Get a 100-percent rebate on bestselling e-books

E-book prices can be a little outrageous, but Fictionwise is helping to soften the blow by giving you a full refund (in your special debit account) on all New York Times bestsellers.

Rick Broida Senior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
Rick Broida
2 min read
Buy any New York Times bestsellers in e-book format, get the full purchase price refunded to your Micropay account. Fictionwise

Like e-books, but hate paying those exorbitant prices? E-bookseller Fictionwise (which was recently acquired by Barnes & Noble) is offering a deal that's pretty sweet: a 100% rebate on all New York Times bestsellers.

Let me clarify: You get a 100% Micropay rebate. What's Micropay? One way to buy e-books from Fictionwise is to set up a Micropay account, which is basically just a debit account (not unlike Microsoft's Points system for Xbox and Zune).

Basically, you add funds to it (in $5 increments via check, credit card, or PayPal), then draw on those funds each time you buy a book.

The bestsellers deal works like this: When you buy one or more books on the list, using your credit card or PayPal, Fictionwise credits the full purchase price back to your Micropay account. So it's kind of like getting the books for free.

Now, I know what you're thinking, and the answer is no: Purchases made via Micropay don't qualify for Micropay rebates. Otherwise you'd be getting rebates in perpetuity and, well, Fictionwise ain't that dumb.

The reality, then, is that when you buy one or more books on the bestsellers list, you get full credit back in Micropay, which you can then use to get additional other books. More of a buy-one-get-one-free kind of deal.

Make sense? These are real-deal NYT bestsellers, by the way, with titles like "The Kite Runner," "The Girl Who Played with Fire," and "Eat, Pray, Love." The only downside is that they're all pretty pricey: many sell in the $15-20 range, whereas the Kindle versions mostly go for $10.

On the other hand, Fictionwise offers e-books in a variety of formats, many of which are compatible with a wide range of devices. Still, if you're shopping for e-books for, say, your iPhone, you'll want to crunch the numbers to make sure the Micropay rebate is a better deal than, say, buying books in the Kindle store to read in the eponymous app.

Ultimately, I think most avid e-book readers will find some great savings here.