A couple of friends have asked lately if I would write something down about where to request ARCs. I think I did this once before but it was probably several years ago. So here goes:
First to Read: This is where I got started. I think I just stumbled across it. First to Read is like an online book club. You earn points for every time you visit their site and also for submitting reviews. There are two ways to “bid” on a title. If you like the synopsis and/or you already know the author, you can click on the title and request to be entered. You name then goes into a pool from which a hundred or so names are pulled to be the readers. You have the same chance as everybody else. OR, when you get enough points (usually 500 or 600) you can ask for a guaranteed copy. There are usually fewer of those available, maybe 50-60. So it’s important to submit your request early.
If your bid is accepted, you will receive the e-book about two months before it is to be released to the general public for sale. There is a target date for you to read and then write a short review of the book. F2R will remind you when that is getting close, With F2R, you write your review directly on their website. For my last review, I can’t honestly remember whether they distributed it or whether I myself copied it and posted it at goodreads.com.
Oh, one last thing. I had to download a special reader called Bluefire to download my titles from F2R. I don’t like it as well as Kindle but it’s a minor thing.
Goodreads: On goodreads.com, there is a place under “browse” where you can look at and ente what they call giveaways. But the deal is the same: if you enter and receive a book, you are expected to read it and put up a review, minimally on Goodreads, but it’s also app4eciated if you put it up on Amazon, BN or wherever you buy books.
Netgalley: Netgalley is not proprietary. They have book galleys from multiple publishers. You have to join, but it’s free. You write a profile that includes and autobiographical sketch about who you are and what you like to read. And then you “request” a title. The publisher looks at your profile and if s/he deems that you ar the right kind of reader, you will get a link to the galley. With Netgalley I can download the book direct into the Kindle program on my iPad. I believe there is an additional step if I want to send it to my Paperwhite.
BookishFirst is a newcomer to the field. Like Netgalley, they offer books from multiple publishers and authors. But there’s a little twist in their system. Every Monday, they put up new books, and you are invited to read a sample, usually around 25 pages. Then, to enter their drawing, you must submit a mini-review. If you “win” a copy of the full book, of course, a fuller review is expected. You can do it from a button on the books page. You get points for writing reviews and even more points for agreeing to share them. You can use the points to choose one of the books on offer. I haven’t tried their system yet but am in the middle of reading a sample so I’ll let you know how it goes.
There are others, like readingdeals.com and Blogging for Books, but I haven’t tried those so can’t give first hand advice on how good or how easy they are. But you’ll find that one thing leads to another, so until then,