Author Topic: Sources for free e-books?  (Read 4886 times)

Ladychips

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 379
Sources for free e-books?
« on: June 20, 2016, 07:22:18 AM »
I wouldnít buy an e-reader in the early days because I knew I could not support my reading habit if I had to buy all the books I read.  Then my public library made e-books available for checkout.  Bought a kindle the next day.  Although I didnít buy another book for a year, after that I started buying a few books (had a price limit though).  I didnít think I was buying many books until I started tracking my credit card spending.  Holy cow, I was buying a lot of books.  I might have a problem (which I actually knew Ė when I read physical books, I limited myself to one bookcase; in the virtual world, itís harder to measureÖ) I vowed to stop buying books!

So, there are a few books I want to readÖbut not own.  I have tried the following solutions:

1.   Recommended purchase to my library.  Although they buy some of my recommendations, they donít buy all.
2.   Amazon Prime Ė found out my husband is a prime member.  Even though he made me an authorized member (or whatever the term is), I cannot borrow from the lending library.  He has to borrow and share with me.  Fine.  When he tried to borrow, we found out that one can only borrow with an actual kindle, not a kindle app.  He doesnít have a kindle.  Sigh.
3.   Kindle unlimited Ė thought about kindle unlimited.  9.99 per month.  I canít stand the thought of seeing that recurring charge on my credit card.  Plus, when I looked at several books on my wish list, several of them were not available through kindle unlimited.
4.   Book bub Ė I donít need to find new things to read; I want to read specific books.  Book bub doesnít seem to be a good solution for that.

So, Iím asking my forum friends:  what are your sources for e-books?  Iím not opposed to buying books again someday, but right now Iím going cold turkey on buying any moreÖ

nereo

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 10037
  • Location: la belle province
    • Here's how you can support science today:
Re: Sources for free e-books?
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2016, 07:40:01 AM »
posting to follow...

I've been facing a similar situation.... I borrow ebooks from my library and download the free 'classic literature' titles, but the selection of eBooks at my public library is just ok and often there are wait lists of a month+.

I  also don't want to buy an  ebook I am going to read once for $12-15... I don't even have the option of selling it or gifting it to someone else when I'm done. I'd even consider renting an ebook if it was <$2 and I had at least 3 weeks to finish it.

MandalayVA

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1575
  • Location: Orlando FL
Re: Sources for free e-books?
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2016, 07:49:40 AM »
Kindle Unlimited seems to be the dumping ground for self-published novels--I have never seen a traditionally published book being offered through it.  As far as the Lending Library goes, that too is limited.  I've enrolled in Open Library and have had hit-or-miss results. 

rubybeth

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1401
  • Location: Midwest
Re: Sources for free e-books?
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2016, 08:22:01 AM »
I'm a librarian so I have a couple thoughts. My state has been working on a free eBooks project called eBooks Minnesota. I don't think this is limited to just Minnesotans. Your state or other states may offer similar projects.

http://mndigital.org/projects/ebooks-minnesota
https://library.biblioboard.com/categories

You could also ask if you could gain access to any other OverDrive collections by joining a different library--in my state, it's possible to be a reciprocal borrower at any library in the state (though eBook access is limited, this varies by state since contracts with OverDrive vary by library). It's worth a shot, especially if you're in a state with a large metro area library that may offer a larger selection.

Lastly, is there some reason you can't read regular books? If you've got library access, I'm guessing they could get you just about anything in print via inter-library loan (if they don't already own it). Paying an occasional fine compared to a recurring monthly cost may be worth it (I know it is for DVDs for me--I'm happy to pay a late fee to the library vs. pay for discs from Netflix).

ToeInTheWater

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 135
  • Location: Central Indiana
Re: Sources for free e-books?
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2016, 08:25:16 AM »
this site tracks what's recently offered for free on Amazon:
http://www.freereadfeed.com/?t=today&gd=list#t

can filter by genre.  won't have best sellers, and prob won't have any authors you've heard of, but a good list of books for free. 

also second looking at your local library

b


seattlecyclone

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4723
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Sources for free e-books?
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2016, 08:28:51 AM »
I second rubybeth's suggestion of trying to get access to other libraries. I have four library cards here in Washington. My home Seattle library has the biggest selection of ebooks by far, but sometimes there's less of a wait at a smaller library.

