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Free ebooks: the killer of books

It’s still national book blitz month. Yay! If you missed my post on free physical books, check it out!

If you did read my last post, you know that I couldn’t find anything on the history of the holiday. So for this post, I decided to give you some fun ebook facts.

  • 6% of people on read ebooks
  • Ebooks with 100,000 words sell better than ebooks that have under 50,000 words
  • About 56,000 ebooks are published every month!

On to the good parts: free stuff! The internet is FULL, like overwhelmingly full, of ebooks. A lot* of these ebooks are either books whose copyright is up (think old) or are from unknown authors.

I HIGHLY recommend downloading the free program Calibre. You can use it as a digital library for your computer. But what I really like is that you can convert every book into the format you need. For example a pdf file into a mobi file (for kindle.) It’s amazing. Just do it.

*See end of the post for the less than ethical way to get newer books.


Amazon, ebooks

This one is probably the most obvious. Amazon always has free ebooks. They are all in the kindle format, but you can download a kindle app on to pretty much any kind of device. This mega list is the top 100 most popular ebooks for the day. Most are romance or unknown authors, but free is free.

Pixel of Ink

Pixel of Ink, ebooks

Ok, so this site isn’t a place to actually download free ebooks. But it is a place to get updates on free kindle books. You can sign up for the email list, and they will email you twice a day with the newest free and cheap kindle ebooks. That way you won’t ever miss a freebie!

Project Gutenberg

project Gutenberg, ebooks

This is probably the second most famous source (next to amazon) for free ebooks. Project Gutenberg has over 50,000 ebooks on their site right now. Most are classics, like peter pan, war and peace, ect. They also have self-published authors (a new feature.) So you won’t find the newest YA fantasy on here, ever, but it is perfect for checking off the classics list.

Freebook Sifter

Freebook Sifter, ebooks

This site is a lot like Pixel of Ink, but on crack. They list all the free ebooks from Barnes and Noble, Project Gutenberg, Kobo, and every amazon site. You can get daily alerts for newly added books. Just remember that if you are getting books from sites like Amazon and B&N, you need to download their apps or have their tablets. If you only have their apps, it is really hard (possibly impossible, I haven’t actually googled it) to get the ebook onto your computer to keep forever. If you have the tablet, it’s relatively easy

Free eBooks, ebooks

This one flirts with the line between free and not free. To use the site, you have to sign up for an account. You can have a free account, where you can download five books a month in only pdf or text formats. With the paid version, you get more books and can also get them in kindle and nook formats. They don’t have best sellers, just independent (aka unknown) authors. Personally, I think free five books a month is enough with all the other free ebooks out there.

Get Free Ebooks

Get Free Ebooks, book swap

This is another ‘collection’ site. But I included it because it is a tad different from the other two. The site is run with blog posts. Each blog post is specific to a genre, with a list of recommended books within that genre and where to find them. I really like this way of finding new books to read.


Smashwords, ebooks

This is another site that flirts the line with paid options. Again, yet another ‘collection’ site. But, there are a few reasons it stands out to me. The first is that it first and foremost a distributor. They distribute books to pretty much every major ebook seller other than Amazon. Second, they have a great search option. You can choose to look for free, $.99, $1.99, ect priced books, as well as books with a specific amount of words! You also get to narrow it down to best sellers, most downloaded, ect search options. The third reason I like it is because the categories get so specific. At the time of writing, the top book is a Disney travel guide. The categories it breaks into looks like this: Nonfiction » Travel » Amusement & theme parks, Nonfiction » Travel » By region. Talk about specific!!

Online Book Club

Online Book Club

This site has a pretty simple concept: they give you a free ebook, you review it. So technically you don’t pay anything, but a review can be task. But if that is something you are into, this site is for you. What is different about this site is that after you become a seasoned reviewer, you can actually get paid for reviews! Getting paid to read a book? I’m in.

Net Galley

Net Galley, ebooks

To use this site, you need to be a “professional reader.” What that means is that you have to be a reader that reviews. You don’t have to be a blogger or journalist or someone with a fancy name. You just have to make sure you review every book you read from them. I haven’t actually used this site, but a quick browse around had me impressed. While I didn’t recognize any of the titles, they all had pretty professional looking covers.

*So the not so ethical way to get newly released popular ebooks. Find and download torrents *coughPirateBaycough.* I may or may not have used this method for all the books currently on my computer. I’ll never tell!

What is your favorite way to get free ebooks? Have you ever used any of these sites? Let me know in the comments below!



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11 Responses

  1. I love free ebooks! I sign up for an email that offers me discounted or free books daily. I’m afraid if I went to sites where there were all kinds of free books I’d never get anything else done!

  2. Nicole says:

    This is a great list! I had no idea there were so many other places to get ebooks. I will be checking out some of these for sure!

  3. Nancy says:

    I LOVE Project Gutenberg! I spent two summers living in their library of lovely free things. Most I can just download right to my ASUS and read then discard, no fuss, no muss!

    I didn’t realize there was such a thing as Pixel of Ink, though. I’m definitely going to use it, I need me some new books now and then and I swear that searching Amazon for the free ones is next to impossible at times!

    Thanks for the info! For us crazy, book-hungry masses it’s nice to have so many resources laid out in one post. Especially for someone like me who has a little trouble finding what they want online.

    I’m currently re-reading Alice in Wonderland (Project Gutenberg). 🙂

  4. I’m a huge reader, but have nevvvvver read an ebook (I think I might just be the last person on Earth not to). I know there are a lot of pros to having digital books – I’m saving your post to check back with when I decide to make the leap. Can’t give up on my physical books quite yet. 🙂

    • ninamcclain93 says:

      I really like reading ebooks on my first read of a book. They are cheaper (or free) than physical books. And then if I love it, I will buy the physical copy. I had two bookshelves worth of books once in my life and now I have too much other crap to have that many!

  5. I’m totally saving this post! I didn’t know there were so many resources for free ebooks.

  6. Great post! I love Amazon e-books but I have been using Project Guenberg e-books since they began. I also love the free audio books from Project Gutenberg.

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