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Dear Jane: Can I read the free ebooks if I...

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Dear Jane:

I’m see all these promotions for free ebooks (or cheap ebooks) but I don’t own an ebook reader and I don’t want to buy one just yet (I’m waiting for that perfect device). But I still want to read some of these books for free. Is there anyway I can do that?



Dear Lynn:

Yes, for almost all free ebooks or cheap ebook promotions, you can take advantage of these deals by using just your laptop or desktop. The truth is nearly half of people who read ebooks do so using some type of personal computer. The only disadvantage is that you might have to download more than one software program to your desktop to take advantage of these promotions.

There are three major retailers that support the publisher promotions of free and cheap. Those are Kindle (PC and Mac), Nook (PC or Mac), and Sony (PC and Mac). The nook and Sony both sell epubs which you can read with Adobe Digital Editions, however, you will still need to use the retailers’ software in order to download the free books.

The nook does have some in store specials that require you to go into the store and show them a BN ereader on your computer, handheld device, or your nook in order to get the special. Most ebook promotions are available to anyone who has a computer.

Long Answer:   How do I keep track?   Dear Author posts the monthly specials that they know of but there are three good sources for the publisher promotions:   MobileReads “Deals, Freebies, and Resources” forum; Books on the Knob blog; Kindle Besteller list (broken into free and paid).

Random House and Samhain, offer monthly FREE ebooks. For example, this month you can download the following for free:

This month, Tor has released shorts of its award winning authors:

Kensington often has short, unannounced freebies.

Harlequin has its free books from last year’s 60 year celebration and has added three new free titles. It is also offering freebies directly from its ecommerce site such as Speed Datingby Nancy Warren.

Hachette and Random House offers discounted promotional ebooks. Hachette has been promoting the backlist of Elizabeth Peters. The following Elizabeth Peters books are all $1.99:

Other $1.99 deals are:

Pocket, HarperCollins and Penguin rarely, if ever, feature free backlist giveaways. I haven’t seen giveaways for Ellora’s Cave, Loose Id, Red Sage, or Liquid Silver, to name a few ebook companies.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Gillian
    Jun 13, 2010 @ 04:09:39

  2. Estara
    Jun 13, 2010 @ 05:45:50

    The Suvudu Free Library links to all their different formats of free sf&f ebooks. Sometimes you can get free short stories as well, set in the universes of their authors, like Elizabeth Moon’s Paksenarrion when Oath of Fealty came out this year.

    And then there’s Finding Free eBooks, which has a mixture of public domain but also free specials offered by authors linked.

    And on the Samhain authors Samhellion website you can get all of their freebies under the freebie tag.

  3. Keishon
    Jun 13, 2010 @ 05:54:40

    for SF/F fans there is Baen’s free library of ebooks and I love Catherine Asaro whose work usually has a strong romantic subplot in them. I’d recommend Primary Inversion which is free.

  4. Carolyn
    Jun 13, 2010 @ 07:43:20

    I downloaded the Kindle PC and went a little crazy there for awhile. Actually, I guess you could say I’m still running wild through the Kindle store: lots of free books I never would have tried.

    I downloaded Naomi Novik’s His Majesty’s Dragon and now I’m working my way through the rest of the books in that series.

    Offering free books is such a great way to make sales, IMO. I’m sure there’s lots of readers like me that will search out an author’s backlist if they like what they read free.

    Certainly they’ve made money off me! :-)

  5. Jen X
    Jun 13, 2010 @ 07:44:26

    I do not have a standalone e-reader. I really like the Kindle app, the best part is that it syncs across all portals, so whether I’m reading from my laptop, BB or iTouch it remembers my last spot.

  6. Ciar Cullen
    Jun 13, 2010 @ 08:16:35

    Would it be tacky to say that Steamside Chronicles is available free at Smashwords??? It’s a full length romance.

  7. Sunita
    Jun 13, 2010 @ 08:30:09

    The site has two of the new free titles: a Lynne Graham HP has replaced the Susan Napier, and an Abby Gaines SuperRomance has replaced the Janice Kay Johnson. You can still get the Napier and Johnson at the anniversary celebration page at, where they have also added a medical by Sarah Morgan. I read the Morgan and enjoyed it very much.

