Thursday, October 21, 2010

How to Get Free Books: Part 5

Yes, I have yet another idea on how to get free books. :) This feature is dedicated to showing readers how to get free books (or at least cheaper books) to help supplement tight book buying budgets (without badgering publishers for copies).

Did you miss a post? You can catch up here, or scroll down to read the new stuff:
Part 1: Blogs
Part 2: Trading
Part 3: Libraries
Part 4: Project Gutenberg

How to Get Free Books: Part 5, Reading Websites

There are a lot of websites out there dedicated to reading. But there are two specifically I want to focus on today: Goodreads and LibraryThing. Both of these are "social networking" type websites where readers can share what they are reading with thier friends, post reviews, catalog books, etc.

So where do the free books come in? Well, I'm glad you asked. Both websites host random drawings for books provided by publishers and authors. Some are ARCs, some of finished copies, and some are eBooks, but you'll find a little bit of everything in both places. You may have to wade through a lot of listings to find the books you might be interested in, and you may not always get picked, but I like to think of it as a bit of a treasure hunt.

The first section is Goodreads First Reads page. I can tell you right off the bat that Goodreads has a much larger selection of giveaways, although they have more members requesting them too, so it evens out. But overall their selection is much more kid/YA friendly. You have the option to sort by ending soon, most requested, popular authors, and recently listed. Although the books are given away with no expectations, winners are encouraged to post reviews on Goodreads since not posting a review will limit your chances for winning future giveaways. First Reads is only open to Goodreads members, but it is free to join.

In a similar vein, LibraryThing has what they call the Early Reviewers page. Each month a new batch of books is posted. Early Reviewers has a smaller selection of books than Goodreads, but you will find that there are many more chances to win a particular book. Where Goodreads usually has a copy or two (or usually less than 10 copies) entered into the drawing, LibraryThing usually has 30, 50, 100 or sometimes even more copies to give away. So if you see something you want, you have a much greater chance of getting it. As the name implies, LibraryThing strongly encourages members to post reviews of the books they've won as it will affect your chances at winning. Early Reviewers is open only to LibraryThing members, but it is free to join for a basic account.

So it's kind of a short one today, which will give you plenty of time to check out and explore both sites. So, head out there and happy winning!


Jessi E. (The Elliott Review) said...

Thanks for posting. I guess I didn't realize that Library Thing had a giveaway section similar to the one on Goodreads...

misskallie2000 said...

Thanks for all the information you have posted re: How to get Free Books? I have found other sources thanks to your posts and would like to thank you for providing these links and info.

I do enjoy reading your post even if I don't leave a comment.

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

M.A.D. said...

Mary D
zenrei57 (at) hotmail (dot) com

Thank you SO MUCH! I had no idea about the Library Thing giveaways! I've belonged to Goodreads for a while, but now I'm eager to check out Library Thing :D

oooooooh - more books lol