First, a quick disclaimer: everything in this post is wholly unsponsored. It’s just ideas from my long experience of never-enough-money-for-all-the-books, compiled for you out of the goodness of my heart. All bookworms are intimately familiar with budgeting problems, right? All these shiny books, and they cost so much. A reader has to keep a sharp eye out for deals and freebies.
There are two main divisions here: physical books, and e-books. Physical books in general are more expensive, and correspondingly hard to find deals for. I’ll start with those, since it’s a short list.
~ Physical Books ~
- If you’re on Goodreads, the Giveaways are easy to enter. Pros: they have a lot of them, sometimes ARCS too, you can toggle a setting so they’ll notify you when there’s a book on your to-read list, and it’s a quick-n-easy enter like I said. Cons: you do have to use Goodreads, and because it’s a giveaway there’s no guarantees. I haven’t gotten any books this way yet, but people definitely do.
- Like giveaways? Cool. It Starts At Midnight hosts a monthly giveaway hop every month. Which means a whole bunch of book blogs link up to a single giveaway page, and you can click through the links and multiply your chances by entering several. Most of them want some interaction with their blog – following, leaving a comment, visiting facebook page – but some of them, including the host blog, have freebie entries that you don’t have to do anything for.
- I shouldn’t have to say this, but… don’t forget to check out your local library! In case that’s slipped off your radar, the library is a great place to browse books; you don’t have to own every book you read. If they don’t have the book you want, many libraries can get it for you with inter-library loan. Some people basically only read new books, but I’ve never understood that. There’s so many books out there already, waiting for you to find them!
~ E-Books ~
- Keep an eye on the Humble Bundle Books Tab. There’s only been a couple of good packs in the six months-ish I’ve followed them, but when I say good I mean good. Their e-book bundles are DRM free and always hugely discounted. The themes for the bundles are wide-ranging too; I’ve seen Science Fiction, Unicorns, Old Fashioned Fantasy, Self Improvement, Travel, and even specific authors like Brandon Sanderson.
- Back to Goodreads – did you know you can get e-book deals customized by genre and to-read list by email?
- In a similar vein, BookBub will also email you e-book deals by genre and author that you choose. Deals are usually 2-3 dollars, same as the Goodreads ones, sometimes only 1$. Note that they’ll send you more indiscriminate ones, while Goodreads tends to send fewer but higher quality books.
- Project Gutenberg offers free kindle and epub books, no signup required. These are all public domain, which means old, so it’s not helpful for getting newly released books you want. But if you’re just looking for good reading there’s a lot to check out. A bit lost in the stacks, or unused to reading older books? Consider this: if you’re in the mood for regency romance, pick up Jane Austen. Hungry for science fiction or adventure, try Edgar Rice Burroughs, who wrote the original Tarzan series and a wonderful Mars series. If you’re in need of fantasy (who isn’t?), you need George Macdonald, who wrote such delightful stories as The Princess and Curdie and The Light Princess – or maybe L. Frank Baum, because if you’re only familiar with the first Wizard of Oz book you really need to try a few more. The rest of the long series explores the quirky land of Oz and its piquant inhabitants even more.
Do you have any more tips to share? (Tell me your secrets. How. Do I get all the books?)