Hello Scriblers! Happy Saturday to you again! J here. Wow, this day comes around fast. I’m going to change things up a bit – here’s today’s secret, right at the beginning: You can buy e-books for your Nook or Kindle (or other e-reader) in more places than just Barnes&Noble or Amazon. You might already know about this, but whenever I’m out and about talking about e-books (often, very often) people I’m talking with have never heard of Smashwords.com.
In case you are one of those people, let me tell you about Smashwords. Smashwords is an author driven publisher of e-books. The authors set the prices and the authors get a higher percentage of the purchase price as a royalty. Lot’s of authors set their prices at $0.00. Yes, that’s FREE! I love free stuff, don’t you? And there are lots and lots of authors with books out there for less than $5.00. Since traditional publishers are charging a teensy bit less for e-books than for print books (highway robbery if you ask me since there’s no paper, printing, shipping or storage costs) you can really feed your reading habit on a budget using a site like Smashwords.
Of course, shopping at Smashwords is like shopping at Marshalls or TJ Maxx. You can find designer stuff at wicked cheap prices if you take the time to look through all the…well, let’s call it less than designer quality stuff.
For example, I recently “discovered” author Sharon Gerlach. She has written a few books, the two I’ve read were women’s fiction/romance stories. These were “designer” quality – for sure. They were very good, well written, well-edited, intriguing stories with compelling characters. Office Politics is $1.49. Very reasonable! She could easily be charging more – perhaps you could ask her about that when I interview her in a few weeks. I’ve read, well started, a book by a different “unknown’ author and it was terrible. You win some, you lose some. But if it’s free (or practically free!) who cares if some of them are less good than others. Most of the books I’ve bought at Smashwords were great.
When you buy books at Smashwords, you do need to have your computer handy. Once purchased, you download the file type you need (I need mobi for my Kindle) and save it somewhere. Then you plug your e-reader into your computer with that handy-dandy cord they give you when you buy it and drag and drop the file to the device.
It does take a couple of minutes more than ordering from Amazon through Whispernet, but since the books are so cheap, you can load up a bunch at once. Also, if your Kindle 2 is nearly dead like mine (I can’t use Whispernet to download books anymore, I have to use a computer – I understand this is a somewhat common problem for the older Kindles) you can still use it if you buy from Smashwords.
There are also many new digital publishers popping up these days and a couple of our very own Scribes are publishing with some established ones. Perhaps Casey and Katy can tell us a bit about buying books through those sites. The point is this: E-book buyers, you have options when it comes to choosing a place to purchase your books. Shop around.
Today’s Question: What new authors or book stores have you discovered lately?
Just for fun: here’s a bit of eye candy to get you through the rest of the day.