In an age of disappearing prison libraries, jail profiteers provide "free" crapgadget tablets that charge prisoners by the minute to read Project Gutenberg ebooks

The past couple years has seen a rise in prison profiteers who strike deals with state corrections departments to provide "free" tablets to prisoners (these being the flimsiest, cheapest, least reliable hardware imaginable), and then profiting by charging exorbitant sums for prisoners to send emails (selling "digital postage stamps" that have to be affixed to each "page" of email), videoconference with family members, and provide media, charging prisoners for music that they lose every time a prison changes suppliers. Read the rest

The Internet Archive's Open Library will let you sponsor a book, paying for it to be scanned

The Internet Archive's Open Library scans books that they have physical copies of, then lends the resulting ebooks to its patrons, building on the precedent set in 2014's Hathi Trust ruling. Read the rest

A free, accessible, hyperlinked version of the Mueller Report

The Internet Archive, the Digital Public Library of America and Muckrock have released a version of the Mueller Report as an Epub with 747 live footnotes, fully compliant with both Web and EPUB accessibility requirements. Read the rest

World Science Fiction Storybundle: $15 for 10 DRM-free books from around the world, benefiting English PEN

Lavie Tidhar (previously) writes in about the new World SF bundle from Storybundle, launched today: it's 10 books, from authors Nalo Hopkinson, Lauren Beukes, Saad Z. Hossain, Deji Bryce Olukotun,Jeannette Ng, Francesco Verso and TOBI Hirotaka, plus anthologies Afro SF 3 and The Apex Book of World SF 5. It's just $15 for 10 books, and a part of anything received goes to charity - we've partnered up with English PEN, who work tirelessly to promote translated fiction and authors' rights around the world, as our chosen charity partner. It's a great opportunity to get a whole lot of international speculative fiction in one go and a low price." Read the rest

Microsoft is about to shut off its ebook DRM servers: "The books will stop working"

"The books will stop working": That's the substance of the reminder that Microsoft sent to customers for their ebook store, reminding them that, as announced in April, the company is getting out of the ebook business because it wasn't profitable enough for them, and when they do, they're going to shut off their DRM servers, which will make the books stop working. Read the rest

The Digital Public Library of America has re-released the Mueller Report as a well-formatted ebook instead of a crappy PDF

Back in April, Andrew Albanese from Publishers Weekly wrote a column deploring the abysmal formatting in the DoJ's release of the Mueller Report, and publicly requesting that the Digital Public Library of America produce well-formatted ebook editions, which they have now done! Read the rest

Microsoft announces it will shut down ebook program and confiscate its customers' libraries

Microsoft has a DRM-locked ebook store that isn't making enough money, so they're shutting it down and taking away every book that every one of its customers acquired effective July 1. Read the rest

Libby is my very most favorite app because free books

With the help of my public library, books magically appear on my eReader.

Libby is the app my local library uses to make it's ebook and audiobooks collections easily available to the public. Discovering it has improved my life.

I have long since accepted that paper books are a quaint and funny affectation, like organized religious or dial-up modems, that will someday go away. I have a HUGE collection of physical books but try to limit purchases to books that truly benefit from being in physical form: magic and cooking.

Everything else takes up space.

The bulk of what I read is science fiction and other storytelling. I need a constant stream of stories, or I won't be able to sleep. The Libby app is the first place I check to see if I new book I've heard of is available.

Libby indexes whatever my library, or libraries if you have cards at more than one participating organization, has to offer via the internets. Audiobooks, which are not really my bag, and ebooks are pretty easily searchable by the various criteria you'd expect. If what you desire is immediately available you can read or listen via the Libby app, or send the media to other players. I have Libby connected to my Kindle, and a simple click or two sends books directly to it.

The hold system is a huge surprise benefit, imho!

