The Drop Dead Simple Guide to Finding (and Loading) Free eBooks for Your Kindle

free-ebooks[1]There are a million and one posts out there which will tell you how to find free ebooks for your Kindle, but IMO they all share a common flaw:

They're not simple enough.

I am a firm believer is streamlining technical instructions so they are as simple as possible, so when I came across a post this weekend that talked about how to use calibre to convert ebook files and how to email ebooks to your Kindle account, I could see that it wasn't simple enough.

So here's my list of drop dead simple ways to find and load ebooks on your Kindle app or ereader. Let's start with the Kindle Store.

The Easy Way to Find Free eBooks in the Kindle Store

There's more free ebooks in the Kindle Store than you can read in a lifetime. While you could go looking for them (start with the free popular classics) there's a better way.

Rather than look for free ebooks yourself, get someone to look for you.

The easiest way to find free ebooks in the Kindle Store is to use a site like eReaderIQ. Sign up and they'll send you a daily email list of all the newly free ebooks in the Kindle Store. You can limit the email to certain genres, and when you find an ebook you like simply click the link in the email, go to the Kindle Store, and buy the ebook.

eReaderIQ

ereaderiq screenshot

Nothing could be simpler than clicking a link in an email,  but eReaderIQ won't show you the ebooks which are always free in the Kindle Store. That's why you might also want to look on the best seller lists for other acquisitions:

And if you have a Prime membership don't forget that you can borrow one free ebook each month from the books listed here.

And once you're done browsing the Kindle Store for free ebooks, you might want to also look on other sites as well.

Free eBook Sites

Earlier this year I found 5 free ebook sites which didn't require any type of registration. That includes Feedbooks, which is my favorite even though it doesn't have the biggest selection. It has the best formatting and a mobile friendly site, so if you are reading on a tablet or smartphone you can browse Feedbooks directly from the device and download the ebooks.

But those is just a few of the free ebook sites on the web; there are many more. Here are a couple more:

  • Project Gutenberg is one of the longest-running resources for free ebooks in many formats, and it currently has over 46,000 free books to choose from.
  • Archive.org has set itself the goal of backing up the internet and all content everywhere, so it has a few more titles than that ... by about 6 million or so.
  • The Online Book Page at the University of Pennsylvania is an index of some 2 million ebooks which can be found online.

porject gutenberg screenshot

And here is now you can load the ebooks on to your Kindle app or ereader.

One way is to download the ebooks to your PC and transfer them to your Kindle over a USB cable. This won't work so well if the ebook isn't Kindle format or if you are reading with a Kindle app on a smartphone or tablet, however.

A better method would be to load the files is to use Amazon’s Kindle Personal Documents Service. If you send an email with one of the right file types, this service will convert the ebook to Kindle format and add it to your account. It won't work with DRMed files, but on the plus side you can set it up to deliver the ebook to whichever Kindle app or Kindle ereader you are using.

Just visit amazon.com/myk to find (or change) the email address associated with your account, and you can email documents which Amazon will convert into ebooks for you.

That conversion service won't be necessary for Library ebooks, though.

Library eBooks

Thanks to Amazon's close integration with OverDrive, you can check out library ebooks and load them on to your Kindle.

Of course, you'll need a library card with a public library system that has partnered with OverDrive. You can find out if your library participates by entering your zip code in the box at OverDrive.com.

overdrive screenshot

If you find your library on that list, click the link and you'll be taken to its ebook catalog. You can browse the catalog by genre, new titles, etc, and  you can limit your search in that catalog to Kindle compatible ebooks, and (if you like) titles which are available to check out immediately.

My library, for example, has 4,600 ebooks in its collection, with 4,100 compatible with the Kindle and 3,100 available to check out right now.

Once you find an ebook you want, simply login with your library account, check out the ebook, and then follow the steps to transfer the ebook to read on your Kindle app or ereader.

For more details on how to get most out of library ebooks, check out the LibraryCity Guide.

Conclusion

I've barely scratched the surface of the many ways you can find free ebooks for your Kindle, but long story short just by using the tips in this post you'll be able to find more free ebooks than you can read in a lifetime.

If you've been at this for a while, let us know what are some of your favorite methods for finding free (and legal) ebooks in the comments!

 

About Nate Hoffelder (11589 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader:"I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

1 Comment on The Drop Dead Simple Guide to Finding (and Loading) Free eBooks for Your Kindle

  1. Personal favourite, https://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/ some books are only out of copyright in Australia

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  1. How to Read Borrowed OverDrive Library eBooks on Your Kindle, Android, iDevice or Windows Phone | The Digital Reader

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