So you want to participate in the Coastal Magic Reading Challenge but you don’t have an endless supply of money. Don’t worry! There are plenty of resources available that allow you to meet your challenge goals without breaking the bank.
- Booksellers: Most local and online booksellers offer coupons and sales throughout the year. Consider signing up for the company newsletter to be alerted to these promotions. I’ve often filled my cart during a 2-for-1 or a %-off sale. Also, make sure to check the clearance section. As newer books are released, older books in a series will sometimes be reduced.
- Publishers: In addition to sale opportunities mentioned above, publishers that conduct commerce directly on their site will usually have some type of loyalty program. Be it a buy-10-get-next-one-free or a cash back store credit based on the dollar amount you spend with them, loyalty rewards are well worth checking out.
- Authors: Authors need to be compensated for the time and energy they spend creating a story they hope you will love as much as they do. But part of their marketing and promotional strategy may include a free or reduced price book for a limited time. Or a contest, with books or a bookseller gift card as reward. And many authors have a dedicated readers group that may offer ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) opportunities in exchange for an honest, publicly posted review. Make sure to sign-up for author newsletters, and be sure to open the ones coming from CMCon23 Featured Authors right away to take advantage of any time sensitive savings or giveaways.
- Library: Don’t underestimate your local libraries. Most library cards are free, and offer multiple branch locations. Some counties offer reciprocal services with neighboring counties. If your library network does not have a book you’re looking for then they are usually happy to acquire it. As a bonus, some larger counties may offer free cards to anyone living in that state or charge a yearly fee for out-of-state residents.
- Digital Library Apps: In addition to physical books, most libraries have access to a vast catalog of digital material. Be it a library’s dedicated app or a national system your library partners with, so many of your ebook and audiobook needs can be met without leaving the house. Check out HOOPLA, OVERDRIVE, LIBBY, and Cloud Library. Please note that a valid library card is still necessary to borrow books through these apps.
- Subscription services: Programs like Kindle Unlimited and Scribd charge a monthly fee to access their large digital collection. KU is limited to authors published exclusively with Amazon. A small percentage of KU titles are available in audiobook for no additional charge, with a larger portion of their audiobooks whispersynced for a reduced price if you already have the ebook edition. KU subscribers are also able to enroll in Audible’s PLUS program for an additional monthly fee, which works exactly like KU. Alternatively, Scribd hosts authors from a wide variety of publishing paths, and does not charge any additional fees for audiobooks.