You’ve given into the darkside and bought a Kindle. You’ve been tempted to sign up for Amazon Prime. You find yourself ordering everything from diapers to champaign (despite the fact you don’t drink or have any children). Welcome to the club.
As a result, your spending habits during 2012 have to be a bit more restrained. If like me you simply can’t give up your box wine addiction or expensive hemp clothes, The Green Porch offers some help in trimming back on the reading budget. The Kindle store actually has tons of free eBooks to choose from, and the list is constantly changing in order to rotate in new titles. But you have to know how to find them. And then you need to know how to sift through the garbage.
Pull on your hemp snuggy and let’s get down to business. Amazon is dozens of shops bundled into one clearinghouse. For our purposes make sure you start in the Kindle store (here). Now everything you click on will remain within the eVerse (no distractions like cat food, power tools or smoked sausage).
Depending on your budget, this landing page will tempt you to veer off-course, so stay strong! Sure, After Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is only $0.99 (at the time of writing this post). But are you really going to read it? Really? Didn’t think so.
On the left column you’re eye will be drawn to links for “Kindle Daily Deal” and “100 Books for $3.99 or less” and the like. These are good deals, and by all means you should shop them… unless $3.99 for an eBook feels like using paper money autographed by Alan Greenspan to wipe your bum. In that case shift your eyes over to the right-hand side of the page where you will find the link “Kindle Store: Kindle Books.”
This link is your portal into the realm of the quality FREE eBooks of the eVerse. Click on it to unleash the mind-dazzling power of free literature (Do it!). You will find yourself starting at two columns of books: on the left the top 100 paid list, on the right the top 100 free list. Before you go gorgonzola and start snatching up ever free book on the list, take a deep breath and focus. What kind of book are you looking for? Let’s not do a google search for sexy, witty novelist when we can do one for David Mark Brown (if you know what I’m saying. Nudge, nudge. Wink, wink.)
On the left there is an outline of the Kindle store’s genres. Use this outline to focus your search. Let’s say you’re looking for a rollicking romp of a book with explosions and bullets and whatnot. Click on Fiction. Now you could click on Action/Adventure and check out your options. “What the Tom Clancy?” You might say. “One of the top 20 offerings has a picture of a naked faery on the cover.”
If this isn’t specific enough for you yet, just keep searching the genre outline. Go back one page and instead of clicking on “Action/Adventure” try “Genre Fiction.” Now go down and try “Men’s Adventure.” (No naked faeries here… oh, hmmm.) Well, anywho, you get the idea. Every genre has free eBooks, and this way you get to browse the most popular. As is always the case, some of these will be porn. If that’s not what you are looking for, just keep looking.
These top 100 lists are updated hourly. So feel free to frequent them to see if a new title has popped up (don’t check hourly, Sheesh). Amazon often drops titles to free for special occasions or promotions, so you never know what you might find. When I did my search, Trapped by Jack Killborn was number one in the Action/Adventure free list.
How do you know if Trapped is any good, you may ask. After all, it’s free, right? How good can it be? (Besides the fact that everyone knows the best things in life are free…) Good question! Click on the book to go to its product page. In the case of Trapped you can quickly gather that the book looks promising. It has received 163 customer reviews averaging 4 stars. The cover looks professional, the product description sounds good, and the reviews look legit. The price is right, so pull the trigger.[divider]
Now you know how to navigate the dicey Amazon/Kindle store waters and come away with a select handful of quality, free eBooks. Use your powers wisely. Oh, one final caveat. Many of the free titles you will find are first installments in a series, or are otherwise designed to addict you to a certain author’s work. Hey, the first hit is free, but the rest are gonna cost you.