Free and low-price ebooks are spotlighted in “Robert’s Roundup of Ebook Deals,” a new column on my personal blog. I will post a new Roundup every week or two as time permits.
So far I have written three Roundups:
Also, I plan to post occasional book reviews and other bookish posts. Some of these things will be crossposted on TeleRead depending on the subject. (I have a few rants waiting to be written — stay tuned!)
Serious book people are used to the futile task of trying to keep up with all the books being published. Ebooks have only made this task more challenging. On the other hand, there’s a whole new set of tools available for tracking and organizing your ebooks. On a given day I check about 20 different sources of free and low cost ebooks, and I usually end up downloading (and sometimes paying for) about 5-10 ebooks. Yesterday my heart leapt at the news that Svetlana Alexievich’s Secondhand Time: Last of the Soviets is finally being discounted (the first time since being published in 2016). Two minutes ago I got this crazy free Aussie ebook, and yesterday I came across this intriguing ebook by a US author living in Germany.
This year has had some amazing ebook sales. In March, Smashwords had a ridiculous ebook week sale. In April Amazon Crossing had an amazing Read the World offer of 9 free ebooks from around the world. In July the leftist publisher Verso Books had an amazing firesale; I never thought I’d want to buy a book on Marxist criticism, but I bought about five! (Don’t believe me? Check out this and this.) In July and August, Simon & Schuster secretly decided to experiment with pricing by discounting all their not-so-new titles to 99 cents (a little every week and for one week, a large selection were priced at FREE!) In October for a few days, Harper Collins Australia seemed to have priced a large chunk of ebook titles at FREE (a mistake? who knows?) and I now know that a leading Australian author has the last name Hospital, that Australians have a wicked sense of humor and that in Australia apparently Flying Doctors is a literary genre. I expect the last week of December to have some amazing ebook sales. Smashwords will be having a sitewide promotion and Amazon is supposed to have a Digital Day on Dec 28.
U.S. citizens may be surprised to learn that the Amazon experience differs by country. Many things which are free or discounted on the U.S. store are priced differently elsewhere. Then there is the issue of different bookstores. Let’s face it. Amazon owns the ebook market — although judging from deal newsletters, publishers are least trying to offer the same sales across different stores. I’ll write more about that in a later post; now I’ll just say that Smashwords offers more discounting and marketing tools than Amazon’s other competitors. My personal blog is using one of them: Smashwords affiliate marketing program — which earns me a few cents every time a visitor makes a sale using my SW link. For these reasons and more, 1 out of every 4 roundups will be dedicated to Smashwords deals.
Later this week my blog will publish another Roundup — hopefully I will have waded through Amazon’s 99 cent monthly deals and identified the ones worth looking at. On December 27 I’ll report on the most interesting Smashwords discounts during their end-of-the-year sale.