How to Get New Books For Free
When I wrote Where to Get Things for Free, I promised that I would provide some additional details about how and where to get things for free. There are many places to get books for free.
There is the library, of course. My local library allows us to request books from throughout their system. It also allows us to borrow books from other libraries and download books to read. There are also several places online to get books. For example, Google Books has a lot of older books that have expired copyrights. Amazon will often provide free books for Kindle.
In this article, I would like to show you exactly how to get brand new, hot off the press, physical books that you can keep and own. You can also opt to get the e-book version if you don't want a physical book.
Why Would Anyone Give Away Free Books?
Publishers use books for advertising. When they publish a new book, they want to create a buzz about it. They want to be able to send these new books out to readers while they are hot off the press, particularly to readers who will write about the book. You get a free book, and they hope you advertise it for them.
Some publishers, such as C&T, will let you know about a book on their blog, and will conduct a drawing to see who wins the book. There are no stipulations that you review the book, but since it is bloggers who are requesting the book, they know that the blogger will likely write a post since they already have a forum and will be excited about winning.
Other publishers will send books only to people who have agreed to write a book review.
How does the Book Review Program Work?
The first thing you do is sign up for a book review program. You set up a space where you will be publishing your book reviews, and sign up with the publisher to participate in their program.
Most of these publishers will let you know about a book either through the website or an email. You request a book you are interested in reading from their list of choices. You can generally only get one book at a time from each publisher, but you are not required to choose one every time they are offered. Some publishers will let you choose more than one, particularly if there is one they really want marketed right away. You can take months off whenever you want. Some books are available in published form, while others are offered as e-books.
The publishers require that you write a post on a blog or website about the book. They also want you to write a review on a retailer site, such as Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble. You must let them know that you did it, by giving the link to these two reviews. Some publishers will give you thirty days to write a review, but most of them will let you write it whenever you want. While early buzz is important, these publishers realize that later reviews keep the buzz going.
Once you are finished with reviewing the book and letting the publisher know, you are put back on the list to get another book.
Who are These Publishers?
These Christian booksellers have book review programs and will send you books in exchange for a review. All of them have fiction as well as non-fiction books. All the books mention God in them, and some are much more religious than others.
I haven't tried these Christian booksellers, but they also have programs where you can get free books
Kregel Publications - blog tour program
If you are looking for publishers that do not specifically publish Christian books, Dorrance Publishing is one. The books seemed to be from self-published authors, and some of them seemed to need the help of an editor. Who knows, you might find the newest big author as they start off their career. Dorrance does require that you write your review within 30 days.
Writing Book Reviews
In order to do a thorough job as a book reviewer, I like to point out the negative as well as the positive aspects of a book. This can be difficult with these types of books. For the Christian books, the review can easily turn into a heated debate of the religion or politics of the book.
Also for Dorrance, since the authors are relatively unknown, they can be quite sensitive to criticism, and anything negative is seen as quite a blow to their fragile egos. Tread lightly.
It can be tempting to order all the books you can get for free, but you should resist that temptation. It takes a great deal of time to go through all those books and write reviews, so I recommend starting slow until you get a feel for how many books you can handle at one time.
The publishers listed in this article thus far will also provide free e-books as well as physical books in exchange for a review.
Amazon provides books free of charge for the Kindle with no requirement to write a review. If you do not have a Kindle, you can download software that will let you read them from your computer. There is a large list of books, and the selection varies from time to time, so it is worth checking regularly. These are often new writers who would appreciate some positive attention and assistance in marketing their books, so if you particularly liked a book, I am sure the author would appreciate a review either on Amazon or on a blog as a thank you for the free book.
Getting Free Books
It is a lot of fun to get free books in the mail, since they provide a nice relief from receiving bills. There is a joy in feeling the crisp pages and reading the contents, knowing you can keep the book once you are finished reading it.
There is an extra bonus knowing that you have received a copy of the book for free and have the honor of giving your opinion on it to the world. It is a great way to support other authors in their work. Sometimes you even get an early copy of the book before it is available for sale.
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