Columns > Published on December 4th, 2014

Where To Buy Cheap eBooks

'Tis the Holiday Season, when gift giving abounds. Okay, maybe you don't participate in a yearly ritual that involves exchanging gifts for familial love and bonding, but many of us do. These days, more and more often said gifts come in the form of monetary enhancement, i.e., relatives give you cash and preloaded debit cards—which isn't a bad thing at all, because that means rather than potentially having to feign gratitude over some hideous sweater or a DVD copy of The Christmas Shoes, you can blow that sweet moola on whatever you want.

But instead of spending all that money in one place, why not spread it out as long as you can? And why not use it toward that most honored of writerly stereotypes—your raging book addiction? By waiting around for eBook discounts—which sometimes go as low as $0.99—you'll be feeding that monkey for the better part of 2015 (depending on how generous your relatives are). 

To help you stay on top of all those price drops, here's a list of tipsters, online shops, publishers, and review sites committed to keeping you up-to-date on the latest eBook sales. Choose wisely, dear readers...

DISCLAIMER: I have no monetary or personal ties to the resources I'm about to discuss. Many do have my seal of approval, but overall this list is meant to be a handy guide, not a sales pitch. It isn't exhaustive either, but a launching point for further book discovery. Bear in mind that I've also excluded sites like Project Gutenberg that offer free, public domain eBooks.

Alright, on with the show...


Certain websites and organizations can alert you to sales via email, while some aggregate said information online only. I've picked the ones that function the best and offer the most amount of discounted books.


Pick your favorite genres, authors and platforms (Kindle, iBooks, etc.), get alerted via email. Simple as that. Get started here.

eBook Bargain News Network

The EBNN offers Horror, Mystery, Bestsellers, Science Fiction and Fantasy email blasts. You tend to get a broader selection by genre with these guys (particularly in horror, particularly with Stephen King). Selections are curated to include "only the best" and reduce clutter. They also have Twitter and Facebook feeds if email's not your cup of tea.


This eReading and bookstore app sends out a weekly free and discounted eBook newsletter. Their selection is pretty broad, but understand that any books obtained through BookShout, stay in BookShout (i.e., you can't really read them in other apps).

Amazon Kindle Daily Deals

Subscribe and get notified. The services above (and below) will also alert you when Kindle books go on sale, but I have seen titles show up in Amazon's newsletter that aren't reflected in the third party email blasts, so if you're a completist, you should sign up for this one too. Ditto for:


There's no email newsletter component in iBooks, but you can browse the "Bestsellers $3.99 or Less" portion of the iBooks Store (via iTunes or the iOS App). Also, if someone gives you an iTunes Gift Card, you can use it in the iBooks Store.

Kobo Daily Deal

Kobo user? Go to their website and scroll until you see a big gray pane titled "Daily Deal." It's usually a big name author's work discounted to $1.99 or so. 

Google Play Bookstore

Most books are discounted to some degree here, generally in the twenty to fifty cent range. But hey, a deal's a deal, right? Check 'em out.


Bloggers/readers know this site for its book discovery functionality and blogger support, but there's also a section dedicated to discounts—many of which are also of the non-digital variety.

GoodReads Free and Cheap E-Books Group

You have to become a member of this GoodReads group. Site users post up free or cheap eBooks they've discovered. This one is more casual—don't come here expecting to see EVERY eBook currently on sale—but it has the added bonus of (inter)personal recommendation. Sure, self-pubbers use it to advertise their own books, but is that so wrong? Their work might be good.


Bookmakers also want their readers to know when titles go cheap, as sales aren't so much about making money as they are about promotion. As such, publishers offer several ways customers can stay on top of discounts when they happen.

Harper Collins Bookperk Newsletter

Daily emails featuring heavily discounted books, with contests, book giveaways, and other fun freebies thrown into the mix. I've picked up more than a handful of novels through Bookperk, including Rosemary's Baby and a few Joyce Carol Oates novels. Get signed up here.

Penguin-Random House Newsletter

Though there's not a daily email specializing in discounts like Bookperk, the general Penguin-Random House newsletter will alert you to special deals.

Simon and Schuster eBook Deals

These guys have a discounts section on their website. They also offer a newsletter, and if you sign up before December you get a free BookShout! eBook (I got Don DeLillo's Underworld). Not sure if they alert you to special offers via email though.


Macmillan has a plethora of newsletter topics, including updates for and Tor/Forge, which will occasionally offer special deals.

Cemetery Dance

This horror staple's newsletter often features insider discounts, which you can generally use toward anything available on their online store.

Apex Publishers

These guys also put out Apex Magazine. Subscribe to their newsletter for updates and deals. Signing up also gets you a 13% discount on your next order. 

ChiZine Publications Subscription Plan

For $99, you get every eBook ChiZine will publish within a given year, which equates to about 56% off the retail price. Not too shabby if you're a fan of this small press. Check out some of the titles and sign up here.


Perhaps it goes without saying, but your favorite author's Twitter or Facebook page will undoubtedly feature alerts when said author's work goes on sale. Same for editors and publishers (including all of those mentioned above), so be sure to follow them all for the inside scoop. Obviously, I won't list any individual or entity here. Just find your favorite writers, et al. 

There are also a few feeds dedicated solely to alerting users to discounts, but in all honesty they don't seem to offer much beyond what's already covered above. Perhaps the only one worth mentioning is @RomanceDeals, which has a pretty significant following and is the only entity I've seen so far that specifically focuses on romance novels.

Okay, so what'd I miss? Tell all of us about your favorite resource for cheap eBooks in the comments section below. 

About the author

Christopher Shultz writes plays and fiction. His works have appeared at The Inkwell Theatre's Playwrights' Night, and in Pseudopod, Unnerving Magazine, Apex Magazine, freeze frame flash fiction and Grievous Angel, among other places. He has also contributed columns on books and film at LitReactor, The Cinematropolis, and Christopher currently lives in Oklahoma City. More info at

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