How to Find Free Books with Amazon Prime - Kindle Owners' Lending Library

Everyone I know who has Amazon Prime loves it. They gladly fork over $79 (now $99) a year for free 2-day shipping and a wagonload of other benefits. I've signed up for free trials in the past, but always cancelled during the trial period because I knew, once I started using it long term, I'd most likely be hooked to the tune of $99/year.

Well, recently Amazon finally lassoed me. We had items we needed quickly for a birthday and the expedited shipping would have been almost the cost of an Amazon Prime membership. So I pulled the trigger for the free shipping and was pleased with some of the other benefits. Streaming music and videos without commercials - what's not to like?

However, one benefit gave me more heartburn than anything else. We love our Kindles in our household, but have noticed Amazon doesn't exactly make it easy to locate free books in their library. It takes some mental and technical gymnastics. So I guess I shouldn't have been surprised when it was also complicated to figure out how to use the Kindle Owner's Lending Library benefit through Amazon Prime.

As described by Amazon:

"Prime members and adults in the same Amazon Household can borrow one book from the Kindle Owners' Lending Library each calendar month. You can deliver the book to compatible devices registered to your Amazon account. Available titles may change each calendar month."

Sounds great, right? It does until you actually try to use it. My first few attempts reminded me of those carnival games that are deceptively difficult to win. Like the arcade claw machine where you can just taste the candy or feel the cute plush unicorn ("It's so fluffy!") within your grasp, but alas, the grip strength of the claw is as weak as the password, "password." You know this or have guessed this already, but these games are virtually impossible to win. 

After a bit of internet sleuthing, I came across an EZPZ method to take advantage of the Kindle Owners' Library without tearing my nonexistent hair out.

Step 1. From your device, go to the Kindle Store.

image.jpg

Step 2. Open the menu in the top-right corner

Step 3. Select "Kindle Owners' Lending Library" from the menu

image.jpg

Step 4. Welcome to the promised land! Locate an eligible title to borrow. Eligible titles will display a Prime badge.

image.jpg

Step 5. Select "Borrow for Free" and enjoy!

image.jpg

If you're curious about Amazon Prime and would like to sign up for a 30 day FREE trial with all the fixings, you can sign up here. Thanks!

Next post next Saturday, 6:30 a.m.

Hungry Like the Wolf

There is no sincerer love than the love of food.

~George Bernard Shaw

I remember the first time my wife and I serendipitously stumbled into IKEA on the Kids Eat Free night. Our child was small at the time, but he has always punched above his weight class when it came to eating! I imagine having more than 1 such kid could get expensive so I understood the appeal as I glanced around the cafeteria, jam-packed with large families. Still, you can only eat Swedish meatballs so often.

SO...for your gastronomic and money-saving pleasure, the infographic below has a list of many different retail restaurants and the nights your kids can eat for free.

Fair warning: The excellent Lifehacker article is from 2014, so you might want to call first.

Next post next Saturday, 6:30 a.m.

Worth 1000 Words

Looking for an image to spice up your blog or presentation, but aren't sure where to look? Or you've found something perfect, but aren't sure you are allowed to use it or worse, you already used it and are worried about getting in trouble? Do you wish there was a cheap (I mean free) and safe way to find images? And one that is EZPZ and delivers high quality images?

I've struggled with this myself because while I value the power of images to convey meaning and engage the audience, I'm aware that using other's images improperly is not cool and can land you in hot water. Also, I'm not a professional blogger and am not running a business so I don't want to pay my own money for an image I will use only once. That being said, I'd rather not use an image at all than use an awful free one or worry about constantly looking over my shoulder. Oh and did I mention I'm in Compliance? ;-)

Being unsatisfied with this state of affairs, I did a little research and wanted to share with you my EZPZ solution...

Step 1

Find images that are classified as "CC0" which means they can be used for free, without payment or attribution, even for commercial purposes. One caveat, these types of images almost never have company logos, brands or other types of commercial images. A contributor can't give away what he/she doesn't own.

Skip to Step 2 unless you are dying to learn more about the technical copyright defintion below:

CC0 = "The person who associated a work with this deed has dedicated the work to the public domain by waiving all of his or her rights to the work worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law. You can copy, modify, distribute and perform the work, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission."

Step 2
Use sites that provide high quality images and make it easy to distinguish the CC0 and paid images.

The main site I use for this is Pixabay.
It has a simple, but effective search box and high quality images. In the picture below, I've highlighted the location of the images they sell and the free CC0 images. You may notice the "for sale" images are generally more professional-looking, but you typically get what you pay for, right?

So go forth and download those images, guilt and worry free!