Sunday, November 16, 2008

Great Stories for Free & Dirt Cheap

Good morning, Blog Buddies. Kimber An here.
We always encourage you all to buy your favorite authors' books new, because that's how they make money. If they don't make money the publishers won't publish their books and you won't have any new stories to read. But, let's face reality here. If you have to choose between milk for your children or buying your favorite author's book new, whatcha gonna do? These are hard economic times we're living in. Stories have always been essential to emotional well-being during such times. This is how Bugs Bunny became some a huge star in World War II.
So, please, do buy your favorite authors' books new, if you can. If you can't, I, for one, won't fault you. It's more important that you just keep reading.
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After the financial issue, there's also the question of choice when it comes to buying books. If you happen to love a certain genre/subgenre which is stuck in Trend Hell right now, you're not going to have much choice in the New Releases. You might be able to find one or two Paranormal Romance novels without blood-sucking dead guys, for example, but it won't be easy. In that case, pop over to any of the blogs or websites which specialize in sorting through the Endless Parade of Sameness and make a list before proceeding with any of the other options. http://theromancereader.com/
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FREE
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Trade books with your friends!
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InterLibrary Loan. Many people know you can have books sent to you from other libraries within your state or county, but a lot of people don't know you can have a book sent to you from anywhere in the nation. I live in Alaska and I once got a book from Colorado, I think it was, sent all the up here to me for FREE. Find your local library's website. I'll use Anchorage because I don't live there anymore. http://lexicon.ci.anchorage.ak.us/ Notice that the web address isn't the same as the actual name. This can make it difficult to find your library's website, but persevere! Go to the library's website and search for the words, InterLibrary Loan, or something similar. You'll notice it's near the bottom of the Anchorage site under the heading, 'Special Services.' You can have a book sent from any participating library in the United States send to you for FREE. I think it took a week or two for my book to arrive.
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Internet.
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There are free short stories and full novels all over the Internet. Project Gutenburg is a huge database of free electronic novels. You can obtain some of the greatest stories ever written from their site. My husband downloaded WAR OF THE WORLDS by H. G. Wells there. http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Main_Page Here's one just for Romance novels- http://www.talewins.com/Browzer/novels.htm
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Published Authors.
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Many published authors give away free books in promotional contests, so check on their websites and blogs regularly for such offers. Susan Grant recently offered one of her best novels, CONTACT, in a contest, autographed and everything. http://susangrant.blogspot.com/ Also, many of them offer free stories as a way to get you hooked on their regular books. You'll find a collection of Linnea Sinclair's stories at the bottom of this page- http://linneasinclair.com/bar.htm And some published authors also have serial novels http://www.brokentype.com/frostbite/ {FROSTBITE by David Wellington is a Horror novel, which we don't review here.} and novels to download for free http://www.spacejock.com.au/Hal1Download.html sometimes temporarily and sometimes indefinitely.
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Unpublished or Self-Published Authors
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There are many authors out there whose novels have not been published in the traditional sense. Some people assume it's because the novels are crap. Not true. A lot of the time, it's simply because the novels appeal to a small audience, which means they couldn't make enough money to make it worth while to a regular publisher. So, if you're looking for variety, these stories are the way to go! Do bear in mind that most unpublished and self-published authors cannot afford professional editing, so be a little more forgiving. Here's an author whose site also lists other free on-line novels- http://www.free-online-novels.com/ Here's my own serial novel- http://thestarcaptainsdaughter.wordpress.com/
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Dirt Cheap
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Great books can be found at yard sales and thrift stores, like those operated by charities. Salvation Army, Value Village, and Bishop's Attic are the names of some of Alaska's thrift shops. Now, here's a trick. If you can't find what you're looking for there, sometimes you can find books in *New Condition.* Buy them and take them to your local Used Bookstore which excepts trades. They'll get new stock and you'll get the books you really want at an even greater discount.
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Used Bookstores can be so wonderful. Title Wave Bookstore in Anchorage, Alaska is so beloved by my family we consider it a vacation destination. http://www.wavebooks.com/catalog/index.php It now sells both used and new books and will ship books free anywhere within Alaska. I predict Used Bookstores will profit hugely during this difficult economic time. Barnes & Nobel had better pay attention!
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Self-published novels through Lulu.com http://www.lulu.com/en/buy/?cid=en_tab_buy vary widely in price, but many can be found for free or very cheap (under, say, $3.)
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Likewise, ePublishers' prices vary widely too. Some are more reasonable than others. http://www.ebookcrossroads.com/epublishers.html If you don't have an eBook reading device, like the Kindle from http://www.amazon.com/ you should be able to read ePublished books on your computer.
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Speaking of Amazon.com, you can get a lot of books for Dirt Cheap there too, including self-published. Also, eBay is awesome. http://books.shop.ebay.com/Books__W0QQ_sacatZ267?_trksid=p3907.m21 The best way to save money when ordering print copies on-line is to buy paperbacks. Shipping & Handling charges can be aweful, especially if you live near the Arctic Circle like me! I know Amazon.com has Super Saver shipping too. Explore your options.
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That's all I can think of for now. If any of you have other suggestions or want to recommend Free or Dirt Cheap stories on-line, please do so in the Comments. Thank you!

