When I got my first Kindle for Christmas almost 7 years ago, I had almost completely given up reading altogether due to the busyness of those early years of motherhood. I always had a baby in my arms, which made it hard to turn pages, or a toddler bouncing around and getting into things, which made library books more stress than they were worth. The Kindle changed my reading life and allowed me to dive back into one of my favorite past times, and I haven’t looked back!
Back then, I was so excited to just be able to read again that I read anything I could get my hands on, which means I pretty much lived off of Kindle freebies. As long as it had decent reviews, I was willing to give it a try, and it’s hard to beat free books.
Over the past few years, though, I have gotten choosier about the books I read, preferring those that have been personally recommended and choosing certain genres over others. Which means I no longer browse free deals to find my books.
That said, it’s a rare occasion when I actually buy a book at full price—most notably for a much-anticipated sequel or continuation of a series (like The Lunar Chronicles or The Winner’s Trilogy) or a new book by one of my favorite authors (like Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty). Okay, and I couldn’t resist Hamilton by Ron Chernow either!
But I have dozens of books in my “Books to Read” folder on my Kindle, and they’re all books I actually wanted to read and picked up for sale at $1.99 or $2.99.
Today I’m sharing my secret for finding Kindle deals on the books you actually want to read!
1. Kindle Deals at Modern Mrs. Darcy
Knowing that Anne handpicks the books that make it onto her daily Kindle deals list AND often links to her review of the books is almost as good as a personal recommendation to me, and I’ve found lots of deals on really great books through her. So much so that while I faithfully read the Modern Mrs. Darcy blog, I try not to check the deal page too often because I find too many books I want to buy…and $2.99 books still add up quickly!
2. Ebook deals from Goodreads and Amazon
A couple of weeks ago I got my first “deal alert” email from Goodreads, letting me know that a book from my Want to Read shelf was available at a deep discount.
I think this feature has a lot of potential, although there are a couple of drawbacks…
- My Want to Read shelf includes books I’ve already purchased (through the Amazon > Goodreads sync) as well as those that I’ve seen other people recommend, so some of the deal alerts I get are for books I already own.
- There’s no defined criteria for what books are emailed. They promise to email “noteworthy” deals, but there are some books I would buy at $4.99 and others that I won’t consider until they hit $2.99, and I’m not yet sure what they consider noteworthy.
- I haven’t been great about adding the books I find on various blogs (usually with an Amazon link) to my Want to Read list, but Goodreads makes it easy to do that with a bookmarklet, which you can find on the Widgets tab of your settings.
3. Using Amazon’s wishlist feature
Finally, if you’re not on Goodreads, Amazon’s Wishlist feature is an amazing tool. These lists let you save and organize your wishlist items and use them a variety of ways: to share gift lists with other people (like a baby or bridal registry), to stay organized (with project and curriculum lists), or to make a list of books to read.
To add a book to your wishlist, click on the Kindle version of the book and then look for the Add to List menu. If you click the button itself, it will automatically add it to your default list, or you can click the arrows to choose a different list.
It’s important that you add the Kindle version to your wishlist if you’re going to use it to watch for deals; otherwise you’ll only see deals on the physical books.
Once the books are on your wishlist, you can click Lists in the menu (under the search bar and next to Your Account) to see your lists.
Then, click on Filter & Sort and select “Price (low to high)” from the Sorts menu.
Voila! Any ebooks that are on sale will be at the top of the list, with information about the change in price so that you can decide whether you want to buy or not. I check every couple of days and scoop up any books that I truly want to read while they’re on sale. I also delete any that go on sale that I find myself reluctant to buy. If I’m not willing to buy it at $1.99, I probably don’t really want to read it.
Searching for deals on the books I want to read is one of the ways I’m able to read so much without it taking up a huge portion of our budget. (Although at this point I could probably read for the next year without spending a penny if I would stick to the books I’ve already purchased!)
How do you find deals on the books you want to read?