Best-selling authors Richard and Linda Eyre have created a website that will house free digital copies of their books for anyone to read.
"We're at a point in life now, in our 60s, where you start thinking a little different and our feeling is, 'Hey, let's get the books to as many people as possible,'" Richard Eyre said. "So much of the world can't afford to buy a book or maybe they live in a country where they can't get a book, but everybody pretty much now can get the Internet so you're not limited on who can go to a bookstore, or who has enough money."
Eyre said that because they believe the ideas they offer in their books were never theirs, it only seems right to give them back to anyone who desires the help.
"We didn't pay anything for the ideas we have," Eyre said. "In fact, we probably got them from other people. It makes sense to say, 'They were free to us, let's make them free to the people who want to read them.' We can do that because books have been really good to us. It just seems like the right thing to do to say, 'Thanks, that was good to us, now we want to give those books to anyone who wants them.'"
The website, Eyresfreebooks.com, already contains 18 books that can be viewed online for free, including popular titles such as "Teaching Children Joy," "For the Manner of Men," "Life Balance" and more. Eyre explained that their goal is to add at least one book every few months until they have posted all of their published work online. Because of publishing contracts, they have not been able to list all of the books immediately.
Another option will soon be available for Kindle users as well. The Eyres are currently working to get each of their books available to purchase for $2, rather than the higher current price listings.
Both options will be offered in order to stay up-to-date with the latest opportunities technology has created.
"I'm an old school guy; I like books. I like to hold them in my hand, I like to feel them, but I've evolved," Eyre said. "Once I got hooked on the Kindle, I became sort of extreme on the other side. Instead of being a guy who drags his feet, I might as well get on the cutting edge — and to me the cutting edge is saying, 'Let's just make them free.'"
"Teaching Children Joy" was the Eyre's first book published by Random House and truly opened the gate for their future publishing. "What Manner of Men" was written while Richard was serving as an LDS mission president in London. "Life Balance" was written 20 years ago, but Eyre said it is relevant to readers today.
"It was written at a time when you didn't hear the word balance too much, but now balance is everything," he said.
Sarah Sanders Petersen is an intern for Deseret News where she writes for Mormon Times and other feature articles. She is a communications major and editing minor from Brigham Young University.