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How I compile Robert’s Roundups

View the post seriesView the Smashwords deal roundups || Read how I compile this list. || How to Submit Smashword deals || How to Submit your own Ebook Deals in the Comment Section

I  throw  these ebook deal roundups quickly so   often I won’t bother including links — just  names and titles.  Everyone here knows how to look up things on Amazon, right? 

Most of the time I have not read ebooks  mentioned on these roundups.  On a daily basis I take quick looks at dozens (if not hundreds) of new ebooks at a low price and pick the titles that sounds most promising. If you want a clue about my reading preferences/biases,  take a look at   my book review guidelines.  My literary standards are lot more flexible and adventurous about low-cost or free titles. (Just this afternoon I bought an ebook about edible  insects — hey, it was only 99 cents!). 

My main interests are titles under 50,000 words (25,000 words for  poetry), price  under $2, non-series and self-published or indie-published things. No hard and fast rules though. I am generally not going to mention books that are regularly discounted or very familiar to book lovers — unless the deal is exceptional.

Outside the USA?  Most of the discounted titles and URLs in this  roundup  are for the Amazon.com US store. Unfortunately for non-US Amazon customers,  you may not have access to the free or discounted prices.  Sorry! On the bright side,  indie authors usually apply the same discount worldwide so you will probably see the same discount percentages. Also, bigger publishers (the main culprits behind these price disparities) have gotten better and more efficient about uniformly pricing their titles across markets. Unfortunately, the free-on-Amazon ebooks seem to be specific to the Amazon.com US store.

Don’t like Amazon? Lately I’ve noticed that publishers are applying their discounted titles across bookstores. That means that it’s becoming easier to find the same price on Apple, Google, BN, Kobo, etc. Also, I am a big fan of Smashwords too (read why below).

Occasionally I may mention and promote titles from  my own press (Personville Press). If I do, I’ll list it in   orange-colored font.

Unfortunately, a lot of  ebook deals  last only for a short time. For Kindle Unlimited titles, authors are allowed to make them free only 5 out of every 90 days. After an author or publisher has used up those 5 days, that free price may disappear — for at least 90 days! Many spot sales last only for 2-7 days, but many are still worth checking out at normal price.  The good news is that if a title is discounted once, chances are it will be discounted again eventually.  Therefore, if you see that the price of an ebook has risen to the normal price, just set a price alert (on ereaderiq or other places), and just wait. 

Although I find lots of these deals myself, often I swipe them from other sites. These deals are not state secrets; most come from newsletters, literary blogs and reddit.  At the bottom of this post, I’ll try to maintain a list of the best places to find out about ebook deals. Some of the best sources are listed on my right sidebar. 

Why am I pushing Smashwords? First, and most importantly,  Amazon needs the competition. Second, prices for  the same ebook can often be cheaper on Smashwords (especially with coupons). Third, SW doesn’t use DRM — you can actually download and archive the ebook files.  Fourth the sale prices are available to people from any country, not just the US Amazon store. Fifth, I belong to  the SW affiliate program, so actually I benefit financially  whenever SW sales are generated from  this blog. The ebook ads on the sidebar are fiendish attempts to get you to buy — and guess what — I could use the extra income!

Every month I will do a Robert’s Roundup of Smashwords deals.   But the weekly roundups are mainly about deals found on Amazon and other places. If an ebook deal is on Amazon or Google or wherever and I notice that the author is also on Smashwords, I will probably mention this fact! 

How can I send news of a Smashword deal? I prepared a special page to explain how to send me Smashwords free and low cost titles (make sure to read the rules). 

How can I send you news of a non-Smashwords deal? Feel free to mention deals you find in the comment section for Robert’s Roundups. Keep it short though — no more than 2 ebook deals per comment, please. If you are an author wishing to announce your own ebook  deal, check the rules for authors to submit ebook deals.   

Each section defined 

Blue Moon Deals

These are extremely cheap time-limited MUST BUY/DON’T DELAY titles, because the price and value is so incredible! (Usually the author is already well-known or deserves to be). Unfortunately most of these deals are at the US Amazon.com store and last only for a few days. I get these things about every 2 months. Over the last year here are the blue deals I’ve experienced: Four Chinese Classics, translated by David Hinton. Nearly Complete Works by Donald Harington, Trying Not to Try by Edward Slingerhand, David McCullough’s 3 volume American History set (John Adams, 1776, Truman), Shahnameh: Persian Book of Kings  and Bradbury Stories: 100 of his Most Celebrated Tales.  I got each of these for either 2 or 3 dollars each (or less!).

Under the Radar

These are distinguished authors and books well worth investigating. Most fall under the category of new indies who self-publish or old-fogies whose books aren’t being read anymore (or at all). Often, just knowing that these book exists can be valuable information.

Blink-and-it’s-gone Sales

These are sales mainly to test the water and usually made in conjunction with advertising campaigns. There are two variations:

  1. Major publishers who publicize a dramatic drop on a deal newsletters. Usually these drops only last for 2-7days, but on some of the deals (like on earlybirdbooks), these deals return fairly often.
  2. Freebie days for KDP Select titles.https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/G201298240 Titles enrolled in this program are allowed to discount the ebook to free for 5 days every 90 calendar days. Usually it’s for only 2 days. These price drops are repeated fairly often and reliably. One problem with these titles is that often by the time you hear about the sale, it’s too late. But it’s worth taking note of the fact that it has been discounted (some titles are never discounted). Also, it’s helpful to take note of other titles by the same author. Often the author will rotate which Kindle Select titles are offered for free, so if you play your cards right, you could end up with free copies of everything!

Deals on ebooks published by Amazon 

I am giving extra coverage to the monthly Amazon Deals (the Amazon Crossing, Little A, etc). These titles — almost all 99 cents —  are great deals and often high quality.  They also begin on Day 1 of every month, giving you about 30 days to decide whether you want to spend 99 cents.  By the way, when the month is over, these titles increase in price, but not by a lot — usually 4 or 5 dollars.  I’ll try to highlight as many titles as I can in the first half of the month.

Amazon has a daily deal of random popular titles. These aren’t that cheap (usually they’re in the 2-5$ range, but I check them out regularly (even though I haven’t bought a single title). The bad thing is, these deals are one day only and rarely come back. 

The other deals are the Kindle Countdown Deals and the Kindle Exclusive Deals. All the Amazon deals overlap somewhat, but I’ve noticed that prices for Countdown deals all tend to be 2-4 dollars. 

Smashwords Titles 

Normally I discuss Smashwords authors and titles only in  Robert’s Roundup of Smashwords deals (usually published in the 3rd week of every month.  If there is some exceptional deal, I may decide to list it here. 

Non-Amazon & Non-Smashwords Titles

The overwhelming majority of listings on the weekly roundups will be for Amazon.com sales deals . In certain cases, the sale is elsewhere, and I’ll point this out. 

Creative Commons/ Public Domain Goodies

I may add some random things as I encounter them.

Miscellaneous (Used books, library titles, book-related articles, etc)

I still pick up books from the library or elsewhere. 

Other places to find ebook deals

This is an ongoing list of favorite places to find ebook deals

Other questions?

You can contact me (Robert Nagle) here: smash AT fastmailbox.net

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