How’s it going with reading library books on Kindle? I hope you’ve got a big queue all loaded up. For those of you who missed part one of the read for free series, you can check it out here.
Now, back to business.
How to get your mitts on advance reading copies- (aka free copies of books that you get before anyone else can buy the book).
When I worked for Book Soup back in the day, I discovered something crazy: publishers give out tons of review copies of books.
I know it seems fairly obvious once I put it out there, but it was news to me back in 2007. There was a library cart in the break room filled with books. And they were all free for us to take. Granted, they weren’t all books we wanted to take, but I did get advance review copies of say, The Elegance of the Hedgehog, which I snatched up because I thought it sounded cool. Lest I sound too ahead of my time, I must admit that I didn’t read it until several years later when my aunt was practically tearing her hair out telling me to just read it already. But still, I could have been among the first.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Caroline- we don’t all work for Book Soup. And I understand. While I adored working in publishing and book sales, it is not the best paying gig on earth. But, you don’t have to work in a bookshop to get your hands on review copies.
Are you on Goodreads? Authors regularly give out books to Goodreads members in exchange for an honest review. You have to put the disclaimer in your review, but that’s a small price to pay. If you like to review books, check out the current call for reviewers on Goodreads.
In addition, review copies aren’t always physical copies. Now that you know how to put books on your Kindle from the library, you can also add eBook versions of review copy books to your eReader as well. Check out Blogging for Books and Netgalley. I have found them both to be excellent. Pro tip: make sure you pick books you really want to read and review. Some sites will only let you check out new books once you have linked to a review for the book you have. It’s a bummer if you change your mind and then are stuck with a dud book you weren’t sure about.
This should give you some good options to start out with.
Bonus tip: people love galleys as gifts. I used to feel slightly silly wrapping up reading copies of books from Book Soup around Christmas, but everyone went nuts over them. “You mean I get to read Jhumpa Lahiri’s new book before anyone else does???” Major score. So once you finish reading and reviewing yours, pass them along. It’s good buzz for the book and you get to be the cool reading insider.
We aren’t often cool insiders as bookworms, so enjoy it!