Thursday, September 19, 2019

My Tips to Bag eBook Bargains

How to Bag eBook Bargains

I love books and I love bargains, so mingling the two gives me all the happy feels whenever I track down a deal.

The best books deals are often on ebooks, which suits me fine. I adore my Kindle tablets and Paperwhite, so saving money while increasing my personal ebook library is a treat.

You can seek out these deals several ways, most of which mean simply checking a couple of things daily. These options involve a quick click and scroll, something I enjoy doing over morning coffee. There's also a tracker you can set up for sale alerts as well as some sites you may want to check now and then that don't require a daily visit.

Here are my methods. Hopefully some of you will find them useful in getting deals on books you love as well!

1. Bookmark sale sites to check daily. Make a folder for book deals in your web browser and bookmark your favorite sites there. The No. 1 pick for me is Kindle Daily Deals. You won't find titles you want to buy every day, but it doesn't take long to scroll through the list, and it's a thrill when you do find a sale on books you're dying to read. Prices typically range from as low as .99 to as high as $5.99, but most hover between $1.99 and $3.99. I check Kindle deals every single day on Amazon, but other popular sites you may want to add to your link list for daily or sporadic visits include BookBub (which requires a login to see deals) and Book Riot's Deals of the Day.

2. Make a wish list. Amazon lets you create multiple wish lists, and making one just for books is the quickest and best way to find deals on titles you want. You can select the filter to reorder books by price from low to high, so you'll immediately see the cheapest books first. It's a blast when something new pops up at the top of the list for a few bucks. You typically only need to look at the first few books, if that, to see if there's a deal to nab. I check this daily – prices fluctuate on books in the blink of an eye, and the price you see now might last weeks, or it might increase later the same day.

3. Check Google Play book deals  Kindle prices automatically match. Google sells their own ebooks and has an ereader app, so of course they also have a deals page for books under $5. I highly prefer my books on Kindle, not only because I like the interface, but because there are a few different ways to access my personal notes and highlights that are extremely useful (I'll explain that in a future post for those who might not be aware of the options). Here's the nifty reason to check Google book deals whether or not you want to buy from Google: Amazon automatically matches their prices – any ebook you see on sale at Google you'll find for the same price at Amazon. And of course, if you use Google's book app, you can just buy them there. I'm not sure how often this list changes, but it doesn't seem to be a daily event. I check it once or twice a month.

4. Use eReaderIQ for sale alerts. This nifty website will send you an email when any titles you've added to a watch list drop at or below the price you set. Simply select the option to Track Books, tell it you want to Track Price Drops, and enter the ASIN or Amazon URL for the book in question (I find it easiest to just copy and paste the URL for the Kindle ebook I want). Name the price you're looking for and tell it to track it. If or when that book hits your price or lower, you'll get an email (so make sure to use an email address you check daily, as you never know how long the sale price will last).

Since I have an Amazon wish list for ebooks, making it super easy to find cheap deals when I sort the list low to high, I only use eReaderIQ for books I'd be willing to pay a bit more for. For instance, if there's a book I'd buy if the price dropped to $10.99, I'd have to scroll farther down my wish list through a lot of other books that aren't on sale to see if it had hit this price. I prefer to just glance at the first few titles on my list to see if anything's dropped to $5 or less. With eReaderIQ on the case, I'll get an email notification about sales on titles I'm willing to pay more for.

5. Nook Daily Finds  also price-matched for Kindle. This is one I don't bother with often because it only lists two sale books a day, so the odds of finding a deal on something I want are lower. But some may be happy to check more often. As with Google books, Nook deals can be found for the same price on Amazon. If you have a Nook or its app on your tablet, you can just buy the book for Nook. But if you really want Kindle ebooks like I do, you may never have thought to check out Nook sales. It's just one more place to find deals you can get elsewhere AND at Amazon, so you may want to add the link to your bookmarks along with any other favs.

6. Browse suggestions of books similar to those on sale. While you're looking at the Daily Deals on Amazon, if you feel like browsing a bit longer, click on any sale book you'd like to read OR that you have read and liked. On each book's page, if you scroll below the listing at the top of the page, you'll find two sections with suggested reads: "Customers who bought this item also bought" and "Sponsored products related to this item." There are usually a few sale items mixed in with these books as well, and these are ones that weren't included in the Daily Deal list.

7. Kindle Monthly Deals. Like Daily Deals, but these prices last the whole month, giving you more leeway on when you feel like looking them over. These are separated by category, making it easy to skip any genres you're not interested in. Most cost $1.99 to $2.99. They do annoyingly list the price as $0 if the title's included in Kindle Unlimited, and below that tell you how much it is to buy in smaller, lighter print. Since I don't have or want Kindle Unlimited, I find it a bit obnoxious that they make it a little harder for me to see the price. But I know they're doing this to push you towards KU, and if that's something you subscribe to, then looking at monthly deals has the added bonus of helping you find new things to read as part of your subscription.

8. Audible Daily Deals. This may not be an ebook, but it's a great way to increase your listening library on the cheap. However, you need an active paid (or trial) subscription to Audible to get this deal. For a long time it was open to anyone with an Audible account even if they weren't a paying member, but Audible put the kibosh on that a year or so ago. The sale prices typically hover between $1.95 and $3.95. While you're at it, paid subscribers should check out the Audible Originals once a month. You can pick two titles free each month from the list in my link, with new titles added monthly.

9. Check Kindle Matchbook and Audible Matchmaker. These you'll probably only want to check once in a blue moon. Kindle Matchbook plucks out any qualifying print books you've purchased from Amazon that make you eligible to buy the Kindle edition for $2.99 or less. This list probably won't be extensive for most as it seems there isn't a huge catalog of qualifying titles, and if you have no interest in owning an ebook of something you already have in print, you can skip it. I, however, LOVE an ebook version of a title I loved in print for various reasons. It could also prove useful if you bought someone a book you wouldn't mind owning yourself and discover you can now get the ebook for a song.

If you're like me, you'll find WAY more titles in the Audible Matchmaker, however. Have you ever noticed that some Audible books offer you a special sale price because you already own the Kindle version? Audible Matchmaker gives you a list in one place of all the special prices you get on Audible thanks to having the corresponding ebooks in your Kindle library. The prices are wide-ranging, with many being around $7.49, though a glance at the first titles that pop up on my list finds one at $1.99. This is helpful because once in awhile there's a book I like to own as both an ebook and audiobook. You qualify for these sale prices even if you don't currently have a paid Audible membership.

Now get to saving!

This may sound like a lot of effort on the surface, but once you bookmark links to check, set up your books wish list and eReaderIQ price tracking, it's quick and easy to check for sales. For me, hunting for book deals involves quickly visiting just two places daily (Kindle Daily Deals and then sorting my "books" wish list by price from low to high). My other roaming around deal sites is intermittent, and I quite enjoy scrolling through books when I'm in the mood.

What sites do you regularly check for book deals?

I'd love it if you'd follow or friend me on Goodreads. Let's be book buddies!

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