    I should note that the Graham and Gaines are only available in AdobePDF format; I haven’t opened them yet so I don’t know if they are DRM’d. The Morgan is available in a range of formats.

  8. brooksse
    Jun 13, 2010 @ 10:57:43

    You can get two Vegas-themed ebooks for free at the below eharlequin URL: one by Stephanie Bond and one by Katherine Garbera. This page also still has the 60th anniversary freebies, including the Susan Napier and Janice Kay Johnson ebooks:

    Plus the below URL celebrating Mills & Boon’s ebook program is still active. 10 Free ebooks including authors Marie Ferrarella, India Grey, Heidi Rice, Rhonda Nelson, & Day Leclaire.

  9. cin
    Jun 13, 2010 @ 11:18:34

    I’d like to add —

    Scroll to the bottom of the screen and you will see links to
    Amazon free kindle ebooks | Sony free ebooks | BN free ebooks | eHarlequin free ebooks . There are also links to bestseller lists where you can click and compare prices.

  10. Sunita
    Jun 13, 2010 @ 11:47:03

    Update: the books at appear to be non-DRM pdf files.

  11. MaryK
    Jun 13, 2010 @ 13:04:47

    I just have to say – It’s so cool when you load ebooks into Calibre and the metadata is right. I just loaded some that had piled up and only had to edit two of them (the Gaines and Pappano).

    [And so not cool when you convert a pdf and it comes out all funky.]

  12. Elyssa Papa
    Jun 13, 2010 @ 13:37:43

    Crocodile on the Sandback by Elizabeth Peters (the first Amelia Peabody book) is also $1.99 for the Kindle.

    Also, thank you, for hurting my wallet. ;)

  13. Kat
    Jun 13, 2010 @ 14:27:16

    I was just thinking I need something to read while waiting for the new Jennifer Ashley… yay for stuff to occupy me!

  14. Emilie
    Jun 13, 2010 @ 18:49:43

    All Romance e-Books ( offers free e-books every so often, especially around the holidays. They had a “Twelve Days of Christmas” special and a special for much of April, up through Earth Day. They offered a free book (of their choice) a day during both of those specials. I tried some new-to-me authors that way. It’s definitely worth checking there to see what kind of promotional they’re doing.

  15. Tweets that mention Dear Jane: Can I read the free ebooks if I don’t have an Ereader? | Dear Author --
    Jun 14, 2010 @ 08:46:30

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Liz Fichera and Terry Odell, dearauthor. dearauthor said: New post: Dear Jane: Can I read the free ebooks if I don't have an Ereader? […]

  16. Elly
    Jun 14, 2010 @ 23:00:38

    @Sunita: I cannot find the Sarah Morgan Medical book – can you provide a link? It’s driving me crazy!

  17. HeatherK
    Jun 15, 2010 @ 07:49:13

    eHarlequin the ebook store currently has

    Winter’s Passage by Julie Kagawa and
    Sheltering Hearts by Robyn Carr

    available for free. Not sure how long it’ll be like that, but as of writing this, they’re listed as free.

  18. MaryK
    Jun 15, 2010 @ 10:08:49

    I wanted the Kagawa but it’s DRM’d. I refuse to get involved with ADE. To much trouble.

  19. Sunita
    Jun 15, 2010 @ 20:18:46

    @Elly: Here’s the link:

    Sorry it took me so long, I just saw your message. It *is* hard to find via googling!

  20. maritza
    Jun 17, 2010 @ 23:05:40

    Does samhain only give way kindle versions of Maya banks?

  21. Mireya
    Jun 18, 2010 @ 05:02:14


    From what I’ve seen, the vast majority of their freebies have been Kindle, and I’d even go as far as saying all of them have been Kindle, I may be wrong though.

  22. MaryK
    Jun 18, 2010 @ 12:45:18

    Winter's Passage by Julie Kagawa is now free for Kindle at Amazon.

  23. Feminoiciella
    Jul 30, 2010 @ 06:34:32

    визитки изготовление

  24. Josie
    May 29, 2011 @ 03:34:49

    I’ve found pretty good on the free books for kindle front.

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