Thursday, April 21, 2011
Once upon a time when I was an undergrad, I worked for Waldenbooks (you know, those almost extinct places known as bookstores, in fact I think that one may in fact be extinct). St the time, most of my paycheck went towards supporting my reading habit. As a librarian, this habit continues. In fact, I tend to bring home more than I could possibly read and end up sending it all back or adding my name back to the hold lists. This doesn't stop me from wanting more books. The cheaper the better.
How can it get any better than free?
NetGalley is a website that connects book reviewers and librarians with publishers in want of reviews for their books. They only provide digital copies of the books, but these range from already release to already on the market. We aren't talking no name companies either, these are big name authors and publishers. Some titles are available for immediate download and others have a more stringent approval system. It is worth checking out. In fact many of the books you have seen reviewed on this blog have come from NetGalley.
LibraryThing and Goodreads are both websites that offer free books to their members in the form of contests. Think of it as placing your name in a hat and crossing your fingers that you will be picked. Many of these titles have hundreds of people vying for only a handful of copies; so your chances of winning are close to that of winning the lottery. I have known people who have received copies, so it can happen.
Remember that if you request a copy of a book for review purposes that you should actually review it. Failure to do so may not only hurt your chances or working with that publisher again, but also for other reviews.
You also might want to try some author stalking. NO! Put down the binoculars! I don't mean that kind of stalking! Check out the author's website. If they have a blog, follow it. Hang on their every tweet, just don't become an annoying gnat (you know the bug that buzzes annoyingly non-stop in your ear, get the idea?). You never know when there might be an impromptu giveaway directly from the author or their publicist.
A lot of book blogs also give away their Advance Readers Copies (ARCs) to followers and those that comment on their posts. (Sorry, this blog, does not yet host giveaways. Digital ARCs,yeah, non-transferable. But keep posted cause you never know when that might change). I find a lot of ARCs to give to my teen reviewers at the library by keeping an eye on the list-serves and blog rolls. Here are some websites I know of that offer free book contests, both ARCs and published:
Free Book Friday
Dead Rules Giveaways to Support Teen Reading
If you know of any other interesting places to get free books or ARCs, post the, to the comments below. Happy Reading!