Teen Book Drop and the E-volution of Free Books

If you’re looking for free books, today is your lucky day. I’ve got plenty to choose from! And that’s much nicer than worrying about those nasty taxes, isn’t it?

It’s no secret that e-books have been growing at a steady rate. As book chains fail and publishers tighten their belts, readers keep flocking to digital editions, often lured by lower priced stories and “free for a limited time” offers from bestselling authors like these:
Wings by Aprilynne Pike (free through April 18)
13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson (free through April 25)

But I had no idea just how fast sales have been growing. Most articles I read said that e-book sales were still only 5% or less of total sales for publishers. That’s changed. Dramatically. Yesterday in Publisher’s Weekly they announced that e-book sales for the first two months of this year are equal to trade paperback sales for the same period. That’s right. EQUAL to trade paperback sales for 19 reporting publishers. Just for the month of February, e-book sales jumped 200%. That’s huge!

But if we go completely digital, what will happen to events like Teen Lit Day?

Yesterday readergirlz promoted Rock the Drop! and we did our part by leaving three YA novels in popular hangouts on State Street in Santa Barbara. We left Paranormalcy by Kiersten White at Starbucks on the corner of Cota, As You Wish by Jackson Pearce at Yogurtland and Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green at Natural Cafe. My daughter couldn’t stop watching the people walking by the books we left, hoping someone would pick them up and take them home. She got so excited every time someone would look at them. Unfortunately, no one took them while we were watching. But it got her thinking.

“Why do we only do this once a year?” she asked.

I didn’t have a good answer. As soon as we got home, she started pulling out more books that we could leave for people to find. I have a feeling we’ll be dropping plenty more books in the weeks to come! And this time we’ll leave notes on the covers so that people know right away that the books are meant to be taken.

If you’re not in the Santa Barbara area and you don’t have an e-reader, never fear! I’m still going to Rock the Drop right here on my blog. I love to see people smile when they get a free book, even if it’s just a virtual grin πŸ™‚

So what’s up for grabs? Melina Marchetta’s Printz winning novel Jellicoe Road, Cameron Stracher’s dystopian debut The Water Wars and David MacInnis Gill’s riotous deal with the devil, Soul Enchilada. And how can you win one of these prizes? Leave a comment letting me know which book you’d like me to send your way. If you don’t pick one, you won’t be entered in the drawing. (And that’s okay! I still like to hear from you!) Random winners will be announced on Monday, April 25.

My kids are on spring break next week so I’ll be on a blogging break. Have a fabulous week and I’ll be back with a Marvelous Middle Grade Monday and three lucky winners on April 25.