I love my Kindle. Love it! And I was a fan of ebooks, before there was such a thing as an ebook reader. I just knew at some point they’d take off – the technology needed to catch up with the idea. It’s like the concept that Guy Kawasaki points out in What the Plus! Google+ for the Rest Of Us – ebooks and ebook readers finally “tipped.” I got my mom a Kindle for her birthday a few years ago, and I got Kindles for my nieces last Christmas, because they are the most extraordinary girls on the planet and read like fiends!
And I love to talk about the Kindle and finding free ebooks. If you don’t have a Kindle you can always read on your laptop with the kindle app. But really, just go get a Kindle okay? And don’t let anyone tell you it’s not a “real” book. To say that an ebook isn’t a real book, is like saying that when you get a movie on a dvd it’s not a real movie. Preposterous.
So I’ve put together a list of free kindle ebooks, discounted ebooks and just some great ebook options and resources. (And just so you know, I didn’t list every service I could find here. I’ve only listed the ones that I’ve tested and/or use (or plan to use soon) and that I like, and think you might find useful!)
Free kindle ebooks
One of my favorite resources is BookBub – my mom loves this one too, and tells everybody about it – I get a lot of books for my nieces on this one. Go to their website and sign up. Every day you’ll get an email with free (and discounted) ebooks that you can read on your Kindle, or Nook or many other readers. Pay attention to the deadline though. Sometimes it’s only for one day, and sometimes the deal lasts several days. And sometimes it’s for a limited number of books and by the time you get there, it’s no longer free (I haven’t had this happen yet btw). And, did I forget to mention, that you can select categories of books that you want to receive?
Another resource I refer to often for free kindle ebooks is A Kindle World Blog. They list free, (non-classic) ebooks but a lot of these have an expiration date too. (Expiration date on the free deal, not the amount of time you can keep the book.) They also have books for under $1. And they list a ton of Kindle tips, in case you need a little extra help getting the most out of your Kindle.
3. Best Sellers Kindle Store
Then there’s Amazon’s Top 100 Free Books. I just downloaded Herbs & Spices: Scientific Evidence and Ancient Wisdom which looks really neat.
4. E Reader IQ
I found the eReaderIQ site yesterday and I’m already really liking it. They will also send you a list of free and discounted books every day – similar to BookBub – but I got both of those emails today and they had completely different books listed on them. Plus this site allows you to request an email whenever a particular ebook either drops in price, or when a traditional book adds a kindle option!
5. The Local Library
The most obvious free kindle ebook resource is your local library. I’m not the biggest fan of this resource. In certain libraries there’s a waiting list for many books, and you have to check out the ebook like a traditional book, so you don’t get to keep it. What fun is that?! But I do know a lot of people who swear by it, and use it all the time, so I decided to include it in this list.
6. Project Gutenberg
If you’ve been to Project Gutenberg before, where you’ll find over 45,000 free ebooks, but found it hard to navigate, try it again. Volunteers have remodeled the website and it’s easier to find books now. You clearly won’t find the most up to date books here – only books where the copyright has expired in the U.S. Still, every one should read the classics! And why not do it for free?
7. Get Free Ebooks
One of the things I love most about the internet is the way it has leveled the playing field for all sorts of people and their passions. And ebooks are a great example of this. Try this site: getfreeebooks where each time they post, they feature a list of books in the same genre. Yesterday’s was 20 free meditation and yoga books, before that it was free magic ebooks, and before that it was free fairy tail ebooks and so on. The ebooks come in different forms depending on the book – some are pdf, while some are mobi, etc.
8. Book Goodies
I like the Book Goodies site because not only do they feature free and discounted ebooks, as well as other book goodies – they have a mammoth free guide Book Buyer’s Guide 2014 that you can download and they list suggestions of all sorts of great books you can check into.
9. Free Kids Books
At the Free Kids Books site they have quite a few colorful children’s ebooks you can download as a pdf or read online. I think I’m going to have to read Grum – a book about magical bubble gum because that sounds too good to pass up.
10. Pixel of Ink
11. Religious and Sacred Texts
Here is a great resource for sacred and religious texts. It includes a wide variety of sources including Buddhism, multiple Christian works, Gnostic works, sources on Hinduism, Judaism, and on and on! Excellent site!
I love it when I accidentally find a good indie flick. This site features indie books. What I like about this site is you can search using a variety of categories including best selling, highest rated, price, word number, etc. If you’re looking for something quick and new you could search in the “under 20,000 words” category for instance.
Did you think that Pulp Fiction was just a movie? I would compare it to today’s National Enquirer type genre, except instead of stalking famous people, they wrote outrageous, fabulous and outlandish fictional stories. The name comes from the cheap pulp paper they were printed on. They were published on a frequent basis (they were cheap to print after all!) until about the 1950’s or so. They would be extremely difficult to find in print now but you can download them to your Kindle for free at Munseys.
14. Tor Books
Are you a science fiction fan? You can get a handful of free ebooks from Tor Books on this site. You can also access this site’s free library from here. You should be able to find some new and interesting books here.
If you’re an aspiring author, several of the sites I have listed above will allow you to upload your book free of charge, and make it available to the public. It would be a great way to get feedback, as well as get your name out there and have your book promoted to a platform that you personally don’t have. This way you get to build a following for your books from the ground up.
Kindle News and other ebook stuff
If you haven’t heard about this you must be brand, brand new to the Kindle world: Amazon.com Launches Kindle Unlimited Ebooks and Audiobooks Subscription Service. I’m not hugely excited about the books that you can access for $9.99 a month, but I definitely think this is a move in the right direction for Amazon. I also like the fact you can access the audio recordings of these books (even though I’m not much of an audio book listener myself). Plus they have a 30 day free trial offer right now.
I’ve used Oyster, and while I wish the selection of books was newer, I enjoyed it. Their plan is $9.95 per month with unlimited books for you to read. They also have a free trial period.
Right now I’m LOVING Next Issue (affiliate link) which gives you access to a TON of magazines for $9.99 a month on your iPad (or Android). There’s so many it’s hard to decide which one to read next. You’ll find magazines like Consumer Report, Shop Smart, Money, Food and Wine, Dr Oz, O, Bon Appetit, Style and many, many, many more. I really, truly, love this app! (Plus you can get a 60 day free trial!) I have a lot of fun with it.
The other unlimited subscription service for ebooks is Scribd which I haven’t tried yet but it’s $8.95 per month and they offer a one month free trial.
I haven’t tried Entitle either, but I think I’m liking the concept a little more than the other subscription services, even if it is more expensive; because it looks like it has some newer books that the other subscription services don’t have. Plus, depending on the plan you subscribe to (starting at $9.99) you get to KEEP 2 books a month. If you want, go crazy and pay $99 for 24 books a year – at $4.12 a book that’s a good deal. But keep in mind, this is different from the others because you don’t get unlimited books to read. Just books that you buy for a set price.
If you don’t want to pay full price for a Kindle, by the way, I highly recommend trying Amazon’s refurbished models! I bought Kindles for all 3 nieces for Christmas that way. They come with a 12 month warranty and looked like new. Just go to Amazon and search for “refurbished kindles.” (P.S. I’m loving my Amazon fireTV too but that’s neither here nor there…)
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