Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Winning Stuff: How Do I Get Books for Review?

Jane here...

Occasionally I get questions from people about doing book reviews or giveaways.  So I'm going to start answering some of those questions right here...

I want to start reviewing books.  How do I get books for review?

  1. Get an audience.  Start a blog if you haven't already, and work on getting followers.  Sign up with goodreads, LibraryThing, and shelfari, as well as booksellers such as Amazon, and start reviewing there, as well.  You can start with the books on your shelf or from your library...
  2. Come up with a pitch.  Just a short blurb about your interests, your audience, and why a publisher/publicist/author would want you to review their book.  This helps you stay focused on keeping/growing your audience, and goes along with #5.
  3. Get organized.  You'll need a spreadsheet or other tracking mechanism to keep track of the books you've requested:  when you requested them, when you received them, who the contact person is, when the review needs to be completed, all that stuff.
  4. Find those blogger review groups and tours.  Find book bloggers who read the stuff you want to review.  Look at their sidebar. Chances are you'll see lots of badges for organizations they review for.  Click away and sign up.  You'll be overwhelmed with emails of review opportunities in no time!
  5. Ask away.  Is there a book you really want to read?  Look up the publisher's site and find their Contact page.  Shoot them an email with your pitch.  You just might get a bite.  I've discovered that cold pitches work best if it's a book I've seen reviewed on another blog - since they are already working with bloggers.  (Don't stress over nasty emails about how they don't do "donations" - you may get a few of those, but not many.)
  6. Other good sources.  You can enter review copy giveaways with LibraryThing and goodreads.  And the Shelf Awareness newsletter regularly has ads with links to ARC request forms.  And if you want still more, here's a post I wrote last year on my Mozi Esmé blog about free books...
It's anything goes today!  Here's your place to link up any "clean" book-related post of your choice!  Check the rules if you've got questions.

And take a moment to check out some other great book posts linked up here!