I am a massive bookworm and as I’ve just started a book challenge on instagram I figured it was a good time to pass on my knowledge of free ebooks. My fiancé was extremely happy when I got a kindle because it meant that he didn’t have to fit a bunch of books into our luggage every time we travelled. I read a lot when I’m on holiday. Anyway, I can’t spend as much as I’d like on books so I am always looking for free books whether they’re from my local libraries (yes I’m a library student, but I’m not paid to say that :P), traded online or from free ebook sites. A lot of ebooks are self-published and/or indie authors, however, I also use various sites that alert me of free ebooks of my favoured genres and authors.
Project Gutenberg offers various versions of old texts/literature that have passed the x amount of years copyright. If you’re a Literature student this site will save you a fortune 😛 You can pretty much find almost any old text you need here, with the exception of ones that have been reproduced recently due to new films. For example, for C.S Lewis you can find all of his Alice and Wonderland and other works, but not his Narnia series because due to the films it is still under copyright.
Bookbub is one of several sites I’ll be listed here that you can sign up for email notifications and based on your selection of genres and authors they will send you out an email of free and bargain (usually under £2.00) ebooks. I’ve gotten quite a few on my wish list from this one in particular. If you don’t want to receive emails you can also view your choices on their website instead. I just find email easier as I can quickly browse it and then delete it; I never remember to check these sites.
Freebooksy is very similar to Bookbub apart from it doesn’t have tailored results on its webpage for you, so if you want them you do need to sign up for an email. Like Bookbub I’ve fulfilled a lot of my to read list with this handy site.
I’ve not been using BookHippo as long as the other two and I don’t like how they format their emails; it really isn’t easy to have a quick glance for the freebies and it isn’t tailored as well. However, it isn’t entirely useless and has gotten me some good stuff for free.
I saved the best for last. I am completely in love with eReader IQ and have gotten a fabulous amount of free kindle books from authors I enjoy/want to read thanks to this nifty site. In short this site does two things; tells you when an ebook version has become available and tells you when an ebook reaches your price limit. Not only is this brilliant for getting free books, it also means you can get much cheaper copies of your favourite reads. The site currently works with amazon US, CA and UK (and thus is only for kindle I’m afraid) and checks your list of books and authors regularly against amazon. It then sends you an email to let you know. The beauty of it is you can import any amazon wish list rather than add every single book by hand. I didn’t have them on an amazon wish list as I primarily use goodreads for my book lists, but it was worth the trouble of setting one up – and when I did so I actually found a tonne of books already going for free on amazon! By setting up a wish list you can also set the list by low price and have a quick check to see if you can spot any bargains.
A few tips
I also wanted to share a few tips for ebook hunting.
If you find an ebook free on an amazon .co.uk/.com i.e. not your country, just change the extension to the correct one. Most of amazon’s cataloguing system works across countries so by changing a .com to .co.uk you can check if the book is free for you too. Quite often it is!
Also be careful with sites that make you sign up and pay to access ebooks and this includes Amazon Unlimited. Quite often they only have indie or self-published authors rather than popular/well established authors. There are also some sites out there that have advertising set up for when you search a book and it claims to have your book in ebook format – a lot of the time they’re completely false. It’s just a gimmick.
I know not everyone likes ebooks or has an ebook reader, and I do have a bunch of useful places to trade books online. If anyone’s interested in a Sharing Saturday version about normal paperback books please
let me know in the comments check it out here! 🙂