Apparently on TikTok “influencers” are telling people to return e-books after reading, and Amazon has no policy on this apparently. This hurts authors, especially indie and new authors. Royalties from returned ebooks are deducted from an author’s account and there is a delivery fee authors pay each time someone buys an e-book that does not get refunded when an e-book is returned. Sometimes this means authors will even OWE Amazon money.
Writers deserve to be paid for their time. Writing is work and writers deserve to be able to pay their bills and eat too.
People are cheap so if you tell them to return e-books after reading them, they will do it. This is theft. And often the more money someone has they cheaper they are. I also don’t know of any other digital thing that people can return for a full refund after using. And Amazon can tell you’ve read the book! Think of KU. Authors get paid by pages read.
Books can be expensive though and I get that. So here are some free and cheap ways to get books!
Libraries – If you have a library near you, you can get a library card. Also, even if you don’t, you can possibly get an out of county or out of state library card. I have an out of state Brooklyn Public Library card. The Brooklyn out of state library card does cost $50 a year but I quickly read enough books that if I had bought them i’d have spent more than that! And the year isn’t even nearly over! Local libraries are generally free. And you can use the libby or overdrive app to check out e-books and audiobooks from your home! Also some libraries use the Hoopla app as well. Check if your library does! If they do, it’s free for you and gives you access to even more books.
Little Free Libraries – Apparently there is an app you can download to find LFL’s in your area. Check them out! I actually just googled “Little free library map” and found littlefreelibrary.org. Viola!
Used book stores and Thrift stores – If you have any used book stores or thrift stores near you, you never know what you might find for cheap!
Become an ARC reader – Netgalley and more. You can become an ARC reader and get free books before they are released in exchange for a review.
Barnes and Noble and Amazon – In Barnes and Nobles Nook books and Amazon Kindle’s you can search “free” and find a load of free books!
Smashwords – You can easily search free and cheap books on Smashwords. The interface makes it very simple! They also have a huge sale twice a year (summer and winter I believe).
Project Gutenberg – Free books you can download that are in the public domain.
Kindle Unlimited – For a monthly fee, less than what you’d pay for 1 book much of the time, you can borrow up to 20 titles at a time and from my understanding there is no limit to how many you can borrow in a month, you can just have 20 at once, but you can return them once read (or even if you haven’t) and get new ones. Unlimited.
Scribd – Is the same price as KU. Not exactly the same as KU but still access to a bunch of books. Scribd 60 days free That link should give you 60 days of Scribd free to try it out.
Comixology Unlimited – If you like comics, graphic novels and manga for a small monthly fee you can get access to a ton of them to borrow to your heart’s content!
Prime Reading – Do you have Amazon Prime? Then you have prime reading and can read books at no extra charge through that!
Audible + – If you have audible where you get a credit each month, you have audible plus. If not you can get just audible plus for cheaper by itself. Audible plus lets you borrow a bunch of titles (not sure there is a limit). You don’t actually own them but as long as they are on audible plus and you have audible plus you can keep them.
Sales – I get a bunch of emails from Amazon and Audible about kindle and audio book sales. I recently got a bunch of audio books for $3 and $5 on sale!
Bookbub – You can sign up for bookbub and get a daily email about free and cheap ebooks on sale. Also apparently if you Google “Sites similar to bookbub” you’ll get a bunch of other sites!
Bookshark.org – Free and cheap kindle deals sent to you via email once a day. I don’t even remember signing up for this but I must have at some point.
Thriftbooks – This is a website where you can find used books often for very cheap and you can get rewards by buying books that’ll save you even more!
Tor.com – Sign up for their newsletter, it’s free, and once a month you’ll get an email for their selection for free in epub or mobi format for download.
Wattpad and AO3 – There is both fanfiction and original works on these sites, that you can read for free.