The brain child of Kindle author Edward Patterson, who wanted to find a way to support military deployed overseas, Operation EBook Drop began small.
In a post on the Kindle Boards – an online community for Kindle authors and readers – Patterson writes, “Today on Amazon I bumped into a soldier currently serving in Iraq who was explaining that he had a Kindle without Whispernet, but used a router to get books onto a computer and then used the USB connection to his Kindle. I suddenly had a thought (being a citizen who benefits from his service and a veteran) that I should make contact with him and gift him my entire Kindle library of 13 books. He accepted gratefully and off they went this morning in a nice 3 MB zip file. I also asked him if he knew any other service personnel in Iraq with Kindles, suggesting that other Indie authors might want to gift books to our brave men and women in the Armed forces.”
It took off from there. Indie author/publisher collective Backword Books (http://www.backwordbooks.com) jumped immediately on board and continues to offer 100% discount coupons to deployed military, more of whom submit their names daily to the growing list of troops receiving free ebooks.
Today, almost 50 independent and/or Kindle authors are donating free books to deployed military.
And Smashwords (http://www.smashwords.com), an eBook publisher and distributor that recently signed an agreement with Barnes & Noble to distribute Smashwords ebooks, has joined in.
“I got on the phone with Bill Kendrick, Smashwords’ CTO (and chief magician), and together we brainstormed how we could help take Ed’s campaign to the next level,” founder Mark Coker writes in a Smashwords blog post. “Then late last night, Ed and I spoke on the phone for more brainstorming. What began as ‘Operation Kindle Ebook Drop’ has now morphed into something much bigger – ‘Operation Ebook Drop’ – in recognition of the multiple ebook-reading devices – cell phones, Kindles, Sony Readers, laptops, etc. – people use to read ebooks.”
Troops and authors interested in participating in Operation EBook Drop are encouraged to visit Coker’s blog for instructions: http://blog.smashwords.com/2009/09/smashwords-supports-operation-ebook.html