Thursday, October 6, 2011

It Ain't Easy Being Cheap

Inspired by a new challenge at my Goodreads group, I am searching for cheap (99 cents) and freebie books this month.

This is a great challenge for me, for several reasons.

1.) I don't make any money reviewing books.
2.) I have no ads on my website.
3.) I have no paying sponsors on my website. (I like being an "Old Skool"-style book blogger...hee hee!)
4.) I rarely accept ARCs. I pay for my books.
5.) I don't make any money as a promo consultant. (I do it for free).
6.) I'm not making a ton of cash from my own book sales.
7.) All of my assorted jobs are volunteer.
8.) I read a ton of books, and there is no freakin' way I can be shelling out $20 for a hardcover when I read at least a book a day, sometimes more.

I believe in the currency of doing good deeds. (And mooching off my husband!)

My daughter's suggestions for making some money....
1) Become a dachshund breeder.
2) Open a cafe that serves only high-sugar products.
3) Start my own Etsy store selling hand-made origami animals.

While I ponder these options, I'm looking for good deals on Kindle. Here are some I've found for this month....

***A Duke For All Seasons by Mia Marlowe
This looks like a cute historical. It's only 99 cents at Amazon right now.

***My Third World Girlfriend by RJ Silver
This hilarious story is only 99 cents on Kindle. It's the latest release by my new favorite humorist, RJ Silver. His other books, The Princess and The Penis and The Ballerina, The Gymnast and the Yoga Master, are also available on Kindle for 99 cents. I can't recommend these books highly enough. They are clever, well-written and laugh-out-loud funny.

***The Sweet Gum Tree by Katherine Allred
This book comes highly recommended. Every person I know who read it, loved it. So I'm giving it a go, even though it sounds a little high on the angsty side for me. It's only $1.49 for Kindle.

***Wicked Games by Jill Myles
This freebie is wicked good. I loved it! And I don't even like contemporary romance, so there!

Any other suggestions for freebie/cheapie books? Please let me know!

Wondering if there will be a huge surge of interest in beardy lumberjack books, and I will suddenly hit the jack-pot next year,



Tales of Whimsy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tales of Whimsy said...

Great post!

Regarding ads and sponsors... I think bloggers that use them make some money but not really. Not enough to make it worth it. Not unless they are HUGE bloggers like Story Siren.

Do you trade your paperbacks? That's always a good way to get new titles without paying for them.

I like your husband's idea of an Etsy shop.

Regarding the titles you highlighted....
I'm still giggling at the Princess and the Penis. ;)

But hey I feel ya. While I don't make a money, I am really good at getting books for next to nothing and I keep the good karma going by always donating my books afterwards.

Penny Watson said...

Hi Juju! I like your idea about good karma....I totally buy into that whole thing, too!

I'll be taking about 500 books? to the used bookstore soon so that should help, too!

I think you should read The Princess and The is actually a very sweet (and hilarious) story. I think you would like it!

Penny Watson said...

I just downloaded another freebie on my Kindle....The Woodlanders by Thomas Hardy. I love freebies!

Beebs said...

Hi Penelope

A lot of the classics are free for Kindle.

I got all the Jane Austens, some Dickens, some Oscar Wilde and some Conan Doyle.

I love, love love freebies.

Julia Rachel Barrett said...

Hmmmm - I just bought a couple but haven't had time to read them yet. Here's one - In Pieces -

Penny Watson said...

Good point, Beebs! I got Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudice for free this year. If you're looking at classics, then you can get lots of freebies on Kindle!

Penny Watson said...

Thanks for the rec, Julia. I will go look that one up!

Heidenkind said...

Oh, awesome, a new RJ Silver! TY for letting us know.

I'm also on the hunt for cheapish books, especially eBooks. Paying attention to sales on Amazon is key, I think. I've gotten really good books at promo prices of .99 or 1.99. Some of Josh Lanyon's books were half off last weekend.

Penny Watson said...

I finally figured out where the Amazon freebie list took me a while!

JenM said...

I've tried lots of cheap books this year to try to cut my monthly book expense. I've found tons of really good back list books for $.99 - $3.99. Two that I picked up this month for $.99 and loved were Conor's Way by Laura Lee Gurhke (Irish boxer and southern belle on a former plantation in the 1870's) and Noble Intentions by Katie MacAlister (utterly hilarious Regency farce - completely unrealistic, but I haven't laughed that hard at a book in ages). No bearded heros though.

In spite of Agency pricing, the publishers occasionally put really good books on sale. For example, you can pick up Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost this month for $1.99. Last month, Jennifer Estep's first Elemental Assassin book, Spider's Bite, was on sale for $1.99.

Two fantastic websites for cheap Kindle books are and I check them multiple times daily because sometimes books go on sale for just a couple of hours. For example, last week, due to a pricing error, the entire Hunger Games trilogy was on sale for $4.38 at Amazon for 2 hours or so, then someone found the error and it went back up to $20.

If you are looking for cheap paperbacks (both trade and MMPB), try and You list your own books to swap and every time you send out a book, you get one credit to use to get a book from someone else. All it costs you is the price of media mail to send out your books (currently $2.41 for up to 16 oz), so rather than paying $3 or $4/book at the UBS, you are only paying $2.41 to swap.

Long post, but I'll leave you with this. There's a book on sale currently at Amazon for $1.99 called In Cheap We Trust - you might want to check it out. I will freely admit that I'm pretty cheap, so I'm looking forward to reading it LOL.

Penny Watson said...

Thanks, JenM!!!!! Thank you sooooo much for all these great tips. I am going to bookmark these sites.

I read Noble Intentions years ago, and I loved it. Hilarious!

Conor's Way sounds good, too...thanks!

Nina Pierce said...

I just got "Wickedly Charming" by Kristine Grayson and "Frontiersman's Daughter" by Laura Frantz for free.

I haven't had a chance to read more than a couple of chapters, but both intrigued me enough to have me downloading them.

Enjoy your reads!