Favorites: Fictionwise


FictionwiseI love ebooks. I love the fact that, on my Treo, I can carry a several books with me as well as a multitude of short stories. If you enjoy reading, I cannot recommend highly enough that you check out ebooks. Also, if you have a PDA (or at least if you have a Palm PDA) you can easily use that device as your ebook reader. If you already have a PDA, you have no need to purchase a separate e-reading device.

Of course, having a reader is only the first step. You now have to find the books. Free books (those no longer protected under copyright law) are available at Project Gutenberg. Manybooks.net also is a great place to find free books. Additionally, my public library allows me to “borrow” ebooks, just as I would borrow a dead tree version of a book. Plus I can do this from the comfort of my own home, or anywhere else I happen to be with internet access.

My favorite source for books, however, is Fictionwise. I have been using Fictionwise since early 2003. They have a huge selection of books in a wide variety of genres. Fictionwise also allows you to subscribe to magazines such as Analog, Asimov’s, and Interzone.

Fictionwise also has a reward program that gives you a percentage of the purchase price of a book (sometimes up to 100%) to be deposited into your micropay account. The micropay account allows you to accumulate money in order to purchase items that cost less than $5. Fictionwise has plenty of these, in that its short stories often sell for about a $1. In fact, as of the writing of this post, Fictionwise has 2633 items for less than $1.

Although I love Fictionwise, that does not mean that I think it is perfect. The key thing I would like to see is a version of the website that allows me to easily search and browse the website and purchase books from my Palm. Right now, the website if virtually impossible to view and purchase from on my Palm. If they would correct this, I would really love Fictionwise.

My other complaints about Fictionwise/ebooks are directed more toward the publishers than to Fictionwise. For example, the publishers will make some volumes of a trilogy available but not all. Often this involves offering volumes 2 and 3 of the trilogy but not volume. Why would people want to read the first book in the series? The last two should take care of everything.

More comments on ebooks can be found at Rob Sawyer’s Blog in posts where he talks about Fictionwise buying eReader, Manybooks.net, and purchasing books over the air.