Since I like to read a lot, and I read books fast enough that I’ve always felt they aren’t cheap enough for how often I read them, I’ve always been looking for deals or quality free Kindle books I can add to my collection.
So, I am excited to have found some good reads for under $3 from time to time. There’s also great tools and sites out there for finding free books and discount deals.
I posted this exact post around this time last year, but since Kindle eReader sales spike around Thanksgiving and Christmas, I thought it would be worth updating this list and posting it again for those who would like to stock up on great books without breaking the bank.
This is not going to be a comprehensive list, but merely sharing what I do and how I discovered many of the free Kindle books in my collection.
Places to Get Free Kindle Books
1) NoiseTrade Books
These guys aren’t the only music content providers I’ve discovered who are taking their business model for mp3 distribution and taking a shot at the e-book market. NoiseTrade Books makes the first stop on my updated list since I just discovered them around March when they were brand new. They help authors & publishers meaningfully connect with readers through the exchange of free ebooks & audiobooks for email addresses & postal codes. I’ve made one of my most popular chapters of 9 Lies People Believe About Speaking in Tongues available through this site, as well as dabbled in making a few of my audiobooks temporarily available in this method. As an author, I love it. As a reader, I’ve gotten my hands on a few nice items.
Visit http://books.noisetrade.com/ to go directly to their site.
2) Story Cartel
The books you see on Story Cartel are all offered free by generous authors in exchange for your honest review. For book lovers, Story Cartel is a resource to discover great books and fresh authors. All books on Story Cartel are completely free, but in return you support authors by leaving your honest review, whether good or bad, of the book you downloaded. Your reviews help authors market their books and gives them valuable feedback to improve their writing. The first time I used Story Cartel as an author, writers were to provide a prize ranging from five print copies of their book, three $10 Amazon gift cards, or one Kindle eReader.
The second time I hosted a contest, the site was not as user-friendly as before and I couldn’t find anything indicating how I was to provide the prize to winners. Unlike the first time, SC never emailed me the winners for my contest, which is all the same since very few people who downloaded the book even reviewed it. My guess is this site has gone downhill for authors, and is more suited to people looking for free books.
Visit www.StoryCartel.com to go directly to their site.
3) Gospel ebooks
Gospelebooks.net reads like a blog site that shows you cheap or free books in the Christian niche that are available that day. I’ve discovered some real duds that were merely being offered for free in order to spread publicity for the work, but I’ve also discovered some true gems and treasure troves I never would have gotten my hands or discovered if not for this method. It’s worth bookmarking or subscribing to any of their social media or RSS feed in order to be updated as they post relevant updates. Sometimes there’s many per day.
4) Spirit Filled Kindle
This site will update you often about what’s free or “budget friendly” available on the Kindle for Christians. Spiritual living, Bible Studies, and fiction are offered. The difference between this and other “free or budget” kindle book sites – either the webmaster herself has read and recommends the book, or has at least two reader recommendations. So you can trust that the book won’t waste space on your Kindle.
Visit the site at www.spiritfilledkindle.com to go directly to their site.
This has produced for me a huge number of books, but you need to look harder than the previous sites. They show you freebies and deals from all categories of books, so you need to know what you’re interested in and browse through those categories. For example, if you’re interested in science fiction and you want to see which books are free or available for dirt cheap, you need to select that category, otherwise the scroll bar on your screen is going to be VERY tiny as you scroll through all the listings. However, EreaderIQ.com and Gospelebooks.net both offer social media buttons, so you can follow either one and be notified in real-time when new listings are posted.
Visit http://www.ereaderiq.com/ to go directly to their link.
6) Check Amazon Directly
Many public domain books have been made available in various eReader formats, so it’s not too hard to come across them. Amazon makes a list of those available at this link. However, you can still go into the site, and select a category and then search and browse based on price. Select viewing from cheapest to most expensive, and you may be surprised at what you find. I’ve also noticed that while buying books or checking out reviews, Amazon displays suggestions based on what I’ve viewed or placed in my Wishlist, and often times, they are the discounted books or free ones.
7) Christian eBooks Today
The great thing about Christian eBooks Today is that on their site they don’t just inform you of daily deals, or specifically free books, but they also show books for the Nook in epub format, and sometimes for the Kobo.
8) Project Gutenberg
If you visit the Project Gutenberg website, you’ll find a huge archive of public domain books and classic literary works that have been made available for free into the epub format which works with most eReaders, not just the Kindle.
What sets this one apart from the other options I’ve shown you so far is that according to the website, all of the conversion work has been done as a labor of love by volunteers. All of the ebooks listed were previously published by legit publishers, and then digitized and diligently proofed with the help of thousands of volunteers. Again, with this link you need to do some diligent searching by things are categorized alphabetically and by genre.
Visit the link at http://www.gutenberg.org/
9) Google Books
You can also search Google Books, who have a huge and vast amount of free material available. I find that many of the older books have not been converted well — at least the ones I was interested in and tried — and were more like scans of the pages. I don’t use this method a lot, because you need an e-reader that the scans read well on, and with Kindle, PDFs can be negligible if the font of the document is not large enough. Still, it’s worth a browse if you’re reading on a tablet device.
10) Subscribe to Publishers’ Mailing Lists For Offers and Deals
This one might seem kind of counterintuitive and obvious, but seriously. Just recently I was on the website for Destiny Image, a publisher who produces books by quite a few authors I enjoy, and I noticed an opt-in form to be notified of offers. In their case they send emails out every week. On Tuesday they notify subscribers of deals less than $2.99, and on Thursdays new releases, and on Saturdays another bonus email.
It is worth your time to check your favourite publishers to see if they have some kind of similar mailing list, and never miss a promotion.
There are more than 29,000 eBooks available for Kindle, Nook, iPad and most other eReaders, and they’re all free at ManyBooks.Net. The small selection compared to other options is overshadowed by the site’s layout and ease of use for the visitor.
12) Planet Ebook
This is another website that specializes in public domain and classic literature books that, again, are free of charge. Check them out at this link.
13) Book Lending
Any Kindle book that has lending enabled can be loaned by one Kindle user to another for 14 days. At the end of the loan period the title is automatically transferred back to the book owner’s Kindle. Each Kindle book you own can only be loaned once. Also, even with book lending enabled on your Kindle, not all books have been granted the permission for being shared through lending — I’ve tried lending my copies of things to others only to find the particular works I was attempting to share were not available.
At any rate, there are many more websites out there, to be sure, but this should get you started on your way with a quickly snowballing library on your new Kindle.
Bonus Tips: Join Facebook Groups and Fan Pages that Specialize in Notifying of Deals.
My favorites are
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— Steve Bremner (@StephenGBremner) December 22, 2014
NEW: Try Buck Books
I know I’ve shared more than 13 tips in this post, but what’s one more, right? Since posting this, I also signed up for a new site I’ve been made aware of called Buck Books. It’s more of the mailing list type of promotion with daily deals that you can click on from their website, with the invitation to sign up to be notified by email of books authors are making either 99 cents or free.
Other Tips and Things To Read
Building an Ebook Library On The Cheap – Tim Challies
How To Download Kindle Books From Your Local Library Website – Wesley Fenlon, Tested Website
Top 5 Free eBook Tools & Tidbits For Your Reading Pleasure, by Angela Alcorn, MakeUseOf.com
Reviews of Books on this site.