Ebook Bike, previously known as TUEBL, is currently facing a lawsuit for making it possible for readers to illegally download thousands of books. Currently, Ebook Bike is shut down, but as history has shown, each time the site gets shut down it reappears—one way or another. While a majority of readers are very supportive of authors and are happy to see the site shut down, many others are disappointed to see it go and feel that they aren’t doing anything wrong by downloading the ebooks found there.
Why are so many readers willing to use a site like Ebook Bike for downloading free and illegal copies of ebooks when it hurts the same authors they enjoy so much? One argument is that they believe authors make so much money, they won’t miss the sales from a few books. However, if you realized how little most authors actually make, you might think twice before stealing from them. Sites like these are especially harmful to independent authors who don’t have the means to fight and whose missed royalties often mean more time spent working a second job and less time writing. No matter what your reasoning for stealing these free books, the bottom line is that it’s selfish to assume you deserve something for free that someone else has worked hard to create. Especially when there are so many legal ways to get free ebooks.
Places to Download Free Ebooks Besides Ebook Bike
Legal Ebook Promotion Sites
There are many sites, like Book Cave, that work with authors to provide readers with free ebook deals for a limited time. This is done as a way for authors to market themselves and newer works. For example, a romance author may offer a free romance novel for a limited time before releasing their latest book. They do this so that readers who haven’t heard of them yet can enjoy one of their books before deciding to purchase the new book. This is a win-win for both the authors as readers because the author gets to connect with potential new fans, and the reader gets to take the guesswork out of deciding if an author’s works are worth buying or not. If you don’t love their free book, then you’re not obligated to spend money on their other novels. This is a great way to download free ebooks in a way that supports authors rather than hurts them.
Public Domain Ebooks
There are hundreds of great books in the public domain, including classics like Pride and Prejudice and Dracula, as well as many fairy tales. These great books are free for you to own and enjoy without having to steal from an author or publisher. Check out www.gutenberg.org to see a complete collection of free public domain ebooks.
When did people stop going to libraries? Libraries are a great way to borrow novels for free. And if hard copy books aren’t your thing, then you’ll be happy to learn that many libraries now have ways to borrow ebooks as well. Look up your library to see if it participates in ebook lending, and if not, look into joining one of the many online libraries that do.
Straight from the Authors Themselves
Several authors offer free ebooks or novellas as rewards for joining their newsletters or during giveaways. In order to see if an author you’re interested in participates in these types of deals, visit their personal author website. Oftentimes, these deals will be advertised on their home page. By visiting their site and joining their newsletter, you’re supporting the author in exchange for their free works instead of simply stealing.
What You Can Do To Fight Book Piracy
While we hope Ebook Bike doesn’t come back, this isn’t the only site used for illegally downloading books, and sites like these have a tendency to crop back up, like weeds. So we encourage readers and authors alike to keep an eye out for sites like these. If you find a site illegally using an author’s works, reach out to the author or publisher so they can take action to get their books removed as soon as possible. The best way to keep these sites down for good is through a collective effort to get these sites and the illegal copies of books reported even more often than people are downloading them.