As to the Prime lending library, can't you just have your husband log into his account on your Kindle so you can borrow in his name as much as you like?

nereo

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 10037
  • Location: la belle province
    • Here's how you can support science today:
Re: Sources for free e-books?
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2016, 08:32:52 AM »

Lastly, is there some reason you can't read regular books? If you've got library access, I'm guessing they could get you just about anything in print via inter-library loan (if they don't already own it). Paying an occasional fine compared to a recurring monthly cost may be worth it (I know it is for DVDs for me--I'm happy to pay a late fee to the library vs. pay for discs from Netflix).

Thanks for the input rubybeth.  For me personally, getting the actual physical books in print is problematic since I do not have a library within 30 minutes of me.
Additional question: Why are there fewer ebooks available than physical copies? Is this just a matter of the infrastructure adjusting to a new format and way of doing things?  It seems to me that ebooks could be almost limitless in terms of copies available, and the libraries could simply pay royalties when a particular copy was checked out. Honestly, it annoys me that I have to wait 1+ months to download a copy of a book when the apparent bottleneck is simply how the copies are dispersed.

trashmanz

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 338
Re: Sources for free e-books?
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2016, 08:38:13 AM »

Lastly, is there some reason you can't read regular books? If you've got library access, I'm guessing they could get you just about anything in print via inter-library loan (if they don't already own it). Paying an occasional fine compared to a recurring monthly cost may be worth it (I know it is for DVDs for me--I'm happy to pay a late fee to the library vs. pay for discs from Netflix).

Thanks for the input rubybeth.  For me personally, getting the actual physical books in print is problematic since I do not have a library within 30 minutes of me.
Additional question: Why are there fewer ebooks available than physical copies? Is this just a matter of the infrastructure adjusting to a new format and way of doing things?  It seems to me that ebooks could be almost limitless in terms of copies available, and the libraries could simply pay royalties when a particular copy was checked out. Honestly, it annoys me that I have to wait 1+ months to download a copy of a book when the apparent bottleneck is simply how the copies are dispersed.

If you are asking them to pay unlimited royalties on each checkout I think you underestimate how much funds public libraries have. :)

RonMcCord

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 106
Re: Sources for free e-books?
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2016, 08:52:11 AM »
I second rubybeth's suggestion of trying to get access to other libraries. I have four library cards here in Washington. My home Seattle library has the biggest selection of ebooks by far, but sometimes there's less of a wait at a smaller library.

In my state, you can borrow any book at any library in the state with one card, they just send the over to the library closest to you. I'm surprised that's not the standard everywhere.

As for the ebook issue, I imagine infrastructure and licensing are an issue.  Newer books (which I've seen more in my library's ebook selection) can be easily be made into ebooks since everything is laid out on the computer so they just need to save it out to an ebook file. Older books that haven't seen new editions wouldn't have that advantage, and there wouldn't be any reason for whomever is sitting on the copyright to do anything about it.

nereo

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 10037
  • Location: la belle province
    • Here's how you can support science today:
Re: Sources for free e-books?
« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2016, 08:52:52 AM »

Lastly, is there some reason you can't read regular books? If you've got library access, I'm guessing they could get you just about anything in print via inter-library loan (if they don't already own it). Paying an occasional fine compared to a recurring monthly cost may be worth it (I know it is for DVDs for me--I'm happy to pay a late fee to the library vs. pay for discs from Netflix).

Thanks for the input rubybeth.  For me personally, getting the actual physical books in print is problematic since I do not have a library within 30 minutes of me.
Additional question: Why are there fewer ebooks available than physical copies? Is this just a matter of the infrastructure adjusting to a new format and way of doing things?  It seems to me that ebooks could be almost limitless in terms of copies available, and the libraries could simply pay royalties when a particular copy was checked out. Honestly, it annoys me that I have to wait 1+ months to download a copy of a book when the apparent bottleneck is simply how the copies are dispersed.

