As well as being listed on various book reviewers lists online I have been using Netgalley.com and ReaderGiveaways.com to find books to read and review. I have found both very helpful in expanding the variety of books I can choose from and certainly having access to books for free doesn’t hurt either.
Anyone can register on Netgalley.com to read and review books, as long as you have been reviewing books somewhere (like Amazon, Smashwords etc), continue to feedback the books you download and keep an average of 80% feedback you can request to read books prior to their release. The books on netgalley.com are from various publishing houses so it’s not a place to pick up Indie books to review, but I have read just over a dozen books I found on the site and on the whole was not disappointed. Some books are ready to be downloaded straightaway once you’re registered, others you have to request and are notified if you are chosen to read and feedback.
ReaderGiveaways.com is new to me, I only joined recently, but I have been pleasantly surprised with the number and quality if books they bring to a reader/reviewers attention. An attractive and to the point email arrives everyday giving me a pick of discounted and free books to read. They very helpfully tell you the genre of each book and include the description which makes it convenient to focus on the books that you would most likely enjoy.
Other places I find books to read are social media book clubs and pages. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and google+ can give you exposure to titles for reading and review, Facebook I think is the most consistent and I come across more regular readers who are the best at recommending what is sensational and gripping. Twitter also exposes me to authors I have not read yet and new books but I don’t hear from as many readers as I do authors promoting books there. LinkedIn I find odd, probably because I’ve used it least, I get a mixed bag if recommendations and I admit I have yet to download a book from exposure to LinkedIn. My google+ circles are few I think but authors I have already read and reviewed are on my feed and again I have yet to download a book because I saw it on google+.
Still irresistible and a joy to browse are supermarket shelves for the top 10 paperbacks and hardbacks. I’m ambivalent to books in shops because I do love books and I love finding out what the masses are reading but I have a Kindle so find it hard to justify purchasing paper books too. I mostly make a note of what’s on the shelves then search Amazon when I get home.
I subscribe to the Waterstones blog on my Kindle too and I do occasionally read the odd post if it’s about a book that seems appealing but for ease I go back to Amazon to find, purchase and download the books I read about from a Waterstones. I feel like a complete traitor doing so but it’s a fact of life when you choose an er easer you pick a side.
I still accept books for review from authors directly via email at firstname.lastname@example.org but I think the number of books I accept from this route has diminished over time. The main reason for not downloading books I have been approached to review is because the author cannot make it available on mobi file for Kindle. Formats still stump certain people, but I realise it’s easy for me to be difficult and picky by only accepting mobi files, but it’s what works for me.
Any further recommendations of sites where I can trip over more books to review are welcome.
I think there is a fundamental overload of the reviewing system these days. You have to be so careful who is actually writing the review to avoid the pitfalls of friends and family on one extreme or jealous competition on the other. The latter can be entertaining but I think you are wise to avoid the pitfalls of writing negative reviews. Why put that energy out there? I would rarely be influenced greatly by a review. I have experienced too many times when my opinion of something varies greatly from the received consensus.
Totally agree with not putting out negative energy, I don’t think a book is bad, if I don’t like it, it just isn’t for me, someone else may enjoy it. I’m more influenced by book description really.