My library loans books for 21 days and if someone is waiting for the book I feel like a real heel holding on to it. Read the rest

Good sale on Kindle editions of popular books

For anyone who hasn't read Ready Player One or Dark Matter, you can get them as Kindle edition books today at greatly reduced prices, along with many other titles. Read the rest

The Get the Vote Out Humble Bundle: dozens of DRM-free ebooks to benefit ACLU

The latest Humble Bundle features up to 26 DRM-free ebooks (including In Real Life, the graphic novel Jen Wang and I created) at prices ranging from $1 (for 8 titles) to $18 (for all 26), with all proceeds to the ACLU to benefit voting rights litigation and action. Read the rest

Free ebook! Charlie Jane Anders' award winning debut novel "All the Birds in the Sky"

Charlie Jane Anders' Nebula-award-winning 2016 debut novel All the Birds in the Sky is the next Tor.com Ebook Club selection: that means you can get a free ebook, and then participate in a group discussion with Tor.com's most excellent and perspicacious readers. Read the rest

A new, free edition Sarah Jeong's "The Internet of Garbage"

Journalist Sarah Jeong (previously) was just appointed to the New York Times's editorial board, prompting garbage people to dig through her twitter for old posts that could be made to seem offensive out of context in the hopes of getting her fired. Read the rest

Walmart's selling eBooks now I guess

Living in what’s essentially a tiny house on wheels, I love eBooks and eBook readers. They allow me to maintain a complete and growing library without the space and weight gains that owning shelves full of dead tree editions come with. I own over 2,000 eBooks. I review eBook readers and provide tips on using them for one of the other outlets that I write for.

None of this prepared me for the news that Rakuten Kobo has paired with Walmart to sell eBooks and at least one of its lower-end ebook readers at Walmart.

According to The Digital Reader, Walmart will be selling Kobo’s base model Aura reader and possibly some of the company’s other excellent E-Ink reading devices as well, in store and online. This, to me, makes a lot of sense.

Given the issues that Walmart is having with Amazon drinking their fiscal milkshake these past few years, making a bit of space for eBook appliances seems like an easy way to attempt to take a bite out of a market that Amazon pretty much owns in North America—dedicated electronic reading devices. It makes sense for Kobo too: despite their making some really great hardware, they’ve been having a hell of a time making in-roads against Amazon’s Kindle eBook readers and the massive scope of content that Amazon provides. Having their gear in a national chain might help to move Kobo’s pieces a little further across the board.

What I am surprised by, however, is that, in addition to Kobo’s eBook readers being available in-store, Walmart will also be selling gift certificates for particular book titles. Read the rest

Pay what you like for DRM-free, award-winning Canadian sf

The Aurora Award Bundle 4 includes ten books that were finalists for, or won, Canada's Aurora Award for excellence in science fiction and fantasy, including the outstanding Napier's Bones and Sean Stewart's monumental Resurrection Man. (Thanks, Derryl!) Read the rest

Humble Bundle Nebula Showcase: great, DRM-free science fiction, benifitting the Science Fiction Writers of America

The latest Humble Bundle features dozens of Nebula-winning and Nebula-nominated novels and short stories from past and present, everyone from Octavia Butler and Ursula K Leguin to Samuel Delany and John Brunner, to say nothing of Kate Wilhelm, Joanna Russ, and four titles from Serial Box. Read the rest

Humble Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Bundle: more than 20 DRM-free ebooks, Vandermeer, Bruce Sterling, Peter Beagle, Joe Lansdale, Alistair Reynolds, Nancy Kress and more!

The latest Humble Bundle features the books of the most excellent Tachyon Press, with a who's who of my favorite SF writers and collections, from Ellen Klages and Jeff Vandermeer, to Bruce Sterling and Peter Watts, to Patricia McKillip and Brandon Sanderson, and even me! Read the rest

Hurricane Relief Bookstore: DRM-free science fiction ebooks to benefit Houston, the Caribbean, and Florida

Pablo Defendini writes, "Fireside Fiction Company has set up the Hurricane Relief Bookstore as a mechanism for all of us to funnel money over to people who need it. 100% of the profits from sales of ebooks on the store will go to three organizations: one for the Caribbean, one for Houston, and one for Florida. The store features DRM-free ebooks from Fireside Magazine, as well as Uncanny Magazine, Lightspeed Magazine, Mothership Zeta, Angry Robot Books, Apex Books, and many more individual authors who have contributed independently. Read the rest

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