I love to read, but my wallet has a hard time keeping up with my habit. Books are expensive, and even eBooks can cost a pretty penny, especially the newest release. Libraries are fabulous, but oftentimes more popular titles have long waiting lists. Plus, if you’re anything like me, you like to own books to read over and over again!

So what’s a frugal bookworm to do? Become a book reviewer, and start receiving Advanced Reader Copies (ARCs) of the newest titles for free! It’s easier than you’d think!  You can make it happen in 4 easy steps!

  1. Review the books you read.
    Give a brief summary of the plot (avoid spoilers!), then write a couple paragraphs on your thoughts. Be honest without being overly gushy or excessively critical. Try to keep it thoughtful, but brief.  No one wants to read a book about your opinions on a book! Review your favorite books, books that you felt lukewarm about, and books you hated.
  2. Publish your reviews.
    Start a blog devoted to your book reviews. Post your reviews on major review sites, such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, and LibraryThing. The more places your reviews appear, the better.
  3. Start requesting ARCs.
    Request them at your local bookstore. Let them know you are a book reviewer and are interested in receiving ARCs. Show them some of your reviews, and let them know what you’re interested in. Write directly to the publisher. If you find a lot of your favorite books are released from the same publisher, write them an email and request ARCs. If you are a fan of a particular author or series that they publish, let them know. Again, direct them to your existing reviews. Write to the author. Have a favorite author? Great! Lots of popular authors have their own websites where you may be able to contact them directly. Otherwise, you can send them a letter via their publisher. Let them know why you love their work, and they may send you a copy to review.Sign up for giveaways. Below are some sites offering giveaways of ARCs or recently released books. You enter to win the books you are interested in and will be notified later if you win a copy. Copies will be either a physical book or an eBook.  Make sure to read the description to know what format it will be in. There are only a limited number of copies available in giveaways; entering does not guarantee you will receive a book. Always make sure to write and post your review on the site that held the giveaway to increase your chances of winning a book in the future: LibraryThing Early ReviewersLibraryThing MemberGiveaway Goodreads First Reads
  4. Read, Review, Repeat!
    The more reviews you write, the more likely you will be to receive ARCs in the future. Make sure you are reading and reviewing every ARC you receive, even if you don’t like it. Remember, publishers and authors offer ARCs for publicity, not charity. A bad review won’t hurt your chances for future ARCs, but skipping the review will.

I love reviewing because it’s a great way to process my thoughts about a book after I finish it. It can start a dialogue with others who have read the book. Plus, requesting ARCs has introduced me to some great new authors I would probably never have heard of otherwise. Even when I receive a stinker of a book, at least it was free!

This has been a guest post by Lauren from Brentwood, TN
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Love to Read? How to Get the Newest Titles For Free!