(And YES, you may share the link to this blog post anywhere, and thank you!)
Folks, sharing files is BAD. It’s stealing from authors. There is NO excuse for it when there are literally COUNTLESS FREE e-books out there LEGALLY available through sites like Kindle, Nook, etc. You just have to know how to FIND them. Not to mention, many of those free and “discount” sites are actually installing malware and viruses on your computers to steal your financial information. What, you don’t think THIEVES won’t steal from you? Do you think they’re spending money operating a high-dollar server out of the goodness of their hearts? Fuck, no, they’re trying to get botnets set up and steal your CC and other personal information.
If you whine back at me, “But…but…but legal sites don’t have the books I WANT for FREE!” then shut up and please quit reading my books, because you’re not looking for “free” books, you’re looking to steal books from hardworking authors. These instructions will get you LEGALLY free books. LEGALLY. FREE.
Here’s a quick tutorial on how to get LEGALLY free e-books.
Legally Free E-books
BookBub: This is a FREE subscription service. They send out e-mails daily listing discounts and freebies. You can tell them your preferred site (Amazon, B&N, etc.) and then pick your genres. There is NO CATCH. (Authors and publishers pay to advertise their deals to the subscribers, so it’s a win-win for readers.)
Shameless Book Club: Also a newsletter. They list freebies and discount specials. (My guess is they make their money via affiliate fees, so good on them. It’s how a lot of bloggers are listing books, so it’s perfectly legit.)
Project Gutenberg: This is an archive of mostly older and all out-of-copyright books, including some classic literature.
Kindle: The EASIEST way to find Kindle freebies is via a web browser, NOT through your device app. You can get other freebies there–TONS of them. But use a web browser to do it and send them to your device/app.
CLICK HERE to go to the main page. (Yes, that link has my Amazon Affiliate code in it. Doesn’t cost you a penny extra, but if you do buy anything, I get a few cents kick-back to help me out. Win-win.) There are two “tabs” for lack of a better word. It will say Top 100 Paid and Top 100 Free. Just drill down to the genre you want and go to town. Make SURE to verify the price, however, BEFORE you one-click. Sometimes books that just came off the freebie discount show up in freebies still. Also, they’re getting trickier sometimes and changing things up and slipping in KU freebies. So verify the price FIRST.
Alternately, you CAN try sorting by price in a given genre during your normal browsing. However, I’ve noticed that Amazon lately is tweaking things and, again, slipping in KU-only books that LOOK “free” but if you look carefully, they’re only free if you have KU or they want you to buy a KU subscription. Don’t be fooled.
Apple Books: https://books.apple.com/us/charts/top-free
Also, I do periodic freebie alert postings. Sign up for my newsletter, and you’ll be notified when I post new content on my website, including freebie alerts.(Make sure to look for the confirmation e-mail to activate your subscription, and check your spam filter if it doesn’t show up.)
There are library services where you can borrow e-books through your local library system, like Hoopla and Overdrive (and Libby). You will need to see what’s available in your area. Contact your local library system. If you’re in the US, your county/parrish website should give you the website for your local library system, and they should have information there if they offer one of those services or a similar one.
There are many ARC services (advanced reader copy, which is sort of a misnomer) where you can find free books. Some of them require you sign up for an author’s newsletter to get the e-book, or that you leave a review:
Prolific Works (formerly Instafreebie): https://www.prolificworks.com/
Also, there are TONS of sites out there for fan fiction, like Archive of Our Own (or AO3).
If you know of other LEGAL sources of freebie books, like direct links to publishers’ sites to their freebies pages, etc. feel free to add them in the comments below. (I WILL delete and ruthlessly mock ANYONE who posts pirate/file sharing links. Seriously, I will. You will be publicly shamed, so fair warning.)
But just with the Kindle freebie offerings, holy cow, there’s no way the average reader, with new free deals being added literally every day, can keep up with all the free offerings. (And don’t give me the excuse you don’t have a Kindle. You are READING THIS POST. You are ON THE INTERNET. You can download the FREE Kindle app to your computer, tablet, or smart phone. Seriously.) Add in all the other sources out there, and I do NOT want to hear any excuses. And now, even some public library systems have free e-book loan programs.
Feel free to share the link to this post (I even have social media buttons at the bottom to help you out there) to send others here to educate them on how to get LEGAL, FREE e-books that do NOT hurt authors.
Thanks, and Happy Reading!