A few people have asked recently about where I get my books from, so I thought I’d do a quick Q&A session on where I find and buy books today – let me know if you have any more questions on any of these!
Most of my books come from NetGalley – this is an ARC book review platform that connects authors, publishers, readers and reviewers. If you have a platform on which you review books (such as a blog, Goodreads or Amazon), you can apply to receive free books before publication in return for a review – win win situation for everyone! I believe teachers, librarians and booksellers can also join too, so long as they review what they receive. I love this because it allows me to connect with authors and to read fun new books before they’re released – it gives you a bit of a buzz to see a new book on shelves 3 months after you’ve read it, touted as a new bestseller when you agreed before it was published! I occasionally get a book that I’m not keen on as I’ll try anything that grabs my interest from its blurb on there, but not often.
The great thing about it is that you get to pick which books you like the sound of from lists of hundreds then you apply to receive them. The publisher will then accept or decline your request. The more books you review, the better your review feedback ratio is (as in, what percentage of the books you’ve been approved for you have reviewed – mine is currently 64% which isn’t great as I’ve recently requested several!), and the more publishers will be likely to approve you.
The books you receive via NetGalley are in eReader format, so you can read them on your Kindle, phone etc. but are not physical copies. Personally, I prefer this at the moment as my bookshelves are very full, but I am sometimes sad not to have a real copy of the ones I love!
Bookbridgr is another book review platform that is UK based, as opposed to NetGalley that is worldwide (so occasionally you are unable to review a book because the publisher hasn’t made it available in your country). It took me a long time to get accepted by Bookbridgr – because my blog featured other things apart from books, they didn’t want me, despite me reviewing around 10 books per month at the time!
Finally I got accepted, but personally, I don’t use their service very much. I find they have less books and it’s trickier to navigate than NetGalley. I haven’t used it for a while, but when I did, I found that I would apply for a book then not know if I’d got approved until a copy turned up in the post – once it was even weeks (possibly more than a month?!) after I’d applied, so I couldn’t figure out where it had come from!
There are some great books on there though and if you like receiving physical copies of books and have a specific book review blog or publication, this one might be a good option for you.
Goodreads isn’t a book buying platform but it is one of the main places I use to find books that I’d like to read. It’s basically a book reviews social network. You create a profile then start reviewing books on it! You can also follow other reviewers and authors or add them as friends. I love exploring what other people are reading that are similar to my favourites, then adding them to my to-read list for future. If you’re on Goodreads, my profile is here – add me as a friend if you like!
What would a book list be without Amazon?! I used to use how I now to use Goodreads – to explore other people’s reviews and add ones I’d like to read to my wishlist, but now I use Goodreads for that mostly. However, it is the best place for me to buy books as I mostly read them on my Kindle and they go directly there. I also like to buy physical books there too as they have a range from different sellers too (where you can find second hand books really cheap) and they also offer next day delivery with Amazon Prime which is ideal for those of us who are impatient!
Second hand & independent book stores
Support your locals and indies! When I can, I like to pop into local second hand and independent book sellers. You’ll often find that they have books a lot cheaper than anywhere else because they’re second hand but in excellent reading condition, and I also love being able to browse book stores too.
Of course, I do also occasionally buy books in other stores like WH Smith or Waterstones, but not very often any more!
Where do you find books to read?