Friday, February 15, 2013

Finding Free Ebooks

As you know if you read my Sunday Book Share posts (ie book haul & blog news, The Sunday Post, Stacking the Shelves, etc). I download A LOT of kindle freebies. Several people have asked how I find them so I thought I'd share. While I download books for kindle, the methods and many of my sources are applicable regardless of your e-reader.

My book budget is abysmally tiny; some months it's non-existent. I currently have a gift card balance at Amazon so I've been able to purchase some print books and digital books but I'm trying to stretch it and make it last so I have been very picky about what I pay for. Freebies are my friend. :) The library is, and has been for years, a fantastic source. The downside of course is that I can't keep the books but I have to give them back. Still, it does let me read authors who are favorites but not on  my auto buy list, and it lets me try new authors. They also have ebooks, both kindle and ePub, and I have taken advantage of that as well. Free books are an excellent way to try a new-to-you author or genre; you're investing your time but not your money.

So, the library is one source for free books that I don't keep. For books that I want to keep, well, there are many sources. Have an author that you like? Join their mailing list, whether it's print or digital; follow them on twitter or facebook (or any other social media where you both are users), make a point of regularly visiting their website/blog/discussion board. All of these are ways to find out when your author has a book that is free or being given away. Are you on goodreads? Often authors will make a book free temporarily and invite their goodreads friends or post a book in the goodreads giveaway section. I'm not on shefari or librarything so I don't know if they have similar activities. Anybody know?

What else? Publishers. If you have a publisher that you're a fan of or that publishes a series or several series that you enjoy, sign up for their mailing list and visit their sites and blogs. Don't forget to follow them on twitter, facebook, etc. For instance, the publisher I work for is celebrating it's second birthday this month by giving away 2 books every day on their blog. Each day there are two different titles and coupon codes so you can download them for free. My publisher invited all staff who are on facebook, and everyone that liked their page as well as everyone who's part of their facebook book club. They've also been talking it up on twitter. They've also been encouraging people to share the news and spread the word.

Of course, the people that you interact with and follow are also sources. Talk to your blogging buddies, your tweeps, your facebook friends, etc. Know a deal or freebie? Share the news. Forward the email, write a blog post, share info and links on twitter and fb, etc. I get many of my freebies from reading other book sharing posts, the Sunday Post, Stacking the Shelves, IMMs, etc., particularly the Melissas - Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf and Melissa's Mochas, Mysteries & More. Now, sometimes by the time I read the book share posts, the freebie is no longer free but it might be on sale, reasonably priced, or a book I add to my watch list or see if my library has.  The Book Vixen regularly tweets freebies and deals. There are book blogs that post, either regularly or occasionally, freebies and deals. Paranormal & Urban Fantasy Reviews is one, there are others if you just look. I almost forgot! Both Dear Author and Smart Bitches have daily listings of romance titles that are either free or on sale and usually those are available in different formats, not just kindle.

So, the library is a source, stalking following authors and publishers on their sites and social media is another source, your social media buddies are a good resource, but your best bets, the ones that will give you the most options are sites and blogs that specialize in finding the freebies. There are dozens, heck probably hundreds, for kindle alone. I get a daily email, Latest Kindle Free Books, that collects free titles for kindle on Amazon and Smashwords. I found them by browsing Amazon, looking specifically for blogs and sites that collected free Kindle titles. Over on facebook I liked/friended several groups and pages: eReaderlove (which despite its name is primarily kindle titles), Chelsea's Free Ebook Finds and her other page, Chelsea's Cheap Paranormal Reads. There's also Free Today on Kindle and Beyond, which focuses on indie books that are free. Over on goodreads there are groups that specialize in free books; I belong to Booksy Cup Freebies and Bargains. ETA: D'oh! I forgot to mention that I found some of these groups via friends and others by searching facebook, and in goodreads groups, by entering "free kindle books" and variations on that phrase in the search bar on the respective sites. Obviously, you'll enter whatever e-reader you use in place of 'kindle'.

The freebies and deals are out there, if you're willing to put in some time and effort up front to find them.

Do you have a source for free or cheap books? Please put a link in the comments; it doesn't have to be for kindle but can be for any e-reader. Share the love!

6 comments:

  1. Free and books. Two of my favorite words. In the same sentence.

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    1. Absolutely! Two wonderful words that are perfect together. :) All that's missing is chocolate. :D

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  2. Thanks again for the shout-out! I usually just find my freebies on Amazon.

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  3. I use http://www.ereaderiq.com/ daily for finding Kindle books both bargain and free. I also imported my Amazon wish list there and they will e-mail you if the price goes down. I also check http://blog.booksontheknob.org/ daily. I enjoy reading your blog and thank-you for sharing your links :)

    Kim

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  4. Fabulous post, Bea! I admit I don't download as many freebies these days as I used to, but I do follow Goodreads giveaway page which notifies you if authors are doing any freebies at the moment, and the other thing is I've subscribed to Nightshade publishers newsletter, and they do some amazing freebies from time to time and that's for the books that are on my wishlist and that I can't afford usually...

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  5. Thank you so much for the mention Bea!!!

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