27 comments:

Kimber An said...

Here's another way to get Free books- START A BOOK REVIEW BLOG!

You'll soon be buried in Advanced Review Copies sent to you free by the authors, publicists, and publishers. Stephen King and Stephanie Meyer do not need our help, but most other authors do. Most authors must handle and pay for publicity themselves.

Visit a few book review blogs to see your different options. We review everything, except Erotica and Horror here. Some blogs, like

http://fantasydebut.blogspot.com/

specialize in one or two genres.

Linnea Sinclair said...

I think of free reads like those yummy cookie samples you get in the supermarket aisles when shopping...

Robin D Owens has excepts and a free short story on her site, as well as deleted scenes (those are always fun):
http://robindowens.com/home.htm

Elaine Corvidae has a serial novel on her site, free:
http://onecrow.net/

I have electronic versions of entire BOOKS free on my Yahoo Group:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LinneaSinclair/

These include the older original versions of GABRIEL'S GHOST (different ending and some different chapters than Bantam's print editon), the original COMMAND PERFORMANCE (from which GAMES OF COMMAND grew) and the DREAM QUEST anthology, which includes shorts my JC Wilder, Isabo Kelly, *moi* and more.

Sites like THE ROMANCE STUDIO have book-a-day giveaways, both print and e-books.

Like they say on the X-Files, the truth--and free stuff--is out there.
~Linnea
www.linneasinclair.com

Kimber An said...

Thanks, Linnea!

Kimber An said...

Oh, just remembered another source of free stories - Fan Fiction! Here's some Star Trek Fan Fic-

http://www.simegen.com/fandom/startrek/

Here's another one from Yours Truly, the serial lunacy of the Protagonists' Cafe-

http://starcaptainsdaughter.blogspot.com/search/label/Protagonists%27%20Cafe

The Cyber-Launch Parties are a crazy kind of storytelling too. Click on that link in the directory of this blog.

Kimber Chin said...

I give away a free romance eBook every month on my blog (my fave eRead from the month before and since I read a romance novel a day, I had plenty to choose from).
I also post a free story every week.

http://businessromance.com/

If you love holiday romances,
a bunch of generous authors
(including the always fab Linnea Sinclair)
contributed excerpts
and original short stories
for our daily holiday book lovefest at
http://thewritersvineyard.com/

(Oh, and Eloisa James is giving away a beautiful UK hardcover)

Kimber An said...

You're a gold mine, Kimber Chin!

Mfitz said...

I think some systems do charge for interlibrary loans. My husband gets lots of technical stuff that way and sometimes he has to pay a few bucks, but that may just be for books coming from university systems or something like that.

