Author Topic: How to select free Kindle books?  (Read 3041 times)

CowboyAndIndian

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How to select free Kindle books?
« on: January 24, 2017, 05:28:35 PM »
My reading habits got quite expensive, so I started getting the free kindle books.
(Kindle Books -> Kindle Best Sellers).

My problem is that the books are quite a hit or miss. I have found some great books and authors (whose subsequent books I bought). I have found lousy books.

I used to pick up the top few books assuming that they were sorted in order (like the NYT bestseller list), but the top 100 books are not really in any order. I have wasted too much time on bad books.

What are your criteria to filter out the bad books?

rpr

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Re: How to select free Kindle books?
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2017, 05:32:03 PM »
My reading habits got quite expensive, so I started getting the free kindle books.
(Kindle Books -> Kindle Best Sellers).

My problem is that the books are quite a hit or miss. I have found some great books and authors (whose subsequent books I bought). I have found lousy books.

I used to pick up the top few books assuming that they were sorted in order (like the NYT bestseller list), but the top 100 books are not really in any order. I have wasted too much time on bad books.

What are your criteria to filter out the bad books?

I usually borrow ebooks from my public library. The big advantage is that it is free. The big disadvantage is that you may have to wait a while for recent and popular titles. But if you are flexible in what you read, this is the best way.

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: How to select free Kindle books?
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2017, 05:54:16 PM »
I usually borrow ebooks from my public library. The big advantage is that it is free. The big disadvantage is that you may have to wait a while for recent and popular titles. But if you are flexible in what you read, this is the best way.

That is a good idea. I am going to get Hoopla Digital and start borrowing books. But I read a couple of books a week, I need the free Kindle books to cover the period between the borrowings :-(

rpr

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Re: How to select free Kindle books?
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2017, 05:57:55 PM »
I usually borrow ebooks from my public library. The big advantage is that it is free. The big disadvantage is that you may have to wait a while for recent and popular titles. But if you are flexible in what you read, this is the best way.

That is a good idea. I am going to get Hoopla Digital and start borrowing books. But I read a couple of books a week, I need the free Kindle books to cover the period between the borrowings :-(
My library allows 10 books out at a time. Plus, I can return anytime I have finished reading them. Works with Kindle and ePub using Overdrive.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2017, 06:01:06 PM by rpr »

Pigeon

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Re: How to select free Kindle books?
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2017, 06:04:06 PM »
I also borrow from the public library.  I have library cards for a couple of different systems and can always find something.  I also put holds on them and they are automatically checked out to me when a copy becomes available.  I do subscribe to a few email lists that report free or cheap ebooks, and I do "buy" a few of the free ones.  In general, I steer clear of self-published books as I find that they are generally not things I find worth reading.

Cpa Cat

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Re: How to select free Kindle books?
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2017, 06:28:24 PM »
I also use Overdrive with library cards from two different libraries. One card is from my city. The other card is from a major city that allows individuals from neighboring counties to get cards.

teen persuasion

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Re: How to select free Kindle books?
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2017, 08:34:34 PM »
Find out exactly what's available to you thru your library.  Mine has Overdrive, Hoopla, and something else that has classics out of copyright (can't recall the name).  Overdrive works on a one-book, one-checkout system (have to wait for your turn), but you are limited to a set number of checkouts at one time.  Read them and return them, or choose the 7 day checkout instead of 14 day, to clear room to checkout more.  Hoopla has unlimited copies available (never wait), but limits your total checkout number per month.  They have different selections. 

If you like the classics, the ones out of copyright can be free, and should be better than potluck on Amazon's free list.  They can also be available on Amazon, though probably not in the top 100.  Just search for titles and see if there is a free version.  There will be versions that are NOT free; anyone is allowed to create a nicely typeset new version and charge if they wish.  Don't select these by mistake.

As for Amazon's top 100 free list - I check it every few days, as things may pop on and off again quickly, say a short term free offer of an author's new sequel.  If something looks interesting, I read the reviews - people will call out poor spelling and illogical storylines, so you have some idea if it's a bad choice.  If you have a favorite genre you are looking for more of, select that genre on the left hand side menu - often you will now see the top 100 free books in that genre, which would normally be further down the main list, so you see more titles.

Then there's lending thru Amazon - I haven't tried it yet, so don't know how it works, but explore the idea.

