Step-by-step: How to read free books on Kindle

Nothing says “free” like, well, FREE. After seeding the mention of my memoir on, which promotes free books, more than 600 readers just today have downloaded The Percussionist’s Wife. That’s over 1,100 Kindle copies of my book into circulation just this week.

You have until midnight tonight to get your copy for free, too.

This is not one of those “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is” deals. Free books are great for voracious readers and good for authors, too. Authors offer their books for free to spread a message, gain fans, encourage Amazon reviews and sell future books. And by offering incentives to both readers and authors, Amazon gets to maintain bragging rights as the world’s biggest books marketplace. Win, win, win.

If you’re not already reading books on Kindle, here’s how to do it:

  1. You’ll need an internet connection and a Kindle device or smart tablet or even a smart phone (more than one person has told me they read my entire book on their phone).
  2. Open an Amazon account. It doesn’t cost anything to simply have an account (you’re thinking of Amazon Prime if you’re worried about that. A basic Amazon account costs nothing). If Amazon wants your credit card information, it’s requesting it to make buying later easier.
  3. If you’re not using a Kindle but rather a tablet, iPad or smart phone to read ebooks, then download the Kindle app from the app store. On your device, register it on your Amazon account.
  4. On your computer or Safari, log into your Amazon account and shop for Kindle books (start with mine, here). When you find one you like, click “Buy now with 1-Click” (even if it’s free, you’re “buying”). It should say to which device you’re downloading.
  5. Now open the Kindle app on your device, find your new book in the library and start reading!

Free Kindle books are available in many places when you know to look:

  1. Check with your public library. Many libraries now lend books via Kindle and you can bet there’s someone there to help you do it.
  2. Shop Amazon. Start here with the “Bestsellers in Kindle Store” and look for “Top 100 Free
  3. Consider joining Amazon Prime or Kindle Unlimited. Both of these subscription services cost something, but when you do, an even wider range of Kindle titles is available for free.
  4. Subscribe to emails from Freebooksy and Bookbub, which will send you email every day alerting you to free and discounted books. There are probably other promoters, too (if you know of one, say so in a comment!).

The Percussionist's WifeIn any case, if you haven’t already downloaded the free Kindle version of The Percussionist’s Wife: A Memoir of Sex, Crime & Betrayal, do it before midnight today. It’s my story of what happened to my marriage when my husband was caught with one of his drumline students. I recount my journey through the criminal proceedings and why I stayed in the marriage, how I came to terms with the painful wreckage wrought by the betrayal and why I finally left. Click here.