Like David Weber? Like free ebooks?
For many it has been common knowledge for a while now that many of David Weber's early novels are available in electronic format for free. You could buy omnibus editions that included e-copies you could download, give to friends, post on the internet, etc.
I have an old school Kindle, so I can get mine from Amazon. For other e-readers, check out David Weber's website or his page on Wikipedia for details.
I stumbled across this great deal while doing some general research, mostly trying to find well established authors I had just never got around to reading. Weber was on that list after years of seeing his novels at the local bookstores, but never quite pulling the trigger on them because I was either searching for something specific and not looking to start up a new series, or because maybe I just wasn't in the mood for science fiction at the time. Either way, I always meant to buy and read his stuff, just never did. So when I hit Amazon and found a number of his books for free, I couldn't help myself, and downloaded the first book of the Honorbound series.
Giving away the first book, or the first few books of a series has become an effective means to win over future loyal customers. Publishers at first balked at this radical idea, and tested the market with only a couple of authors and with only the first book of a series. Publishers decided to take this chance after they saw the sales increase of later books in a series when they offered the first book for half-price. The concept was simple, and it worked - get readers hooked, and they will gladly pay for the rest of the books.
Just goes to show, businesses (including book publishers) sometimes have to be spoon-fed common sense.
Until Next Time...