As most of you know, I’ve only undertaken this book blogging journey this year. I’ve been going for about seven months.
I have a very helpful book-reading friend – Momabel of The Eclectic Bookworm (where I also co-author) got to help me start out. And I realized…this isn’t that hard. I can see how people get advanced copies of hot new books, whether best-sellers or from independent presses, and churn out book reviews.
If you’re a reader and not sure where to start – use this as a jumping off point. It has helped me immensely. You can definitely get relevant, upcoming books to review – for FREE (almost always in an ebook format) in return for a review.
Have you heard of….
- Book Bloggers?
- Book Reviewer Yellow Pages?
- Indie Review
- EReader News Today?
- Amazon – Kindle Best Sellers List?
Goodreads is a go-to spot for all things reading. It has everything: book synopsis, quotes, book clubs, book recommendations, and book discussions. You can rate and review books, answer trivia questions, enter book giveaways, explore lists (by all types of categories) that other users create and take part in a creative writing community. You can also create your own personal reading goals, and “shelves” where you can keep track of books you’ve read, books you own, books you want to read and books you’re currently reading. (If you enter a book giveaway, the book it automatically added to your “to read” shelf.) And lastly, you can see what kinds of books your friends are selecting to read, which can add flavor to your reading palette.
SmashWords is another way to get free books. There are additional titles that cost, so if you’re not generating revenue from your blog or reviews – start with the free route. Smashwords is also a place where you can independently publish an ebook. It’s a great place to start building relationships with publishers.
BookBloggers is a site where authors can submit their books to be up for review. You can email the author via BookBloggers to request a copy to review, and they may send you an ebook version. I’ve had some success with this site – but lately it has been down A LOT. Like, all the time. I’ve received two copies from this source in 4 months.
NetGalley is a host site to publishing houses. I strongly recommend using this as a main (even primary) avenue to getting books. You create a profile, select books you’d like to receive, and the publishing house may grant you access to a book based on what they need in a reviewer. Setting up your profile for the genres and types of books you want is important. For example, I’m a teacher and have listed that my book blog has educational resources for YA novels I review as well as reviews for personal reads…and I don’t get many “request granted” email notifications for romance novels. You can rate and review books, which I think helps you receive access for future requests. Often your additional requests for books from the same publisher will be granted if you’ve already been granted access to one of their books. I have had moderate success with this site: out of 100+ books I requested (all that were available and interested me at one point), I was given access to 49 titles. This is why I recommend this resource.
Book Reviewer Yellow Pages is basically a Yellow Pages listing of book bloggers of all types. The main focus is bloggers who review self-published books, but they do list a few reviewers who aren’t self-pubbed only bloggers. This is a wonderful resource if you are just starting out, need more variety in your reading, or want to create relationships with a few authors. This is also a great resource for authors: there are numerous articles about writing, how to get your books on store bookshelves, how to get reviews, and just how to market your book. Reviewers and Bloggers, you can join at ANY time! There are monthly newsletters available, and your blog is listed as a newcomer in the newsletter after you’ve gotten onboard. You also get displayed on the homepage for a while! Wonderful, wonderful resource.
The Indie Review is for readers, reviewers and authors – much like Book Reviewer Yellow Pages. This is for Indie book reviewers ONLY. If you are affiliated with a publisher, you are not an Indie reviewer. There is a list of Indie authors, so never fear! According to their site, they “[rank] within the Top Ten of Book Review sites on Google, globally.” If you don’t like traditional publishers, this may be a route for you to explore, and hopefully connect with some authors.
EReader News Today is designed for Kindle readers. It even has help for using your Kindle. Each day EReader posts bargain deals and free books! Although they only do two free books a day, there is still a selection of choices. The best thing is that you can still go back and get the free books from past days! Follow them on Facebook to see when they post their book deals.
Amazon Best Sellers has cheap AND free book lists. Here’s how you get there: on the left panel of Amazon.com, select Books -> Kindle Books -> Best Sellers (across the top). On the left will be Top 100 Paid, and on the right will be the Top 100 FREE.
**The EBW and I (through EBW) are listed in both the Book Reviewer Yellow Pages and The Indie Review, and we get multiple requests daily. I also utilize Smashwords, Book Bloggers (not so much anymore, due to website availability) and NetGalley.
Reviewers: what resources do you utilize? I’d love to share your input! Leave a comment below, or email me at email@example.com.