Should we buy every Free Kindle eBook…Just Because?

Posted on May 3, 2009

freebooksEveryone likes to get something for free and there is no shortage of Free Kindle eBooks available at any given moment. Many of these “Free” books are billed as a special promotion, which gives away the book for a limited time. These types of promotions help authors and publishers quickly build up book awareness and higher rankings on the Amazon website.

So should you get a Kindle book just because it is free?

There is no definitive answer as it is really just a matter of opinion. So I wrote out some pros and cons to help you form yours.

PROS:

  • Free Now or Pay Later - Why spend your hard earned money on a book when you can get it now for free now and start reading it in 60 seconds? If you are one to procrastinate, then you may have to pay later.
  • Expand your Horizons - This is a great way to open your mind to new authors and topics that would normally not interest you or buy.
  • Building your Virtual Library - The Kindle 2 can hold approximately 1,500 books. I am sure you can throw in a few hundred "Free" books with room to spare!
  • Free doesn't mean Crap - Some of today's best and well known authors have given away books for free. Don't fall into the trap thinking that a free eBook is not worth the bytes it's stored on.

CONS:

  • Too Much Clutter - Just because your Kindle 2 can hold over a thousand books does not mean you should. Browsing through 50 or more pages of book listings is no fun.
  • No Conviction - There is some truth to the saying "If you pay for it, you will appreciate it more". In this context I mean if you put out real money for a Kindle book you are more likely to read it.
  • Distorting the Facts - Amazon ranks books by the number of sales including the "Free" ones. I feel that the sale of free books distorts the ratings when compared to actual paid books. This tactic can increase a free book's sales rating and could possibly push it to Amazon's bestseller lists.
  • Storage Capacity - Your Kindle 2 is limited to 2 GB of storage space. Too many free books means less space for your MP3 music and pictures.

I do recommend taking advantage of a Free Kindle eBook from time to time if you have a real interest in reading it. Just Remember, "Too much of a good thing" is not always good.

Have an opinion? Let us know with a comment.

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2 Responses to “Should we buy every Free Kindle eBook…Just Because?”

  1. Bo Blake
    May 05, 2009
    Reply

    This post brings up an interesting point. I have always thought that adding a book and then deleting it would neither make the book inaccessible nor use space on your Kindle.

    If I’m correct, Amazon will archive your book and it will not use up any space on your Kindle. If you later want to, you can review a list of your archived books and download any one you want to read. Only that book will be downloaded. The rest will still be on Amazon’s servers, but will not use space on your Kindle.

    Is this correct?

    P.S., I don’t want to use this as a “pro” in favor of downloading “free” books in which you have no interest. Just interested in finding if my understanding is correct.

    Bo


  2. admin
    May 05, 2009
    Reply

    Hi Bo,

    Interesting question. I just deleted a book and the disk space available did not increase. My guess is that it still retains the full copy in the archive folder. The file will be flushed out when space is needed and as you mentioned, Amazon still keeps a copy on their servers for you to download at any time in the future.

    Dave



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