appsNo, this isn’t the obvious call to go to Gutenberg and download out-of-copyright titles, handy as that is. But it is a testament to how useful a good grasp of the deal alert resources out there – and by no means only for the Kindle Store – can be if you want to build a great library for nothing, or almost nothing.

I’m a daily user of the Deals, Freebies, and Resources forum at, one of Teleread’s peers in the pro-ebook online community. This is updated daily with tips from fans and regulars on discounted or free-offer titles available for Kindle and for other platforms – indeed, a great many of the posts aren’t simply reruns of the Top 100 Free Best Sellers in the Kindle Store categories, but are genuine tip-offs about publisher and author offers, etc. Obviously, some of these are more useful than others, but it’s rare that a single day goes by without something of interest.

At this moment, I have 90 titles in the History Collection on my Kindle alone. Some of those were purchases, but a great many were one-off freebies from publishers like Charles River Editors or Pyrrhus Press. Of course, many of these are repackaged out-of-print titles, but if the quality is good, who’s complaining when the publisher has nicely re-presented an originally free title, and is now putting it out there for free again? Many of them, though, are not: they’re solid works of history that have been put up for free on a one-time-only basis.

And fine, there’s the usual problem of having more books than you can read in one lifetime, but hasn’t it always been the way, probably from the days of papyrus onwards? I wouldn’t have missed any of these titles, and thanks to the kind community of ebook fans, I didn’t have to. Now does anyone else have a favourite community resource or newsgroup that they’d like to recommend?


  1. For those who use something other than a Kindle, I suggest these sites which send an email of deals every day.

    BOOKBUB.COM: As a reader, you have a clear range of genres, you can pick the format or bookstore you prefer, and the ensuing list can be viewed online or via a daily email. The sale price is prominently displayed. As a Nook user, I don’t have to go through all the Amazon deals to find ones I can read.

    THE FUSSY LIBRARIAN: At the site, there’s a book database that can find books according to genre with a wide variety within each genre, and your comfort choices about dirty language and violence. The email choices have the same variations. A listing of book sites include Kindle, Apple, Kobo, Nook, etc. There’s no ability to separate out books in formats or book stores you don’t use. A vast majority of the book listings I’ve received have been Kindle self-pubs and unavailable for my Nook so most emails go into the trash with a few glances. All the books have obvious prices.

  2. For audiobook lovers, there are free download-and-play mobile apps that benefit from the free audiobooks being created by Librivox volunteers. You can listen in other apps or download theirs:


    Loyal Books

    Audiobooks are a great way to make double use of your time. And if you like podcast listening, the Loyal Books website lets you add chapters in audiobooks as to your podcast stream.

  3. I received my first Kindle for Christmas from my husband, the traditional publishers instituted the agency model the following April, introducing me to indie authors and free and discounted books. I’ve never gone back and rarely pay more than $1.99 for any book. These are the blogs I follow daily:

    Books on the Knob:
    Daily Cheap Reads:
    Randomize Me:

    I now have thousands of books between my two accounts, which are shared by a number of family members. True heaven for this life-long bookworm!

  4. For Kindle only:

    Users can sign up for price drops on books they’re interested in buying. It’s good for an occasional bargin price, but I’ve learned that the books I want to read don’t frequently drop to really low prices. Even now and then I get a screaming deal, and that’s a nice thing, but as a rule of thumb, costs stay above $7.99 and some books stay at high prices forever. For example, Life and Fate by Vasily Grossman is currently $13.99 and has never dropped to $9.99 since I set up a watch in 2013. It’s not what I’d call the kind of book that will get a deep discount, but who knows. If and when I’m ready to read, I’ll have to pay the higher price.

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