Free Books on Amazon: Why & What

NOTE: For the purpose of this article, I don’t count “Free if you’re with Prime/Audible/etc” as free, on account of they’re conditional. E.g. Free-to-air TV has extra channels, but you can’t access them because they’re only compatible with high-definition televisions and you only have standard-definition.

A tech-giant recently released a new gadget, and possibly an updated operating system, and thus their affiliated online bookseller is marketing this as a great time for readers to stock up on some free books. (I don’t know who decides which books to make free, but I hope the publisher chooses, so the bookseller isn’t going rogue.)

Because of price-matching and whatnot, other booksellers are hosting the same deal. This is great, because I tried to download the software for the gadget’s affiliated bookseller, but apparently it’s not compatible with devices that aren’t affiliated with that particular tech-giant. (Yet their music software IS compatible…)

So I turned to Amazon, and they indeed have some of the same books for free. During my searches, I learned that offering the first-in-a-series for free – permanently, instead of just temporarily – is a great way to snag a potential reader’s interest, and self-publishers in particular are really going for this. And as self-publishers, these authors can change their prices if or when they want. (For traditional publishers, I figure their authors don’t get much say, but hopefully their publisher consults them about making a book available for free.)

Also, even traditional publishers offer short stories or novellas for free, to get readers interested in trying the full-length novels. Whether temporary or permanent, it’s a great opportunity for consumers.

Of course, in the past some self-published authors have been dismayed to learn that offering the first for free may not automatically boost sales for the author’s not-free books. So patience is a must – please understand that consumers may not immediately read something they just purchased, but buy so they have the OPTION of reading at any time. As much as publishers and authors may wish readers to read and review ASAP, readers actually have independent thought and decide what’s best for them.

As with any eBooks, geographical restrictions may prevent certain readers from accessing these stories. If books have the same publisher globally (such as in the case of self-published authors), there may not be restrictions. But if a book hasn’t sold World Rights or whatnot, that eBook may not even be available to PURCHASE in some regions, and certainly not free. Welcome to the world of geo-restrictions, which is an unfortunate hurdle that gets in the way of some people (e.g. me) buying some of the books we want to read. And because we only acquire books legally, we go without these eBooks.

But I digress.

Going through my author checklist today, some of their works are currently free on Amazon. (If the links don’t work for you, they may be geo-restricted.) Some may be free permanently, and others temporarily, so please check the price before automatically clicking the Buy button when it appears:

Maree Anderson: Freaks of Greenfield High
Abigail Barnette: The Boss
Kylie Chan: White Tiger
Debra Driza: The Fire
Colleen Hoover: Finding Cinderella
Katie McGarry: Red at Night
Richelle Mead: Bloodlines
Robert Muchamore: Rock War: The Audition
Diana Peterfreund: The First Star to Fall
Jodi Picoult: Where There’s Smoke
Veronica Roth: Free Four
Carrie Ryan: Flotsam & Jetsam
Karin Slaughter: Blindsighted

But these are just the authors I’m interested in, so use your own author checklist to find some legally free goodness.

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3 responses to “Free Books on Amazon: Why & What

  1. I’m always sooo disappointed when I click through to a sale book only to find it’s geographically restricted *mutters rude words*. I understand why it happens — really I do. But as a reader, it’s disappointing all the same. (And a downside of living in NZ… along with the horrendous prices we pay for paperbacks and hardbacks at our bricks-and-mortar stores — but that’s another sad story featuring me not having bought a winning Lotto ticket so I can freely indulge in a huge book-buying spree.) Anyhoo, thanks for the list, Tez (and I’m chuffed to bits you’d include one of my books– I nearly fell off my chair!!! Muwah!)

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