I’ve recently introduced a few people to the amazing Libby app and had one of them suggest I do a post about it so more people could know…I thought why not just list all the different places I find my books?
Below will be links and info about all the places I find my books whether they’re ARCs [advanced reader copies usually sent out a few months ahead of release] or already released books. 💜
If you love the idea of reading, and reviewing, books ahead of their release I highly suggest starting to request ARCs. You definitely won’t be approved, or get access, to every ARC you want but it’s a lot of fun seeing what books are releasing soon and possibly getting access ahead of their release.
It’s important if you want ARCs, to write reviews for most of, if not all, the books you read…they don’t even have to be long just one paragraph summarizing your thoughts works too. Reviews are extremely important in getting more people interested in different books and series.
A lot of times, if none of my mutuals have read a book I’m interested in, I’ll skim through the reviews and see what the overall vibes are, and decide whether or not I want to request a book from the library or if I feel it’s something I should just go ahead and purchase before reading.
If you’re more into indie or self-published books and want access to ARCs these are the places I’ve had the most luck.
The three Facebook groups I’ve listed above usually have author posts roughly a month or so ahead of their book releases and do require you to submit links to your review within two weeks of gaining access to the ARC. So make sure you don’t put in any requests, or too many, if you can’t read and review the books within the two-week time span.
Since the author does directly send you the link/code to gain access to the book there is a chance the author might DM you to ask you questions about your review. This happened to me a few times when I listed, in my review, that the timing felt off or the chemistry didn’t feel right…luckily in those instances the authors were very friendly and just wanted more info to see if they should tweak anything ahead of releasing their books.
I’m actually brand new to Book Sirens, my wonderful friend Janessa introduced me to the site, and haven’t requested any ARCs yet but the layout is very easy to navigate.
I love how you can import your Goodreads info and your Book Sirens profile will have graphs and charts showing what you read most and what kind of reviewer you are, just all based on the GR import.
Weekly, or maybe bi-weekly, they also send you an email listing new ARCs that you already have access to or that seem right up your alley [based on the most read and reviewed genres you have on Goodreads].
Traditionally Published ARCs
Out of all the places, I find ARCs, I have to say Netgalley is my favorite site and the one I have the most success on when it comes to traditionally published ARCs. Getting started took a little time, I want to say over the first three or four months I was signed up I requested roughly twenty ARCs and was only approved for two.
If you start a Netgalley account I highly suggest you check out books that are available to “Read Now” and review them to keep a good percentage. Netgalley gives you a % score based on how many ARCs you’ve read, through them, versus how many reviews you’ve submitted. Netgalley recommends keeping your percentage at least at 80% to be in good standing.
Forever Publishing actually has a fantastic Instagram reel [6th from the left called Netgalley], which I highly suggest watching, where they explain what they’re looking for when it comes to people requesting their ARCs on Netgalley.
My tips for Netgalley are:
- Never request more books than you can get read ahead of their release [If you average 1-4 books a month I’d recommend only requesting a couple that release in the same month.]
- Keep track of when books release so you get your reviews out in a timely manner [I keep a list in my bullet journal of when I receive ARCs, when they’re set to release, when I finish reading them, and then mark when they’ve released, if I’ve posted my review.]
- Every 2-4 weeks update your social media stats in your bio [it’s important that your bio on Netgalley lists your social media numbers for any book-related socials you have, no matter how big or small. At the top, I usually list my overall following (the accumulation of all my book socials) and then list each individual following.]
- Don’t be discouraged if you keep requesting and aren’t getting approved. [Even now, roughly a year or so into being on Netgalley and having a decent following on socials, I don’t get approved for most ARCs I request.]
Everyday books get added to the Goodreads giveaway page, a lot of them are ARCs of upcoming releases and some are finished copies. You can narrow down your results by genre and can even select if you only want to see Print Only, or Kindle Only, versions of books.
I first started entering their giveaways about two years ago and so far I’ve won seven physical copies of books [4 ARCs and two finished copy] and five Kindle copies. When you enter a giveaway it automatically adds the book to your “to-read” shelf and then if there’s another giveaway involving that book, and you didn’t already win a copy, you’ll get an email alerting you of the new giveaway.
Another way to get ARCs is to directly email the marketing team requesting a copy of the ARC, either physical or digital.
