It is UN-FREAKING-BELIEVABLE how MANY fantastic book review sites are on the internet! By my conservative guess, I have tripped across close to 200, and that figure grows daily. And the majority of these sites offer free book giveaways. Some contests are daily, some weekly or monthly. Some book giveaways are sporadic. SOME are so frequently posted that I can barely keep up with them.
Sheer Heaven for us Book Lovers :)
Now, as far as I've managed to keep track, I have won ... (insert drumroll) ... roughly SEVENTY BOOKS so far this year! And that is from only entering for books I'm interested in reading, since I don't think it's very nice to be a hog and try to grab everything/anything. Seventy FREE books!!! Yes, the book gods have smiled upon me.
While this news about book blogs and winning a free book (and even AUDIO books) is old news for some bibliophiles, I figured if it was new to me - then it must be new to somebody else and that's where I wanted to help other lovers of the printed page, so to speak.
WIN THOSE FREE BOOKS, MY FRIENDS!
And, this is equally important. You meet so many friends along the way. You know, book lovers are a special breed of people. They are typically quite intelligent, literate, open minded and large hearted. Also, their book reviews and author guest posts are generally very well written, informative, sometimes funny, usually VERY interesting. AND have led me to great new books written by authors I've not previously been familiar with.
So that book WISH LIST just keeps growing :)
Now, before I started entering these contests and giveaways searching for free books to win, I was not aware of all the delicious scary novels out on the YA (young adult) genre. Besides Twilight, I hadn't a CLUE about all the fangtastic vampire, zombie, ghostly, et al stories being produced. And talk about fun spins on old classics - how does a title like Pride & Predjudice & Zombies grab you?
Honestly, it's not just the book giveaways that stoke me, but discovering all these new titles keeps me on my toes to see what I'm missing in the literary world. The cover art on many of these new books is also amazing! Check out the cover of Ruined, Predatoress or Sense, Sensibility & Sea Monsters and you'll learn what I mean. WOWSA.
Believe me, if you are any kind of a book nut and have not one, not two, but three or more book cases when you need about 10, then book giveaways are for you! I'll give you the heads up on how to get started winning, but first I've just got to rave about some terrific books I've recently won or purchased:
DREAMHOUSE KINGS - HOUSE OF SHADOWS
DREAMHOUSE KINGS - WATCHER IN THE WOODS
I didn't really expect to, but this Christian YA horror series knocked my socks off! Robert Liparulo is an especially gifted writer, and this is one series of books to be enjoyed by all ages. My kids are buying for my birthday his next three in the series:
WHIRLWIND (on pre-order right now - hits the stores in Dec)
More goodies you don't want to miss:
WOULD-BE WITCH by Kimberly Frost, and the second book in her Southern witch series - BARELY BEWITCHED. (btw - besides being a talented writer, Kimberly is just about the nicest author I've yet to meet! And the cover art on her books is awesome.
WONDROUS STRANGE by Lesley Livingston
DEAD MAN TALKING by Casey Daniels
(uber vampire goodness) THE STRAIN by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan
LOVE'S FIRST LIGHT by Jamie Carie
LIAR by Justine Larbalestier
HOLLYWOOD IS LIKE HIGH SCHOOL WITH MONEY by Zoey Dean (everything she writes is a fun read!)
FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH by Carrie Ryan
Okay, I could go on and on (and usually do lol). But besides the obvious (and admittedly easiest) method to acquire great books now - which is simply to BUY them ... here are some helpful tips on how to start entering book giveaways and contests so you can WIN a must-have book free and easy.
Pick a title of a relatively new book or upcoming release that you know you would love to read, and type it into your browser (I prefer Google myself) like this:
Forest of Hands and Teeth book giveaway
win Forest of Hands and Teeth
contest Forest of Hands and Teeth
You will then see on the first page alone, typcially, many diverse book review sites listed. Take your pick and take it from there! You are on your way to winning more books than you know what to do with (sharing is highly recommended here).
Pay attention to make certain that the book contest is still current (check out the end date) and FOLLOW THE RULES. Most book review sites are quite clear in their rules. In addition to leaving a comment to enter the giveaway, some may require you to become a follower - and I recommend that you do anyway because once you start blog hopping you will soon get overwhelmed if you don't have a decent means to keep track of where you've been and what giveaways are upcoming. Furthermore, some blog owners also do NOT email the winners, so you must CHECK BACK after the contest ends to find out if you were a winner. So please consider following your favorite blogs, plus you will meet friends that way and keep straight on current reviews and other bloggy events.
Again, rule #1 - Always follow the posted rules and BE RESPECTFUL! If you must have an attitude, please leave it at home. The folks operating these book review sites and giveaways are human beings with feelings just like everyone else, so don't be a jerk EVER!!!
And, should you be lucky and WIN A BOOK, please be appreciative and say thank you :) Also, be considerate and let the blog owner know when you do receive your prize so they can have one less thing to stress about. Often, these book prizes are shipped out to you via the publishing group and may take a while to receive - patience IS a virtue ~
Now, besides the browsing for book giveaways, there are other tips to increase your winnings. I recommend when you do find a starting place, e.g. the first book contest you choose to enter for, look over the site to see what OTHER book contests are currently happening. AND - (this will drive you nuts but do it) pay attention to their blogroll for MORE free book giveaways at other sites. This information is often posted on the sidebar.
So, as you will quickly discover, it seems like suddenly there are a trillion book review sites to check out. O M G. Try not to stress and get overwhelmed, remember the idea is to have fun and, hopefully, snag a great new book.
Therefore, do what I do, become a follower and also, in your documents, keep a list of these book blogs. You will be SO glad you did, because maybe not every one of these has the option to follow or subscribe via email. Or maybe you don't twitter, digg, stumble, trip, fly, flutter, etc. So you need a way to backtrack and revisit. Keep that list handy.
Secondly, create a file in your email where you can 'save' any congratulations or winning notices. That way you can easily see who you need to respond to, thank, what's coming in the mail and so forth.
Oh, and I almost forgot another biggie:
SOMETIMES YOU MAY ONLY BE GIVEN 48 HOURS, ETC TO RESPOND TO THE WINNING EMAIL OR WINNER'S POST TO CLAIM YOUR BOOK WIN!
Therefore, it is crucial that you stay on top of things. Don't shilly shally around and wander off for a few weeks THEN do a check back. Too many winners do this resulting in NEW winners being chosen (and yes, I have won a few books because the original winners never got back to the blog owners with their mailing information/confirmation). Don't let that happen to YOU!
So keep things organized and manageable, especially when you are just getting started entering book giveaways. When and if it becomes work, then you've over extended yourself and that's not fun. Be happy, have a good time, and start winning free books TODAY!
With that said, check out the book blogs I FOLLOW and you might find a lot of wonderful articles and great contests. I'm also going to post links to my favorite sites to help you get started winning.