Back in March, I presented with two other bibliophiles and spoke to those in attendance about the ability to get FREE books on your selected electronic reading device.
If memory serves, there was a hand raised and a teacher librarian in the audience wanted some clarification: wait, there’s no cost involved in this?
None at all.
The service I was touting was NetGalley and for those that aren’t familiar with what NetGalley does, basically NetGalley offers books to the public before they are published in order to get feedback on the title or for readers to provide buzz on a book before it is released.
The list of devices that you can read on has steadily grown from your laptop and iPad to Kindles and Nooks and Android devices and Kobos. There’s likely an app or program you’ll need to download, and if you have any questions, you’ll want to read up on What devices can I read my NetGalley titles on? for more information.
I do have to point out, it takes a little playing around. Though I do NOT have a Kindle, I was able to download the free Kindle app, create an account and have titles sent to me via the Kindle app. The formatting on Kindle is not as easy to read, which is why I prefer the BlueFire Reader. But having two options for downloading a title does make a difference in being able to read it or not (even if one of the formats of the book is a little wonky).
The downside of NetGalley is that you have to put in a request to read a title. Once your request is approved, you’ll have to return to NetGalley to download it. In my experience the request usually takes a day or two, and you’ll get an email letting you know that you’ve been approved. It just takes a little more work to remember to head back to NetGalley to download the title you originally wanted to read.
To counter the need to wait, that there’s a way to get pre-approved for titles, especially from publishers that cater to a specific group. To do this, make sure you fill out your profile in detail, and if you’re a librarian or teacher, make it known somewhere on that page. Librarians that are members of the American Library Association have a space to include their member number (see below) and this will go far in getting you access to the books you want.
There were a few other resources I mentioned for access to free books, but by far NetGalley is my favorite. Especially now with summer around the corner, maybe I’ll get to reading those books from my pyramid of priorities.