About unpaid books online,

Well, this topic has recently come to light. How do you free about sent copies of books online? Are they worth it? How do you get them? I have found out the hard way, via Facebook, how controversial this subject actually can actually get.

I asked an innocent question “how do you get free books and how long does it take you read them. I had over 130 comments ranging from”good luck with your blog, it takes time” to “I think you’re blogging for the wrong reasons” type thing.

I then went out there anyway and just asked for one – YES, it is worth trying.

I have recently joined up on NetGalley and got 9 online e-books in the last month. The idea is that I go on to give full feedback & publish a review about how the book was. This has made me feel honoured as a new blog reviewer that they would allow me the opportunity to do a good service and be trusted to follow out on my review.

On top of that, I saw by chance a new up-and-coming author on Twitter showing her new book and read an excerpt. I was hooked. I found out by browsing her tweets that she was giving away a load of ARCs from USA so I messaged her my address to send me the book (bear in mind I live in the UK) and she said Yes.

I have never felt more humbled that she said yes to me out of anyone, but then again I think it was “first come, first serve” kinda thing. I am so excited to receive this book, read it and then review – it’s crazy. The thing is I still don’t know if I’m going to receive it. I guess I just need to be patient and wait it out.


My main query is: are “sent” books really acceptable? is it rude to ask? & should you just stick to book sales or the libraries?

What are your opinions? Let me know!

  • Would you ask online for a copy?
  • how long did it take you to your 1st?
  • Have you regretted ask/reading?
  • Do you find ask/receiving ARCs offensive?

ALSO – Are e-book better than paper copies?

EDIT: I now have a review policy for authors who wish to send me a copy of their book to read and review. This is at their discretion – I reply with either yes or no – also depending on whether it hit my criteria for a book I would read normally.


  • Kristin (Book Sniffers Anonymous)

    Getting review books can take some time when you are new to blogging. I found that Netgalley is a great source if you are looking to review new or upcoming books to help spread the word of new authors and/or their latest releases. You can also sign up to take part in a virtual book tour. There are a lot of bloggers out there who have tour blogs where you sign up to be one of their hosts and will then get an email every so often letting you know what authors/books are going on “tour” and when. From there you can sign up to be one of the virtual stops. As stated above by previous commenters, never call them “free” books, always call them review books. You’re ultimately not getting a book for free, you’re being provided a book for the sole purpose of reviewing it and sharing the book with your readers. 😉

  • Books, Vertigo and Tea

    I need to look up the original post, but am in agreement with Anne. Unfortunately, it sounds like maybe it was a case of misunderstanding with the use of the word “free”. The word implies something for nothing and that is not the case with review copies, but I think I understand what you meant. You probably could have asked the same question and subsituted the word “review” or “advanced” and might have received entirely different feedback. So I am sorry that is the experience you had with the post. I hope it hasn’t discouraged you.

    It is great to hear that you are enjoying Netgalley and have been sucessful into reaching out to an author though ? You seem to be on the right track. Lovely blog!

  • Anne Cater

    Hi Danielle.
    I think that the reason you had some negative response to your ‘how do I get free books’ question is the use of the word ‘free’.
    Whilst I agree that Bloggers don’t pay for them, so they are ‘free’ in that sense, I’d refer to them as ‘review’ copies.
    The thing is, when you request a book, or agree to accept a book, you are entering into a form of contract; you are agreeing to provide an honest review, therefore to call review copies ‘free books’ can be pretty misleading to some people.
    Good luck with your blog

  • thequietgeordie

    I’m a new blogger too – I also decided to become serious at the beginning of May. I was quite lucky as I was at a fairly big (but local) book festival, and one of the panelists was a successful blogger as well as author. During the Q&A, I asked her what tips she would give anyone considering taking up blogging. At the end of the event, I was approached by a publisher and he offered me a free book to review – he was keen to help me get off the ground. He also introduced me to a number of blogging groups on Facebook, and I’ve gone from there. I can say that e-copies are certainly easier to get hold of, and I will be doing a mix of ARCs, library books and my own – although I was so shocked to be offered blog tours that most of my reviews so far have been ARCs!

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