If you are asking them to pay unlimited royalties on each checkout I think you underestimate how much funds public libraries have. :)
Not at all...
There's a finite amount of funds that a library has, but also a finite amount of books that members can check out and read. I'm simply wondering why ebooks have waiting lists at all.
The conventional model (as I understand it) is that a library purchases physical books from a combination of tax revenue, donations and late-fees.  Then those books are loaned out to members. The 'wait list' here makes sense because there's a physical limit on the number of copies available, and 'best-seller' books are popular for a few months... but later on the demand lessens and the library sells off excess copies to make space on shelves.

With ebooks there isn't a physical constraint on available copies.  It seems to me that the total number of titles checked out on any given month should be more-or-less constant, so if ebook royalties were tied to # of checkouts instead of # of copies the revenue side would be easy enough.  I suspect the problem is that the model hasn't adapted to the digital reality of things...

plainjane

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1668
Re: Sources for free e-books?
« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2016, 09:14:17 AM »
With ebooks there isn't a physical constraint on available copies.  It seems to me that the total number of titles checked out on any given month should be more-or-less constant, so if ebook royalties were tied to # of checkouts instead of # of copies the revenue side would be easy enough.  I suspect the problem is that the model hasn't adapted to the digital reality of things...

I suspect it is like office software and that libraries are set up for a certain number of licences for each ebook.  At my office there are a limited number of SPSS licenses, so there would be requests at certain times of the month for people to close out so that another person could use the software. 

nereo

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 10037
  • Location: la belle province
    • Here's how you can support science today:
Re: Sources for free e-books?
« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2016, 09:22:16 AM »
With ebooks there isn't a physical constraint on available copies.  It seems to me that the total number of titles checked out on any given month should be more-or-less constant, so if ebook royalties were tied to # of checkouts instead of # of copies the revenue side would be easy enough.  I suspect the problem is that the model hasn't adapted to the digital reality of things...

I suspect it is like office software and that libraries are set up for a certain number of licences for each ebook.  At my office there are a limited number of SPSS licenses, so there would be requests at certain times of the month for people to close out so that another person could use the software.

I suspect you may be right (but would love to hear back from people like Rubybeth who work in libraries).  Still, I hope this changes soon. Books are already lend out for a finite amount of time, so unless I'm missing something there should be no reason why a particular, popular copy can't be loaned out 1,000x at once while other ebooks sit on the server, not checked out.  I suspect the licensing model still treats each copy as if it were a tangible object (and thereby 'owned') instead of as something that can be charged per-use.

Side bar: we had a similar problem wiht SPSS licenses - one of the main reasons so many people have flocked to learning and using R instead.

tweezers

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 186
Re: Sources for free e-books?
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2016, 09:27:45 AM »
NPR did a story on the e-book issue a couple years ago that explains why libraries might not have a huge selection. 

http://www.npr.org/2013/08/05/209114978/e-books-strain-relations-beween-libraries-publishing-houses

trashmanz

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 338
Re: Sources for free e-books?
« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2016, 09:30:09 AM »
It seems to me that the total number of titles checked out on any given month should be more-or-less constant, so if ebook royalties were tied to # of checkouts instead of # of copies the revenue side would be easy enough.  I suspect the problem is that the model hasn't adapted to the digital reality of things...

I don't necessarily agree that the revenue side would be easy, especially with e-books never having any late fees.  At least in my area, Libraries are not well funded.  It would all come down to the numbers, but I don't know if I'd blame the libraries as I'm sure the publishers/authors all want a fair cut for their work no matter how you slice it that is going to cost more money when easier access is available.  The problem with making it too cheap like the pandora/spotify model is that there will be more pushback from authors.  Already some books are not easily available in e-book format at libraries. 

