Free Books Online: Read for Free (All Genres)

Free Books Online

Offering free books online that can be read for free, without any need to first create an account, or sign up for anything, White Dove Books broke new ground back in the year 2000. Founded well before the advent of Kindle and the ebook revolution, the site began by providing access to a range of self help books that were offered completely free of charge.

Moving with the times, White Dove Books repositioned itself with the introduction of its innovative Free Books Showcase initiative, cooperating with other sites to bring its philosophy of offering free books to a wider audience. If you run a WordPress site themed around the subject of books, you can participate and earn commission at the same time, see here for full details.

We now exclusively promote Free Kindle Books, both fiction and non-fiction titles in all major genres, whilst continuing to preserve the original focus of providing a top quality reader experience. We operate a notification service for those who wish to receive instant notifications when new books are added to our site, but this is entirely optional, and we continue to offer free books to readers without requiring a sign-up. Our Free Kindle Books Top 100 and our Kindle Unlimited Books Top 100 lists are dynamic and regularly updated.

These days, there are many other excellent sites that also offer free books and for this article, we have produced a list of the best of them.

Contents

Below, the sub-titles are hyperlinks that open in a new tab so you don’t lose this page …

Free Books Online

To make our read for free books online list, each site must offer something unique. Firstly, free books should be made available without any strings attached at all. In other words, there must be no sign-up requirements of any kind. Secondly, the books themselves must be offered to readers completely free of charge. Thirdly, each site must be easy to navigate so that readers can download books with the minimum of fuss. Finally, although it should go without saying, we do not condone pirate sites, so all the sites in our definitive list are 100% legal.

Criteria for Inclusion in Our List of Free Books Online

Public Domain Books

The largest collection of public domain books available on the internet. Their library consists of over 60,000 free eBooks, available in all the major formats including PDF, EPUB and Kindle (MOBI) or, if you prefer, you can simply read them online. You will find the world’s great classic literature here, with focus on older works for which U.S. copyright has expired.

The Amazon Top 100 Free

Although they seem to make it unnecessarily difficult to find their free books section, Amazon do have a great Top 100 list for books that can be read for free. Fortunately, we have you covered because our link (below) will take you straight to that list! The list is purely driven by demand. Quite simply, the more downloads a book gets, the higher it will be placed in their Top 100, so it tends to be dominated by those most popular genres favoured by members of the Kindle Unlimited program.

Amazon Prime Reading

If you are a member of Amazon’s Prime program, you can get access to an excellent selection of quality books and magazines via their Prime Reading page. Just make sure you are logged in to your Amazon account and click the above link to browse the catalogue of included titles.

Google Play Top 100 Free

Like Amazon, Google Play also offer a Top 100 list of read for free online books, but unlike Amazon, the list is much easier to find. Again, the list is driven by popularity so, although all major genres are represented, their list is heavily weighted toward the popular fiction genres.

Public Domain Audiobooks

This site records books that are in the public domain, and then release the recordings back into the public domain for free. They allow you to use their audio files for whatever purpose you wish. Their mission is to make all books in the public domain available, for free, in audio format on the internet.

Free Books Online Library

Although Smashwords offers paid books, like Amazon they also have a great selection of free books online, in all of the major genres and in a wide range of formats. The site is very easy to navigate, and you can find free books in the genres you are interested by clicking the button at the top of the page.

Free Books for Children

There nothing quite like watching youngsters getting into the wonderful habit of reading books. Here are some great recommendations to explore.

StoryBerries Children’s Books

Free bedtime stories, fairy tales, comics and poems for children, selected and organised by theme. With beautiful illustrations, these classic and contemporary stories are sure to get your kids switched on to the joy of reading. This site’s mission is to create the best quality collection of free children’s stories anywhere online.

Oxford Owl Children’s Library

A free ebook library developed for children aged 3–11 years old. All eBooks are free and tablet-friendly so they are great for reading with a child. The sites does require an account to be created to access the free books. Printed versions of the books are also available to purchase.

Academic Books

The following section features academic books, texts and articles that are available for free online.

Book Boon

Access to well over 1,000 free textbooks written by academics from the world’s top universities and reviewed by the California State University.

Open Access Free Online Books

A directory of peer-reviewed academic books, published via the open access model, making research available to students and readers for free.

Internet Archive

The Internet Archive has millions of good quality academic books and texts that can be accessed by anyone with a free account.

University of Pennsylvania

The Online Books page of the University of Pennsylvania provides free access to an excellent library of over three million free books.

