Digital Book Day

Something that should absolutely, positively concern you–besides the fact that I am trying to do my job on only three hours’ sleep, and the fact that German sports fans will likely be insufferable for the next four years after their team’s crushing defeat of Argentina in the world Cup finals yesterday, and besides the incredible fact that the Griffon Pub in Niagra Falls, NY, has a multi-blend beer named Quadro Triticale which is amazing–is that today, July 14, is (besides being Bastille Day) Digital Book Day.

Unlike that ridiculous opening sentence, Digital Book Day is a surprisingly efficient way of saying that today, hundreds of worthwhile e-books are available free for the downloading in a variety of formats. Two of these books are from HDWP Books, namely Tiago and the Masterless, which I reviewed a few weeks back, and the first of their Theme-Thology Books, titled Invasion. I can vouch for both titles, not because I contributed in any way (beyond the review) but because I paid money for them and was not disappointed with my purchase. Click on the links and download the titles. For free!

But do it today, because at midnight tonight, all those links to free stuff expire.

Why should you be concerned about this? Well, besides receiving the gift of reading (for free!), there’s another consideration. Namely that this particular event is something that cannot be done with print books. Yes, I can give them away for free. I can declare an entire library of print volumes free for the taking, and make no mistake, those books will disappear. But it will take days or weeks to happen at the rate of a few books a day. I know this because we’ve done print book giveaways at the MCNY Library before. The pattern is consistent.  It’s understandable. People who are rushed (and who isn’t) will not really want to have to schlep to a library and pick up a book and maybe browse a cart that looks more and more like a smile with missing teeth as time goes by.

Well, you say, we could print lists of the available titles and salt a few social media accounts with them. Well . . . yes and no. Twitter doesn’t really lend itself to that, although you could use it to link to a web page that had the titles already listed and linked. Neither does Facebook or Linked In. E-mail does, but it presumes that only people whose e-mail address you already have would be interested in your effort, which is at best a limited concept of media outreach.

On the other hand, all it takes is a link posted on each of your social media platforms to send a crowd of people a chance to download free books. That is something that Twitter et al, can do very effectively. (And hey, I have Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus buttons on this blog. Click and share, folks. I cannot make this any simpler.)

Or, you just click on the website of digital books, click on a category or two–or do a basic title and author search–and then click on numerous links to download titles. (For free!)

Fair warning: this is a big deal and a popular website, so you may have to try a few times to get suitable traction. Additionally, the free books are made free by the authors, not the DBD website per se. Some authors may have underestimated the demand for thier work, and some websites may be temporarily unavailable.

But it beats carrying free print books.

(You can haz free! Hurry!)

Update 7/15/14: From the DBD website:

Due to popular demand (which crashed the website several times yesterday) we’ll be leaving the site open an extra day.
Please check ALL prices since not all authors will be able to keep their books for free.

One more day, folks. I just nabbed a few promising bits for my own use. (For free!)

My Books

About Jon Frater

A gaming industry stalwart dating back to the 1980s, Jonathan Frater is the co-author of roleplaying game books Robotech: Return of the Masters, and Robotech Adventures: Lancer's Rockers, both for Palladium Books. Jonathan also wrote a column on writing and game design called The Tome in Gateways magazine. He's currently a librarian at Metropolitan College of New York. Article 9, the first in his ambitious Blockade Trilogy, is Jonathan's first full-length novel.

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