Finding Books from Other Sources
In addition to purchasing books from Amazon, you also can get books from many other sources. Most of the books you can get from other sources are free and work perfectly on the Kindle. However, the formatting in some of these books might not be quite as polished as what you get from the Kindle Store.
The following sites provide books that you can use on your Kindle. Although there are illegal sources of free content for your Kindle, all the sites detailed here are 100% legal.
Project Gutenberg (www.gutenberg.org/catalog/) has a catalog of free books available that you can read on your Kindle. Books in the Project Gutenberg catalog are in the public domain, meaning they are free of charge.
To use Project Gutenberg books on your Kindle, you need to download the book to a computer and then transfer it to your Kindle via a USB cable or by emailing it to your Kindle account. You can use the Kindle's web browser to access the Project Gutenberg site, but it's incredibly painful to try to browse and download books on the Kindle.
For more information on transferring files to your Kindle via USB, see "Transferring Files To and From Your Kindle," in Chapter 4.
Project Gutenberg offers e-books in text format and some in HTML format. Either of these formats works on the Kindle. You can use the convenient Magic Catalog of Project Gutenberg to easily access Project Gutenberg titles, and because the Magic Catalog is in MOBI format, it opens in Kindle for PC or Kindle for Mac for easy reading on your computer. You can access the Project Gutenberg Magic Catalog at www.freekindlebooks.org/MagicCatalog/MagicCatalog.mobi.
manybooks.net (www.manybooks.net) is a website that provides a large catalog of free books. Many of the books available on manybooks.net are from Project Gutenberg, but the site also offers other texts distributed by the authors or publishers as free books in the public domain.
The manybooks.net site has a couple of major advantages for Kindle users. First, it offers the iPhone View (www.manybooks.net/m/), and this view is perfect for the Kindle. Second, it provides books in the Kindle's native file format. These two benefits together mean you can browse and search the manybooks.net website from your Kindle and download books directly to your Kindle. Simply browse to www.manybooks.net/m/ and select the Kindle format when you are downloading a book.
MobileRead (www.mobileread.com) has a wide assortment of e-books in MobiPocket format as PRC files. You can download these files directly to your Kindle either by browsing the MobileRead website on your Kindle or by downloading the files and transferring them to your Kindle later.
MobileRead also makes a guide available that lists all Kindle-compatible books available from its site. You can download this guide at www.mobileread.com/mobiguide. Just as with the Project Gutenberg Magic Catalog, the MobileRead guide is a MOBI file and can open in Kindle for PC or Kindle for Mac for easy reading and downloading of books.
Planet eBook (www.planetebook.com) provides access to a small selection of classic literature in unprotected PDF format.
Baen Free Library
If you're a science fiction fan, you'll love the Baen Free Library located at www.baen.com/library/. This site has a large selection of free science fiction books in Kindle format. The website doesn't work well when you're browsing directly on the Kindle, so you probably want to download the files and then transfer them to your Kindle.
Feedbooks (www.feedbooks.com) offers a wide variety of free books, many of which are classics no longer under copyright.
The easiest way to download books from Feedbooks is to download the Feedbooks Kindle Guide from www.feedbooks.com/kindleguide. Download this file directly to your Kindle, and you can then browse the Feedbooks library from the web browser on the Kindle and download books directly to the Kindle.
Feedbooks offers another unique feature for Kindle users. Feedbooks can turn any RSS feed into a .mobi file that you can read on your Kindle. Most of these files automatically include a link at the beginning of the file that updates the file with the latest content from the RSS feed.
If you need assistance with using your Kindle with Feedbooks, visit www.feedbooks.com/help/kindle for walkthroughs.
Fictionwise (www.fictionwise.com) offers a large assortment of books. Contrary to the name, Fictionwise offers both fiction and nonfiction. Some of the books from Fictionwise are free, and it does offer books in Kindle format.
The Fictionwise site is not suitable for browsing directly on the Kindle.
FreeTechBooks (www.freetechbooks.com) is a repository of free textbooks related to computer science and programming. The selection isn't large, but the site does offer books you often can't find at other sites.
Most of the books hosted by FreeTechBooks are in PDF format and require conversion before reading on the Kindle, unless you own a Kindle DX.
You can often find other sources of e-books by searching using Google's book search (books.google.com) or by searching the Internet for e-book sites. You should make sure that books you download are in the proper format for the Kindle. If a site doesn't offer a book explicitly for the Kindle, you can use Mobipocket or Mobi format as long as the book isn't encoded with DRM.
If you would like more information on finding free books for the Kindle, including a discussion of the various file formats available on the Internet, check out Bufo Calvin's book Free Books for Your Kindle. You can get Bufo's book in the Kindle Store.