I currently am an Avon influencer and a St. Martin’s Press influencer so I get emails from them, here and there, alerting me of ARCs I can request from them but I’ve never directly emailed to request an ARC from a publisher I didn’t already have open communication with.
One of my goals this year is, to gather the courage, to formulate an email template that I can use to request ARCs from various marketing teams. This way makes me nervous but I know a lot of people who have had success emailing marketing teams directly. Here’s hoping by years end I’ll have finally jumped this hurdle 🤞🏽
Below is where I find all my already released books. As someone who doesn’t have a big budget, when it comes to book buying, I’m a big fan of sales, overstock, thrifting, and the library.
Keep in mind that I live in the USA so I’m not sure if any of these sites are available for other countries. 😅 Of course I use places like Books-A-Million, Barnes and Noble, and Amazon for purchases but I wanted to share some lesser-known places as well. 💜
If you have a bigger budget and want to support a specific indie bookstore, without physically going there, I highly recommend buying from Bookshop.org which is a huge supporter of indie bookstores.
A lot of times, if I’m not sure of a book/author, I’ll see if the Libby app has it. Libby is an app that most libraries have now where you can request digital book loans.
As someone who doesn’t go out a ton, Libby allows me to access the library’s digital options without worrying about getting any overdue fines. Most digital loans are for 21 days, though some will only be 7 days, and when your time is up, as long as no one has requested it, you have the option to extend your hold or return it. I love that if I place a digital hold and my number comes up if I’m not yet ready to read it, I can actually let the person after me read it first and then have access to it after they’re done.
Another great thing about Libby is you can have up to 3 different library cards signed in which means you can have access to up to 3 different libraries’ digital options. There are some libraries that allow you to have a card without living in that state/city so don’t worry if your local library has a limited selection. Some out-of-state libraries require a yearly fee [like the Brooklyn Public Library has a $50/yr fee if you live out of state but I’ve heard their selection is huge and totally worth the price] whereas others are free [check your state for available free library cards based in bigger cities].
I actually just stumbled on a great article that lists links to some of the big libraries that offer yearly memberships to out-of-state, and some out-of-country, people! Link: A World Adventure by Books
Better World Books
My FAVORITE place to buy used books, aside from hitting up local thrift stores, is Better World Books. For every single book you purchase through them they donate a book to those in need. BWB’s also has a tiered rewards program where you can get coupons or free used books based on how many books you purchase through them.
Although BWB’s sells new books as well I usually just use them for used book purchases. I like to buy books in “like new” and “very good” condition and I’ve only ever had one book delivered that, although labeled, didn’t meet those descriptions.
I love that they have a lot of sales, on used books, that are usually like buy three get one free, and shipping is always free [in America]. Another thing I love is that usually, I can get hardcover/mass market/paperback books for as low as $3.98!
The downside is you never know what cover you’re getting, you can select whether you want the paperback, Mass Market, or hardcover version of the book but there’s no guarantee of which version of the cover you’re going to get. I purchased the entire Vampire Academy series from them, all in amazing condition, but two of the covers don’t match the rest of the series. So if you’re someone who wants all the covers, of a series, to match…just be warned ahead of time that the book you receive may not match the graphic they have displayed on the site.
Thiftbooks is another used book favorite and it also has a tiered reward program based on the purchases you make. Shipping is free if your order is over $15 and if it’s under I think standard shipping is less than $2.
I love that you can add books on your wishlist that aren’t in stock and as soon as there are any available they’ll email you to alert you. I’ve slowly been buying up the volumes of Cate Tiernan’s Sweep series, that I read as a teen, and a few months back they alerted me that volumes 4 and 5 were available in “like new” condition so now I’m only missing volume 3.
A great place to find overstock books that have been released in the last year or so is Bookoutlet. Now, this site can be hit or miss…if you go there looking for a specific book you probably won’t have the best of luck but if you are just in the market for some new books, at a good price, and wander around you’re bound to find some fun reads. Shipping is free on orders over $35…which is easy to hit. 😅
I hope you enjoyed reading through all the places I find my books. 💜 Currently I feel like I’m missing some places… so this list might update at some point 😅 but for now this is what I can remember. 🥰
Do you have any hidden gems that I might not know about, let me know in the comments. 💜