Hi all and welcome to my first Sunday Salon post! Moving forward, this will be the meme I use to post my discussion posts and today we’ll be talking about where we find our books – especially our free books. When I started blogging, I wasn’t even aware free books were a thing. As I started reading more blogs in addition to writing, I started noticing that some people mentioned getting free books from publishers and then I was ever so pleasantly surprised when I first got my first review request. However, there are more proactive way to get free books. Obviously the library is a beautiful and amazing thing to which we should all occasionally donate. In my case, that happens when keep books out late (ones without a waiting list!) and then pay the fines. Today though lets focus on the online sources for free books.
I’m sure many of your have already discovered Netgalley and Edelweiss. For those of you haven’t, both of these sites allow to request ebooks directly from publishers. Your acceptance to review a book is largely based on arcane magical rituals like reading tea leaves, but the details of the process known to bloggers are nicely summarized in this post from Anya at On Starships and Dragon Wings. A new site that allows you to request books directly from the publisher is Penguin’s First To Read program. Acceptance there seems to be random until you’ve earned enough points to guarantee yourself a copy of a book.
Another source of free to cheap books of which I’ve recently become aware are the many newsletters about available ebooks. Riffle, a bookish social network that functions a lot like Pinterest, has recently started a newsletter that lets you select genres that you’d like to be e-mailed about. The Fussy Librarian lets you select genres, but also lets you select the level of violence, sexual content, and profanity you find acceptable (options for all include none, a little, and any). Bookbub just sends you a daily e-mail with really good deals across all genres. Personally, I’m not sure I’ll take advantage of these newsletters too much since I do prefer physical books to ebooks. However, they do seem like a great way to support indie authors with reviews and that’s something I’d like to do more.
Do you have any great sites for requesting review copies or finding cheap ebooks which you’d recommend?