Read Cheaply: The Explosion of Free and Discounted Book Sites

Read Cheaply

read cheaply

You love to read. And why not? The cost of books has never been lower, and they have never been so readily available.

With the advent of the Internet have come dozens of discount book websites where you can download books from both established writers and brand-new Independent authors.

The amount of new books being published every day is staggering.

  • There Is One New Book Being Published On Amazon Every Five Minutes

John Biggs, writing on TechCrunch.com, elaborates:

“Let’s let that sink in,” he says.

“What does that mean for the indie publisher? If you’re perpetually optimistic, very little. If you’re even a little bit pessimistic, however, you might want to rethink your career.

As industry analyst Claude Nougat notes:

  • ”‘Now, if life is tough for the more successful self-published authors, try and imagine what it’s like for the rest of us?
  • “‘The reason why? Basically the tsunami of books that buries every single newcomer!

“This also means that this onslaught buries mainstream titles as well,'” Biggs clarifies, “which is something that should give the big five publishers pause.

Why pay more?

“With so much choice, why would we pay $14.99 for a mainstream Kindle edition when we can experiment with a few 99 cent (or free) books?

“The answer to that, obviously, is that the mainstream title has been vetted and edited by professionals, but even that is quickly changing.”

That’s the good news for consumers and potentially bad news for authors — both Indie and established.

With more and more books being made available at lower and lower prices, the field is left open for free and bargain websites to promote these titles — most often at cut rates.

One site provides a dozen 4- and 5-star reads each day

One of the market leaders, JustFreeAndBargainBooks.com owner Don Sloan says:

“We search every day for the absolute highest quality, lowest cost books available to present to our site visitors.

“Twelve new bestsellers  in 12 different popular genres (or categories) are available for easy download, and they’re all either free or heavily discounted.

“In the final analysis, no one should ever have to pay more than $3.99 for a quality reading experience ever again.”

Forbes weighs in on the topic

An article on  the prestigious Forbes website bears this out.

David Vinjamuri writes that the rise of the ubiquitous e-reader has spelled a sea-change in how traditional publishers view the marketplace these days.

He relates his reluctant conversion to an e-reader, then goes on to say:

“My experience reflects a profound and wrenching transformation of publishing that is shaking the industry to its roots.  The beneficiaries of the existing order – major publishers and their most successful authors — have become the most visible opponents of the turmoil that these ‘Indie’ authors have introduced.

“Which is too bad, because careful examination suggests that this period of chaos will eventually yield significant rewards for both authors and consumers.  It even points a way forward for traditional publishers who have faced years of declining profits.”

Ah, but how to effectively market these digital doppelgangers to the printed word? Enter the promotional book website.

A clearinghouse for book promotion

One clearinghouse for authors seeking free exposure for their books is ReadersInTheKnow.com, which lists more than 100 sites that promote titles either for free or a small fee.

“One of the most cost-effective ways to promote any book is to run periodic free or discount promotions,” says a site spokesperson.

“But simply making it free or discounted on Amazon is no longer enough. You also need to spread the word to as many potential readers as you possibly can.”

With that in mind, ReadersInTheKnow furnishes their list free at this webpage:

Many authors report that submitting their books to these sites on KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) “Free” days has been very effective. Some have even reported  increases in downloads of more than 1,000 percent through use of this tactic.

A clear win-win

“It’s a really good deal and a win-win for both the author and the websites. They have a symbiotic relationship,” Sloan says.

To check out a dozen new titles each and every day — at either no or low cost — visit JustFreeAndBargainBooks.com, or any of the sites on the list above from Readers In the Know.

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