Skip to main content

How to Get Review Copies of Books

I have been asked many times how I get access to review copies of so many great books. I wanted to share a few of the ways. 

First, you need some sort of blog/website where you will be posting your reviews. You also need to plan to post reviews to Amazon, Goodreads, Facebook, Instagram, and other social media sites. You should start by reviewing books you already have or books from the library. Places won’t just give you free books without seeing proof that you already have reviews and that your reviews are good quality. Some websites/publishers might also require you to have a fanbase and subscribers before they will send to anything you. 

Another thing to note, if you do receive free books, you should be timely in reading and posting your review. They usually are sending out new releases that they want a lot of buzz about (good or bad). I also recommend sending them a link to your review and at that point you can request the next book or two. If you don't review the books they send you, then you might blow your chance at receiving any more. 

The Book Blogger List

You will want to get signed up on here as soon as possible. You will start getting a flood of self-published and less popular authors looking for reviews. This is risky since you won’t know what the book quality will be like, but it is a good place to start. Most have only ebook copies, but some may have a few paperbacks they are willing to part with. Note: It may take a month or two for them to process your request to be added to the list. 

Blogging For Books

This site allows you to request one book at a time. Once you finish a review, then you can request the next one. You are not required to have a certain audience in order to review for them. However, you do see more books if you have higher traffic to your website. And there are limited numbers of print and ebooks available, so you have to be quick to get one you want; check back often. This is only books that are published by Penguin Random House.

First to Read

Penguin Random House also offers access to ebooks. I prefer print books, so I no longer use this site. These are all galleys, so that means they are not available for purchase yet. They only post them once a month and the good ones go fast! So check as soon as they are posted. The more points you have, the better books you can request. You earn points in a variety of ways, such as writing reviews and visiting certain pages. 

Read it Forward

If you sign up for their email list, you will get notified of a giveaway every week. I enter every week and have yet to win anything…but this is all by chance and you don’t need a website to win. This is also owned by Penguin Random House. 


This is probably the easiest way to start requesting and getting free books to review. They only have ebooks, so I moved away from this site once I started getting print books from publishers. But the best part about this site is that there is a huge variety of publishers and genres. You are very likely to get books this way. You are more likely to keep getting more as you publish reviews on their site. Like First to Read, these are uncorrected proofs that are sent out to create buzz before a book is actually released for sale. 

Library Thing

This is more like a sweepstakes. You can request print or ebook copies of books that interest you. Winners are “randomly” selected each month. They post new books the first week of every month. I have received only three this way over three years (and I post a lot of reviews). There are some books from bigger publishers, but most are from smaller, less-known publishers. 


Goodreads has tons of giveaways going on all the time. They have some very popular books, and some books that self-published authors have put up on their own. They say you have better luck if you post reviews, but I am very active on Goodreads and have only won one copy in three years. Some people are strategic and enter the ones that are about to end and have very little entries. But you have to ask yourself what quality of book you are looking for…

Social Media

I follow a lot of my favorite publishers and authors on social media. Some post a lot of giveaways and contests to win free books. Some smaller authors may respond to your messages if you ask for a review copy directly. 

Email Publishers Directly

Once you have established yourself in the reviewing community, you can start to look through upcoming catalogs and email publishers directly. You should be able to find the correct contact people on the publishers’ websites. Keep in mind that some of the bigger publishers will not send out review copies to individual people, especially if they already run their own website, such as the ones listed above (Penguin Random House does not send out review copies, so don't waste time emailing them about it). When you email them, you will want to include 2-3 books you are interested in and info about your website (link, how many visitors you have a day, how many followers/subscribers, where you post reviews). I also will include reviews of books they have published, even if they didn't send me those ones. It shows that I like their books and their authors. You should also include your mailing address since a lot of publishers don’t have time to email back and forth. A lot of the time it is a surprise what books show up at my door!

Do you have any other ways you love to get books to review? I would love to hear about it in the comments below!