Maybe it helps to look at it from the Author side.  As an author making a living from your work, would you see no difference with one physical book being at a library vs. an e-book setup so that it would be able to be read by an unlimited amount of people at any time?

nereo

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 10037
  • Location: la belle province
    • Here's how you can support science today:
Re: Sources for free e-books?
« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2016, 09:53:04 AM »
It seems to me that the total number of titles checked out on any given month should be more-or-less constant, so if ebook royalties were tied to # of checkouts instead of # of copies the revenue side would be easy enough.  I suspect the problem is that the model hasn't adapted to the digital reality of things...

I don't necessarily agree that the revenue side would be easy, especially with e-books never having any late fees.  At least in my area, Libraries are not well funded.  It would all come down to the numbers, but I don't know if I'd blame the libraries as I'm sure the publishers/authors all want a fair cut for their work no matter how you slice it that is going to cost more money when easier access is available.  The problem with making it too cheap like the pandora/spotify model is that there will be more pushback from authors.  Already some books are not easily available in e-book format at libraries. 

Maybe it helps to look at it from the Author side.  As an author making a living from your work, would you see no difference with one physical book being at a library vs. an e-book setup so that it would be able to be read by an unlimited amount of people at any time?

As I'm seeing it, changing the model would allow for more equitable royalties to be paid to authors and a much better experience for end-users (those that check out the books from the library).  The net amount of royalties could be held more-or-less constant, and they benefit the books that are checked out the most.

As an example, currently I am on a month-long wait for a specific ebook.  OverDrive tells me my library has 28 copies of the book, but there are a few hundred people in line.  I'm also certain that my library knows how many books (physical and ebook versions) it checks out each day/week/month/year.  Instead of simply having 28 copies of this book now (when there's a waitlist) and a year from now (when the 'rush' will be gone and 26 will be just waiting to be checked out), the library could have effectively an infinite # of copies available, but would pay royalties only when someone actually checked it out.  The total number of books a library loans out would remain basically constant. I don't agree that it would necessarily cost more to have greater access or that it would mean authors/publishers would get less.  Perhaps less popular books would generate less revenue, but this seems more like how it ought to be.  A library would spend the exact same amount of money on books - only they wouldn't have to worry about whether to buy 10 or 20 copies of a particular summer novel; they'd just know they'd need to pay for x checkouts per month.

The beauty of ebooks is that they have almost none of the costs normally associated with distribution; printing, shipping, stocking/restocking, repairs/rebinding, shelving space etc. But by thinking of ebooks in discrete individual units we're imposing a bottleneck where one doesn't need to exist.  Perhaps this is a deliberate strategy; this forced scarcity may drive more book sales (though I tend to doubt it - people buy books regardless of whether they are available in the library or not ebcause they want to 'own' them). It also may help the less popular books (and authors) because people who can't get the book typically choose something that's immediately available.  I don't think overall that's a good thing, though.

NPR did a story on the e-book issue a couple years ago that explains why libraries might not have a huge selection. 
http://www.npr.org/2013/08/05/209114978/e-books-strain-relations-beween-libraries-publishing-houses

Thanks - i"ll listen to that when I am home tonight.

rubybeth

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1401
  • Location: Midwest
Re: Sources for free e-books?
« Reply #15 on: June 20, 2016, 10:45:13 AM »
With ebooks there isn't a physical constraint on available copies.  It seems to me that the total number of titles checked out on any given month should be more-or-less constant, so if ebook royalties were tied to # of checkouts instead of # of copies the revenue side would be easy enough.  I suspect the problem is that the model hasn't adapted to the digital reality of things...

I suspect it is like office software and that libraries are set up for a certain number of licences for each ebook.  At my office there are a limited number of SPSS licenses, so there would be requests at certain times of the month for people to close out so that another person could use the software.

I suspect you may be right (but would love to hear back from people like Rubybeth who work in libraries).  Still, I hope this changes soon. Books are already lend out for a finite amount of time, so unless I'm missing something there should be no reason why a particular, popular copy can't be loaned out 1,000x at once while other ebooks sit on the server, not checked out.  I suspect the licensing model still treats each copy as if it were a tangible object (and thereby 'owned') instead of as something that can be charged per-use.

