I am right there with all of you! It is hard to stay on your book budget when you have tons of your favorite authors releasing books every Tuesday You can tell yourself you won't read them right away anyway, but that doesn't stop you from wanting them! And it is harder and harder for new authors to break out and be found, especially if a reader has to make a choice...take a chance on a new author or buy three other books from authors they already know for the same price.
The market is crazy right now, but you don't have to be book poor! Here are five ways to get your hands on books (LEGALLY!!!! HINT HINT) without breaking the bank!
Lesson the First...
If you didn't already know, there is a place in most towns brimming with books...especially the newer books readers are waiting for. You guessed it, I'm talking about a library! Usually, you can get a library card for free within the city limits; I lived outside, so I paid $30 bucks a year and was able to check out six books at a time. When I was a stay at home mom with two kids, I devoured books like Girl Scout cookies and that membership more than paid for itself! And the best part is, the library has already paid for the book, so the author doesn't get screwed and if you want to be really nice, you could always pop onto any book seller site or Goodreads and leave a review. Reviews are like giving authors a warm hug of acknowledgement (even if the book wasn't to your taste.)
Lesson the Second...
Invest in an ereader. I know, it takes some getting used to and I still prefer the smell and feel of a print book in my hand...but, my wallet thanks me, as I can get ebooks a lot less than the print version. You can get a great basic tablet on sale for $30 bucks (watch Mother's Day, Father's Day, and Black Friday) or an ereader for around $60. And if I read it, love it, and want it on my keeper shelf, I can always invest in the print copy later. If the ereader is out of your budget for now, check out Facebook and Twitter for any hashtag that reads #Kindle #Nook or #iPad #Giveaway and just keep entering contests. You can also enter contests for #giftcards if you still aren't sold on the ereader, and buy print books with them! Usually, these giveaways are run by authors that ask you to share book releases and trailers. So, you're helping them out by spreading the word and getting a chance at a devise that will save you money in the long run. And make sure you are following those authors you can't get enough of, because guess what? We do a lot of giveaways of ebook, printbooks, and Advanced Reader Copies! So stalk us!
Lesson the Third...
Let's talk about the ebook sellers...there are sections in every genre for #Free reads. I have an iPad, so I love #iBooks. It is easy to navigate and I can see the top 150 free romances. There are always books available from best selling authors and debut authors I can't wait to try. And if I adore the author's writing style, I start buying their other titles because I got a taste and I just can't stop! But the best way to find out about free books is by following ebook newsletters like FreeBooksy or Bookbub. FreeBooksy is a daily newsletter that updates you on fantastic books in your preferred genre that are permafree (free all the time) or are marked free for a limited time. Big publishers will do this sometimes and another way to track these deals is by using hashtags on Twitter and Facebook #Free #Reads #Romance...and following your favorite authors! (And be sure to share news of a free book you loved with a friend!)
Lesson the Fourth...
Used Bookstores and Thrift Stores have been dying off the last ten years, but I still like to frequent the ones in my town. Why? Because I can turn in books I have already read, that aren't staying on my keeper shelf, and I can replenish my shelves with new reads. Used bookstores usually have a credit system for books, and the author has already received payment for it. However, you can share the love by loaning the book to someone and getting them hooked on the author's writing or leaving a review. You are probably sensing a theme here, but reviews aren't just for readers to determine whether they want to spend money on a book. Reviews help authors get book promotions that put their books in front of more readers. More reviews give their books visibility on Amazon. Reviews are crucial and authors are appreciative of readers who take the time to post.
As far as thrift stores, I can sometimes find old out of print books or books in mint condition I've been dying to read, and if the thrift store supports local charities like animal shelters and women's shelters, I feel like I am giving back to my community.
Lesson the Fifth...
The Dollar Tree! Did you know that they have actual books by large publishers available? I didn't until a few weeks ago, when I discovered two new to me authors who wrote for Zebra and Harper Teen. A dollar for a brand new paperback romance gives me a serious happy, and I know if I love the books, I'm going to go back and buy their back list. It doesn't help the author as far as sales on this book, but if I fall in love with the story, leave a review and buy her backlist, she's gained a lot from this one book...and I can still grab a cup of coffee to drink while I read.
Now, some of you may be rolling your eyes and saying, "I already knew this!" That is fantastic and you keep finding those gems and deals! But for those of you who didn't, I hope this helps. :-)
Avid writer of small towns, true love, and laugh out loud moments. Romance novel entusiast. Addictions include Coffee, Twitter, and TV Shows.