Popular posts from this blog

El Deafo | Cece Bell

And being different? That turned out to the best part of all. I found that with a little creativity, and a lot of dedication, any difference can be turned into something amazing. Our differences are our superpowers.”
Genre: Middle Grade Graphic Novel/Memoir. Number of Pages: 233. Perspective: First. Location: Virginia.
This graphic novel follows the author throughout her time as a young girl in the 1970s and her experiences losing her hearing from meningitis at the age of four. She learns how to make friends and accept herself. For a complete summary, you can go here.
This was a beautiful story about someone who copes with becoming deaf. I took an American Sign Language course in college and we talked a lot about the deaf culture; it was interesting to learn about some of the daily challenges that someone who is deaf faces. This book explains those challenges in a way that children can understand and relate to. We have come a long way with accessibility since the 70s, but we all could use …

5 Reasons Why I Hate Book Series

Many of you know that I hate book series. If at all possible, I try to stick to stand-alone novels. A few rare trilogies land on my bookshelf and an even rarer few get a good review. Here are my reasons why I hate trilogies: 

1. The first book is perfected.

Authors have an unlimited amount of time to perfect the first book. They may have many rewrites and rejections before it is finally accepted by a publisher. By that point, the book should be pristine. The author may not have a deal with the publisher for a series yet, but once the first book proves its worth, the publisher will definitely ask for the rest of the series. Depending on the popularity, the author will be forced to get the next books out quickly—unless you are George R.R. Martin. There will be less time to perfect the story and it will be sent out without many rewrites, as to appease the fan-base. As a result, the rest of the series suffers in comparison to the debut. 
2. The waiting is torture. 

Part of the reason why the …

My Journey with Scoliosis [and related book reviews]

I have scoliosis. That is a fact and it is a part of my identity. I am on a continuous journey to correct my spinal curve. Part of this journey is educating myself and figuring out which approach I should take next. So I received and reviewed several books on scoliosis ( I will be adding more as time goes on). But before I can begin my reviews, I think it is important that I share my own personal journey with scoliosis. 
I was diagnosed with scoliosis, a curve in my spine, when I was about eight years old. It was purely an accident. My mom was seeing a chiropractor for her own slight curvature, and I was playing around on the scales when the doctor noticed that when I stood on two scales, one foot on each, one side of my body weighed significantly more than the other. So he decided to give me an X-ray. My curve was noticeable at that time, but it became more severe as time went on. The worst was during puberty when I hit a growth spurt. In several years, my spinal curve increased almos…

Hex | Thomas Olde Heuvelt

“Whoever is born here, is doomed to stay 'til death. Whoever settles, never leaves."
Genre: Horror. Number of Pages: 384. Perspective: Third. Location: New York.
Hex is the story of a town that is cursed by a witch with her eyes and mouth sewn shut. She shows up in houses and just stands and stares for days at a time. The people of the town can never leave and are plagued by the fear of what would happen if the witch’s eyes and mouth are ever opened. For a complete summary, you can go here.
This book started off kind of funny and light-hearted. The middle starts to get a little creepy and suspenseful, and the end is downright strange. It was an enjoyable book, but you’ll have to wait a long time for the climax. The bulk of the action happens in the last 50 pages. For me, that felt rushed and left me with more questions than answers. 
Hex was originally written in Dutch and translated to English. With that in mind, I am utterly impressed with the flow and readability of the story. Th…

Ten Things Writers Need to Know

This is a guest post by Heather Weidner. I was asked recently what advice I would give to someone who wants to write. Here’s my list…
1. Read. Read. Read. 

Read everything you can get your hands on. Learn about the genre. Learn about techniques and style. See what works and what doesn't.

2. Seek out writers like you. 

Find a writers' group. I write mysteries, so Sisters in Crime was a perfect fit. I am also in the online community, Guppies. They have tons of resources and advice. And they are so supportive and helpful. 
3. There are a lot of books out there on the craft of writing. 
My favorite is Stephen King's On Writing. Invest in books that help you. But use your library too. FREE is good.

4. If you are serious about writing, find a critique group. 
It's an investment in your time to read the submissions. Make sure that the feedback is helpful. Critiques need to be constructive and not personal. My critique group specializes in mysteries and crime fiction. And that works fo…