21 July 2011

The Summer Sun: Deals on Rendell, Murdoch, Block, Kafka... and Hulbert

If I'm going to go on about ebook prices the way I have, then I should do more to put you in touch with good buying opportunities than just insert a discreet ad here and there in the right-hand column (and an infrequent post about free German-language ebooks in this one).

The fact is that summer in the Northern Hemisphere is a good time for deals on ebooks at almost all online bookstores. And Amazon's 'sunshine deals' (which in the case of coordinated offerings often outlast their competitors') are a real opportunity to get an ebook at half or two-thirds off the usual price. Publishers often pick a single title, or a few titles, by an author to reduce for a week or two, in the hope of interesting readers in the rest of the author's backlist and, in some cases, in anticipation of an upcoming new release.

Hundreds of these sunshine deals are set to expire on 27 July. You can browse them all at Amazon by clicking here. (Even if you prefer a different online store, looking first at Amazon may give you ideas of what should be comparably reduced at the store of your choice.) Today I downloaded books by Ruth Rendell, Iris Murdoch, Lawrence Block and others at an average price of a couple of dollars. (Most of these were publications of Open Road Media, but many publishers' ebooks are available on sunshine deals.)

Of course, the best deal is a free book. John Self, in a Guardian article earlier this week (which I recommend: 'Famous for the Wrong Book'), reminded me in passing of the importance of a slim volume containing Kafka's 109 Zürau Aphorisms. I won't give you a link to the English translation (available in an ebook, but priced outside the range I like to support here), but if you read at least some German you'll want to know that Amazon has made the original German text of Kafka's Aphorismen (the Zürau 109 lead off the collection) available as a free ebook.

And, finally, let me mention that my novel A Kiss Before You Leave Me is still a sunshine deal at every ebookstore  in the world that carries it--except the Sony Reader store in the U.S. Both the extension of the deal and the exemption of Sony from it would take too long to explain here; suffice it to say, the sun should be setting on the Kiss deal at the same time as on the deals on Rendell, Murdoch and Block. It's not always that I'm in such good company. But for one more week we're all workin' it together.

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