I've been doing this book blogging thing for just over 3 months now and it's been fun and I've learnt a lot in the short amount of time I've been at it. I want to share my experiences and any advice I've picked up on the way. I'll be sharing resources, tips and anything else I believe could help book bloggers develop their blogs. Like the readers who will be getting the most from these posts, I'm a newbie so it would be awesome if we could help one another, feel free to comment below anything you think might be valuable to newbie bloggers.
Where and how can I get free books?
So, what are the benefits of book blogging for the blogger? As an avid book reader, I know that my book addiction will forever be sated due to the torrent of free books available, both self-published and published. Book bloggers have a number of ways of getting their hands on books which I will talk about below. More experienced book bloggers may wish to contribute anything I might have overlooked in the comments below; after-all sharing knowledge is (in my humble opinion) how the human race progresses.
To begin with blog about the books you have already read in order for your blog to look the deal and give readers a reason to follow or visit your blog regularly. Once your blog has established a few posts create a “contact me” page, this will allow people, most importantly authors the ability to request reviews from you. Next you should create a “review policy” page which states what information you require from the author regarding the book, what genres you are interested in and any other information you might need e.g. time scales, links… Make sure that now your site is set up to take submissions you are active on both social networking sites (Twitter and Facebook) and reading/author community websites like Goodreads. Create a signature that you can include at the bottom of every post that will direct traffic to your blog.
Goodreads is probably the reason I set up my blog, it’s an amazing community with great likeminded people to interact with, and it introduced me to book blogging. Community groups such as:
These are great places to share your blog post, receive feedback and advice for you blog and also build a following. It’s also a great place to receive books from authors who are looking for reviewers. Giveaway competitions are another way to receive both physical and electronic copies of books but obviously that depends on if you win. R2R (read 2 review) programs are run by most groups on Goodreads and members can sign up to these receiving electronic copies of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Free books can also be found on book seller sites such as amazon, I regularly search phrases such as “free zombie books” or “free fantasy books” and this usually brings up an extensive list of novels and novellas to choose from.
The last method that I can think of is by taking part in blog tours, not all involve review opportunities but they do give you some material for you blog and help authors spread the word and gain exposure. Here are a few that I have signed up to, feel free to list any others in the comments below.
- Lola's Blog Tours
- Xpesso Book Tours
- Fire and Ice Book Tours
- Itching for Book Tours
- Bewitching Book Tours
As a book blogger, avid reader and supporter of authors, I always feel obligated to review any books I receive for free, although this means I have a backlog of reviews longer than my arm and a TBR list even longer. I try to post reviews to as many sites as possible for the author, Amazon, Riffle, Goodreads, Smashwords etc. and I always include my blog URL at the bottom to direct more traffic to my blog. I also show the author my review before posting, doing this is also an excellent way to gain exposure for your blog (if the author likes the review). I never bash an author or a book, because of the time and commitment authors put into their books, instead I try to give constructive criticism as well as positive points. Thanks for taking the time to read this post and I hope that, if you're a newbie, it's helped you in some way.