As a book blogger, I had reviewed their books.
One of the perks of being a book blogger is getting to know authors. One of the biggest perks, however, is getting free books. It’s hard for me to want to purchase books because I’m so used to getting them for free…and sometimes, autographed.
A few people have asked me about getting free books, so I thought I would share.
Here’s how you can become a book blogger and get free books:
1. Start a blog
You don’t need a professional author website when you are just starting out. CaitlinMuir.com was a simple WordPress.com blog. I didn’t switch over to .org until I wanted more control over my site. I do recommend buying your domain name.
Make sure that you have a section for book reviews and an easy way for people to contact you. I have both on my website and often have authors contact me directly, asking me to review their books. As your platform grows, you’ll start receiving requests as well. The key is to prepare now.
2. Apply to be a book reviewer
There are many places you can apply to be a book reviewer. Each of them have their own set of guidelines and preferred method of review submission. Some want you to post only on their site, while others (the publishing houses and authors) want you to post your reviews all over the internet. Review the guidelines carefully.
Here are some of them:
- Bethany House
- Tyndale Blog Network
- Hay House
- Blogging for Books
- Story Cartel
- Book Browse
- The Catholic Company
- Nothing Binding
- Radiant Lit
- The Vessel Project
Other resources – How to Get Free Books to Review on Your Blog via CopyBlogger
If you know of any more, post them in the comment section.
- Do you want free books? @AuthorMedia shares where to get them. – Click to tweet.
- Before you agree to review books, check the book review guidelines. – Click to tweet.
- I’ve always wondered how people became book review bloggers. – Click to tweet.
- Maybe I’ll become a book review blogger. – Click to tweet.
- Have any of you become book review bloggers? – Click to tweet.
- I WANT FREE BOOKS AND NOW I SHALL HAVE THEM! – Click to tweet.
3. Keep track of books…and READ!
This sounds like a no-brainer, but after you start getting books, it can be hard to keep track of who sent them to you. Right now, I have a pile of books sent to me by publicists, authors, and book review sites. Only, I’m not sure which one came from who…so sending a copy of the review to the appropriate person just got trickier.
Creating a spreadsheet of books you’ve received allows you to track titles, websites, dates you received the book, and the deadline you need to meet.
Trust me, you’ll want to do this from the beginning.
You’ll also want to carve out time to read the books. Don’t let them just sit on your nightstand. Read away!
5. Keep it legal
If you are getting free books, you need a legal disclaimer stating that you received books in exchange for an honest review. It’s all part of the FTC guidelines. Michael Hyatt wrote a terrific article on Five Ways to Comply With The New FTC Guidelines for Bloggers. I highly recommend reading it.
6. Reach out to Authors
Instead of just writing a review, interview the author on your website. Often, you will be given a way to contact the author when you receive the book. Contact them with your interview questions.
Written interviews are great but getting them on camera (or on a podcast!) is a great way to stand out.
Consider publishing your book review on one day and the interview on a different day. You can also ask the author if they’d be willing to do a book giveaway.
7. Share the good news
If you like a book – tell people! Create a Facebook page for your book reviews and tag the authors when you review their books.
You can also post your reviews on:
- Barnes and Noble
As a general rule of thumb, you want the bulk of your review to be on your site.