The annual Read an E-Book Week was created in 2003 to promote the advantages of reading electronically. During the 2010 installment, scheduled for March 7-13, dozens of e-book sellers and publishers will offer free downloads of select electronic titles.
"The event started in 2003 and was very low-key for a few years," Rita Y. Toews, founder of Read an E-Book Week, told Relaxnews. "E-books were a new concept and hadn't really caught on. Then, in 2009 the week really took off."
In 2009, said Toews, the event's website homepage had 30,500 hits from March 1 to 15, with web traffic coming from countries including Russia, China, India, and the United Arab Emirates. Among the most popular promotions, with 33,000 visitors, was a catalog of titles from e-reader iPhone app Stanza.
2010 participants include Kobo Books, which carries thousands of major titles (the code Read2010 will get you one free e-book); Smashwords, a platform for independent authors and publishers (hundreds of free titles will be available); and sources for comics, fitness books, and children's literature.
Other Read an E-Book Week activities aim to introduce readers to e-book technology. Information is posted on the event website, schools and librairies arrange e-reading demos, and, in one case, an author in the US sat in a coffee shop for two afternoons with a sign saying "Ask Me About E-Books."
For more information, visit ebookweek.com.
To find participants offering free titles beginning March 7, go directly to the site's e-book store: http://ebookweek.com/partners.html