You might be surprised by how many public domain and free books are available for the Kindle and other eReaders.
What are public domain books? They are books that were created and published before copyright law was established or the copyright has expired. The works of Shakespeare, Robert E Howard, HP Lovecraft, Lewis Carroll and many others fall into this category. It also means publishers can re-release and sell these works.
If you’re looking for a book that might be public domain, check out Feedbooks and Project Gutenberg before you purchase them. Even Amazon has a few public domain books available for free. For example, I was able to download a copy of the Prince by Machiavelli for free on Amazon. The same title was also being sold by four other publishers with prices ranging from 99 cents to almost five dollars. Another example are the works of HP Lovecraft. You could pay anywhere from 99 cents to over twelve dollars or visit Feedbooks and get his stories for free.
Also, a number of publishers such as Baen offer free eBooks on their web sites. Some of these books might not be available except in print format such as David Drake’s Paying the Piper. It is available in the Baen Free Library but not available in the Kindle store. Other books might be offered as an incentive to get you to buy other books written by the author. All in all, this is a good thing for readers.
Finally, Amazon has made it easier for authors to offer their books for free. Check their listing of free books. You never know when your favorite author might appear on their list.