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Saturday, September 3, 2011

Tips for Finding Reasonably Priced and Free E-Books

Scenario: You have recently acquired an Amazon Kindle (congratulations!) and you want to buy your first e-book, but you launch Amazon.com and see that the book you want is $14.99. The Kindle version is more expensive than the paperback!

Today I'd like to share some tips on navigating the e-book purchasing terrain. There are a number of ways to locate reasonably priced and even free e-books. You just have to know where to look!

First, with respect to the opening scenario, lets look at how to get you that best seller you want without paying the best seller price. One method is to watch the price at ereaderiq.com until it drops. Here you can enter your email address and the book information (you'll find the ASIN under Product Details at Amazon.com) and set a notification threshold. When the book price drops by at least this amount, you'll receive a notice via email. Return to this page at any time to view your list of watched books and their current prices. Just enter your email address and click the "View Items You Are Currently Watching" button. Also, be sure to sign up for ereaderiq's free book email alert (big red button, top right corner).

For more expensive books that you might not be inclined to buy for yourself, consider adding them to your wish list on Amazon.com - while you're at it add an Amazon.com gift card too - and send family and friends a link to your wish list. Christmas is just around the corner!


Every day, Amazon.com lists one book at a significantly reduced price here: Amazon Kindle Daily Deal

For free public domain books, check out Gutenberg and Free Kindle E-books.

Other sources of free books are Bean and the Kindle Freebies search page.

If you're looking for cheap or free books by independent authors, you can often find them at Smashwords before they are offered on Amazon.com. 

Visit these other sites for links to book bargains and free books:
Pixel of Ink
Daily Cheap Reads
Books on The Knob
obooko
AddAll Ebooks
Fictionwise
Many of these sites allow you to sign up for newsletters so that you can receive notices of deals and free books in your inbox.

InkMesh is a great tool for locating specific books or books within a price range.

As an aside, FictFact is a great site for tracking a fiction series.  Can't remember which book is next in a series? Enter the series name or the name of a book in the series at FictFact and you'll find your answer.

If you like science fiction, sign up for the Phoenix Pick monthly newsletter. Just email coupon@arcmanor.com with the subject Please send me the monthly free ebook code. Each month they offer one title for free. Often these are award nominated or award winning books. If there are sequels to the book, they are often offered at a significant discount. You'll also be entered in their monthly contest. August's prize was a $50 Amazon.com gift certificate. September's prize is your choice of any seven ebooks they publish.

If you like romance novels, visit Carina Press for deals and to sign up for their newsletter.

This next resource is the one place for free books that I use that does not offer Kindle versions. These books can only be read via the Adobe Digital Editions software (I read them on my laptop, iPhone or iPad). Visit the University of Chicago Press Books online at http://www.press.uchicago.edu/books/freeEbook.html to download their free book of the month. You will be automatically added to their email list to receive notices of future free e-books. When you receive an email notice about the free book of the month, visit the site (often I have to view the email online in order for the Free E-Book link to work), scroll down to where it tells you to enter your email address and click Get E-Book. You'll be sent an email with instructions on how to download the free book.

I think I'll stop there. This is not an exhaustive list. I'm sure I'm forgetting some! There are many other sites that list cheap or free e-books, but these that I have listed are some of the more popular ones.

Know of another great site for locating e-books at good prices? Share it here!


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17 comments:

Elizabeth Ann West said...

http://www.paupersbookclub.com

It's awesome! You can sort books by free, under $3, and under $5 by genre. Makes it super easy to find clearance backlist titles by a favorite author or new offerings by indies.

Cookie's Mom said...

Thanks Elizabeth. That's a great site!

Elana said...

Wow, what a wealth of information! I'm embarrassed to admit that I always just buy the ebook I want immediately without ever checking to see if I could get it for a better price. Not anymore!

Cookie's Mom said...

:) Elana, don't be embarrassed. Been there. Done that. Glad I could help!

K said...

This list is so helpful! I had no idea about all of these resources. You truly must be a great bookworm to know about all of these, and I appreciate it so much that you've shared them with us. I love my Kindle and am thrilled to go check out the Kindle Daily Deal site next! Thank you!!! And my husband thanks you to, as I am addicted to books.

Cookie's Mom said...

You're welcome K (and K's husband). I know you are a book lover too - glad to help feed the addiction! :)

Christy said...

What a great site! I have a Nook and I love searching for free books. :) I'm following you from A Living Homeschool.

Glo Sews said...

Tons of great information! I have downloaded a bunch of free books onto my kindle that were really great reads. Thanks for all the info!

Cookie's Mom said...

Thanks Christy! And thanks for the follow!

Cookie's Mom said...

You're very welcome Glo. Happy reading!

hilary said...

These are great resources... I didn't know about the daily kindle book discount, that is fabulous!

Malignant Carp said...

Regarding the University of Chicago free e-books, if they use ADE, I suspect they're in ePub format? If that's the case, there's always the possibility that Calibre can convert them into Kindle format and transfer them onto your Kindle for reading there. For those who don't mind the bit of a hassle that presents. Of course, if they bog the file with DRM, all bets are off.

Personally, I don't have many qualms paying for e-books. My only issue is when the electronic version is more expensive than the hard copy. That's just wrong.

A wealth of links, though. Since I'm trying to start reading more frequently to help rejuvenate creative energy expended while writing, I can use all the sources of good books I can get.

Thanks! :)

Cookie's Mom said...

@Hilary, thanks! I hope the links are helpful!

@MC, they are ePub (.acsm) files which can't be converted by Calibre. There is talk of Amazon supporting this file format in the future.

Brenda@MyParentingCoach.com said...

Great tips! Sharing the follow love.

Cookie's Mom said...

Thanks Brenda! :)

Pam said...

Great list and tips! My husband pre-ordered the Kindle Flame so this post will come in handy soon!
New follower on GFC.
Come visit my blog at http://pmaynardwrites.blogspot.com/

Cookie's Mom said...

Hi Pam. Thanks for stopping by and following! I'll check out your blog.

I have the Kindle Fire on my wishlist! Can't wait... can't wait!

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