Things You’ll Need:
- A computer
- Understanding of basic English
Contact online book review sites.
There are plenty of online book review sites always in need of reviewers. This is the first step in getting free books. You need to prove to publishers you will review their books instead of just taking them. To do this, examples of your reviews are needed. Do a search for book review sites, email the editors, find out what books they have, and you have begun. There are countless sites on the internet that review books. Some examples include curledup.com and compulsivereader.com. Once you get a few reviews published, the next steps will be easier.
Ask to be put on review copy lists.
Most book publishers are more than happy to send out books. Some will even put you on their reviewer lists, meaning you will get the majority or all of the books sent out. This is big, because you can receive a high number of brand new books
Send emails to publishers.
Often, reviewers have to go through the long process of typing out a query and faxing it to the publisher. Don’t do this; most books can be had with a simple email. Before you are put on the regular review list, many publishers will want to send a small number of books. Send emails saying you are interested in being on the review copy list. Then, if the publisher doesn’t want to do that, consider asking for a specific book or books.
Sometimes the publishers will not respond to your request. In this event, send an email out to the editor of the company. They will be very interested in sending you free books, because they want any press they can get on their titles. There is also a greater chance of being put on the review copy list.
Sometimes not even the editors will respond. In this case, contact the author of the book or books you want. State exactly the book you are interested, follow the same guidelines in contacting publishers and editors, and give your address. The authors can speed up the process of getting his/her book out, because he/she gets rewarded the most for a review, and editors will almost always respond to an author request.
Become a print reviewer.
While the internet is growing with book reviews, something that can make you stand out is writing for print publications. This process is the hardest, but has the most rewards. Consider contacting local newspapers, especially if they have an entertainment section, and ask to submit book reviews. After this, you can say that the review will be published both on the internet and in print, which will look good for publishers.
Emails do work the best for getting review copies, but many publishers demand you send them a typed fax with clips of your reviews. Even if you have a print and online clip (an example of your review and writing), you may not receive a response via fax. However, for the cost of an hour or less you can type up a clear request which can be used for countless publishers.
The last chance to get review copies for some companies is to call them. Some publishers will not accept emails and even faxes. So, the next logical step is to go through the publisher website. Many will have a phone number for review copies. Wizards of the Coast, for example, requires that reviewers contact them via phone. Though not common, some books can be had this way.
Start your own publication.
It doesn’t take much to start up a small website. If you really want to continue to get free books–or even movies and music–consider opening a small site to publish your reviews. Even a small blog would work, though a serious site will actually bring in good revenue. This also means the publishers can come to you.
By now, if the steps are working, you have enough books to read for some time. By following these steps you put yourself in a position to get a steady stream of free books. The hard work isn’t all over; but you won’t have a hard time choosing what to read.