If you are looking for large collections of public domain eBooks on Amazon.com, look no further than Delphi Classics. There are a number of shoddily-assembled public domain classics collections out there, and the customer reviews on their Amazon pages usually reveal the problems that are typical to out-of-copyright eBooks: lots of spelling and punctuation errors from the OCR software (lack of proper editing), no table of contents, recycled Project Gutenberg editions, ect. If you are going to pay $0.99 – $3.00 for an eBook, shouldn’t the quality of that file be worth the cost?
I have found only one or two eBook publishers who stand apart from the rest in delivering solid eBook collections, and my absolute favorite is Delphi Classics. Here is how they introduce themselves on their webpage:
[Delphi Classics is] a publishing team that blends our love of literature with consummate eBook editing skills, bringing to our Kindle and ePub customers the very best writers and their complete works, in the most affordable and attractive formats.
All of our eBooks have chronological contents tables, with works divided into literary genres, so you can quickly and easily find your desired text. We have organized our titles in this way to allow our readers to trace the exact development of a writer’s work. Our eBooks are also beautifully illustrated with images of the writers, their lives and their work. For example, images of birthplaces, photos from various periods of their lives and pictures of their final resting places are blended with the original illustrations that accompanied their novels. And what’s more, we present many of our collections with special BONUS texts, giving our customers the richest eReading experience possible.
Most of their collections contain the ‘complete’ works of an author, when possible. Copyright restrictions and eText availability limit some, but with Delphi you can rest assured that if it’s out there, they will include it. Delphi strives for totally complete bibliographies, plus they offer tons of related material.
I have purchased three Delphi Classics Kindle editions so far (if you order them directly from Amazon, you may save a buck or two), and am very impressed with both the quality of their editing and their presentation and formatting. A Delphi Classics eBooks collection comes in one large .azw file. A table of contents links you to each individual eBook or essay within the collection, and each eBook also has its own TOC. As a result, moving around in this file is extremely easy. Another feature is their inclusion of copious images and illustrations throughout the texts. These photographs and drawings look beautiful on my recently updated Kindle 3 E Ink screen and even better on my Paperwhite. They add a layer of visual intrigue to the titles. Most importantly, the actual text formatting is also professionally done; no mashed paragraphs or awkward line spacing, and I have never found an OCR/spelling mistake. This is what public domain eBooks should really be like.
Along with all of the author’s original eBooks you would expect to receive, Delphi also adds posthumous works, essay collections, and whole volumes of scholarly criticism written by other notable authors. The amount of information you get in these editions overall is incredible, even down to photographs of the authors’ childhood homes.
In the era of freeware public domain eTexts, Delphi Classics sets a better standard. Their prices are reasonable, and they effort they put into delivering a 21st century eReading experience is impressive. Their interactive visuals and tasteful appendices make Delphi Classics a great deal.