Not everyone can buy thousands of books every year to read or can easily access a library where you can find these books available for everyone. It can be quite upsetting to see your friends reading all the cool stories while you just stare at their Goodreads status wondering if you’ll ever be able to read that one book you are waiting eagerly for. People probably see how much I read in a year and think that it’s impossible for them to read even half of what I read, but that’s not entirely true. So I’m here to try to help other readers who may live in this same budget situation. Trust me, I know how it is when you can’t find anywhere the books you want. When I was a teen we didn’t have all these ebooks options out there for us so I feel like maybe the options aren’t as clear for everyone else who is in need.
Because there are options! And I’m going to share how I get to read as much as I do now.
Read FREE books
But how you ask me? Amazon and Smashwords have many Free books available for everyone. There are probably more retail sites who do that but these are the two that I usually check. This is how I find tons of books to read when I can’t buy anything. You can browse the LGBT+ sections if that’s what you’re looking for, like me. Do some research and you may be surprised!
Another option that saved me this past summer! Many countries are enrolled in the Kindle Unlimited program where you pay a certain amount every month and get to read ALL the books there for free. Most of the best selling titles are part of KU and you just need to check if they have the option when you click on that. You can hold 10 books at the same time and then you deliver them back once you’re done with your reading. It’s pretty much like a library system.
Authors still get paid by the page! So the more people read their books there, the better. I’ve heard this isn’t completely available worldwide and I think we really need to rally up for Amazon to expand this more.
NetGalley and Edelweiss
ARCs are life savers. I didn’t know INTL people could have them until I learned about NetGalley last year. This would have solved so many of my problems of waiting years and years to get to read my most anticipated releases. I live in Brazil, the majority of F/F books I want to read won’t be translated here anytime soon. Some of these won’t ever be cheap enough for me to buy for another decade, so getting ARCs is the fastest way I can read them. Let me talk a little bit more about this on my next point!
Advanced Reader Copies are usually early versions of books used for promo purposes. What does it mean? People who get these books need to promote them everywhere to help these book succeed. What happens is that you get a book for free and in return, you give the author and publisher an honest review on Goodreads and retail websites. Reviews are the best way to help books sell more because when people go check that out and they don’t know the authors, they’ll trust what the readers have to say about it. Many publishers have ARC teams where you can even request backlist titles. I think this is a nice way to create a relationship between publisher and reader, especially when it comes to stories told by marginalized authors. These books need to reach the right hands and if people who care about it and share these identities can read these stories, it makes it easier for more people who like these stories to find them.
Follow your favorite Authors and Publishers
This is the easiest way to get more books when you need that nice discount. And accessible for the people who don’t want to get involved in reviews just yet. Authors and Publishers are always offering giveaways, discounts, and sometimes even free copies! Follow them on Twitter, Tumblr, Goodreads, Facebook or whatever other social media you can. I fill my Kindle app with so many wonderful books when these promos come up.
Organize your budget and reading
You have to plan ahead of yourself when it comes to buying books. Is there a title that is more expensive but you love that author and know this book will be your favorite because all your friends recced it to you? Save a little bit, get some free books to read in the meantime, and when you have enough money, you’ll have to choose between buying 4 books or just 1. Patience is a virtue. Authors are also waiting many months to start receiving money from their sales. We all need to learn to be patient with each other and understand that in the end, we’re still in a capitalist world where money dictates our lives.
If you can’t read this book right now, there are so many others who are more accessible. Indie and Self-Pub authors usually price their books lower and I have actually read way better stories that are closer to what I enjoy from these authors than from any big publisher. Expand your horizons! There are too many books for us to be stuck in just a few authors.
I hope all these options can help other readers too! I know this isn’t helpful for everyone because there are many reasons why books won’t get to all the readers who want it. But at least you can get to know a few more ways to read more. If anyone else has more ideas that are helpful both for readers and for authors I’d love to know more about them.
I hope you guys loved this guest post by Maria Hollis as much as I did. You can follow Maria on Twitter, Tumblr, and Goodreads and buy her books on Amazon. You can also read more about her and her books on her website.
How do you read more books on a budget? Let both me and Maria know in the comments or on Twitter!