Side bar: we had a similar problem wiht SPSS licenses - one of the main reasons so many people have flocked to learning and using R instead.

So, I'm not in collection development, but I'll take a brief stab at this:

Libraries pay a bitch ton (technical term) more for eBooks than you do for a personal copy on Amazon--like, a ridiculous amount more. An eBook may cost the library $120, while it costs you $8.99 on Amazon. And that's just one "copy." Some publishers also limit which books can be licensed, and in which ways (licensing restrictions). I am guessing that this is because the providers/publishers know that we will never have to replace an eBook (it can be checked out many more times than a physical book because it won't fall apart like a physical book) so they charge libraries more.

You are correct that, due to licensing restrictions with providers like OverDrive (the top eBook service for libraries in the US), concurrent downloading is not allowed--so only one person can have a "copy" out at a time. We may need to purchase multiple "copies" to meet demand. Our collection budget has shrunk any time there's a budget crisis. You can do the math.

If eBook revenue was tied to checkouts (something no provider of eBooks for libraries offers, as far as I know), I suspect that would be very difficult to budget for--if somehow concurrent downloads were available, we could be on the hook for 100+ "copies" being checked out simultaneously. Maybe if we could limit that somehow, but still, the budget would be set for the year about eight months in advance.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2016, 10:48:02 AM by rubybeth »

nereo

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 10037
  • Location: la belle province
    • Here's how you can support science today:
Re: Sources for free e-books?
« Reply #16 on: June 20, 2016, 11:26:20 AM »
With ebooks there isn't a physical constraint on available copies.  It seems to me that the total number of titles checked out on any given month should be more-or-less constant, so if ebook royalties were tied to # of checkouts instead of # of copies the revenue side would be easy enough.  I suspect the problem is that the model hasn't adapted to the digital reality of things...

I suspect it is like office software and that libraries are set up for a certain number of licences for each ebook.  At my office there are a limited number of SPSS licenses, so there would be requests at certain times of the month for people to close out so that another person could use the software.

I suspect you may be right (but would love to hear back from people like Rubybeth who work in libraries).  Still, I hope this changes soon. Books are already lend out for a finite amount of time, so unless I'm missing something there should be no reason why a particular, popular copy can't be loaned out 1,000x at once while other ebooks sit on the server, not checked out.  I suspect the licensing model still treats each copy as if it were a tangible object (and thereby 'owned') instead of as something that can be charged per-use.

Side bar: we had a similar problem wiht SPSS licenses - one of the main reasons so many people have flocked to learning and using R instead.

So, I'm not in collection development, but I'll take a brief stab at this:

Libraries pay a bitch ton (technical term) more for eBooks than you do for a personal copy on Amazon--like, a ridiculous amount more. An eBook may cost the library $120, while it costs you $8.99 on Amazon. And that's just one "copy." Some publishers also limit which books can be licensed, and in which ways (licensing restrictions). I am guessing that this is because the providers/publishers know that we will never have to replace an eBook (it can be checked out many more times than a physical book because it won't fall apart like a physical book) so they charge libraries more.

You are correct that, due to licensing restrictions with providers like OverDrive (the top eBook service for libraries in the US), concurrent downloading is not allowed--so only one person can have a "copy" out at a time. We may need to purchase multiple "copies" to meet demand. Our collection budget has shrunk any time there's a budget crisis. You can do the math.

If eBook revenue was tied to checkouts (something no provider of eBooks for libraries offers, as far as I know), I suspect that would be very difficult to budget for--if somehow concurrent downloads were available, we could be on the hook for 100+ "copies" being checked out simultaneously. Maybe if we could limit that somehow, but still, the budget would be set for the year about eight months in advance.

Thanks.  It does seem like this is a system that's a bit stuck in the past, and it sounds like the publishers hold most of the power and are weary of changing the model.

begood

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 965
Re: Sources for free e-books?
« Reply #17 on: June 20, 2016, 11:36:12 AM »
The Free Library of Philadelphia offers out-of-state residents a card for $50/year. PA residents are free. I did the whole registration/card request online. I have never visited an FLP branch.

