Looks like you love reading just as much as I do, as well as reviewing books on your blog.
But I can hear your question, avid reader: “How to get free books to review?”
Well, there’s a legit answer to that question and it doesn’t need you to look for pirated copies of books.
Opportunities to read for free are everywhere if you just know where to look.
In this post, I’m going to cover 7 places to look for your free books to review.
1. Twitter Search
Use Twitter‘s search field and input:
“looking for ARC readers”
“seeking book reviewers”
“ARC readers wanted”
An ARC is an Advanced Reader Copy that an author or a press give out to selected readers for review purposes.
Once you searched, browse through recent tweets (the Latest tab in Twitter search) and see what you may be interested in reading.
This is how I found Haley Walden (@haleywalden) and her quest for readers to add to her ARC Team for Book One of her The Witness Chronicles series, Defender of Histories:
See? It’s that simple!
2. GoodReads Groups
There are groups on GoodReads devoted to distributing ARCs where authors can offer their books and readers can pick up and review.
That’s how I found J. W. Golan’s Stormfall Chronicles books — that he so kindly mailed to me as paperbacks (my heart and my eyesight bow to his generosity) and of which I already reviewed Storm’s Herald.
How to get free ARCs? Simple: just join the group and browse it every week to find book offers that you like (sometimes it’s on you to create a new thread saying you’re open to review new books). When you do, either contact the author and they will send you a free ARC or follow the guidelines of the group on how to get the book of your choice.
Below is a list of groups to get started:
3. Digital ARCs Platforms
There are plenty of ways how to get arcs of books!
The only thing to remember is that you will be getting digital books instead of physical copies.
Below are some that I tested and I found great to get free books to review:
Edelweiss+ is a platform for requesting free review copies of books that you like.
Upon registration, you have to fill your profile with all your outlets to make it interesting for publishers and authors.
But you won’t get the book right away — your request must be approved first — unless you get one from the “To Download” category, that you can find going to the Review Copies tab, opening the sidebar and selecting “To Download” from the “Available” drop-down menu.
If you choose “Digital Review Copies” or “Audio Review Copies”, you will be able to request a title and then all you have to do is wait to have it approved.
Like Edelweiss+, on NetGalley you can request review copies of books that you’d like to read and review.
To do this, signup on the website, fill up your profile and then go to Find Titles tab.
When you’ve found a book that you like from NetGalley’s listings, click on the cover and then the “Request” button to request it.
You’ll find your book download under Your Shelf and here you can write a review later by clicking the “Give Feedback” button.
BookSirens is a platform for authors to get Amazon and Goodreads reviews for their books. The site gives readers a nice Goodreads profile analytics (here you can see mine!) and allows them to get free books to review.
Once you signed up and filled your profile (make it as complete and compelling as possible), click on your avatar at the top right corner of the screen and then click on Explore Books & ARCs: you will find a selection of books you can request based on your interests.
When you’ve chosen a book that you like, click on the cover: you’ll be taken to the book page. On the left sidebar, under the book cover, you’ll find the “Get Book” button. Click it and a dialog will open for you to accept the terms and conditions for the review and choose the download format. Then click “Get Book” and you’ll be able to download the book.
Booksirens will also send you daily emails with interesting ARCs, so you can also find books there without having to browse through the site listings.
OnlineBookClub.org works mainly by email and forums. When you signup and confirm your email, you will receive the Book of the Day, an email promoting one heavily discounted or free book (digital format) that you can buy/download from Amazon (or other book sellers).
You can also enter daily giveaways to win free books, where you will have to use the forums and social media.
The nice thing about OnlineBookClub.org is the forums, where you can read author interviews, book reviews and hang out with other book lovers. If you decide to join, make sure to check out the boards.
To become a book reviewer for Booktasters, you need a Twitter account because they will be sharing a list of books available for review on their Twitter timeline @BookTasters.
You’ll also need an (verified) Amazon and Goodreads accounts, because that’s where you’ll have to post your reviews.
Booktasters has a time frame for reading books, 4-8 weeks, so you should be able to read and review the book within that time frame to stay in the program. The review should be insightful and helpful to the author (even if you didn’t like the book).
To get your free book to review, browse Booktasters’s timeline or DM (Direct Message) them on Twitter to know what books they have available. Pick one and DM them to let them know. They will give you the author’s contact information so you can email or DM the author and let them know you’re interested in their book.
When the author sends you the book, let Booktasters know in a DM and then you can start reading.
4. Amazon Offers Through BookBub
You can browse Kindle offers every day to find free or almost-free books to read and review.
Or you can signup for BookBub and get daily emails with free and cheap ebooks you can purchase right away from Amazon. Some books are completely free, others are $0.99 or below $3.99.
Similar to BookBub, you can also try Books Go Social to get daily Amazon offers in your inbox.
I found Download Free Books where authors publicize their free books (mostly Amazon) up for grabs.
The subreddit is public, so you don’t need to have a Reddit account to follow the link and download the book to read for free.
Other subreddits you may look into:
Both only offer legal downloads, not pirated words, so you needn’t worry about the legitimacy of the content. Also, subreddits like these are heavily moderated and moderator will be vigilant over shared content.
IndieReader is a reader service that pays readers to review a book picked from one of their offered lists.
The compensation also covers 100% of the money you have to spend to buy the book from Amazon, because authors using IndieReader want Verified reviews.
Once you are signed up for the service, IndieReader will send you a list of books and you can pick one that you like to read and review on Amazon and Goodreads. If a list has no book that interests you, you can wait for the next.
I’ve been using this service for a few months and I got to read a couple of interesting books. The extra cash was nice, too.
Note: you are not allowed to repost the reviews you write for IndieReader on your blog.
7. Other Book Reviewing Opportunities
Last but not least, some more free book opportunities for your book blogging/booktubing needs.
BookHub – This is a website for indie authors to find new readers for their books and for readers to find interesting books to read, often at low price. Like IndieReader, but without compensation, if you signup as a book reviewer, BookHub will send you monthly emails with books that you can read and review.
OpenLibrary – As stated on the Vision page, “The ultimate goal of the Open Library is to make all the published works of humankind available to everyone in the world.” Here you can find public domain and Creative Commons books for free download and you can borrow digitalized library copies of copyrighted books. OpenLibrary is run by the Internet Archive.
Creative Commons Books – If you scour the Web long enough, you will find books released under the Creative Commons license that you can freely download and even redistribute as-is. One such example is the SciFi book Afterlife by Simon Funk. Where else can you find Creative Commons books?
Project Gutemberg – To find all books for which copyright has expired, so they are free to download and read.
How to Get Free Books to Review: A Conclusion
After reading this long post on how to get digital arcs, I’m sure you feel a little bit overwhelmed, but happy that there are so many good opportunities out there to get free books to review.
And you should be! I was amazed myself at the amount of good books out there that are available for free or for less than $3 in ebook or even paperback edition.
So, are you ready to get your next book to read and write a fabulous review about?
Let me know in the comments what genre you like reading, and feel free to link to your book blog or booktube channel, because I’m super interested to come and read/see!