How to find the best price on the e-book you want

Price-comparison site Luzme will show you the prices from every e-book seller that carries the book and notify you if there's a price change.

Luzme compares e-book prices from all the major sellers.
Luzme compares e-book prices from all the major sellers. Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET

Suppose someone recommends a book, like I'm about to do. "Oh, hey, you gotta read Mitchell Zuckoff's 'Frozen in Time.' Total page-turner. Couldn't put it down."

Because you're a smart shopper, you know that different e-book sellers often have different prices. But short of going from one Web site to another (or, if you're a smartphone or tablet user, one app to another), how can you find the best deal on that particular title?

Actually, all you need to do is visit one site. Here's the easy way to score the lowest price on e-books:

Step one: Open your browser and head to Luzme.com.

Step two: Enter any of the following: title, author, series name, or ISBN. Then click Search Now.

Sorry, Barnes & Noble: Amazon and Sony have you beat by over four bucks.
Sorry, Barnes & Noble: Amazon and Sony have you beat by over four bucks. Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET

Step three: Review the results. Depending on the book, you should see prices from a number of sources: Amazon, Apple, Google, Kobo, and so on. Click any of them to jump directly to the sale page for that book.

Step four: If you're hoping for a lower price, click Add to My Watchlist. (This requires you to sign up for a Luzme account first, which is free.) From there you'll receive notifications if and when the site detects a lower price for that book.

Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET

You may also see a price-trend chart for some or all of the sellers; mouse over one to see past prices for the book. And look for a Prime Lending logo, which indicates the book is available for borrowing as part of an Amazon Prime subscription.

As you can see in examples here, there are indeed price differences from one seller to another. Both Amazon and Sony, for example, sell "Frozen in Time" (a great read, truly) for $12.74, while Barnes & Noble and Kobo charge $16.99. Google falls roughly in the middle at $14.44. Needless to say, it's worth taking an extra minute or two to use Luzme's at-a-glance comparison tool.

Differences like these are among the reasons I like to use a full-blown tablet for e-reading instead of a dedicated e-reader: You can use nearly any e-book seller's e-reader app, meaning you can shop around for the best prices. And Luzme.com makes it a breeze.

Like this tip? You can find a lot more like it in my book, "The Cheapskate Rules: 21 Easy Money-Saving Tech Secrets." For now there's only one source and one price: Amazon, $4.99.

 

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