Use Goodreads to find good deals on e-books

Amazon's book-management tool can now alert you when a book goes on sale.

Rick Broida Senior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
Rick Broida
2 min read

So you're a "Game of Thrones" fan, and you know this guy David Benioff is one of the executive producers, and someone mentioned he wrote this great novel, "City of Thieves," which sounds like your cup of World War II-era adventure tea. But, dang it, the Kindle edition costs $11.99, and you used up your spare cash subscribing to HBO Now so you could watch "Game of Thrones."

Of course, sometimes e-books go on sale, but how can you keep tabs on the price of "City of Thieves" -- or, for that matter, any book you want to read?

Use Goodreads. The Amazon-owned book-management and -recommendation tool just added a new feature: Goodreads Deals. (Thankfully, and to Amazon's credit, the deals aren't limited to Kindle-store offerings; Goodreads supports Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble Nook, Google Play Books and Kobo as well.)


Goodreads was already super-handy for book lovers; now it's a money-saver as well.


You can leverage Goodreads Deals a couple different ways. If you head to your account settings page and click the Deals tab, you'll see three options:

  • Deals from my Want to Read shelf
  • Deals for my authors
  • Deals by genre

If you're already a Goodreads user, you've probably already added some books to your Want to Read shelf (the aforementioned "City of Thieves," for example). With that option enabled, Goodreads will notify you whenever there's a discount available for any of those titles.

Likewise, if you follow authors on Goodreads, you'll get notified of sales on any of those authors' books.

Finally, the genre option lets you choose from four -- bestsellers, romance, mystery & thrillers, fantasy & science fiction -- and receive a daily email with deals on any or all of them.

You can also specify which of the aforementioned retailers to include in the notifications. No sense receiving deals from, say, Kobo if you're primarily a Kindle person. But here's a pro tip: Don't limit yourself to just one e-book store. It's easy enough to keep multiple apps on your phone or tablet, and different stores often have different deals. Why not leverage them all?

And that's all there is to it. If you're already a Goodreads user, it definitely makes sense to take advantage of these deal notifications. Not a user? It's worth signing up! I find the service immensely helpful, if only to keep tabs on books I've already read (sometimes I forget!) and especially those I want to read.