I tend to get a free book from Amazon when I see it - it may not be there later ( or may not be free).  Once I own it, it can sit until I'm looking for something to read.  Books I checkout from services I try to read immediately, or I'll forget to finish it in time.  On my old kindle (not a Fire) I only used WiFi when downloading, so as long as there was no internet connection I could continue to read Overdrive ebooks beyond the due date - as soon as an internet connection was established, the DRM software world lock up the overdue book.  Essentially, it didn't get the message to lock the book until it had an internet connection.  That trick doesn't work so well on my kindle Fire, since I use it as a tablet and not just an ereader.

iowagirl

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Re: How to select free Kindle books?
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2017, 05:10:26 AM »
I just signed up for Bookbub and it sends me an email with free books. I read the description and if I'm not interested I don't download it and if I start reading it and not interested in the first 3 pages I just delete the book from my device and move on. I also us Overdrive from the library. I mostly use it for the audio book to listen to in the car or at work.

Mezzie

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Re: How to select free Kindle books?
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2017, 05:18:05 AM »
I didn't have much luck with books from the Kindle lending library, either, but as everyone else has said, the library is great. I have cards for two big systems (one of them a county system), so generally I can get what I want. Sometimes I have to wait, but that's just part of being a library patron. :)

Mikila

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Re: How to select free Kindle books?
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2017, 06:36:08 AM »
OP, you are not alone.  Because I read a book every 1-2 days and am frugal, finding free books is a necessity.  I second the recommendation of Bookbub.  You set the genre parameters, and receive an email a day regarding discount and free books in the genres you chose.  If the book is free and looks interesting with good reviews, I will download it.  If later it is found to have poor writing, it will be deleted without guilt of wasting resources. 

E- publishing has blessedly opened up the writing field for more authors, however, as well all know, some of the books written wouldn't be worth the ink on the pages they were printed on...if they were printed.  If a particular book has a print version, that is a point in its favor.

These strategies along with liberal use of the public library are sufficient for me 90% of the time.  I hope this helps!

tweezers

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Re: How to select free Kindle books?
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2017, 09:07:13 AM »
I also read quickly (2-3 books/week) and there are a ton of books available through my library (Overdrive).  I've only bought 2 books in the past 4 years.  My library allows 8 loans at a time and 8 items on hold, and there's always at least one available in my list. 

Pro-tip: if you find you haven't finished your book when it comes due, put your kindle into airplane mode.  The library pulls back the book, but its still available on your kindle. 

Samuel

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Re: How to select free Kindle books?
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2017, 09:20:20 AM »
Pro-tip: if you find you haven't finished your book when it comes due, put your kindle into airplane mode.  The library pulls back the book, but its still available on your kindle.

Came here to mention this too. Turning the wifi off on an older Kindle will let you keep the library loan past the expiration date.

And yea, finally getting the Overdrive app on my phone massively increased my use of library provided e-books and audio books. It's pretty awesome.


jslasher88

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Re: How to select free Kindle books?
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2017, 01:32:09 PM »
Echoing the library digital media on here. I live in a rural part of New York State, but the library system still has a wide array of books via Overdrive which work really well.

I also just joined the NYC public library, which I found out is open to any resident of the state. While I'll never end up getting a physical book from them, they have their own enormous Overdrive collection of more stuff than I could ever imagine.

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: How to select free Kindle books?
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2017, 01:44:09 PM »
Thanks everyone. Lots of great ideas.

I am going to try out the library and get my accounts set up.

Cranky

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Re: How to select free Kindle books?
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2017, 01:46:17 PM »
I haven't found much in the kindle free books, but the deal of the day and the Kindle First selection is a little better. I get the daily email, and sometimes I go months without spending 99 cents on a book, and then I'll see a couple in a row that I'd like to read.

Otherwise, I have gone back to the library. My local system has really improved their selection and made it a lot more convenient.

Pigeon

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Re: How to select free Kindle books?
« Reply #15 on: January 25, 2017, 02:25:32 PM »
Echoing the library digital media on here. I live in a rural part of New York State, but the library system still has a wide array of books via Overdrive which work really well.

I also just joined the NYC public library, which I found out is open to any resident of the state. While I'll never end up getting a physical book from them, they have their own enormous Overdrive collection of more stuff than I could ever imagine.

The NYPL thing is amazing--I'm also not an NYC resident but have had a card for years.  They have some fantastic research databases you can use as well.