liberated at least one person from the Kindle store, I will offer direction.
Free public domain ebooks are available at the Project Gutenberg website.
Smashwords has pay and free ebooks by many an indie author who would love to have your support.
Also, many authors (like me) offer free ebooks via their websites. See Fiction Freebie tab above.
That is all. Go forth and download, my minions.
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