An Introduction to Free Kindle Books

December 25, 2010 · 9 comments

in FAQ

For those of you who are new here, or new to owning a Kindle, Welcome!  I’d like to introduce you to Pixel of Ink, and the land o’plenty that is Free Kindle Books!

Pixel of Ink is a blog dedicated to Free & Bargain Kindle Books.

How to Get the Books

Step 1: Start from your computer (not your Kindle) and click through the links in the blog post for the book you would like.

Step 2: After clicking the link, you will find you are now on Amazon, viewing the book. Verify the “Kindle Price” is the price you are expecting.

Step 3: On the right under the “Buy” button, select the Kindle or Kindle App to send the book to.

Step 4: Click the “Buy now with 1-Click” button

Step 5: Enjoy snagging a great book at a great price!

The Background of Free Kindle Books

Want to know more about Free Kindle Books, and what’s going on? Why these deals are available and why they disappear? Continue reading below…

Public Domain vs. Limited Time Offers

Free Kindle Books come in two forms.

1. Public Domain – Books that are  no longer covered by copyright fall under the Public Domain. Though these books would be considered “Always Free” – some of them are not yet available on Kindle. You can usually pick up these books from Non-Amazon sources such as ManyBooks, FeedBooks, or Project Gutenberg, but not everyone enjoys placing books on their Kindle that way (via USB or email). So, when they arrive on Kindle because a volunteer has placed them there, I do a happy dance, and share the news here! You can find some examples of these books in the Always Free section, and you’ll recognize titles like Les Misérables and Phantom of the Opera.

2. Limited Time Offers – When Publishing companies would like to shine some attention on an author, they will make a book free for a limited time. This may happen with books that have been out for a while but are new to Kindle, or, perhaps with a trilogy or series. Often the first book in a series will be made available free, allowing you to “meet” an author, and hopefully become a fan of their other works, maybe even continue to read (and purchase) the books the follow in that series. It’s a very useful marketing strategy that benefits the author, the publishing company, and yes, us readers! We get to learn about authors in genres we would perhaps normally not read.

Here is the hitch with Limited Time Offers - we never know how long they will last! There is one rule in collecting Free Kindle Books – if you even think you may be interested in a book, and it’s free – grab it NOW! When the price reverts back to full price, if you got it free – you will not ever have to pay for that Kindle book again from Amazon. However, if you miss the deal, it’s gone. Some Christian Fiction books and a few Business titles will become repeat freebies, but most of the Contemporary Fiction books will not. And really, we just never know.

Traditionally you can expect Limited Time Offers to be free for at least a day, but sometimes a publisher will mistakenly make a book free – and during those times a book may only be free for an hour. When that happens, I always think of the Monopoly Community Chest cards that said “Bank error in your favor” – if you get it while it’s free, it’s free for you.

3. Pre-Orders – these really fall under Limited Time Offers…

When a book is available as Pre-Order, you can purchase it now, and it will be automatically delivered to your Kindle on the date it will be released. This works the same whether it is a Free Kindle Book, or just a regular Pre-Order. The 1-Click button will look a little different, and it is a slightly different color (the regular button is orange, the Pre-Order is yellow). With a Free Pre-Order, it works just the same as any Limited Time Offer.

Here is what the regular button looks like when you are about to purchase a Kindle Book:

This is what the Pre-order button looks like when a book will be released at a future date:

Right under the Pre-order button there will be information that will tell you the date the book will be released. Pre-orders, when free, fall under the same guidelines as the other Limited Time Offers – prices may change at any time, but the price at the time of purchase is what governs the sale. If the book is full price on the release date (as is often the case), but you purchased it while it was free – the book is free for you!

Prices Change

Before making a purchase on Amazon, verify the price is either free, or it is what you expect it to be. Prices change without notice, so older posts may no longer be accurate.

