Authors give away books as samples all the time. The hope is that readers will read their free book and then buy their other books at cost. And, if they really loved the book they will spread the word and many new readers will check it out.
So many of us, myself included, don’t have a lot of spending money for extras.
I use several different ways to get free books. This allows me to try out new authors with no obligation and then if I love their work I can buy their other books with my book budget. I hate spending my book budget on books that I am not sure I will like.
I think all book lovers who own a kindle (I got mine last year and I am hooked!!) should sign up for the author marketing club. Every day I receive an email that lists a variety of books that are being offered for free on Amazon that day. I usually pick up at least two or three books to download per day. It is especially a valuable tool if you have broad interests. You can sign up at : http://authormarketingclub.com/
Downloading free kindle books is a great way to find new authors. This is an especially great way to find new indie authors.
Another good place to get books is through the Goodreads Giveaway program. Website: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway
If you have a goodreads account all you need to do is look through the offered books and enter to win. Odds of winning increase if you do a lot of book reviews (I am of the opinion that if an author is willing to give me a free copy of their book then reviewing it is the least I can do. It costs them about $10 per book they send you so try to keep that in mind). The books on goodreads are all physical books that are mailed to your home, You won’t win every book you enter for. When I was really active on goodreads I was entering for about 10 books a week and usually getting at least one. I still use the giveaway program from time to time but I am currently not reading many print books and I still have about fifteen that I got through the goodreads program that I haven’t read.
Similar to Goodreads Giveaways is the Early Reviewers and Member Giveaways on librarything. Info here: http://www.librarything.com/more/freebooks
Librarything giveawyas are for print, ebook, and audiobooks. I have won a book or two through them but I am not as active on librarything as goodreads. The sites are similar but I personally find goodreads easier to use.
There are so many books available to readers for free. Especially if you are looking for a new author to fall in love with I recommend using these sites to get free books.
As a courtesy, please try to review books you are given for free. Even if your review is critical it will help other readers know if the book is one they will enjoy or not. One man’s trash is another’s treasure.