Wowio is must-have resource for any one that uses iPhone or iPod touch for reading. The library of free eBooks at Wowio is deep and every book in the database is available for downloading to your mobile device. Wowio’s free eBooks are all in PDF format and organized into popular categories. You can also search for specific books by title, author, ISBN, or keyword. Unlike reading books on Amazon’s Kindle, the PDF format preserves the visual richness of print books so you can really appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into a book’s typography, layout, and images. Wowio takes advantage of this by serving up one very impressive menu of free comic books and graphic novels that can be enjoyed on the iPhone or iPod touch’s high resolution displays. This is one of the major shortcomings of the Kindle. Getting free eBooks at Wowio only requires that you register, and registering at Wowio is a just a bit different from most sites but there’s a good reason for it. We’ll tell you why after the jump.
Finding great reading material at Wowio is easy. In addition to the search feature, you can choose to browse the database by category. Some categories can be filtered by other criteria such as subject, title, genre, age, and publisher. You can also view the most downloaded eBooks, or staff picks, and even latest releases. Wowio limits the number of eBooks you can download to 3 per day and no more than 30 per week. As you peruse the Wowio web site you tap to add the books you want to your queue. When your ready to download, you tap the “Get eBooks” button and you will download the next 3 books in your queue. You can also gift an eBook to someone else for a small fee, and recipients of gift eBooks recieve an email link to download the PDF without having to register. Gift eBooks can be personalized with custom messages and digital covers for different occasions.
Wowio subsidizes its ability to distribute free eBooks by using commercial sponsorships to compensate authors and publishers. Sponsors get a new way to reach people more directly and publishers get more distribution, readership, and new ways of monetizing their intellectual property. This is why, in the first step of Wowio’s registration process, you must provide one of three types of information: a non-anonymous email address (hotmail, yahoo, and other web-based email addresses won’t work), or a credit card number (for identification only, they will not charge you), or a scan of a personal ID card such as a license, student ID or other government issued identification. After submitting one of those three IDs, you wait until someone at Wowio approves your access to it’s database of free eBooks.
After you get approved you must return to the Wowio site to complete your registration by checking off some preferences about your interests and providing some demographic information. Wowio’s sponsors will use this information to send you special offers. Sounds a little spammy, huh? It is. But it is a small price to pay for access to their database of free high quality eBooks. You can also change your Wowio profile information at any time to get better offers sent to you. If the spam messaging gets to be too much in your inbox, you can always opt-out from the sender or simply filter these messages with your email client.