Love your Kindle but worry about the effect that buying eBooks is it having on your wallet? Read on for some great ways to get your Kindle books for free. If you’ve got a Kindle (or another eReader) or are using the Kindle app to read books on your smartphone or tablet, no doubt you’ll be accustomed to buying eBooks from the relevant digital book store.
However, you may not know that there are plenty of free eBooks available, too. Sometimes they’re free because of a publisher or bookstore promotion, at other times because they’re out of copyright, meaning it’s been more than 70 years since the author’s death. Either way, don’t miss out! Follow these top tips on how to get your hands on free and cheap eBooks.
Search your bookstore
Depending on which eBookstore your eReader uses, start your search in the Amazon, iBooks, or the Kobo Store from your eReader.
For example, on a Kindle, we searched for free eBooks and were presented with an exhaustive list of more than 45,000. On an iPad and using iBooks, we found we could simply go into the store and click the Top Charts icon to be presented with a list of 150 free eBooks. You may find you can search by author or title, then refine the results list by price, selecting either Free or Price Low to High so that free eBooks will be displayed first.
Alternatively, Amazon has a list of the Top 100 free eBooks on its website, rather than in the Kindle store itself. And sign up to Amazon's Kindle Daily Deals newsletter, which will also flag the best free and cheap ebooks available.
Sign up to BookBub
If you don’t want the hassle of searching for free eBooks yourself, sign up to BookBub, which does it for you. The service is free and once you’ve entered your email address, you simply select the different genres of books you’re interested in, the country you’re from and the eBookstore you’re interested in – Amazon or iBooks etc.
Whenever there are free or heavily discounted eBooks in the genres you selected on the relevant eBook store, BookBub will alert you with an email. It also offers a handy link directly to the eBook in the bookstore, so you can download it easily.
Rent from a library
Local libraries up and down the country will let you rent eBooks for a couple of weeks that can be read on some eReaders. Many have partnered with a service called OverDrive, so check with your local library if they offer this.
However, it’s worth noting these books can be downloaded in ePub format, which works on Kobo (as well as Nook, Booken, and Sony eReaders - if you're still using one of these), but not on Kindles. Furthermore, you can’t download them straight to the device – you’ll have to visit your library’s website and follow the links to browse the eBook library. Then when you decide to rent an eBook, download it to your PC or Mac, then transfer it to your eReader by connecting the device to your computer with a USB cable.
Alternatively, eBooks rented through your library and OverDrive can be read on Google Android devices, iPhone, iPads, and the Amazon Kindle Fire tablet by downloading the OverDrive app. Once you’ve finished reading the eBook, you simply return the book via your library’s website.
Extra perks for Prime members
If you've signed up to Amazon Prime membership, then you get access to Prime Reading - a selection of 1,000 books and magazines that you can read at no extra cost. You can download up to 10 and there are no return dates, but you'll need to return them digitally from the Manage my Content and Devices page on your Kindle account before you can download any more.
And if you also have a Kindle or Fire tablet, you can borrow one book per month with no specific due date to return it, but to be able to borrow another book you’ll have to return the one you already have through the Kindle Owners Library. Open the Amazon Kindle Store or your device and from the Settings menu select Lending Library. Select the book you’d like to borrow and tap Press Borrow for Free.
Then the book you borrowed will appear in your library. It's returned in the same way as books and magazines borrowed from Prime Reading. And the First Reads feature gives you early access to one of six books every month picked by Amazon Editors. You get it one month before it goes on sale.
Project Gutenberg is one of the biggest resources of legitimately free eBooks on the web. It offers more than 58,000 free eBooks, the majority out of copyright, in a range of different formats, including Kindle. However, just as with renting eBooks through your library, you’ll need to visit the Project Gutenberg website, download the eBook to your PC, then transfer it to your eReader by USB.
Rock bottom pricing
Got a specific book in mind? Then make sure you get it for as little as possible with the help of eReader IQ. This website allows you to enter the title of a book and your ideal price then you'll get an email as soon as it hits that price or lower. This works in the same way as Camel Camel Camel does for other items on Amazon (sadly Camel camel camel doesn't work for ebooks).
Jane is news writer presenting the latest trending information as it's released. She's spends most of her time sourcing premium news from our top sources bringing fresh updates to her loyal subscribers. She loves ice-cream and her dog Sally!