Monday, September 28, 2020

Free Books Without the Guilt and Curses

 Most authors will agree there should be a ring in hell for book pirates. Not a fiery ring or anything. We're not that mean. More like a ring in hell where the book pirate has an eternity of red lights and lost keys. Years ago, I had a reader message me that she'd read and loved the first book in the Coulter Men series. I was touched that she took the time to send me positive feedback, so I offered to send her the second book in the series for free. She happily told me not to worry--she got them for free already. 

I asked her for the website she was getting these "free" books. She sent me the link and you guessed it- they were from a pirate website. I told her those sites stole books from authors and often used these "freebies" as ways to sneak trojans and viruses into electronics. I wasn't lying about that. I read it in the pirate ring of hell pamphlet.  

The woman told me she couldn't afford to read all the books she wanted to read. She had a voracious, expensive reading habit. So, I sent her a list of all the many ways to get free books without being cursed by writer's wrath. 

1. Be a reviewer. Writers will not only give you free books, they might throw in their first born, to gain a reliable reviewer. Places like Net Galley and Online Book Club offer books to readers who are willing to post reviews. Reedsy also invites readers to become reviewers for their Discovery blog

Or maybe you want to start your own book review blog. Reedsy has an excellent post on that right here

The best part about being a reviewer, besides the free stories? Usually, reviewers get the books first, before they are published. 

Your local library. Remember that magical place with the cool stale air that smelled of aging paper and glue? It's still around and probably online offering free eBook lending programs. 

Be a Prime reader. I'm a member of Amazon Prime for the free shipping. At $119 a year, we spend that much on shipping over the holiday season alone, so it's a value for us. The bonus to that is it also comes with FREE reads. Not to be confused with KDP, which offers even more titles for free, there is a catalog of free titles just for Prime members

Visit Project Gutenberg. With over 60,000 titles to choose from, there's surely one or two books you've been wanting to cross off you to-read list. All of the titles are no longer under copy right and legally (and ethically) free to share. 

Check the free lists. Most all of the eBook sites offer free books- even if you're not in a paid program. AmazonBarnes and NobleSmashwords, and Kobo all offer free books. 

Newsletters and eBook sites. There are a huge variety of websites and mailing lists devoted to sharing eBooks, many of which are free. ManyBooksBookBubDigital Book Today and other sites offer lists of free books and they will send you an email notification of newly released free books.

This isn't even a definitive list. Just google FREE BOOKS and you'll get a huge list of free book sites. How can you tell the legit sites from the pirate sites? Look over the site. Legitimate book sites will have places for authors to submit the books they want to share for free. Pirate sites don't have places for authors to contact them. And be warned! Just like pirate music and movie sites, no one is stealing and sharing content as a courtesy from the kindness of their heart. There is something in it for them and that something could be your personal information!  

Legitimate site with Author Services

No Author services offered on this site that was
listed as the top pirating site by

\ Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay


mshatch said...

I love amazon prime - even more that I don't pay for it! My sister does! I've read lots of free books thanks to prime :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That is a ton of sources for free books. No need to hit pirate sites.
And hopefully you were able to get that pirate site to take down your books.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

With so many free options, why would anyone stoop to going to an illegal pirate site?

nashvillecats2 said...

Always good to look at Aaazon Prime, enjoyed the post.


Natalie Aguirre said...

Yes, there ae many legitimate ways to read for free. Illegal pirate sites are wrong.

SpacerGuy said...

You need to watch out for pirate sites and the mirror sites. I recall encountering a mirror of a legit site way back when and I was shocked how good it was.

Anne R. Allen said...

Such a useful post. A lot of readers don't know about free options like Project Gutenberg. Thanks for this!

Fundy Blue said...

What a great article, Elizabeth! I didn't even know about the prime books, and I'm a prime member ~ LOL! Thanks you!

Anonymous said...

So sad this is still a thing. There is no excuse for stealing books. Most libraries have ebooks that can be checked out from home, not to mention the abundance of free books 9n the internet.

Jyoti said...

I love Amazon Prime for these books! I love reading so much :)
Have a great day!

Pat Garcia said...

I am a member of Amazon Prime, Germany. I knew about the Kindle Program but was not aware of the free books in the Prime Program. I must check that out to see if the Amazon Prime in Germany offers free English reading books.
Shalom aleichem,
Pat Garcia

Vicky Rajput said...

Great post love it
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cleemckenzie said...

I might be tempted to add a bit fire to that ring. I think your ideas a perfect, and I hope readers take advantage of those free book sources.