If you read January Book Stats Part 1 you know that although I read 18 books in January, only one of those books was part of the 139 I acquired throughout the month. In this post I’m going to tell you how and where I usually get my books. I’m warning you, this is a bit long. But if you’re looking for how to get deals on e-books you won’t want to skip this post.
First, let me tell you that I spent a total of $9.98 on books in January. Both were from Amazon for my Kindle. That doesn’t mean that is the amount I spent on the books I actually read in January since sometimes I purchase books to be read later. Of the two books I purchased last month I only read one of them (Rescued by Love). I actually spent a total of $10.97 on the books actually read in January. Beside the Melissa Foster book, there were two by Nicole Edwards; Reckless and Naughty Holidays 2015.
You’ll notice that a lot of my reviews list the “source” as MCL. This is my online library, Midwest Collaborative for Library Services. MCL is provided through my local public library and powered by OverDrive. One of the best resources for information in our country is the public library and librarians. So if you’re interested in getting e-books (and audio books!) online, talk to your local librarian. Not only will they give you information on if your particular library participates in a library cooperative, they can also tell you how to access their online features. These online features can be great even if you don’t have an ereader. At my library I can reserve a book and get a call once it’s in the hold area for me. Since my library is part of a cooperative of over 20 libraries in my county, results of any searches include these other libraries. If I put a book on hold from another library, they send it to whichever library I want for pick up. Easy-peasy…and awesome. Keep in mind, not all books that are at your local library will be in your online library. And if a card holder of the library that has the book (whether e-book or real book) is on a waiting list for the book, they will have priority over you. But that means you have priority if it’s from your home library. I’ve been #40 on the waiting list for a book and gotten it within days since nobody else from my home library was on the list. (These books are not counted in my books acquired since they are loans.)
Another place I get books is Net Galley. This is a website where you can request advanced reader copies (ARCs) from the publishers. If you don’t have a blog and/or don’t like to regularly review books on social media it can be hard to be approved for a lot of the books they have available. Some publishers are pretty picky and others are more open to releasing their ARCs. There is also a “read now” section that has books you don’t have to get approval to read. Most of these ARCs will no longer be available after the publication date and will just kind of disappear off your reading device. Also, since these are ARCs, there will be more grammar and spelling errors since they haven’t been through final editing. I’ve found quite a few aren’t quite formatted for my Kindle very well. These are all things that get fixed before publication date, but if that is something that will bother you this will not be a route for you to take for books.
There are multiple ways I get books from Amazon. Of course, there is the purchase option. If you are an Amazon Prime member there is also a program called Kindle First. They usually have 4-6 e-books available of which you can choose one. These are books that will be published the following month so it’s a one month sneak peak of sorts. Unlike the ARCs from Net Galley, the books available from Kindle First are final drafts (in other words they are exactly what you will get if you purchase the book a month later) and you get to keep them.
For Kindle owners/readers, Amazon also has a program called Kindle Owners Lending Library. You must also have an Amazon Prime account for this program. You can borrow one book for free per month. Now, there are restrictions. There are certain books to choose from so it’s not open to the whole of the Amazon e-book library. The book isn’t automatically returned after the month so if you don’t get to it it’s not going to disappear on you. You return it when you’re done. But you cannot “check out” another book until the previous one is returned. It goes by calendar month so if you borrow the book on 1/31 it’s your book for January and you can get another book on 2/1 as long as you returned the January book.
Amazon started a new program quite recently called Amazon Prime Reading. Unlike the Kindle Owners Lending Library, you can borrow books even if you don’t have a Kindle. There are reading apps available for most phones and computers and tablets. Again, the selection is limited and you keep the e-book until you go in and return it on your account. You can also borrow more than one book a month. In fact, you can borrow more than one at a time. (Be cautious, this is NOT Kindle Unlimited which is a subscription service that has a monthly fee. I haven’t used that service as of yet.) I do not count books I borrow from Kindle Owners Lending Library or Amazon Prime Reading since they are not mine to keep.
There are tons of e-books available on Amazon that are free to own. The problem is trying to find them without spending hours going through thousands of books. About a year ago I discovered BookBub. I get a daily email with a list of books that are either free or being sold at a discounted price. This is how I get a majority of my e-books. I highly recommend using this website if you are trying to build your e-book library on a budget.
Once again this post is getting long. That won’t be the case in future recaps since I won’t have to re-explain where I get my books. Since I took up so much space explaining this time, I’ll just do a quick list of stats on those 139 books I acquired in January.
I follow some authors on Facebook and two of the books I got in January for free were from links the authors posted on their FB page advertising sales. One of them, When We Touch by Brenda Novak, I have read before but didn’t own. I love the Whiskey Creek series so couldn’t pass the up that deal. A couple more I did a search on Amazon because I knew the books I was looking for were part of the public domain due to their age so would be available for free.
Believe it or not, I got 130 of my books by following links in my daily BookBub email. And I didn’t even download all the books that were free, just the ones that sparked a bit of interest. I got In the Shadow of Lakecrest by Elizabeth Blackwell from Kindle First but have not read it yet. I also got two books from Net Galley that I’ll be reading this month before their publication dates.
Overwhelmingly, the books I acquired are contemporary romance of some kinds. Some are also YA, paranormal, erotica, etc. Here’s a breakdown:
3 chick lit
10 Christian fiction
71 contemporary romance
1 contemporary fiction
5 cozy mystery
15 erotic fiction
3 historical fiction
20 historical romance
2 motorcycle club (MC)
19 new adult
One last little funny that I came across. I gotta say, it’s pretty true. But even when it comes to any in the romance genre because some of those covers can be quite risque. With my Kindle I can read anything I want in the doctor’s office or in line at the bank without getting weird looks. Let me be clear, I am NOT embarrassed by my choice of reading material. But I can understand that the covers of some may be inappropriate for young kids or offensive to certain people.
I hope this post helps you find as many books as you can read. If you have a special website that you love for books, please let me know in the comments.