The point of my post? If you have a low income and do not have a lot of expendable income to spend on entertainment, and you like to read, consider all the legitimate free book sources that are available. Sign up for services that tell you about free books in the genre you are interested in, there are tons of them out there. They will send you frequent emails letting you know when the books in the genres you've selected are free, 99c or on sale.
Let's start with a few facts.
As of June 1st, 2016, there are approximately 85,502 FREE books in the Amazon Kindle store. You see that? Over 85K+ of free books! At my average reading speed of approximately 160 books read a year, it will take me 531 years to read them all. Dang! I don't even live that long!!!
So you argue, well, I won't read all 85K+ of those books because they are not in the genre I read. Say you're like me and you ONLY read romance. Well, I did a search in the Amazon Kindle store for "free romance books in kindle store". Know how many books came up? 14,284. Yes, that's right. Over 14K+ free romance books, in just about EVERY sub-genre of romance there is. That is going to take me about 89 years to read is the number stays exactly the same (but it's always growing!) and I live to a hundred! Who even knows if I'll be able to continue to read when I'm 90?
You see what I'm getting at here?
And if you're going to say "but the free books are rubbish!" I'd like to point out a lot of reputable authors list some of their books for free in order to introduce you to their work. Two of my favorites are Elaine Levine and Cristin Harber. They have the first books in their series for free. Some others include Evangeline Anderson, Katrina Abbott, Regina Scott and April Kihlstrom, and Athena Grayson. Haven't heard of these authors before? Why not give them a shot? The books are free! You haven't lost anything but some of your time to try them out. Move on to the next free book if you didn't like the last one.
And I'll even make it easy for you. Here's the list to the top 100 free romance books on Amazon. You can bookmark it and check back once or twice a week. The books keep changing. New books keep being added. And if you don't read romance, here's the list for all the other genres too.
Say you wanted to pay for specific books you wanted to read and didn't want to pay a lot of money. How about the books what are between 1c and $2.98? I'm not even counting the $2.99 books, which are plentiful and very inexpensive.
Approximately 20.9% of the Amazon Kindle store consists of books between 1c and $2.98! That's 947,387 of 4,535,673 books! 947K+ books. Do you want to know how long it will take to read all those books at my reading average? 5,921 years!!! That's older than Methusaleh! Methusaleh only lived for 969 years and he's considered (according to the Bible) the oldest man who ever lived! Hey, we're not counting vampires and other fictional immortal beings here! :-p
So far I've only focused on what's available in the Amazon Kindle store because that's my eBook retailer of choice, plus they also have the largest online selection of eBooks available to purchase. At the latest count, as of June 1st, 2016, there are approximately 4,535,673 books in the Kindle store. That's 4.53M+ books!! There's something for everyone!
In addition to Amazon Kindle, there's also iBooks, Kobo, Barnes and Noble and Google Play Books. If you're looking for something romance specific, there's also All Romance eBooks, and of course, Smashwords. There's something for just about any of your eReader / device of choice. Subscribe to their newsletters and you'll get notified of sales and free books whenever they are available. You can even select the genre you prefer. Trust me when I say, all these places want you to sign up for their newsletter!!
Other alternatives are free book newsletter subscription services like eReaderIQ where you can load your Amazon wish list and they will send you an email notification each time the book drops in price or is free. Or Bookbub. They have an email service which sends out an email once a week of free books in the genre of your choice. Ebook Discovery is another one. There are many others, of course, these are only a few of the more prominent ones. Sign up for all their newsletters. Soon you will have more free books to read than you have time to read them all.
Finally, if you're on Facebook or Twitter, like or follow your favorite authors. They are all very nice people. They often post promotions when their books are on sale or free. This happens frequently.
I promise you, if you do these things, you will have no shortage of reading material, more often than not free or as low as 99c. It's not a lot to pay for a book, for several hours of entertainment. It's less than a cup of coffee!! Authors put in a lot of effort to create these products for us to enjoy. I saw in passing on author claim a book takes her about 5,024 hours to write and produce. When they only charge 99c or $2.99 per book, it's not much, especially when you do the math and work out how many books they have to sell only to make back their initial investment, let alone start making money! Feed the authors so they can keep producing rockin' books for you to read. Buy their books! Leave a review!
I frequently get free books from very legitimate sources - mostly Amazon. You can check out my posts where I show what's new on my bookshelf each month, and many of those books are free.
And guess what? I haven't even mentioned your local library. Go join a library or two in the town you live in and surrounding you. They don't charge you anything to borrow their books to read and they always have new books coming into the library. You can even request books you'd like if you don't see them on their catalog. What about audiobooks? They have those too.
See? Plenty of options. Don't be naughty. Get your reading fix of free to very inexpensive books from legitimate sources.
ps. In researching the internet for this blog post, I picked up a whole bunch of free books from Amazon because I cannot help the one-click! :-)
UPDATE: Amazon has recently included a new feature with their email subscriptions service where they email you when there is a price drop for a book in your Amazon Wish List. It's similar to the eReaderIQ service but within Amazon itself. It's a nice feature. It prompted me to purchase a book I had on my wish list when I got the email.
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