Compared to my county library's OverDrive selection, FLP has a much broader array of e-books (and audiobooks!) available. They've also been very responsive when I've requested that they add a title. In fact, every book I've recommended has been purchased. They check it out to me on arrival and send me an e-mail to say it's waiting for me.

You could browse the catalog and see if it has books you're interested in.

https://know.freelibrary.org/MyResearch/register

I have not purchased a book since I got my FLP card. If I put a book on hold, I'll usually go back and filter to "Available Now" - I've never left the site empty-handed.


Noodle

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1120
Re: Sources for free e-books?
« Reply #18 on: June 20, 2016, 03:37:03 PM »
The library policies may change depending on what the vendors offer. My library has Overdrive (X number of copies, wait till one becomes available as with traditional books) but also Hoopla, which limits you to 8 items per month but does not seem to limit number of copies of any given item lent at one time. The issue with Hoopla is that books don't necessarily stay available (similar to Netflix, where movies come and go). I hit my limit one month and spotted some other things that looked good--by the time I was eligible to borrow again, they were gone! (I have read that some of the Netflix-like e-book services have had to cut down on the number of romances they offer because the readers go through them so fast it was messing up the financials they had projected.)

Back to the original poster--Amazon does have daily and monthly sales on ebooks (there's an email you can sign up for.) A lot of it is genre fiction by lesser-known authors that the libraries are likely to have also but every once in awhile they will have some variety--Terry Pratchett's books have come up from time to time, for instance, and today one of the books was the classic (but not classic enough to be free) memoir Cider with Rosie. I'm not sure what your budget is for books but in a lot of cases a used hard copy (even with shipping) is cheaper than the e-book if you are willing to wait awhile.

ohsnap

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 245
Re: Sources for free e-books?
« Reply #19 on: June 20, 2016, 04:41:20 PM »
I'm so glad I opened this thread!  It reminded me that I needed to cancel the Kindle Unlimited trial subscription I started 4 weeks ago, to read - you guessed it - a self-published book that I saw on another message board.  I canceled just in time; it was going to charge me $9.99 on the 22nd!

As for the original question; my solution has been to do what others have recommended and get library cards for as many libraries as you can.  I live in an area where it's easy to do that; I currently have 3 active cards, as well as inactive cards at 3 more libraries that I could renew if I just took the effort to stop by next time I'm in that area.  nereo, I realize you are probably in a more remote area than I am since you mentioned driving 30 minutes to pick up books.  But do you occasionally travel to other cities in your state that might allow you to get a library card?  Having the 3 active cards has been great for me lately, both in an increase in selection, and sometimes a shorter wait for the more popular books.

BTW, I probably bought my Kindle the same day you did. :D  When Kindles first came out, I thought, "Are you kidding?  Why would I pay $10-$15 every time I want to read a book, and I won't even OWN that book?"  Then they announced the library ebooks and I bought one immediately.  I can count on one hand the number of ebooks I've actually purchased for my Kindle; everything else has been either a free download or a library book.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2016, 04:44:58 PM by ehallison »

teen persuasion

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1047
Re: Sources for free e-books?
« Reply #20 on: June 20, 2016, 07:40:36 PM »
The library policies may change depending on what the vendors offer. My library has Overdrive (X number of copies, wait till one becomes available as with traditional books) but also Hoopla, which limits you to 8 items per month but does not seem to limit number of copies of any given item lent at one time. The issue with Hoopla is that books don't necessarily stay available (similar to Netflix, where movies come and go). I hit my limit one month and spotted some other things that looked good--by the time I was eligible to borrow again, they were gone! (I have read that some of the Netflix-like e-book services have had to cut down on the number of romances they offer because the readers go through them so fast it was messing up the financials they had projected.)

Back to the original poster--Amazon does have daily and monthly sales on ebooks (there's an email you can sign up for.) A lot of it is genre fiction by lesser-known authors that the libraries are likely to have also but every once in awhile they will have some variety--Terry Pratchett's books have come up from time to time, for instance, and today one of the books was the classic (but not classic enough to be free) memoir Cider with Rosie. I'm not sure what your budget is for books but in a lot of cases a used hard copy (even with shipping) is cheaper than the e-book if you are willing to wait awhile.

