I have such a treat for you all today! To celebrate my first ever Favorite Friday blog, I’ve invited Amy Denim – romance author, blogger, and internet hunter of all things awesome! Read on and you’ll find she’s got the dirt for us today on some prime sites for free eBooks. Welcome, Amy and take it away!
My Favorite Resources for Free e-books
by Amy Denim
Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens… No, no, no. Stop, wait.
Damp flowers aren’t number one on my favorite things list and I’m not actually a fan of cats, so Julie Andrews infamous song doesn’t really do it for me. Although I do like schnitzel with noodles.
I like my version of the song better-
Free books on Kindles and authors with contests,
The Gutenberg project, some lady called Princess
Libraries well stocked with e-books and more
These things all make me feel l’m not so poor
For being a monetarily challenged starving artist, I have quite the coveted collection of somewhere around 6000 e-books, maybe ten or so that I paid for.
Ow, ow, ouch. Put away your DRM broadsword and your author’s rights musket. Before you accuse me of being a pirate and make me walk the SOPA plank let me share my free e-book booty with you.
Free books on Kindles (or Nooks or Sony PRS, I have all three- Yay, Christmas!)
Amazon, B&N, AllRomanceEbooks, BoB (Books on Board, not your uncle) Smashwords and more all have tons of free e-books available for legal download every day. They aren’t all classics either. A lot of them are Indie authors, which can be good or bad. 2012, along with dire Mayan predictions, is being touted the year of the indie author. The publishing world is being taken for a wild ride and readers are getting the benefit. Authors no longer have to wait to get THE CALL from the fancy pants Big Six acquiring editor if they don’t want to. They can publish and sell their books right now on a variety of platforms. Amazon being the biggest one. Indie writers who put in the time (and money) to get a great cover, well written blurb, good pre-sale reviews, and most importantly a professionally critiqued, edited and well written book are putting out literature just as good, and sometimes even better than NY Times best-selling authors. Admittedly you do have to wade through some slag to find them, but the gems are there, and thanks to Amazon’s KDP program are promoting their books with get-it-for-FREE days.
But it’s not only Indie authors who take advantage of the Free sales rollercoaster; traditional publishers are doing it too. I had a fantastic bloggy conversation with the entrepreneur behind Sourcebooks last month. I asked her why Sourcebooks Casablanca (their Romance imprint) was offering two of their successful and well-known authors’ books for free. (Which I immediately one-clicked) Even big publishers see a spike in sales of other books in the line during the promotion as well as an increase in paid for sales once the free promo is finished.
Keep an eagle eye out and you’ll get some great reads for free.
Don’t want to spend hours searching Amazon for free reads? My crack-dealer source sends me an email everyday (often several times a day) with the new books Amazon is offering for free. No, she’s not a secret sneaky spy, her name is Princess. Well, that’s the handle she uses on the Amazon Discussion boards. She’s set up a doozy of a program that searches Amazon for all their new free kindle books then sends out an email with a link to a site where you can peruse only those titles. I love her.
Just go to http://us.kinlib.com/ and click subscribe to start getting your
crack daily email.
Authors with Contests –
Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Book Blogs and Blog Hops are great places to get free books. I once won an entire box of Clan of the Cave Bear paperbacks by Jean M. Auel in a contest I found on twitter. Just by following book bloggers and authors on social media I’ve won books by Courtney Milan, Ann Aguirre, Jenn LeBlanc, LeeAnn Sontheimer Murphy and Dan Dewitt. Some print and some e-books.
Goodreads has a whole section of their website dedicated to giveaways. You can enter to win books to your heart’s content at http://www.goodreads.com/giveaway
Authors love to promote their books through the blogosphere. Book bloggers often have a copy of new releases or even ARCs (Advance Reader Copies) available when they do interviews or reviews. But how do you find all these book blogs?
I’m a Reader, Not a Writer has blog hops every week, where hundreds of bloggers (including me) sign up, promise to giveaway a book related prize and get put on her linky. It’s a great way to discover book bloggers (and win some swag.) Readers hop from blog to blog checking them out and entering their contests. I won some children’s software for writing books on the Christmas blog hop. I gave away copies of The Rake and the Recluse on my blog during the Reader Love Blog Hop. A lot of bloggers offer gift certs for Amazon or The Book Depository.
Hop on over to her website to check out her latest linky list, she has one pretty much every week. http://iamareadernotawriter.blogspot.com/
Project Gutenberg –
A smarty smart pants named Michael Hart invented the first E-book when he typed the Declaration of Independence and transmitted it to others in his own format in 1971. From there he started the brilliant Project Gutenberg, the longest standing online literary project. Zillions (okay, like 12) volunteers scan, edit and make available for free over 38,000 e-books. They are mostly classics, but any book whose copyright has expired is eligible to be included in the Project. You can download them or read them online at http://www.gutenberg.org/. I recommend starting with their top 100 which includes fun like the Kama Sutra, an 1811 dictionary of vulgar words, Pride and Prejudice, and Peter Pan.
Obviously I spend an inordinate amount of time on the internet. But if you’re into reality not cyberspace, try my all-time favorite resource for free e-books…
Your local library -
“But I don’t want clunky hard covers, I want free E-books,” you whine.
Yeah, the library has those too, I swear. It’s all available online so you don’t even have to go there if you don’t want to (well, you might just to get the library card. Come on, crawl out of your cave, get a little sunshine and go socialize with the hot librarians.)
A majority of libraries in America today have gotten their budgets cut for like the eleventeenth year in a row. That’s what grants are for. And a lot of the money out there floating around in Grantland is for technology. So your local library probably snagged some of that cash along the way and has a whole library universe you didn’t even know existed of e-books.
My awesome library is called Anythink, and they are one of the most progressive and talked about library systems in the world. They don’t shhh you, they have a café, a Wii, and they have Overdrive (<- the library e-book nirvana.) You can check out e-books of the latest and greatest best sellers and not pay a single penny. You don’t even have to worry about overdue charges (Anythink doesn’t even have fines) because after 3 weeks or however long you opted to check the book out for it expires and becomes available for the next person to check out.
You may have to wait for the latest Stephen King book (I’m currently 49th in line for 11/22/63) ‘cause these Carnegian institutions don’t have unlimited copies of these books. Often they just have one or two. Publishers charge libraries a buttload more for their digital books than the average Jane, so they probably can’t afford a thousand copies of bestsellers like The Help. But hey, I’m gonna get to read it for free and my To Be Read pile is like the size of Mount St. Helens, so I’m content to wait.
Also you don’t get to keep it forever and ever (but with DRM rules and Amazon’s sticky fingers you won’t likely get to keep any of your other e-books much beyond ten years anyway).
Get on down to the library, or hit the library’s website to get all kinds of free e-books.
If you live in the Denver Metro Area you can belong to Anythink Library system. Here’s their website.
Explore their awesomeness then click on 24/7 library to peruse Overdrive.
I’ve got a few other tricks up my sleeve for getting free e-books, like how to get free ARCs from the publisher and other blogs to follow for free e-book recommendations.
Check out my blog Amy Denim’s 365 days, 365 Free E-books at http://amydenim.blogspot.com for my picks of the week in free books and other resources.
To celebrate being Lori’s first Favorite Things guest blogger I’m giving away some FREE books. Remember that box of Clan of the Cave Bear books I told you I won? I still have twenty left, so anyone who comments on today’s blog will get a paperback copy. (Open to US residents only) It won’t fit on your e-book reader, but it is free!