No, there’s nothing illegal in what I’m about to tell you. The ideas I’m about to give you are all freely available and better still, free.
Every time I run a free promo of one of my titles, I get at least one email demanding to know why I’m not offering the book for free anywhere else, like Barnes & Noble, for example, or Kobo, because that’s the ereader they use, and now they’re missing out.
Which is just silly, because anyone can read any of my books anywhere, any how, even the Amazon-only ones.
Why I have Amazon-Only Books
There are some very good reasons why I have some of my titles only available at Amazon.
- As long as the ebook edition is exclusive to Amazon, I can offer it for free for five days out of every ninety days. The print edition I can sell anywhere, but Amazon ruthlessly monitor titles in their Select program to ensure no one else is selling them.As I like the free promos, and you like the free promos, the books I have in the Select program will stay there for now.
- The Select program is a great way for me to find new readers.As I would like to continue to write books for the foreseeable future, finding new readers is critical. It’s what will let me continue to write new titles for you to read.
- The Select program also provides “borrows” to Select members.This is another great way for readers new to my work to try me for nothing. Select members get to borrow books and return them (they’re removed from their Kindle), and I actually get paid a little bit by Amazon for each borrow (not as much as I would for a full sale, but I consider that a loss worth taking).
The one disadvantage with the Select program is that I can’t offer the ebook edition anywhere else (or I would quickly dump every single title I have into the program!).
However, if you don’t happen to have a Kindle eReader, or you own a Nook or a Kobo, or any one of dozens and dozens of ereading possibilities available these days, you don’t have to miss out on the Amazon-only books!
Amazon offer hundreds of thousand more titles than any other publisher/retailer out there. You don’t have to by-pass those titles.
How to Buy and Read Amazon Only Titles
Once you’ve set this up, the system will manage itself.
- If you don’t already have one, set up an Amazon account, so that you can buy and download their titles.Going to Amazon.com (or .ca, or your country’s version of Amazon.xxx) will automatically generate a screen welcoming you and giving you the opportunity to set up an account.
- While you’re on Amazon, download and install the free Kindle Reading App. http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html/ref=sv_kinh_3?ie=UTF8&docId=1000493771Where should you install it? Everywhere!!
I have the Kindle software installed on my desktop, laptop, cellphone (where I do most of my reading), and my tablet. I don’t own a dedicated reader.
You can install yours everywhere you think you might want to read Kindle formatted books.
- Once you have the software installed everywhere you want, you can also head over to http://read.amazon.com, and log into your Amazon account. This is the Cloud Reader – for times when you have internet access and a browser, and choose to read that way.You can now read Amazon books anywhere. Go and buy a book – or grab a freebie for the sake of experimenting (there’s lots of free stuff on Amazon!).
As long as the Kindle software on each device has been logged into your Amazon account, the new book will pop up on every device. Better still: as you read on one device, the others will keep up with where you are in the book. Bliss!
- If you already have a dedicated eReader, like a Nook or Kobo, then just install the Kindle software on your desktop or laptop – wherever you do most of your ebook management stuff, including loading your current eReader. In this case, the Kindle program is there simply to provide a landing spot for books that you buy from Amazon.
- Use Windows Explorer to find the directory where the Kindle app stores all the books you download (another reason to grab an experimental freebie).
- Install the Calibre eBook Management program (http://calibre-ebook.com/).This is a free program that does exactly what it says: Manage your ebook collection. It does it stupendously, too. You can manage all your ereaders and reading applications, and every ebook you own with this program. It takes all the sweat out of coordinating readers and programs.
- Set up Calibre’s preferences, so that it:
- Connects directly with your reading device whenever the device is plugged into your computer
- Automatically scans the folder where the Kindle books are stored on your hard drive, and
- imports them, then
- finally, it converts the Kindle format (it could be one of several that Kindle uses), to the format for your reader (probably ePub).
You will have to read through the manual and consult with the on-line help to get this done, because you are not familiar with the program. Don’t let this faze you – these are very basic set-up preferences.
Once you’ve done all the steps in (7), Calibre will now automatically import any Kindle book it finds in the Kindle directory, and convert it to your preferred format. You will then be free to add the book to your ereader…or not.
You can use Calibre to hold all your favourites and to-be-read titles, and just add a handful at a time to your ereader, so that you always have something new to read and don’t have to comb through 500 older books to find the new ones.
Yeah, there’s a couple of warnings, provisos, etc.
1) You can read any Amazon book anywhere you have the Kindle software installed. However;
2) Calibre will not be able to convert Amazon titles that have DRM protection in place.
My books do not have DRM protection – I prefer to let readers decide where and how they want to read them. All of the big New York publishers use DRM, however. They also don’t usually participate in the Select program, either, which means those titles will be available at stores that match your reader.
3) On the positive side: Now that you’re set up as a customer on Amazon, you can use its superior search and listing facilities to find exactly the title you want, then either 1) download and convert it or 2) buy it at your preferred retailer.
Now you never have to miss out on a book again!