Say Goodbye to Full-Price Ebooks: Here’s How to Use BookBub to Save

Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder.

When I unwrapped my new tablet, I was quick to download a bunch of ebooks. However, I soon realized the cost of replacing my library habit with a bunch of Kindle books was adding up. 

To save some money without denying my reading needs, I’m using a site called BookBub; in the first two months, I estimate it saved me $60 on five titles.

How Does BookBub Work?

You create a free account, which was pretty painless by my standards, then indicate the device you use to read ebooks and choose your favorite genres. I checked mysteries, nonfiction and young adult.

Each afternoon, BookBub sends me a customized email with a list of discounted books in my chosen genres. Most are on sale for $1 to $1.99, a few are free and a couple might cost $2.99. The highest price I’ve seen is $4.99 for an entire series.

Publishers pay a fee to submit their books to BookBub and be included in the daily email. Lucky for us, the service is free for readers.

How Do You Buy the Books?

BookBub doesn’t sell the books directly; it just lets you know about deals you can get elsewhere. 

When you choose a book from the email, the link takes you to the purchase page in Amazon’s Kindle store, Barnes & Noble’s Nook store or Apple’s Book Store. From there, it’s just like purchasing any other ebook.

How Do You Know Whether the Books Are Good?

Once you’re on the book’s page on Amazon or another book-buying site, you can see its ratings and reviews. 

When I first signed up, I assumed these cheap books would be lower quality or less prestigious than the full-priced titles. 

But that hasn’t proved to be the case. Most of the books I’ve purchased have at least four stars out of five on Amazon. 

And books by well-known authors also pop up from time to time. Since I’ve been on BookBub, I’ve seen deals on work by Michael Crichton, Anne Rice and Alice Hoffman.

Can You Search for Specific Books on BookBub?

No. If you’re after a specific book, it’s best to just purchase it like any other book. 

For me, BookBub is like wandering through the library, picking up whichever book strikes my fancy. An added advantage is the online book reviews, which I definitely use when choosing a book.

Lyndsee Simpson is a contributor to The Penny Hoarder.