Secrets of a Book Nerd: 14 Resources for Finding the Best Literary Deals
My love of books is endless, but my wallet has limits.
For years, my main source of reading material was the public library.
Public libraries support simpler living. Whether you're looking for reading material, a free class or lecture, a cultural pass, or suggestions from knowledgeable staff, the library offers something for everyone. However, after starting this blog in 2014, I gradually found myself buying more books.
One reason involved a newly acquired Kindle and iPad. For the first time, I had e-reader choices. Buying e-books and audiobooks was just so easy, especially with the various apps out there to use. I just don't feel the digital clutter.
Another reason involved the various friendships and connections I've made because of blogging. I have countless conversations just about books. And sometimes, I just want to read the book that everyone is talking about when everyone is talking about it. I don't want to wait for my hold at the library to come in.
When I realized that I was starting to spend more money on books, I decided I needed to be more pro-active in finding the best deals.
Locally, I check out used book stores and the Friends of the Library sales. Even when I travel, if I have time to visit a used book store, I will see what selections they have.
In one of the neighborhoods kitty corner to mine, Bernie and I found a Little Free Library.
When I started looking online for deals, though, I was shocked at how many different freebies and discounted prices I found. Originally, I thought the Kindle Daily Deals were about it.
I had no idea.
Below, I've divided my finds into two groups: Freebies and Great Deals. Be advised, the screenshots are not current deals. I've been collecting these images for a bit now, but I do link all of the photos back to the referenced program, publisher, or newsletter.
My absolute favorite freebie program is SYNC from AudioFile Magazine and OverDrive. Teens, librarians, educators, and club leaders may sign up for email or text alerts about this fantastic free program. During the summer, SYNC offers two free audiobooks every week for 16 weeks. For 2017, the program begins on April 27.
The best part is that once you download the free audiobook through OverDrive, a free program that's easy to use, the book is yours. Forever!
Do think about where you want to download those audiobooks. I downloaded the MacOS version of OverDrive, so I could keep the audiobook files on my desktop computer, which has much more memory than my iPhone or iPad. If I want to listen to the books on the go, I just transfer the files to iTunes and sync through iCloud to my mobile device.
Riveted from Simon & Schuster also focuses on YA literature freebies. Their tagline is "YA fiction is our addiction."
Every week they add new YA books and extended excerpts to their freebie rotation. I like that the expiration date for each book is clearly marked. Their website also lets you see what freebies are coming up.
If you sign up for their newsletter, every Friday you get an overview of what books will be free along with the latest posts from their blog. The newsletter will feature any other giveaways as well.
If science-fiction and fantasy are more your style, then TOR.com offers a free e-book every month as part of their online book club. When you sign up, you're notified by email for the download window for the latest e-book.
Books are available in Mobi format for Kindle and ePub for Apple and other devices. Downloading is always quick and easy.
Nonfiction lovers may want to sign up for the monthly email from the University of Chicago Press Books. Every month they feature a new free e-book.
When you subscribe, you can personalize the topics you want to receive news on in that monthly email. And they really do just send this email out once amonth.
These deals are monthly and daily. I'll usually flip through the monthly deals pretty quickly since many of the titles do get regurgitated over time. The daily deals are worth signing up for.
At the end of the year, Amazon usually puts many of the year's best selling books on sale. And when they decide to feature an author, they commit. Not so long ago, they featured John Scalzi. While I do own Old Man's War, I didn't have the five other sequels. I do now. For under $15.
If you have an account with Goodreads, you can sign up for deals that they bill as personalized for you. I have a bit of a bone to pick with that description. No matter how many times I double check that I have the genre romance unchecked, I still get bodice rippers delivered to my inbox. A bit annoying.
However, when Goodreads does see that I have books on my TBR shelf, they efficiently float those books to the top of my personalized email to entice me to spend my dollars.
To sign up, go to your Account Settings and click on the tab for Deals.
A newsletter of deals from Penguin Random House that you can customize by genre and preferred shopping platform.
While some of these deals also crossover with the Kindle Daily Deals, many don't. I've found some great finds, especially nonfiction through LitFlash.
Bookperk is another daily email list that highlights great deals from Harper Collins.
When you sign up for their daily email, you do get to choose one of four titles to receive for free. Of course, you do have to download their Bookperk app to read this free title. You do not have to use their app for purchases of their advertised deals. You can shop on the e-reader platform of your choosing.
Signing up for various publisher newsletters can pay off with the occasional special savings email. Harper Collins is celebrating their 200th Anniversary until April 17. Check out the titles they're offering for $1.99 or less.
MacMillan also offers an eDeals newsletter. If you subscribe, you'll get occasional emails about ebook deals and other special offers. Often, they intersperse new releases at full price within the various deals, so just double check the price before you click and buy.
Hachette sends a short weekly email of their best e-book deals. Their sign up allows you to personalize the genres and book formats you prefer.
Simon & Schuster is another publisher with a weekly email that you can customize by genre and favorite authors.
Book Shout is similar to Amazon, just with a smaller market share.
It's an online bookstore that offers a variety of reads from freebies to New York Times bestsellers. With a free account with them, you can track your reading progress, leaves reviews, and connect with friends. BookShout books can be read from a browser or on iPhones, iPads, Android OS smartphones and tablets, the NookHD+, and the Kindle Fire HD tablet line.
I subscribe to their newsletter just to see what ebook deals they toss out. I have not used their online platform to read anything on my desktop or iPad.
And within the Epic Reads weekly newsletter, you can sign up for their First 5 preview program. Each week, they choose a YA book to preview. You get an email every weekday that features chapters 1-5 of that book.
I read the first five chapters of The Thief, which I had been debating reading. Getting to read the first five chapters helped me decide that I wanted to keep reading.
While signing up for all of these newsletters does create a bit of a jam in my email inbox, I plow through these emails quickly. I scan. I almost never read the book's description unless the title catches my eye. Most books that I'm looking to buy I can easily identify, but every once in a while one book cover will pop out and I'll read the description.
To decrease the number of emails you receive consider your favorite authors. Sign up for newsletters from their publishers.
Same with genres. Identify the publishers who you purchase from the most and sign up for those newsletters.