Written By: Deanna
Free stuff is awesome, right? You know what is even more awesome than just stuff? Books!
Did you know there is a free and legal way to get free books? Other than browsing through Amazon's poorly edited "free reads" pages for hours and hours. Let's face it, it's hard to find a good book in that slush pile.
So, how do you get free books delivered to your e-mail without having to work (very hard)? Two words. Review Blog.
Yup. That's the key to it, start a review blog! They are a great way for authors to get their work out in front of people and they are an even better way to find new/awesome writer's - I've been in both situations before! Last year, I got over 50 books for free! From publishers, authors, publicists, etc. All I had to do was read the book. If I liked it, I posted a review and if I didn't, then I let the author decide if they wanted the review published or not.
So, let's get to the nitty and the gritty.
Step Two: You should look at other review sites to see how they have formatted their "submission guidelines," if you've never seen it before. But basically, think about what information you want to know about the book before you accept or decline the review request. Things to maybe include are:
- Length, publisher, genres, themes, published date, blurb, etc. I've also seen some people ask about the ending (if it is HFN or HEA), if there are any "triggering" aspects, or if the characters are stupid!
- Whatever you want to ask for, feel free to ask for it! This is your site! All I'm going to tell you to do, is make sure that you're "review request information" is on it's own page to make it easy for author's to find!
Step Three: Actually create the site. Maybe you want to use Blogger, Tumblr, WordPress, or whatever. It's your choice and basically comes down to what you feel comfortable with.
Step Four: Now that you've created your site, it's time to get some reviews posted. Use some of your all time favorite books, some you have lying around, or some you picked up from the library, so that you don't have to put any money into it. Make sure your review is about 150 words, at least.
Step Five: Now that you have a few review's up, it's time to get your book review blog in front of people! First and foremost, don't be scared to reach out to indi author's and let them know what you're doing, and that you're looking for content. Also, make sure that your site is listed on BookBloggerList.com and IndiBookReview.com to make it easy for author's to find you.
Step Six: Keep reading. Sometimes it will take time for author's to find you, but don't lose hope! They will find you and they will offer you free (and sometimes awesome) books.
Before we part ways, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Don't let this become a chore for you!
- Have a copy/paste response for declining and accepting books. It will make this so much faster.
- When I was active on my blog, I got about 20 review requests a week. I went through them every Friday and decided that I was going to read and what I was going to pass on. It took about an hour.
- Have fun with this! Book review blogs are one of the best ways for author's to get their work out in front of new people, and a solid review is one of the most meaningful things to an author. If you don't enjoy their book, that's fine. Above all, have fun with it. It's not a job.
- Don't be scared to fail. If it doesn't work, that's okay. It's just a learning experience. That doesn't mean you can't start another one.