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Since I'm published with smaller publications, getting reviews is often one of the best ways to make sales. But what professional book review sites out there will write a review in exchange for a copy of the book? I don't want ones that'll give you a good review just because you gave them the book, but ones that give honest reviews.

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Please note that this question has been retained for historical reasons, and shouldn't be considered a typical example of a constructive question for this site. – Neil Fein May 7 '13 at 5:16
up vote 7 down vote accepted

You might not get the publicity you're looking for from these kinds of sites. Many don't have focus or the eyeballs that make giving away your product a good financial decision. Genre sites for genre books, are a good exception to that though.

This article spells it out better and has some advice on getting some real reviews in real publications.

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LibraryThing is a good source for this. They have regular book giveaways where authors can specifically request a review in exchange of the book itself. This will work with a print copy or an e-book. With Goodreads, they only do giveaways with print copies. I have used LibraryThing with both of my fantasy novels and gotten some reviews as a result.

The consensus seems to be that you can usually expect 1 review for every ten copies you give away (at least with e-books). The ratio may be better with print books, but you are taking a bit more of a risk because you have to pay for shipping (plus the cost of the actual book).

With either type of giveaway they (LibraryThing) will give you the e-mail addresses and mailing addresses of the people that ultimately get selected to receive your book. Just make sure you follow up with the recipients with a polite thank-you/reminder for taking the time to read and review your book. If they haven't gotten around to it yet, it may help to encourage them to do so.

BTW - With my first book, I gave away 100 e-books and received 15 reviews at LibraryThing, 11 at Smashwords, 8 at Goodreads, and 6 at Amazon. With my second book I gave away 75 e-books and got 12 reviews at LibraryThing, 9 at Smashwords, 8 at Goodreads, and 6 at Amazon.

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How much do you think the reviews you got helped sales? – Tim Chaves Aug 26 '11 at 20:58
Great question, but my goal wasn't to generate sales. I'm not doing much to promote either of these books right now, mainly because I've been concentrating on promoting a series of books published under a pen name. My main goal was to get the reviews out there in advance so that when I do start promoting I will have some reader feedback available for potential buyers. On my first book, however, I saw a very consistent complaint about the opening, so I am in the process of rewriting it based on that feedback. – Steven Drennon Aug 26 '11 at 21:15

Goodreads.com does that -- even better, you can get attention from as many individuals as you give out copies.

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Goodreads is mostly user reviews, I'm thinking more "professional" reviews like reviewsbyjessewave.com or blbooks.blogspot.com – Ralph Gallagher Jan 8 '11 at 2:01
Ahh, that I'm not sure about. – HedgeMage Jan 8 '11 at 2:46
@RalphGallagher - I edited your question to clarify this, I hope it helps. – Neil Fein Jun 29 '12 at 1:56

I'm not an official journalist or professional reviewer, but I give great feedback and honest reviews. I've recently found out that I can receive a free book in exchange for a review. While I am an average person (new mom, non-celebrity), my professional background and large social network make me a great candidate for something like this.

I am a business owner/ marketing professional with previous published articles. I enjoy promoting products through event marketing as well. One of the many services my company provides is web design and SEO, so when I post something on my website (like say a review in my blog), people in that audience will see it. I'm all over Google.

If anyone is interested in me reviewing your book, please send me additional information. (Certain genres don't interest me so that wouldn't be fair to you if you fell under that category.)

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I used a company called Piece of Cake PR. They wrote a press release for me and distributed it to quite a few thousand journalists.

I then had lots of media outlets coming ot me asking for either a book in the mail or an eBook via email. Got me some great reviews that I put on my site, etc.

Think the service cost me around $180. Well spent IMHO.

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This is a press release/PR company, and not a company that writes impartial book reviews, which is what was requested here. The question also asks for organizations that will review in return for a copy of the book. – Neil Fein Jun 29 '12 at 1:59

protected by Neil Fein May 7 '13 at 5:15

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