Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Finding E-Book Deals
If you run out to purchase the latest book from your favorite author, you may find a bit of sticker shock in that many traditionally published ebooks are priced at or near the paperback price. However, there are many ebooks available for under $4.99 (or free) that are published by the authors themselves or small publishers. Many of these books are creeping up the bestseller lists with their combination of high quality and low price.
The trick can be finding them.
Here's some of the places to look:
Do you like your fantasies with a little Sir Lancelot in them? There's a Bestseller List for Arthurian Fantasies on Amazon. Do you enjoy lots of science in your science fiction? Amazon has a Bestseller List for High Tech Science Fiction. Unfortunately, Barnes and Noble has less detailed bestseller lists, but they will at least point you to the top books in major genres. The low-priced ebooks on these lists are generally reader-favorite self-published authors, with lots of high-starred reviews, like Wired by Douglas E. Richards, the number one bestseller on the High Tech SF list with 345 reviews and priced at only $0.99.
Bestseller lists are great places to discover new authors, but there are only so many slots at the top of any bestseller list, and there are many great low-priced ebooks that aren't (yet) on the lists. Here are a few places to find new and up-and-coming great ebook reads:
Pixel of Ink
This subscription service will send daily deals to your inbox, but you can also browse listings by genre to see past deals. And there's Pixel of Ink Young Edition with books for teens and kids.
Kindle Nation Daily
This is another ebook-deal subscription service that you can also browse by genre. KND is obviously Kindle-focused, but if you're a Nook owner, you can often find these books on Nook as well (although the same low-priced deal may not apply there).
Bargain Books for Your Nook
In a counter point to KND, there's Bargain Books for Your Nook, which highlights a special deal each day. They've just started up, but they're already growing quite a list of books you can browse, as well as having the added bonus of content ratings!
Daily Cheap Reads
Another more Kindle-focused subscription service, Daily Cheap Reads will send you a daily email of their "cheap reads" for the day.
Five Star Books
With reader reviews the new currency in evaluating low-priced ebooks, this new site is collecting the five-star gems in one place, browsable by genre.
E-Reader News Today
Another subscription service that sends lists of low-priced ebooks (mostly Kindle focused) to your inbox every day.
Underground Book Reviews
A new site dedicated to finding and promoting quality Indie (self-published) ebooks (as well as new traditionally published authors) via a team of reviewers.
This group of new Indie (self-published and small-publishing house) authors are "dedicated to leaving a permanent mark on the world with our stories and words." They are all serious authors who have recently made the choice to self-publish and several are already on the bestseller lists. (Full Disclosure: I'm an Indelible!)
How do you evaluate these low-priced ebooks?
For low-priced e-books, often reader reviews are the best guide to the overall quality of the book. If a book has more than 20 five-star reviews, especially if those reviewers are "prolific" reviewers like book bloggers who log hundreds of reviews a year, then that is likely to be a high quality book. In addition, almost all books now have a sample available to read, usually the first 10-20 pages or the first chapter. With even a small sample, you can usually tell if a book is the kind you will enjoy.
The authors of these low-priced e-books aren't big name authors (yet). Part of setting the price low is to entice readers to take a chance on them. Give them a chance, and I think you'll likely find many new "favorite" authors to read, again and again.
p.s. My Internet Book Fair last October listed many new and soon-to-be released Indie (self-published) ebooks. It was such a hit, I'll be hosting another one after the New Year! Stay tuned...
Do you have any suggestions for places to find great ebook deals?