Ebooks are changing the publishing industry at a rapid pace. Gone are the days where aspiring authors have to face multiple rejections before they finally manage to get their books published. Publishing houses are still fighting to keep ebook prices high, but it is a losing battle. Plenty of authors prefer self-publishing over working with the publishing houses and authors are more hands-on with their own marketing. This changing industry creates great opportunities for readers to benefit from. Books are given away for free or next to nothing - it is just a question of being at the right place at the right time. Here are some tips for readers on a budget on how to get your favorite books at a bargain.
1. Follow Your Favorite Authors
Most authors of today have a social media presence, so be sure to follow your favorite ones. Whenever they hold a giveaway, the first place they will announce it is on their social media channels. If you are following them on Facebook, change your Newsfeed Preferences so you are alerted to any activity on their page.
2 . Follow A Story Chapter by Chapter
Some authors release their books chapter by chapter via Wattpad as they are writing them. It is a bit like following a TV series, and the cool thing about this is that your comments matter and might even influence the story. With 25 million users, Wattpad is the largest community for readers and authors and a great place to discover new talent and enjoy new stories without paying a cent for your reading pleasure. Many successful authors today can trace their beginnings to Wattpad.
3. Subscribe to Price Promotion Newsletters
Most authors follow a pricing strategy to create more exposure for their books. They know that if they give a book away for free for a while or slash the price, more people would read it and talk about it. You can search Amazon for free and discounted books, but an easier way to sort through the chaff and discover the real gems is to subscribe to a newsletter that features the best price promotions of every day. Newsletters have higher quality standards than a website's search filter. Manybooks.net, for instance, has an editorial team who hand-picks each book that gets featured in our newsletter and will only accept the books that pass a quality check. Most books in the Manybooks newsletter are discounted to less than $2 and many of them are available for free for a limited time.
4. Become a Book Reviewer
This one requires a bit more effort, but if you enjoy writing reviews, it can be very rewarding. The easiest place to start is on Amazon, but if you already have a blog you can also do this from your blog. Start building a bit of a portfolio by reviewing some of the books you have already read. Make your reviews fair but truthful, in-depth and helpful to other readers. Once you have a couple of them up on your account or blog, you can reach out to authors whose work you are interested in and ask them if they would be willing to give you a review copy of their books. You have the best chance with books that have fewer than 10 reviews up on Amazon. Just remember that you have to keep your promises - review every book you get before reaching out to new authors. Always disclose in your review that you got a free review copy of the book. Once other Amazon users have voted you up enough, you may even qualify as a Top Reviewer and discover that more and more authors are starting to send you their books in the hope that you would review them.
5. Join a Reader Community in Your Genre
There are plenty of genre-specific communities where readers chat about their favorite authors and books. Search for groups in your favorite genre on platforms such as Goodreads, Facebook and Reddit. These eager fans will definitely share the news if one of their favorite books are given away for free. If you don't want to focus on one specific genre, use search terms such as "book bargains," "free ebooks" or "99c books" to find pages that focus solely on free and discounted books.
The large publishing houses may not be thrilled with the way the publishing industry is changing, but one thing is for sure, it is very beneficial for bookworms. The Internet offers such a large variety of free books, if you had to read every one of them, you would take a lifetime to finish them all.