Hamilton Co has a great library website. It's one of the largest in the country so I don't have much trouble finding books I want to read at the library. Since I don't buy hardback books written by people I don't know it's how I get most of my new releases these days. I can go on line and "order" a book and they will ship it to my neighborhood library and send me an e-mail to come pick it up when it comes in. It's great fun sort of like netfix for books.

Kimber An said...

Here's online comic book-

http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php

Kimber An said...

Here's a link to some free Romance from Avon Romance novels-

http://www.harpercollins.com/Imprints/Avon/features/lovegivesback/index.aspx?WT.mc_id=REFL_AVON_WHAT_112608

Kimber An said...

Free Christmas Romance novel download-

http://dearauthor.com/wordpress/2008/12/03/roxanne-st-claire-and-pocket-offer-free-holiday-download/

Kimber An said...

For you Science Fiction & Fantasy readers, there's a collection of short fiction at the bottom of this page from Sandra McDonald's website- http://homepage.mac.com/samcdonald/ She's the author of OUTBACK STARS, a novel reviewed here on ER if you want to do a blog search. I've never read it personally, but a lot of Blog Buddies loved it.

Kimber An said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kimber An said...

Here's Christine's awesome site- http://finding-free-ebooks.blogspot.com/

Simon Haynes said...

Thanks for mentioning my Hal Spacejock novel in your post.

My site also contains free downloads of my published short fiction, right here:

http://www.spacejock.com.au/ShortStories.html

Cheers
Simon

Kimber An said...

You're welcome, Mr. Haynes, and thank you!

Here's a Romance novel parody told in the serial novel style- THE ITALIAN GOURMET-BABY-FOOD BARON'S IRONICALLY PREGNANT VIRGIN MISTRESS -

http://tumperkin.blogspot.com/search/label/TIGBBFB

Kimber An said...

Harliquin is giving away 16 free eBooks starting January 29th. Here's the link-

http://www.harlequincelebrates.com/

Thanks to luvfreebooks.blogspot.com for the link. This blogger talks about books she's found free just about anywhere.

Kimber An said...

One dollar eBooks from Orbit-

http://www.onedollarorbit.com/

Kimber An said...

Lois McMaster Bujold's newest book, BEGUILEMENT, is available to read free on-line-

http://browseinside.harpercollins.com/index.aspx?isbn13=9780061139079&WT.mc_id=biHTMLWidget30dcf43f-5963-443b-987f-914eb4ee6f10

Kimber An said...

Oprah has Liz Orman's 2009 ACTION PLAN as free download. It's about managing your finances during this recession. Thank you, Oprah!

http://www.oprah.com/article/oprahshow/20081119_tows_bookdownload

Kimber An said...

More online Harlequin reads-

http://www.eharlequin.com/store.html?cid=583&cmpid=EMWNORS200901130033

Kimber An said...

The Star Captains' Daughter, by me, is now available as a free eBook-

http://kimberan7.tripod.com/id11.html

It can also be read on-line at-

http://thestarcaptainsdaughter.wordpress.com/

Kimber An said...

Found this at Dear Author-

50 Places to Find Free Books On-Line

http://www.techsupportalert.com/content/50-places-free-books-online.htm

Kimber An said...

Star Captains' Daughter is now available for download in multiple formats for a variety of eBook readers at feedbooks.

http://www.feedbooks.com/userbook/3372

Kimber An said...

Jennifer has a site with a directory for finding free novels online.

http://www.free-online-novels.com/

She was kind enough to add Star Captains' Daughter.

Kimber An said...

Random House (Big Boy New York Publisher) just announced a free content library for Science Fiction and Fantasy, which includes such titles as HIS MAJESTY'S DRAGON and HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY. All in eBook, looks like.

http://www.suvudu.com/

Kimber An said...

http://www.amazon.com/s/qid=1245683153/ref=sr_pg_5?ie=UTF8&rs=133140011&sort=daterank&bbn=133140011&rh=n:133140011,n:!133141011,p_36:0-0&page=1

Cut & paste the above link to find a list of free eBooks at Amazon.com One of them is a Star Wars novel.

Anonymous said...

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http://feboook.blogspot.com