Want Bound for Free? Read On.

When I look at this blog’s stats, I see search engine terms that bring people here. Sometimes they’re amusing. Sometimes they’re confusing, like the person who tried eight different search terms trying to figure out how to put notes for chapter one of their book into a notebook.

Sorry I wasn’t more helpful with that.

Sometimes they’re people wondering when they next book in the Bound trilogy is out, which is super cool. Still aiming for late winter/early spring (Northern hemisphere), guys.

A lot of the time, they’re people looking for free copies of Bound. They’re looking for BOUND KATE SPARKES (or SPARKS) FREE, BOUND TRILOGY FREE, yadda yadda.

Now, I have no problem with that. I’m glad there’s interest. Ecstatic, actually. And a lot of authors do offer their books for free from time to time. I get the feeling that a lot of these people are looking for pirated/file-shared PDF files, though. That’s less of a good feeling.

I’m not talking to those people, though, and that’s a totally different topic.

No, this post is for the people who have heard good things about Bound but don’t have five dollars to spend on the e-book. I totally get that. I often wait for books to go on sale when they’re $4.99 or above, and almost never spend more than about $6 on an e-book, myself. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. We’re cool. High fives, frugal buddies!

I’m going to tell you a secret. There are ways to get it for less.

If you want a bought-and-paid-for copy at a lower price (bless you), you could wait for a sale. It’s going to happen some time.

The best way to be alerted of that is to sign up for my newsletter here. I don’t spam, only send messages when something of interest is afoot, and share information on sales and events like cover reveals there before I do anywhere else.

Following on Twitter (@kate_sparkes) or Facebook are also options, but there’s a better chance you’ll miss announcements that way. Facebook reach is low. Tweets are fleeting. *sigh*

(The other cool thing about the newsletter is that that’s where I’m going to be making the first offer for advance review copies of Torn. Depending on how many I decide to pass out and how much interest there is, that might be the only place to get them. Seriously, sign up!)

Or… there’s another option.

Have you guys heard of the Books Machine?

It’s an interesting concept, and one I’m still figuring out. Authors list their books, and readers browse or search for specific books, then request review copies.

Free review copies.

What does that mean? Well, in this case, you send a message to the author through the site stating why you’d like to receive a copy of the book, and the author accepts or rejects the requests. I haven’t rejected a request yet, but if you send me one saying “I hate Fantasy and love is stupid,” I might just say no. The other reason a request might be rejected is if an author is giving out a set number of copies a month, and that’s already been exceeded.

But mostly, authors like reviews, and it’s worth it to us to share our work through the site. Because…

You have a job, too. You get the book free, direct from the author. In my case, I’ll send you a mobi file via e-mail or direct to your Kindle, since for some reason I can’t gift through Amazon.ca.  In exchange, you agree to read it within a certain time frame and leave an honest review on Amazon*.

Not necessarily a glowing review. You’re not obligated to leave ALL TEH STARZ.

But you as a reader do agree to leave a review, and in a timely fashion.

After you do that, you let The Books Machine know what a keener you are, and the author rates your performance. Again, NOT based on how well-written the review is, or how many stars you gave. It’s based entirely on whether you fulfilled your side of the deal within the specified time frame. If you do that, you get a better reputation on the site, and will be more likely to have other authors accept your requests.

Cool, right? Seems like it to me, anyway. Not everyone is in a position to read quickly and review, but if you’re doing that anyway, this might be something to look into. It works a bit like Read4Review groups on Goodreads, but with one big group.

I’ve only had three requests through the program so far, so no comment or assessment on whether it’s worth it for authors to sign up (we’ll look at that another day). But it seems like an interesting deal for readers. I thought about requesting Unicorn Western through there, but realized I couldn’t guarantee I’d get through it in time.

Curses.

To recap:

WAYS TO GET MY BOOKS CHEAP OR FREE:

-Wait for a sale

-sign up for the newsletter to be informed of said sales (or if you want a chance to get the next book free and in advance of publication, and who doesn’t want that?)

-check out the Books Machine. Bound comes up in their search (click “Books” at the top), but there’s lots more there that’s worth checking out.

 

There you go. You’re welcome, search engines.

 

*Yes, you have to review on Amazon, but you’re also free to review elsewhere. If you don’t have a Kindle, you can read using the Kindle app on a computer, phone, or tablet. Or you might find an author willing to send an ePub file. *ahem*

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About Kate Sparkes

Kate Sparkes was born in Hamilton, Ontario, but now resides in Newfoundland, where she tries not to talk too much about the dragons she sees in the fog. She lives with a Mountie, two kids who take turns playing Jeckyll and Hyde, two cats, an intentional boxer and an accidental chihuahua. She's the author of the bestselling Bound Trilogy (mature YA Fantasy). www.katesparkes.com View all posts by Kate Sparkes

3 responses to “Want Bound for Free? Read On.

  • Denise D. Young

    I’m not published yet, but when I am I’ll keep this site in mind. Sounds like a great way to get honest reviews for a book. Thanks!

  • Nagzilla

    Is it bad that I’m still stuck on your initial comments about the search engine terms? I find looking at them either hilarious or disheartening, depending on the day. The search term most often used to drive traffic to my site? Yaoi. Followed closely by Velveeta breakfast biscuits. *sigh*

    Best part? When I share these with my daughter, she replies, “Oh my god, mom. What the hell do you write about?!?!”

    Yaoi and Velveeta, apparently.

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