Who loves free books? Pretty much everybody, right?
And who loves free books that haven't even been published yet? Well that's just a dream come true!
However, in my experience getting ARC's (advance reader copies) is not an easy task. It involves a lot of web searching, a lot of website registering, form filling and a lot of luck. At least that's how it was for me.
I don't necessary have a lot of sources, but I finally feel like I have found and tried out enough of those sources to be able to share them with you.
None of the links are affiliate links, this is all my personal research and experience, I only talk about and recommend websites that I have tried out myself.
Keep in mind that I have been blogging from this platform for 7 months now, and have a decent number of hits and visitors per month. This is important, as many websites (but not all) will require you to submit your stats to them to even be considered.
When I find more reliable sources of where to get ARC's I will update this post. Please share it with your bookish friends.
The website where I had the most luck at getting arc's is LibraryThing (the button above will take you to the website).
Their program is called Early Reviewers and you have to register for the membership, but don't worry it's FREE. After you have registered you will be taken to a monthly updated list of available books to choose from. You can choose as many books you wish, but you can only request each book once. I haven't been a big fan of their book selection lately, but hopefully soon it will change.
Your chances at winning depend on many factors, including:
Getting your books may take up to 8 weeks, as they come directly from a publisher. I had some books get to me in less than a week and some took almost 2 whole months.
I have been with LibraryThing since January 2017 and have won 4 books so far. From what I gathered you can only win one book per batch (a new batch comes out every month). So I have won 4 months out of 7, and to me those are pretty good odds. You are not required to write reviews for the books you win, but writing reviews and posting them on the LibraryThing website amps up your chances at winning more books. Plus, it's just a common curtesy to actually read ARC's - that's what they are there for :)
The books you see on Story Cartel are all free in exchange for your honest review. Discover your next favorite book and support the community of authors.
Story Cartel is probably the easiest way to get digital books. The registration is super short and easy, and you don't even have to be approved - you can start downloading books right away. However, they are not all ARC's, as they mostly have finished copies of books.
There is a catch though:
- There is a time limit at which you are required to read and post your review to Amazon. You are usually given about a month or a couple of weeks for that. Now I don't know what happens if you don't make a time limit, as I always made sure to read it on time.
- Story Cartel focuses on authors who self-publish, so you won't find any big name books there.
I have used Story Cartel a few times, but since they only give out digital copies (and I am an old fashioned physical book type of gal) I haven't visited it in a while.
But if you love digital books and just want to read a lot of FREE books and write your opinions on them then Story Cartel will be your best friend.
Blogging for books gives away free copies to bloggers, librarians and different media outlets in exchange for an honest review. They offer both digital and print books.
The registration is a little bit more involved as they ask for your blog information and stats, but nothing out of the ordinary.
I have been registered on their website since January and only recently have I scored one copy of a book. From what I gathered it's a time thing - if you are fast enough to snatch a copy then you get it. I wasn't checking the website often enough, so I wasn't too lucky. I have to say that they ship it to you very fast, that was very nice.
Blogging for books REQUIRES you to read the book and then POST a review on their website. If you don't, then you cannot request another book till you do so. It can be annoying, but it also makes sure that they only give free books to people who actually READ them, so I can definitely respect that.
Since you can only request one book at a time - make sure you choose wisely.
Getting ARC's from Goodreads is very hard (in my experience). Registering and entering into the giveaways is a breeze - it's being the winner that's hard.
I have been entering into on Goodreads giveaways for about a year now, and only about 2 weeks ago I won for the very first time. I won a very good one though, so I guess I shouldn't complain too much.
Goodreads winnings are random, so it's all up to luck. Pay attention to the number of copies that are being given away - the more copies they have - the better your chances.
Goodreads offers many different books in their giveaways - ARC's, already published books and e-books.
It is not required of you to review them, but if you score an ARC's you probably should.
Penguin Teen offers ARC's for bloggers (they specifically state on their website that if you are not a book reviewer then you should not be asking for ARC's from their website).
There's an easy form to fill out, and they do ask about your blog stats.
There's also a form to fill out for specific book titles (I haven't used that one yet, as I never know what to request?)
I have filled out the blogger form, but have not had any luck actually getting books from them. Yet. Still hoping.
Read it Forward offers weekly giveaways. Sometimes it's for an ARC, sometimes it's for a whole bag full of books and goodies.
There's no need to register, you just have to fill a submission into the giveaway form, every time you want to enter.
Giveaways change weekly, so make sure to check in often. They send you an email to notify you if you have won or not. If you don't win, they send you a digital bookish poster, to consolidate you :)
Epic Reads has ARC's giveaways.
There's no need to register, but you have to fill out a form every time you enter.
It's very quick and easy, but alas I haven't had any luck with them yet.
Giveaways change pretty often, so make sure to check in.
Fierce reads offer ARC's to bloggers as well.
The website works very similar to the Epic Reads. There are few rules:
Fierce Reads also has a giveaway option, but they link it to Goodreads. You can see which books are being offered by them though the Goodreads platform (which is helpful if you don't want to peruse thousands of giveaway pages on Goodreads). Here is the link:
I really enjoy the way their website works, but haven't had any real luck with them yet.
As usual - still hoping.
This might sound so silly to you, but the way I found about most of these is by googling.
Try typing things like:
- ARC giveaway
- Request ARC's
You may find author's websites that offer ARC's personally. Or request forms from other platform. It's a lot of searching and registering, but if you really want those ARC's you gotta work for them:)
Also Twitter has bunch of book giveaways hosted by bookish community. So you might want to check that out too. They usually only require you to Follow somebody and Retweet a tweet. If there's a reason to have Twitter nowadays - this is it.
There's also direct mailing to publishers, but I have never tried that myself.
NetGalley is an extremely popular website for requesting ARC's. The reason that I'm listing it last is because I haven't actually really used it. I don't care much for digital copies, and Netgalley is ALL digital.
There is a registration form, and after you register you can start requesting titles. You, however, have to wait to get approved for them. The website also wants you to keep about 80% reviewing score on your "resume" on their website. In other words - you should read everything you get approved for fairly quickly and upload a review in order to be able to be approved for more books.
They do have many new and big titles, so if you are into digital books they are definitely a good way to go.
Thank you so much for reading. Please feel free to share and recommend this blog post to your friends, who love reading and reviewing books.
Getting ARC's can be hard and frustrating, but to me, being able to read a book before it hits the shelves is always a great honor, and so much fun!
Freelance BETA reader.