Overdrive and Hoopla have different pricing structures for libraries.  Hoopla charges libraries for each checkout (varies by media) - my system just began using Hoopla, and we've set up a base pool of credit for checkouts, with provisions for future overage charges.  We shall see how it plays out budget-wise after a full year.

Overdrive allows library systems (and individual libraries) to purchase the right to circulate individual copies of ebooks.  Unlike a physical book, these ebooks have a fixed number of circs permitted (26, I've heard) and then it goes poof.  A physical book can be circed hundreds of times.  As Rubybeth mentioned, libraries pay an exorbitant amount per ebook copy (vs individual purchasers).  Certain publishers refuse to sell ebook rights to libraries AT ALL, so some bestsellers will never be available thru libraries.  We are terribly frustrated by these restrictions from the publishers.

Personally, I periodically check Amazon's top 100 free list.  Lots of self published stuff, but occasional promotional freebies of a known author's first in a series, to attract new readers.  It changes frequently, so I check often - the promotions may be one day only.

Out of copyright classics can be free (Gutenberg Press, Amazon), but can also be a "new" edition that is not free - check carefully.

Overdrive, Hoopla, Amazon free books are all I've tried to date. 

Regarding Amazon Prime - I've got a kindle ereader, a kindle fire, and DS5 has a kindle fire.  All are linked to (registered to) the Amazon account in DH's name.  I've renamed each device to distinguish them when downloading things.  Is your kindle registered to your husband's Amazon account, or do you have separate accounts?

MandalayVA

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1575
  • Location: Orlando FL
Re: Sources for free e-books?
« Reply #21 on: June 21, 2016, 04:24:07 AM »
The Free Library of Philadelphia offers out-of-state residents a card for $50/year. PA residents are free. I did the whole registration/card request online. I have never visited an FLP branch.

Compared to my county library's OverDrive selection, FLP has a much broader array of e-books (and audiobooks!) available. They've also been very responsive when I've requested that they add a title. In fact, every book I've recommended has been purchased. They check it out to me on arrival and send me an e-mail to say it's waiting for me.

You could browse the catalog and see if it has books you're interested in.

https://know.freelibrary.org/MyResearch/register

I have not purchased a book since I got my FLP card. If I put a book on hold, I'll usually go back and filter to "Available Now" - I've never left the site empty-handed.

Bookmarked!

NoStacheOhio

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2143
  • Location: Cleveland
Re: Sources for free e-books?
« Reply #22 on: June 21, 2016, 07:59:45 AM »
I just found BookBub, which notifies you of free or discounted eBooks in your selected genres/platforms ...

https://www.bookbub.com/home/

scrubbyfish

  • Guest
Re: Sources for free e-books?
« Reply #23 on: June 21, 2016, 09:00:27 AM »
Following, to see how folks think :)

Davids

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 973
  • Location: Somewhere in the USA.
Re: Sources for free e-books?
« Reply #24 on: June 21, 2016, 11:56:27 AM »
I use overdrive and I love it. I do not just use my local county library but other libraries in my state as well so I have a nice variety to look for books to check out or put on hold if not available.

I tried Hoopla and I was not that impressed with their ebook selection. Hoopla however I did feel was better than overdrive when it came to TV shows or Movies to borrow but I do not use it for that.

I have been meaning to ask a friend of mine who lives in NYC if I can get their library card number (if they have one) so I can use overdrive for NYC library. That selection is probably unbelievable.

Kaikou

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 503
  • Location: United States
  • Kermit is like a box of chocolates
Re: Sources for free e-books?
« Reply #25 on: June 21, 2016, 01:03:30 PM »
Did anyone get a settlement?

Apple, Inc. (Apple) funded this credit to settle antitrust lawsuits brought by State Attorneys General and Class Plaintiffs about the price of electronic books (eBooks). As a result of this Settlement, qualifying eBook purchases from any retailer are eligible for a credit.