University of California

Access to free texts  from a variety of academic presses. All ebooks in the collection are available for free to faculty staff, and students. However many of the books are also available to the public, completely free.

Free Books Showcase

The Free Books Showcase promotes Kindle books, both permanently free (permafree) books and books that are free as a part of Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited program – which is a bit like Netflix for books i.e. you pay a monthly subscription and then you get access to a huge variety of books that you can borrow for free.

Below you will find a list of the sites that currently participate.

White Dove Books

Get novels, short stories, fiction and non-fiction books at this site. All major genres are available including romance, mystery & suspense, crime, sci-fi, fantasy, horror and self help. Founded in 2003, this was one of the very first sites on the internet to start offering free books without the need to create an account. All links are geo-targeted and will take you to your favourite online store.

Book Bloggers Network

We distribute recommendations across many sites via our network of book bloggers. If you run a WordPress site that is related to the subject of books, you can join it too. Essentially, we do all the legwork, providing you with regularly updated free books newsfeeds for your site as well as a neat monetization facility.

Free Books Sub-Reddit

A recent addition to our expanding distribution network is our Sub-Reddit which not only provides our regularly updated lists, it also allows authors to promote their free books … for free. Reddit has a requirement that members must participate in their community before posting links. Essentially, you need to earn a number of points for posting and commenting – they call this system ‘Karma’. Provided that you have accumulated some positive Karma, you will be able to post in our Sub-Reddit

Pinterest Board

There’s no question about it, book covert art can be very beautiful and many people like to collect covers on image sharing sites. So, if Pinterest is your thing, then we maintain a number of boards over there, one of which provides a regularly updated feed for all our free books.

Free Books at Twitter

When it comes to social networks, we all have our individual preferences, so if you are more of a tweeter, our Twitter feed also provides a great way of staying up-to-date with our recommendations. However, of all our social channels, it is the one we use less for book promotion and more for connecting with authors on a personal level.

FaceBook Page

When it comes to Facebook, we have both a group and a page and they are linked together. The page is the best way of staying updated about free books, and the group is an ideal place to post your freebies if you happen to be an author.

Quora Space

Our newly created Quora Space is also a great way to keep up-to-date with our free books. You can also suggest and contribute content (free books) provided you follow the rules i.e. links must lead directly to a free book, no sign-up pages allowed etc.

Goodreads Group

We also have a brand new group over at Goodreads for reading and discussing books of all genres that are free – either permanently free (permafree) on free offer, or free as a part of the Kindle Unlimited program.

For Authors

According to Hexa Research, the size of the ebook market was estimated at USD 15.71 billion in 2016 and this figure is expected to approximately double by 2024. Consequently, ebooks have become big business and that means there are some serious players, with big advertising budgets, now at large within the market. This makes it increasingly difficult for indie writers and publishers to find their readers, but one method that remains effective is to utilise the power of the giveaway.

eBook Market Growth 2016 – 2025

From an author’s perspective, it can be hugely beneficial to give away a free ebook as a way of finding new readers who may then go on to purchase your other books.

There are essentially two ways the tactic can be employed: you can either put your book on free offer for a limited period of time (Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited program allows an author to set a book to free for a limited period) or you can set it to free on a permanent basis – this is known as ‘permafree’.

Once you have your book set to free, you need to get the word out and the most effective method of doing this is to use one or more book promotion sites. This is a very effective way of introducing new readers to a new series, for example. All of the following book promotion sites come highly recommended.

BookBub

Bookbub is the biggest book promotion site on the internet, boasting millions of readers for every genre. Although their service is very expensive and it can be difficult to get your book accepted for their promotions, many authors have credited this site with bringing them success.

Book Blast

The Book Blast service, which is a new offering from White Dove Books, provides a simple way for authors to reach our entire distribution network i.e. our blog network (view the blog list) and our social network (view the social list) consisting of thousands of active readers. Whilst we are the ‘new kid on the block’ in the book promotion space, we do enjoy a growing reputation with many excellent author reviews of our service already received.

Others

Other promotion sites to consider include the following, all of which promote free books and have an excellent reputation for quality service:

Free Books Plugin

If you have a WordPress site related to writing, books or publishing, you can promote free books and earn commission at the same time.

Our (free) plugin embeds dynamically updated, news feeds into your site and provides a simple way of monetizing any blog related to books, writing or publishing. If you are an author, book blogger or reviewer, this plugin is an ideal addition to your site.

Does Your Site Belong Here?

If you run a site that offers free online books and would like to be featured on this list, please use the contact form (above) to let us know!

P.S. We also have a very useful resources page specifically for writers.