questionsdo you feel guilty if you only "buy" free ebooks?

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I have a few "friends" who are up and coming authors. Yes, they get nothing from giving their books for free on Amazon except the spreading of their work. They hope that by word of mouth, this free publicity will enable further sales. The authors will all appreciate it if you pay for another of their books.

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I went through the same questions myself, and have made it a point of buying some books, even a few I could get free, just to make sure that the authors are compensated. I have spoken to a few others ebook users, and they all do that too, so this is a fairly common dilemma. I wish there was a mechanism for users to compensate any sort of artists, similar to the way we can "donate" for free downloaded software.

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Wow! You found an entire 9-book SF series for free? I want!

Most of the free eBooks I've downloaded are the classics from Project Gutenberg, so I feel no guilt about those as the authors are long gone. The other freebies I've downloaded have either led me to purchase more from that author, or to know that I DON'T want to purchase more from that author. I do occasionally feel a twinge, but I smother it as quickly as I can.

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Quite the opposite...I feel more guilty when I pay for ebooks when there are so many in the Kindle free library that I haven't read. But they are all classics, so I don't worry about compensation.

Generally if I can get a new or used paperback for the price as the ebook, I'll get the physical book instead.

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Don't feel too bad. Authors are always getting the short end of the stick. Just ask Winston Groom what he got for the movie adaptation of his book Forrest Gump.

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I have no problems buying or downloading Free books.

If you have never heard of it, I recommend checking out Baen's Free Library.

http://www.baen.com/library/intro.asp
http://www.baen.com/library/

Baen publishes many high profile sci-fi and Fantasy authors, and books are available in many formats, including a kindle Friendly format.

Baen makes the first couple of books in a series free, and then offers purchase options for the remaining books.

The downloads appear DRM free, and the website requires no account registration to download files.

YMMV, but I was surprised to see books by Mercedes Lackey, David Drake and John Ringo available for free. There are really some very good series available, and 1000 times better than many of the free books available in Amazon's kindle store.

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@olperfesser: Thanks for the info - I prefer to be an informed, educated, and fair consumer! Now I know.

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@pickypickypicky: I like the donate idea, but as tight as Amazon seems to have these authors tied up, I have to imagine it'd really violate their TOS somehow. Too bad.

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@belyndag: "In Her Name" series by Michael R. Hicks. I can't recommend it yet because I wasn't going to start reading until I had the series (my typo, btw - only 7 books) but his reviews are overwhelmingly positive.

Of course, not all of his books are free at the same time....

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@meh3884: I was a late adopter of the eReader concept because I've always liked to hold a real book in my hands, but I've become addicted to the instant gratification of "download now and begin reading in 60 seconds" (lol).

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@eepeep: Thanks for the link - I remember hearing about the Baen Library some while ago, but I didn't have a Kindle yet and promptly forgot. It's bookmarked now.

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I don't feel bad.. after spending $100+ on an e-reader that has no books on it, you are already "in the hole".. So free books are the way to go.

That and a lot of the Amazon books (that are "paid" but go free for a day), have a LOT of misspelled words/errors that the hardcover books do not have.

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I'm not a reader, so I can't add much in light of the discussion except for this: (you may already know this)

You should never pay for an eBook written before 1923. That is the magical year the copyright law went into effect, so any type of work before then is free game. If xxxxx wants to charge you for it, get it from xxxxx.

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@dleffert: I read Empire. VERY good book, and I look forward to the rest!

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Absolutely guilt-free here. I've been in many online conversations w/somewhere between 7-10 indie (independent, not associated w/a large publishing house) authors on Amazon & other sites. Free books are usually their choice and an excellent marketing strategy. The free books become popular & hit the best-sellers indie list on Amazon. This often results in a lot of revenue on their other books & even the free one when it goes back to regular pricing.

It's a definite win situation for them. They've repeatedly said so. Good deal for us & the authors! :-D The nicest thing you can do is write a review for these authors...please do that if you feel like it.

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@dleffert: I suppose there's also, you could buy something else from them, like a hardback, as gifts, to show your appreciation to the author, and to help spread the excellent books you read. Then the author gets income rather than being exploited by Amazon, and you get free books, and some lovely gifts to give for birthdays, Christmases, Bar Mitzvahs, etc.

Alternatively, having bought, if you think it's that good, and especially if they're not a famously rich author, and you're at or above average income, a donation to the tune of the value of what you reckon they['d recieve in royalites, to the author's website would always be a fine thing to do!
then they can write more free books for you, and then you can...

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As a new author, after having offered my book for free on a couple promotions, I realized there is really no better way of getting my work out there. I enjoy the idea that so many readers have my work that may have not found it had I not offered it as free. For me personally, if my book was downloaded during a free promotion, the best way to help me as the author is to provide a nice comment on the product page about the book since that will hopefully drive further sales – obviously this is assuming the book was enjoyed. :)