Simply put, if you're a blogger, aim to be a leader.
I'm pretty sure it was Harry S. Truman who said, "Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers."
Simply put, if you want to be a leader (and therefore a better blogger) read!
For me, reading gives me boatloads of ideas, provides lots of blog fodder, keeps me balanced and is just plain fun.
Any veteran blogger will tell you that at some point, you've got to step away from the computer in order to have something to blog about.
(Also, given how many of you are writing ebooks via the How to Write an Ebook series, you should know the trick I'm about to tell you, if for no other reason than to check your ebook's formatting.)
How to easily get your hands on a BOATLOAD of free books from all genres
Enter Kindle ebooks. BUT WAIT! Don't have a Kindle? No worries, you don't need one. That's right. As long as you have a computer, you can read free Kindle ebooks indefinitely.
Blogger or not, if you read and are not utilizing Kindle ebooks, you are totally missing out!
Here is a fraction of the ebooks I've gotten for free
This list will give you a tip-of-the-iceberg idea of what books are available for free if you know how to find 'em. (I'll tell you how I found 'em in a minute.) Please note, I grabbed all of these when they were free, but not all of them still are (we'll deal with that in a minute too).
And don't think that free means lame. You'll see a NY Times bestseller here.
I'm listing the title and author, as well as the current Kindle price (i.e. how much money I saved), average star rating and number of reviews as of this writing. I'm also noting how each book has helped me.
- Presentations in Action: 80 Memorable Presentation Lessons from the Masters by Jerry Weissman, $24.99, 4.5 stars, 41 reviews – Super helpful tips for not only speaking but how I present content on my blog.
- Motivational Quotes: 129 Motivating Messages from Famous People, $2.99, 5 stars, 4 reviews – Makes posting quotes on Facebook and Twitter a cinch!
- Disrupt: Think the Unthinkable to Spark Transformation in Your Business by Luke Williams, $11.54, 4 stars, 28 reviews – I didn't read the whole thing (that's what's nice about free – no guilt if you don't!) but gleaned some great tips that helped me really think outside the box with regards to making my blog.
- Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives by Richard Swenson, $7.99, 4.5 stars, 51 reviews – Helped me in writing Tell Your Time and has given me lots of food for thought regarding time management.
- How To Publish An Ebook On A Budget: An Author's Guide To The Free, Simple Way To Format & Sell A Book For Kindle, Smashwords, iBooks, NOOK and More by Stephanie Zia, $2.99, 4 stars, 21 reviews – Picked up some tips I hadn't heard before in this one.
- Résumés Are Dead and What to Do About It by Richie Norton, $2.99, 4.5 stars, 23 reviews – Gave me fuel for my "got to have a blog" fire.
And just for fun, here are some of the non-business ones (gives you a glimpse into my non-blogging life):
- The Secret Holocaust Diaries by Nonna Bannister, $9.99, 4.5 stars, 226 reviews – Books from World War II are among my favorites. I find them so inspiring.
- Money, Possessions, and Eternity by Randy Alcorn, $9.99, 4.5 stars, 60 reviews – One of the most thought-provoking and life-changing books on personal finance my husband and I have read.
- Beyond the Chore Chart: Chores, Kids, and the Secret to a Happy Mom by Kimberly Eddy, $1.99, 5 stars, 13 reviews – Oh I really appreciated this book. Helpful, practical and a reminder about why we should assign chores.
- Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God by Francis Chan, $8.54, 4.5 stars, 609 stars – I wanted to read this bestseller as it came highly recommend by many, but I actually liked his other book, Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit ($8.54, 4.5 stars, 211 reviews) even better, which I also got for free.
Step 1: Follow the directions and download one of the free Kindle reading apps. Pick your device (you can download multiple by the way):
- iPhone or iPod Touch
- Android or Android Tablet
- Windows Phone 7
- Or, read instantly in your browser
Step 2: Find ebooks!
Here's my preferred method of finding the best free ebooks on Kindle. First a visual aid:
- Go to the Kindle ebook bestseller lists. It's a good place to start since a lot of the good books organically rise to the top. Saves you time to start here. The image above is a screenshot of what's there today.
- You'll note that the far left column lists all kinds of genres. I am constantly downloading ebooks from all genres including humor, business books, personal finance books, marketing books, internet, children's books, biographies, fiction and tons more. (Click on any of those main categories you see in the image above and get even more specific categories nested under them. Seriously there is no shortage of books.)
- As you'll see, the column in the center lists the Top 100 Paid books. Occasionally I buy an ebook, but I also I check this list to keep a pulse on what people are reading, what people are interested in currently, what people are spending money on and how I might be able to leverage any of that information for my blog and business. Plus I'm just curious.
- The column on the right lists the Top 100 Free books. Yeehaw, I love free. Here we go…
- I quickly browse through. I'm especially looking for lots of 5-star ratings with lots of reviews. I've found these are the best bets.
- I click through to the book, read the description, read some reviews and get an idea if it's a book I'd be interested in. But mostly, you can't go wrong with free, can you? I can always delete them later if it's not my style so I just download!
- When you click through to the book's main page and you want to get it, simply select the device you want to send the book to (that you set up in the step above) and click the "Buy" button (might look slightly different than mine) like so:
That's it! The next page will give you the 411 on retrieving the book. Now read!
My best tips
- Bookmark the main page here: Kindle Bestsellers. The bestseller lists are a bit of a pain to navigate to once you're on Amazon's main page.
- Free Kindle ebooks don't always stay free for long so if you see a free one you like, snag it quick. Many authors make their books free for a very limited amount of time (like a couple of days or even less).
- I try to mention the good ones as soon as I see them on my Facebook page so if you want someone else to watch the lists for you, click the Like button over there in my sidebar to follow me. Easy peasy.
- Note these are not books that are hard copies, just Kindle ebooks. (But the directions above to read on your computer or mobile device couldn't be easier or more convenient.)
- Free ebooks. Major score. Would you consider sharing this post? I am constantly meeting people that have no idea they can get free books from Kindle. They assume they need an actual Kindle to do so. Share below if you'd like to spread the reading love!
Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post.