I love my Amazon Kindle for many reasons. It's light and easy to travel with, it doesn't strain my eyes, I can carry multiple books on it, and the battery life is incredible. I especially love all the resources that reduce the cost of Kindle books. When friends who are considering buying a Kindle ask me what I like about mine, I tell them how easy it is to find inexpensive and free e-books!
Kindle books cost less than their hardback and paperback counterparts. It makes sense that publishers would charge less for e-Books because they don't have to pay to print the book, for paper and materials, or to ship it. E-Books are up to 50% less expensive than the hard copy.
Keep an eye on the bargain and free book best-seller lists for your particular e-reader brand.
- The Amazon Kindle Store displays a list of the top 100 free best-sellers.
- Pixel of Ink posts free and discounted e-books daily.
- The Barnes & Noble website has a list of free and under-$5 NOOK books. They also post The Daily Find, a deeply-discounted e-book.
- Sony Reader owners can pick from a list of e-book bargains, or free e-books on the Sony Reader website.
- Smashwords has free and bargain-priced e-books from independent authors available in several different e-reader formats.
Read the Classics for Free
Works that have no current copyright are under the public domain and are free for distribution. Several websites make these works available for e-readers, including Project Gutenberg, which has the most comprehensive collection. Feedbooks and Manybooks have less of a selection, but their e-books are well-formatted and error-checked for a better e-reading experience. They are also available on Amazon for free.
Borrow and Swap E-Books
Borrow on-line. Amazon Prime members can borrow one e-book per month from the Kindle Owners' Lending Library, which has thousands of selections to choose from. The library includes more than 100 current and former New York Times Bestsellers. If you don't have an Amazon Prime account, try a trial month for free. Students can also take advantage of Amazon’s textbook rental service, which allows them to rent textbooks at a heavily discounted price for the duration of the semester. There is also a similar service available for NOOK owners.
Lend and borrow with friends. Some Kindle books can be loaned for 14 days. During those 2 weeks, the original owner cannot access the book–just like if you lent a physical book to a friend! It's up to the publisher to decide if they want to make their book loanable. For details, read Lending Kindle Books on Amazon Help. Remember, Kindle books can only be loaned once.
Lend and borrow with strangers. BookingLending.com allows you to lend or borrow books from other members for free! All you need to register is a valid email address (be sure to link that email to your Kindle) that isn't associated with any of your other personal information because you are lending to and borrowing from strangers. If you join, follow the etiquette of loaning a book before you borrow one. When looking for a book to borrow, you can search the title, or browse recent loans. You can also join eBookFling, a free service that allows you to swap e-books with other Kindle and NOOK owners.
Borrow from the library. If your local library is one of the 11,000 in the United States that lends e-Books through OverDrive, you can borrow library books without even leaving home! Another perk of borrowing Kindle books through the library is that you'll never have any late fees. Once your lending period is up, the book is automatically returned! This nifty feature has definitely saved me more than a few dollars.
Keep Up to Date on E-Book Releases
Several blogs regularly post news on recently discounted or newly released free e-books. For the Kindle, check out the The Kindle Review or Kindle Nation Daily, both of which post daily updates on new free e-books from Amazon. You can also follow @kindlenews , @kindleebooks, and @booklending on Twitter for updates on what books have been recently discounted or are being offered for free. NOOk owners should bookmark Nook Lovers for their bargain e-books.
This has been a guest post by Betsy from Chicago, IL
and by Jacob from Honolulu, HI
Find out more about the KCL Contributor Network!