Being a book reviewer is a difficult job— you have to stay on top of all of the latest releases in order to read them and post reviews about them in a timely fashion. The process of doing this can be expensive. Between researching books to read and then purchasing them, the cost of reading even 20 books a year could add up quickly if you’re spending money on each one.

When I first started reviewing, I had no idea where to start. It seemed like everyone else was reviewing books the day they came out, and I couldn’t keep up. The importance of book reviewers has never been higher. Between BookTok, Bookstagram, Booktube, and book review blogs such as this one used to be, there’s a platform for everyone to share their favorite books with the world. And your reviews can truly help authors sell their books! Here is a beginner’s guide to getting free books as a book reviewer. If you have any additional suggestions, make sure to leave them in the comments!


If you’re looking for e-ARCs (electronic advanced review copies, also known as galleys), Netgalley is the #1 choice for you. The site is easy to set-up for libraries and book reviewers alike, and you can easily transfer PDFs or Kindle copies to your device of choice.

The key to NetGalley is to keep your Review Percentage high. It’s recommended to keep it above 80%, but I find that I get far more acceptances if it’s above 90. Because of this, I only request a couple of books at a time and try to read and review as fast as possible.

There are some (usually less popular) books that auto-accept, and publishers will list you as auto-accept if you are a consistent reviewer with a larger platform, and these are great places to start. I highly recommend signing up for an account!


Edelweiss functions similarly to Netgalley, except the UI is far uglier and the odds that you are approved for a book far more inconsistent. Unlike Netgalley, Edelweiss gives you the option to customize your pitch for every book you request, and I find this has helped my approval rate when it comes to LGBTQ+ books or other books that match my identities or that I relate to personally.

There’s no “review percentage” here, and this means that your reputation with individual publishers means much more when it comes to whether or not you’ll receive the book you requested.


While this isn’t the most consistent way to receive free books, LibraryThing is a great option for getting free physical copies of books. LibraryThing requires you to enter a raffle each month, and the winners will receive a copy of the book. I participated in this raffle roughly 20 times over the course of two years and have won a total of two books, Lola and one I have yet to read.

The site does require you to submit a review of a book you’ve received before you can enter any future raffles, but it is a fun way to supplement your physical books stash!


Both StoryGraph and Goodreads have giveaway programs built into the apps and online platform. Scrolling through these, you’re sure to find at least a few books that you want to read. I’ve only won this way once, but to be fair I do not apply all that often due to a perpetually changing location and a laziness about updating my address in the app.

Publisher Contacts

This is simultaneously the most difficult and simplest way to receive books. Just send an email to a publicist about a book you wish to read, and maybe they will send a copy to you! It’s important to keep up a good relationship with publishers. They will become your biggest fan and, if you find a publicist consistently promoting books you enjoy, you can become theirs.

Here are a few influencer programs to get started. Note that a few of these are Bookstagram specific, and it’s hard to get approved if you have other platforms. has an ALC program where you can get free audiobooks for review. I am absolutely obsessed with audiobooks; I read more of them than any other book, simply because I can keep them on while I go about the rest of my life. I have yet to get an audiobook for review, but I’m very excited to start!

Book Tours

The concept of a book tour is that a company organizes a series of bloggers to all promote a book around a similar time. To do this, they will provide you with graphics, author interviews, guest posts, or reviews to post. Sometimes, you can get a copy of the book to review yourself ahead of time. It all depends on the book tour and what the publisher wants!

Historically, I have used Rockstar Book Tours, and I’ve had great experiences posting this content and working with the people there. They’re also great content fillers that are useful for your audience when you’re struggling for content to post.


I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about actually going to the library! If you can’t get to a physical library, sign up for the Libby app. You can get audiobooks and e-books here for free. If you search for books and sort by “recently added”, you can put books on hold before they even come out and get access to them on day one. If you’re a fast reader, this is a great option for making it look like you got a reviewer copy even if you did not.

Many times, I get books on Libby sooner than I do when preordering!

Where do you get books for review? Do you have any suggestions?