This blog is not automatically connected to Amazon (a price change on Amazon will not automatically be reflected here) – so please, verify prices, and if a book price changes, understand – it happens. In fact, that is by nature, the life-cycle of Free Kindle Books!

How to Request a Refund from Amazon

If you accidentally make a purchase because you thought the book was free, or simply hit the 1-Click button by mistake, it is okay! No need to panic!

Amazon will quickly and easily refund your money – and you have up to 7 days to request your refund. If you ever need to reach Amazon Kindle Support, the phone number is: 1-866-321-8851 (inside the United States). Or you can also request a refund directly from the Amazon Manage Your Kindle page. It’s super easy. Just select the book from your library you would like to return, and “Return for refund”. For reference, you can read the Kindle Return policies here.

Why is This Book Not Free (for Me)?

This question actually deserves it’s own post, but I would like to address it here as well.

1. The book may not be free for you in your country. Yes, Amazon is an International company, but the United States receives more Free Kindle Books than any other region. It appears as though this is changing, but here I will quote the wording exactly as it is found on Amazon. “For non-U.S. customers, Kindle content availability and pricing will vary.” Given that I too am in the United States, I can only see information as it relates to those in the US region.

2. The Limited Time Offer has expired. This book may simply not be free anymore. Sorry if you missed one, but you can be assured, there’s more where that came from! In other words, a new day is a new Free Kindle Book.

3. Not all versions of a book are free. For example, The Velveteen Rabbit is a book I shared as Free for the Kindle. When I go to the Kindle Store and search for The Velveteen Rabbit, I see at least 11 versions, and that is just the first page of results. There are two versions that are free, a few that are 99 cents, and many over a dollar. There are a number of reasons for this but that is a topic for another day… So, how can you be sure to find the book that IS free? Click the link in the blog post that goes directly to the book. If you search for a book from your Kindle, or from the Amazon Kindle Store – you may end up looking at a different version of the book, or even another book by the same name.

Ready to Get Started?

Click here to browse through the Free Kindle Books, or check out the Bargain Bin for great finds under $1!

Never miss a deal! To receive the latest news in Free & Bargain Kindle Books every afternoon, direct to your inbox – Subscribe today!

{ 8 comments }

Rhonda December 25, 2010 at 3:29 pm

love it

Barbara Helferich December 25, 2010 at 3:44 pm

What a great tutorial!!

april December 25, 2010 at 5:56 pm

Great post for those who received their Kindles today. Found this post very useful even though I received my Kindle as a gift before today. Merry Christmas!

Yanna December 25, 2010 at 7:04 pm

Hi Sharon,
What a great and useful introduction to managing my Kindle, and helping me from feeling left out from good bargain..lol
Thank you .
My husband gave me Kindle for my Christmas gift yesterday …and so far I have downloaded 15 books, My best girlfriend who is also my kindle buddy taught me what to do..lol
Your tips are so appreciated..and will check the site very soon..
Merry Christmas from your fellow kindle user in Australia.

Andy Mason December 27, 2010 at 3:52 pm

Thank you for what you do for Kindle owners and authors everywhere. I’m new to your blog and appreciated this tutorial.

Celia May 10, 2011 at 4:25 pm

Thank you for a wonderful post, and for all the joy you spread to the kindle community. :-)

(Is there a reason that Project Gutenberg is crossed out rather than underlined like the other links in the list of sources for public domain books?)

Sharon Rosen May 10, 2011 at 6:00 pm

Hi Celia,

You’re welcome! ;-)

Regarding the Project Gutenberg link, my blogging software thinks the link goes to a dead-end, so it is crossing it out. I’ve been unable to convince it otherwise ;-) Project Gutenberg is a great site, and the link works just fine (even though Wordpress keeps trying to insist otherwise).

Kama Ogden June 1, 2011 at 7:24 pm

I get sucked in all the time. Freebies lead to me buying more books by that author. So for me anyway it is a good bet on the part of the publishers.

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: