There are a few universally acknowledged truths all book lovers must face at some point in their reading career: 1. They will never have enough time to read every book in the world, and 2. A book-buying habit can be an expensive habit to maintain.
Speaking as a publishing house, we could not function without readers who buy books. But it is equally true that we could not function without readers who talk about books. Today we’re rounding up some of the best places where you can feed your reading habit without breaking the bank.
This first place is likely the one you’re familiar with. Libraries are well-known for collecting and lending out books. If you’re a die-hard reader of printed books—paperback and hardcover copies in particular—the library is likely your best option for getting access to printed books. That said, it’s not your only option. Libraries also now have deals with eBook and Audiobook distributors, such as Libby and Hoopla, that allow all sorts of media to be released for a specified duration to one user. If you can read something in 21 days or less, this is a great option for you.
Advance Reader Copy Distributors
One of the best options for readers who love staying up to date on new releases is to sign up to be an Advance Reader through sites such as Netgalley, Edelweiss, BookSirens, and Pubby. These sites are set up to help publishers get books in the hands of interested readers pre-release and are provided for free in exchange for an honest review of the book. They all have different criteria for who can be a reviewer and what books you’re likely to succeed in requesting, but if you don’t mind (or possibly even prefer) reading electronically, these are fantastic ways to get your hands on books.
Author and Publisher Review Teams and Newsletters
Many times, authors and publishing houses will have a newsletter you can subscribe to that will keep you up to date with current book releases and review opportunities. Many publishers will use Netgalley or Edelweiss, but if you know you love books from that publisher, it’s likely they’ll tell you when their books are up on those sites. Authors, as well, may create street teams where they provide an Advance Reader Copy (ARC) to a select few dedicated readers who will help spread the word about their upcoming release. Signing up for your favorite author’s email list is a great way to make sure you know about opportunities to read their books for free and ensure you don’t miss their most recent books.
Blog Tour and Book Promotion Companies
Many authors and publishers choose to work with third-party publicity teams who specialize in getting books out to readers. Book Tour companies are always looking for more readers to send their clients' books to in exchange for taking part in the publicity campaign whether by posting about the book on your social media or by receiving an ARC and leaving a review on Goodreads, BookBub, The Story Graph, or other review sites.
Book giveaways are a fantastic way to support an author or a book you love. The Goodreads Giveaway program is possibly the best-known, but it’s not uncommon for authors to team up with each other to run giveaways on their social media and through their email lists. This is a great way to discover new-to-you authors and books similar to the books you love, and these personal giveaways often have higher odds of winning than the larger sweepstakes run by Goodreads or other similar companies such as BookSweeps, LibraryThing, and BookRiot.
Did we miss your favorite way to get free books? We’d love to hear your suggestions! Reach out to us on our social media with more ways you’ve gotten free books.
Browse our catalog by genre: