My Local LibraryOne of my favorite sources of free ebooks is my local library. Ohio has a pretty good ebook lending program. So when I'm short on reading material that's the first place I check. Ohio residents can go to either the Ohio eBook Project or SEO eBooks, and check for participating locations. If your library is a small branch of a larger library check for the larger one. Although some libraries are different (and may require a pin number), mine only requires the number on the back of my library card.
Not from Ohio? No problem! To get started you could try your local library's website to see if they participate. Also, check the Overdrive website and search for your state or country to find participating libraries in your area.
Since I don't have to drive to my local library and can simply check out books online, eBook lending has been a lifesaver for me because I have limited free time (like most people lol). Although I take my younger kids to story time at the library, it's hard to look for books with a three and four year old :)
Amazon FreebiesAuthors will sometimes put their books on a free promotional period to get more reviews and exposure, and sometimes they will offer the first book in the series free just so you'll want to buy the sequels. So don't discount the freebie books, I have found several favorite authors by getting one of their books while on a free promotion, and I probably would have never known about them if I hadn't.
You could check Amazon's Top 100 Free (this link is for romance, but you can change the genre on the left side bar). Or you can just enter search terms like 'paranormal romance' or 'Young Adult' and then sort the results by Price: Low to High. It should list free books first when sorted this way, but check the price first before buying to ensure it is free.
My Reading BuddyDo you have a friend that reads the same kind of books as you? A lot of Amazon eBooks are lendable now. Me & Jess often lend each other books, so we don't each have to buy the same thing. If you don't know anyone check on the Goodreads forums to see if you can find a group with similar tastes and then post a message. There are even websites that will help you match up to other people wanting to lend books, but I haven't used them.
To loan an eBook is fairly easy, just sign in to your Amazon account and go to Manage Kindle, then find the book you want to lend and hover over the dropdown menu. Next click the Loan this title button. Lastly enter the recipient's email address (not their @kindle.com address) and click send now.
- Just remember that each eBook is only lendable once, so make it count.
Blog Giveaways & Giveaway HopsLots of book review blogs offer eBook Giveaways and Giveaway Hops frequently. If you enter a giveaway make sure that you follow the rules set forth by the blog to avoid being disqualified. Also, if they have an option to tweet about the event and you can do it daily, then do it every day that you can. This increases your chances because you get an extra entry for each day you go back and do it again. I usually just check my twitter page the day after I enter one to see if there are any I want to win really bad and click the link from twitter to take me back to that site. This makes it easy to remember what giveaways I've entered.
Giveaway Hops are just a bunch of blogs that have grouped together to each have a giveaway at the same time to increase exposure. Some Hops also have a grand prize, usually something big like a Kindle Fire/Nook or a big Gift Card) as well as prizes at each stop. There is usually a list of links so that you can visit each stop. It's a great way to find new favorite blogs with similar reading interests.
A few sites to find great giveaways:
- I Am A Reader Not A Writer - She hosts lots of giveaway hops, and they are family friendly. Just scroll down towards the bottom, on the right under Giveaway Hops, for a listing of current and future giveaway hops.
- Release Day Diva - She hosts release day parties on Facebook for authors. Her events are online and are a lot of fun, with lots of games and prizes. I always have a great time when I get to go to one of these, and its a great way to discover new authors and win ebooks at the same time. You can find a list up upcoming events HERE.
- Carrie Ann's Blog Hops - I love her hops! Bloggers and Authors alike each offer a giveaway per stop and they usually have a grand prize. Most of the hops I've seen have around 200 different stops, but don't let it overwhelm you, you can just visit the ones you want :)
- Your Favorite Author's Facebook Page - Lots of authors give away books on their fan pages. I've actually won several things on Facebook just by checking every now and again.
Tip: Try to leave ratings and reviews for the books you read, not only does it help out other readers, it also helps the authors you love to get more exposure.
Hope that helps out! Let me know if you know of any other awesome ways to get free books legally :)