The summer reading season is in full swing, and there are lots of options for downloading discounted ebooks. Whether you’re looking for titles to load onto your tablet for a long flight or relaxing with your e-reader at the beach, here are five services that can help you find your next low-cost or free summer read.
Ebook Deals For: Kindle, NOOK, Google Play, iBooks
Cost to Sign Up: Free with BookBub account
Social Media: Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest
Subscribers to BookBub get daily email alerts that display each day’s free and discounted ebooks, which are available for a limited time. Subscribers choose the ebook categories (e.g., biographies and memoirs, horror, historical romance, nonfiction) they’d like to be notified about, and when they click on an ebook in the email, it links to the retailer website where the ebook is on sale, such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, or Apple’s iBooks. Any publisher or author can apply to have an ebook featured in the email alerts, and BookBub’s editorial team selects the highest quality titles out of the pool of submissions.
Ebook Deals For: Kindle
Cost to Sign Up: Free
Social Media: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube
eBookArrow, Inc. is an Amazon-affiliated service that sends out a daily email highlighting free and discounted Kindle ebooks. When signing up, users choose from a selection of genres (best-sellers, thrillers, romance, and action/adventure, etc.) for which they would like to receive alerts. Users also specify the retailer from which they purchase ebooks (Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Apple, or Google Play)—the capability to receive ebook alerts for retailers other than Amazon is coming soon. Authors, publishers, and publicists can partner with eBookArrow to promote titles that meet three requirements on Amazon: They are available for free or at a discount, have a minimum rating of four stars, and have at least 10 reviews.
Ebook Deal of the Day
Ebook Deals For: Kindle, NOOK, iBooks
Cost to Sign Up: Free
Social Media: Twitter, Facebook
Signing up to receive emails from Ebook Deal of the Day only requires entering an email address on the website. There are three types of discounts promoted by the company—free ebooks, ebook deals, and giveaways—that are listed on the Book Feature Calendar. Free ebooks can be found on the service’s Facebook pages for Kindle, NOOK, and iBooks. Ebook deals are posted on the site with links to the retailer that is currently offering the deal and its real-time price. Uses can enter to win some of the giveaways via Facebook or email. (Other giveaways link to third-party sites that are hosting the contests.) Authors can submit requests to pay for featuring their titles as free books for a maximum of 3 days, as a premium offering (available only for romance titles), or as a giveaway option with a 20-day maximum.
Ebookstore Daily Deals
Ebook Deals For: Kindle, NOOK
Cost to Sign Up: Free with Amazon account (Kindle Daily Deals); Free (NOOK Daily Find)
Social Media: Twitter (Kindle Team), Facebook (NOOK’s official page)
Ebook retailers such as Amazon’s Kindle store and Barnes & Noble’s NOOK store have their own daily email deals. Amazon users in the U.S. can sign up to receive the Kindle Daily Deals email, in which Amazon sends alerts for Kindle titles that are on sale for a limited time. Along with the official deal of the day, anyone can also view deals in categories such as romance, business and money, and science fiction and fantasy on the Amazon website. The NOOK Daily Find is available via email subscription, on Barnes & Noble’s website in the Customer Favorites section, and posted in The NOOK Blog. Each title is discounted only for the specified day.
Ebook Deals For: all Android and iOS devices
Cost to Sign Up: Free with Humble Bundle account
Social Media: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google+, Tumblr
Humble Bundle has a pay-what-you-want model for its featured electronic games and ebooks. Users choose the amount they’d like to pay for a bundle and how they’d like their contribution to be divided (between Humble Bundle, a charity specified on the webpage, and the ebooks’ authors). A recent book bundle featured 11 science fiction titles from Open Road Integrated Media, which were available as DRM-free PDF, EPUB, and MOBI files. Though purchasing each title separately would cost more than $80, users could pay a minimum of 1 cent to receive five of the titles, pay more than the average price paid by others to receive another four ebooks, or pay at least $12 to receive all 11 titles. Other book bundles include e-audiobooks and e-comics, and the buying period typically lasts for less than a month.