27 May, 2017

BLOGGING 101: Free Books

It is no secret that book bloggers get free review copies also known as ARC (advanced reader copy). Actually, many blogs have been started just to be able to get your hands on the goodies and ours was not an exception. Besides the love for books and wish to share our thoughts with other book lovers Laura and I did talk a lot about getting free books. How? Well that is exactly what I will tell you today!

However, before we get into all the ways to get free books please keep in mind that these books are not really free. When an author/publisher agrees to provide you a free book for a review you are entering a contract to actually read and review this book in a certain time period. I know many bloggers who ask for tons of ARCs just end up not reading most of them. This is not okay! So please, if you are looking for ARCs always first consider if you are really going to read this book and review it, authors and publishers depend on you!

Best way to get ebook ARCs is by registering your blog and yourself as book reviewer on Netgalley and Edelweiss. These are two major websites where publishers frequently upload new releases and you can request them as easy as one click of the mouse. However, to be approved for ARC you must have a certain ratio between amount of requested and reviewed book, I tend to keep mine around 80% and never have a real problem with approvals.

If you are not a fan of ebooks or do not own an ereader you might want to get your hands on the printed ARCs instead. However, using this method it is much more difficult to actually obtain the book you want because of the publishing budget. Usually if you want a popular book and your blog is small you have about zero chance of getting it. The priority will always go to big influential blogs. But it does not mean you should not try at all! If you go to the website of any publishing house you will always find emails for ARCs requests, tho when you contact them don't forget to mention how big your blog is and how many daily views you have. This is what determines in the end if you get the ARC or not. 

I know the term ARC says itself it's an advanced copy but don't get confused. Very often publishers have left over ARCs that they are happy to get rid of. Also, if there is a new release that is let's say third or fourth book in the series you can always ask for first book, this usually works pretty well.

I know, I know, when you start blogging last thing you want to do is wait. But trust me on this, the day will come when you find yourself getting tons of review requests per day. Don't take them all, carefully look at the books you agree to review. They might be free but it is your time that you pay for them with. And among those requests you will find yourself eventually being contacted by representatives of the publishing houses like HarperTeen, Penguin, Tor and so on. It is vital to keep contact with these people because once you establish that relationship you will be on their auto list for review requests.

If you look around you often see other bloggers hosting giveaways for ARCs they received and already reviewed. Now not always you are allowed to pass over the ARC copies but when you are many bloggers take this opportunity and this is where your luck might cash in too.

I hope this is helpful and remember, only take ARCs when you can actually review them, do not waste a good book if it will just sit on your bookshelf forever. See you next time!