As an author, I spend more money than I would like to admit on ebooks, books and audio books. I enjoy reading them and they help me hone my skills as a writer too.
But recently I discovered a couple ways in which you can legally download free kindle books, including how you can get the new or popular ones as well. It will save me a bunch of money and I hope it can save you money too.
These methods for how to download eBooks for free (or practically free) are legitimate and explained in detail below.
In this article, you will learn:
- How to download free electronic books legally
- Where to find new releases, classics, and bestselling ebooks for free
- How to be a professional reviewer and read books before they’re even released
- Bad news sites or tactics to stay away from
Table of contents
- 1. Project Gutenberg
- 2. Permafree and Promotional Free Offers on Big Sites
- 3. Free Ebook Trial Through Amazon Prime
- 4. Get Free eBook from Kobo
- 5. Audible Free Audiobook Downloads
- 6. Check Out Online Libraries
- 7. NetGalley Reviewers
- 8. Free Electronic Book Sites and Directories
- 9. Big Book Promotion Sites
- BEWARE: Book Torrents
- Best Ways to Get Free Ebooks Legitimately
This article will not undermine any author or their works. So, don’t worry. I am not being hypocritical and showing people how they can ‘game the system’ or cheat other authors.
I just want to show you how you can get your hands on excellent eBooks legitimately and safely–without emptying your pockets.
1. Project Gutenberg
Project Gutenberg is an online community organization that finds legitimate ebooks online and publishes them on their site.
You can choose from over 56,000 free ebooks to download or read online.
Most of their collection includes classics and ebooks that either have no copyright or those books that lost their copyright over the years. Pride and Prejudice, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, and The World’s Greatest Military Spies and Secret Service Agents are among the Top 100 downloaded.
This site stands as one of the best and most trusted online sources for free ebooks, and you don’t even have to create an account. Just visit Project Gutenberg, download, and start reading.
2. Permafree and Promotional Free Offers on Big Sites
Big sites like Amazon, Google Play, and Kobo have sections in their store where they highlight both permanently free ebooks, known as permafree, and also those books that are currently at the price of zero for promotional purposes.
Using this method, you can find a ton of non-fiction and fiction, including popular books looking to make that ‘push’ up in the sales metrics.
Just recently I saw a David Baldacci book there…which was pretty cool.
Here are the exact locations for those free ebook sections on these three big sites:
3. Free Ebook Trial Through Amazon Prime
If you already have an Amazon Prime membership, the service known for shipping over 100 million products directly to your doorstep in two days or less, you can read free books too.
Through Amazon Prime Reading, prime members have unlimited access to thousands of books, magazines, comics, and books with audible narration. Even if you don’t have a Kindle device, you can access Amazon’s free Kindle books with the Kindle apps for iOS and Android.
If you don’t have Amazon Prime, you can get a free trial for 30 days to enjoy all the benefits, including borrowing free kindle books for a month.
4. Get Free eBook from Kobo
Just for creating an account, Kobo will give you $5 towards your first book (that costs greater than $5.01), including new releases and bestsellers. They have over 5 million books to choose from, including my all-time favorite book: Ready Player One. You can search by genre, new release, or see what’s trending now to pick out your practically free book from Kobo.
This Kobo deal is a serious opportunity for you to make money too. If you join their referral program, you can earn a commission just by sharing this awesome deal with others. That’s what any smart authorpreneur would do, so enjoy!
Use my link to get your first book, then turn around and start making money by sharing it with others. Get started and sign up for Kobo today.
5. Audible Free Audiobook Downloads
The other big player in audiobooks is Audible, a great service through Amazon that allows you to download and listen to audiobooks. And they offer a completely free trial. On top of that, Audible has just about every audiobook you can imagine in their library.
Take advantage of this free offer so you can get 2 more audiobooks for free simply by signing up for Audible’s free 1-month trial. Then, after your trial is over, if you don’t want to pay for the audiobook service, you can simply cancel and you owe them nothing.
A bonus perk is even if you don't stick with audible after your free trial, you get to keep your two audiobooks forever.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to ensure you get to download any audiobook out there for free and keep it for life!
6. Check Out Online Libraries
Believe it or not, public libraries are changing with the times.
Most libraries now feature an electronic book section where you can check out an ebook with your library card, just like you would a paper version.
Just jump online, search for an available ebook, click and read. Then, after a predetermined amount of time, the library will remove the book from your ebook device. It’s pretty simple and completely free. Just check out your local libraries and see which ebooks you can borrow for free.
Also, most libraries run on the OverDrive App. It's free to download the app to your smartphone or tablet, find your library, log in, and start reserving and downloading right there. Having been a member of the US Navy, I still have access to the Navy's online library, which also runs on the OverDrive App.
7. NetGalley Reviewers
Anyone who reads and recommends books can become a professional reader. Authors, book reviewers, journalists, bloggers, librarians, booksellers, professors.
Once you’re approved to become a professional reviewer, you’ll get to review big books for free before they’re released to the public. NetGalley’s current selection of books to be reviewed even includes those written by #1 New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and international bestselling authors, like Andy Weir (author of The Martian), Sophie Kinsella of the Shopaholic novels, and Chris Bohjalian (author of The Guest Room).
8. Free Electronic Book Sites and Directories
This is where it can get a little sticky. There are many ebook sites and directories out there with less than admirable objectives. So, beware of websites like this.
However, to help you find what you are looking for, the below directories or electronic book search engines have a good history of being safe and legit.
- Get Free Ebooks: One of the biggest free online book centers that is 100% legitimate.
- Free Christian Books: List of seven Christian books you can get for free
- Book Boon: Easy to use and well designed, this directory features mainly technical books and non-fiction.
- Baen Ebooks: Not the best looking of sites but still offers a lot of free legit ebooks – mainly fiction.
- Many Books: Another major free electronic book site that is both user-friendly and legitimate.
- BookSprout: This easy-to-use site offers free (and discounted books) from new authors. Each day they add dozens of new titles for you to enjoy.
9. Big Book Promotion Sites
Finally, you can download free ebooks on big book promotion sites like Book Bub, Free Booksy, StoryOrigin or Book Sends. You can browse free ebooks from just about every genre, including bestsellers and new releases.
If you subscribe to their newsletters, you can get free and reduced books in your inbox daily, to read work from authors you already love and find new authors to enjoy too.
BEWARE: Book Torrents
Torrents are a form of file sharing that is like a new aged Napster. It allows people to share files between themselves and uses a Torrent software in order to read the torrents that are transmitted.
However, I would stay clear of any book torrents or torrent sites. These are usually havens for illegal products and viruses.
No one can guarantee that the book torrent you are using won’t have illegal books or any viruses because torrents aren’t exactly managed.
So there is no need to download book torrents. You will only increase your risk of getting a virus, and you will most likely be illegally stealing someone’s book.
Best Ways to Get Free Ebooks Legitimately
You can buy just about anything online. From quality custom-printed swag to sweet smelling new fragrances for your significant other.
But as you can see, there are many ways to find excellent books online without pulling out your credit card, ranging from new and developing works of art to New York Times bestsellers.
You can access your local library online, use one of the many legitimate directories for free Ebooks, or just hit up the promotional deals from big vendors like Amazon and Google Play.
You can also make a few bucks yourself after you use your free $5 on Kobo by signing up and sharing the offer with other book lovers you know.
The point is, there are many different legitimate ways in which you can get free ebooks. So enjoy one (or all) of these free book offers!
Then, share how to get free ebooks with your friends, email list of fans, and followers. You'll make their day.