Written on 9/28/2012 at 12:09 pm by eBook-mom
There's more to a free e-book website than just the free download. Are e-books offered in a format that your device can read? Do you have to download the e-book or can you read it from the browser on your Kindle or iPad? Here are some free e-book website tips that will make your hunt for free e-books easier.
About the free e-book website
The first thing I do is look for the "about us" part of the website. It's good to know the goals or mission of the website. The goals of a free e-book website are vast and varied. For example, one website's goal could be to break the record for number of e-books that you can download from their website.
Another website goal could be to offer readers e-books that are being published for the first time in a specific genre like children's books or romance. Once you learn the goal of the website, you can make the choice to stay and download or to leave.
Gutenberg related or linked?
Another free e-book website tip is to check if the website is linked to Project Gutenberg. I love the Project Gutenberg Website. Michael S. Hart is my personal hero for starting the digital word revolution. But, to be truthful, I sometimes get overwhelmed by the awesome and almost endless selection of e-books to download from the Project. So, when I feel overwhelmed, I like to visit those websites that link to Project Gutenberg and focus exclusively on one category of books like romances or mysteries. I love these websites because they make me feel like I've walked into a small specialty bookstore where there are lots of special books and treasures to be found.
Then there are times when I want to find something new and fresh. When I feel like this, the best free e-book websites to browse are those that specialize in publishing e-books. These publisher websites offer top-notch new authors just starting out; or, as in some cases, established authors who are new to publishing e-books.
Downloading friendly files
How do you like to read your e-books? Do you own a Nook, Kindle or iPad? Or, do you enjoy reading e-books on your laptop or home computer? Maybe you have a cool app on your iPhone or Android phone for reading e-books?
Whatever your preferred mode of "e-reading", a free e-book website is only as good as the e-book formats you can download. However, most free e-book websites offer various e-book formats for download. If they don't, check for an app or website that will help convert the e-book format to one you can use.
Device friendly websites
My favorite free e-book websites are those that offer e-books that are easy to read on my Kindle Fire or smart phone. These device friendly websites are really good at offering features like being able to zoom in and out of the page in order to adjust text size; or, formatting the page of text for easy view on your tablet or device. As long as you've got wi-fi access, these friendly websites are a great find.
Online and offline reading
When there is no more room on your device for another e-book, a browser friendly website comes in really handy. There are free e-book websites that offer e-books to read online. These websites have tools similar to those offered on an e-book reader like adjusting the text size or bookmarks. Readers have the choice of viewing the whole book at one time or accessing one chapter at a time. What if you don't want to read your book online? Some websites have tools to facilitate offline reading. For example, there are some websites that feature tools that make it easy to print or download a text or html file.
What subjects or categories are available?
Why spend time at a website that only offers science fiction when you like to read romances? Enough said?
Other free e-book website tips to consider
Finding time to read
Now that it's a little bit easier to hunt for free e-books, don't you wish you could find more time to read? As a busy mom, I wish somebody would come up with an app to help me find the time to read all these wonderful free e-books. It doesn't have to be something mind-bending like stopping time; I would settle for a soothing tune that enchants children and lulls them into a reasonable nap time. Something like: mommy is reading, she'll be back in a few minutes . . . mommy loves you . . . mommy is reading . . .
What other things do you should be consider when visiting a free e-book website?