First of all, I'm going to go on ahead and say this in advance; I am not just blogging for me to get free books from publishers.With or without free copies, I would still keep blogging and have actually been doing so for a while now. But I am very curious as to how some book bloggers get really awesome books for review! Do you contact publishers? Authors? And do you have any tips and advice on how to do this professionally?
If you have a personal experience with this, please do share with us if you'd like. Thank you so much everyone! :)

Random Ramblings

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I emailed The NY Journal of Books and they turned me down flat. Even their rejection was full of typos. They said my reviews were salient and apparently successful, but not what they were looking for.

My advice, since I'm in the same boat, is do your research. Here's a website you can go to for contact information for different publishers: Linda went through great lengths to provide all that information.

Follow the publisher's/agent's/author's guidelines. Some author's don't mind if you contact them directly, if they do, oh well, it was just an email and you know for the next time.

Whatever you do, always be professional when communicating with anyone from the publishing industry.

Start reviewing books you already own. Post the review on your blog,,,,, email a copy to the author and publisher. Those things get noticed too, believe me.

Dawn Hullender
You can email authors also by following their blogs. Also, if you have enough followers, they'll find you.
If you want to receive a particular book to review you can track down the author's publicist and ask them if they would be interested in sending it to you. Sometimes you can fins this information on-line or you can ask the author directly. I recently emailed one of my favorite authors to ask for her publicist's contact information and she was more than happy to help me.
Good luck!

SFF Chat
start reviewing books you own. There are lots of groups on here that can put you in contact with publishers and PR folk that will hook you up with books. Just browse the groups tab.
I have a blog where I do author interviews, book reviews and giveaways. Now I only do Christian stuff but I have written authors directly. I normally tell them basically what I just said. Then I ask if they would be interested in doing an interview/giveaway and maybe a book review. Most of them have said yes! I have had some who haven't written back but I have a pretty full calendar now of interviews, giveaways and reviews. I am also a member of 3 publishing groups who do book tours. Again, Christian, but it is worth trying others also. And I am a member of a couple groups on Yahoo that I posted a thread saying I was looking for authors to do book reviews, interviews, etc and I had probably 15 respond saying they wanted to help out. I am not sure if most authors work that way. If you want to look at my blog to check out what I have done, the link is
Hope this helps. Message me if there is anything else I can do:)
I'm nowhere near professional and I've gotten lots of review copies. I've written to publishers before if there's a specific book I want. I usually give them a link to my Amazon profile (where I post reviews) as well as my blog. Also, if you subscribe to any publishers' newsletters occasionally they have contests to enter for free copies. (Random House's Readers Circle is a good one). And if you're friends with any librarians they can be a wealth of review copies too. :)

And then there's all sorts of social networking sites for book people. I get a lot of review copies from Library Thing's Early Reviewers program but you have to catalog a good deal of books there first (which, to me, was half the fun) and post your reviews to their site, not just your own blog. I really like their program which matches books to people based on what they have already read and it's hooked me up with some really good picks over the past few years. Otherwise I'm pretty sure Goodreads and Shelfari have similar advance review programs that you could look into, too

Hope this helps! Feel free to contact me directly if you have other questions - herbookself (at) gmail (dot) com
lisa :)
Goodreads has a great program and you can catalog an unlimited number of books for free, unlike LibraryThing who charges a fee once you hit 200 books.
Most of my books for review come directly from authors. I'm not the shy type so if I see a book that looks interesting, I'll track down the author's contact info and send an email explaining what I do, include a link to my site, and express interest in reviewing the book...meaning I make a comment about the book that actually shows I did some research (Ex. for Immortalis Carpe Noctem, I contacted Katie Salidas and commented on how interesting it would be to read a book from the perspective of a new vampire). I showed that I had already done a little research and knew what the book was about.

Also (and this really should go without saying, but I've heard stories), don't lie when contacting authors and publishers. Book reviewing is supposed to be fun. Don't rave about the desire to read a certain book when you really don't have an interest in the story.

Happily, I've even had a few authors contact me to review their books. Having a regularly updated blog and a proven history of writing fair reviews will attract a following.
I get A LOT of my review copies through the Shelf Awareness daily newsletter - they often contain ads/links to request ARC's in the sidebar, and once you go to the Shelf Awareness site and sign up for the newsletter, you receive a new newsletter emailed to you Mon-Fri. They don't spam, and they are a great way to be linked with both big publishing houses and independent publishers as well. After a while, many of the bigger publishing houses apparently put you on a mailing list or something, because I constantly receive ARC's and new releases by mail from Simon and Schuster and Random House now - without making requests.

If you don't mind reviewing self-published books, you can become affiliated with Bostick Communications, which is a company that helps to promote book releases. I don't remember exactly how I signed up - there may even be a group here that has a direct link to do so - but here is a link to their site. You will get a few emails per day - they will be in press-release format and generally from authors themselves. You respond to the emails of the books you want to review with your mailing address and the author of the book generally sends you the book directly.

I am making my first book, which was published only last month, available for review. Please feel free to check out my website -

If you think it would be something you would be interested in reviewing, then I would be happy to hear from you.

Mark Whiteway

I don't know what your areas of interest are, but you might like to check out my first novel, Lodestone Book One: The Sea of Storms at:

If you think you might be interested in reading and reviewing my book, then please contact me at

Mark Whiteway
I started out by contacting publishing companies. On there websites they usually have a email for you to send your requests too. Then once you start reviewing new and upcoming books authors and publishers will start to contact you.
Well thats what happened to me.


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