After submitting the copyrights for my 4th book, I told one of my besties that maybe someday (if I’m amazingly fortunate) writing will pay off enough that I can cover the associated costs to market and produce these books. Then I logged onto Facebook only to see the number of times Colleen Hoover’s post on piracy in digital media had been shared. Her words made every author’s stomach sink because—despite the fact it has never been a better time to be a writer—this is the reality every author faces.
What bothers me most is that there is no reason for piracy to happen. No one needs to steal to enjoy ANY book. Instead of shaming I’m going to give you ways that every reader can support their favorite authors and get their books at a discount. (Excuse me if I name drop to make my point.)
Let’s start old school with your local library! Yes, they still exist and in most places with a valid library card you can also hook up to 3M, Overdrive and other sources of digital downloads.* This is the place to start for Best sellers like James Patterson, Tom Clancy, Elin Hildebrand, Liane Moriarty, Harper Lee, Alice Hoffman, Diana Gabaldon and Elizabeth Gilbert, and Lisa Genova.
Kindle Unlimited - It’s subscription service allowing readers to download books library style. Love indie authors? This is the place to find them. J.L. Berg just put her Ready Series up on KU. Books enrolled in this program are exclusive to Kindle and at some point can be offered for free to readers for up to 5 days.
Enroll in BookBub and follow your favorite authors. Not only will you get a daily digest of free and discounted books in the genres you specify, they send author-specific messages. I’ll be honest, my BookBub digest was failing me for a few weeks and then up popped a promo for Kaylea Cross who I had forgotten to add to my follow list. I was so excited that I had to go fan-girl and post to her Facebook page.
Add a book in “to-read” on Goodreads. The service will alert you when there is a contest to win a copy of that book.
Scrounge the free listings on Amazon, iBooks and Kobo and you are sure to become a fan of a writer you never knew existed before.
Follow authors on social media. Not only do we pimp ourselves, we pimp other authors to let you know when they have a book deal going. Last week, I picked up an entire week’s worth of reading when another writer shared a freebie link.
Sign up for author’s newsletters! This week Denise Grover Swank announced that she would be offering a Rose Gardner Novella in 3 parts exclusively to her newsletter subscribers before its scheduled release date in November. J.R. Ward offers Black Dagger Brotherhood “Slices of Life” in her newsletter.
Become a book blogger. My content editor receives advanced copies from Julie Johnstone and several others in exchange for honest reviews.
Follow a book blog on social media- Reviewers raffle off tons of books, gift cards and swag!
Toni Anderson runs an iBooks group with monthly parties to introduce you to authors in her genre and includes a $100 gift card giveaway -That pays for a lot of books!
BIG NAME indie authors like Jasinda Wilder, Liliana Hart, always have a perma-free or .99 cent book from a series available. As a matter of fact, when I went to snag a link I found the Surrender boxed set that included them, Juliana Stone, M.Malone and Erika Wilde. FIVE books for a whopping $0.00. Helloooo 1-Click!
Into YA and what your kids are reading? Scholastic has local warehouse sales (I'm all for getting my Puckwudgies to read, but these are not the school book fairs that your kids make you give them $ to buy horrible video game user guides.) Not only can you find titles by J.K. Rowling and Kiera Cass, Scholastic looks for “volunteers” from local PTA’s whom they pay in, you guessed it, FREE BOOKS!
I’d like to mention that while I use every one of these sources, I do pay for books from authors I love without hesitation. I also purchased a second copy of one my personal favorite reads this year and gifted it. If you love a writer share the wealth!
I know you are thinking, “I don’t read any of these authors!” Well, guess what? 1. You should because they ROCK and 2. In all likelihood, the authors that you read have similar things going once you take the time to search.
So set sail on the rest of your summer and happy reading!
*If you need a hard copy they can be reserved online via your library’s website or by visiting the circulation desk. Even my books are available through interlibrary loan in Southern NH. Have to have one for your own personal library? Amazon has a link that says “New and Used” to purchase discounted copies that others have read.