The Blog Squad Special - Requesting and Receiving books from various sources

We are a group of three book bloggers situated on different continents but brought together by our love for books and a penchant for talking about them. We’ve joined our forces to create a collaborative series of posts about book blogging and we hope you’ll enjoy the discussions.


Since we started this collaboration in February we’ve been taking note of what YOU, our readers, have commented and some of the questions that you have asked us to explore. Danya from Fine Print asked us a few weeks ago about our approach to requesting books from publishers so we thought we would expand that into a ‘How To’ guide, with each of us discussing our individual experiences.


Amy’s been blogging for about seven months, and during that time she’s accepted books from authors and requested books from publishers. She’ll be discussing how to request physical books from publishers, and how to handle requests from authors.  In addition, she’ll share some resources specifically for South African bloggers.


For the past 5 months, Uma has received as well as requested books from various sources - authors, publishers, review programs and more. She will be discussing about all these sources with a special focus on requesting physical books from Publishers.


Di will be discussing the ins and outs of NetGalley and how to successfully request books there.
I’ve been blogging for just a little more than five months so I’m most definitely still a newbie. But during this time, I’ve learnt quite a lot about requesting or accepting books from authors and publishers. Recently for the first time, I requested a physical review copy from the publishers and received it. In light of this new achievement, today I’m going to be talking about the various ways in which bloggers can get books from authors and publishers to read and review (Both e-Galleys/eBooks and physical copies). This is quite a long post so bear with me!

Via my Request A Review form

I’m currently not accepting any review copies in this manner due to an overload of ARCs but when I first started my blog, I received and reviewed quite a lot of books via the form.

It’s basically a Google form where authors and publishers can fill out the details of the book (s) they would like me to read and review. I know many bloggers have authors requesting reviews via email but I find Google forms to be more easy and organized. For each form you create, Google Docs creates a detailed spreadsheet with all the responses which I find easy to navigate.

My Request A Review page has my review policy and process which contains all the information authors/publishers need to know before the ask me to review their book (s). As the form is closed at present and you can’t view it, I’ve listed below the questions I’ve asked in the form. You can edit it to your preferences.


request review.JPG

Via this form I’ve received both eBooks and physical books; I’ve also had an author make their book (E-Galley) available to me on NetGalley. If you want to know my process of accepting and reviewing book just check out my Request A Review page.

Via NetGalley

I’m sure this is something that all book bloggers know. I’ve been using NetGalley since I started my blog but truthfully speaking, I’ve never ‘requested’ a galley on NetGalley. I’ve only read the books in the ‘Read Now’ section. So I’m going to send you over to Di's post on Requesting and Receiving books from Netgalley where she wonderfully explains about using NetGalley and how you can increase your chances of being accepted for the books you request.

Requesting Physical Books from Publishers

Now this is the long process but a very fruitful one. I recently requested Freeks by Amanda Hocking and The Gilded Cage by Vic James from Pan Macmillan India and received both the books from the publisher. Drawing upon my experience I’m going to explain the process.


Knowing the Publishers and Imprint - Because you need to know who to send the email to. Look up the book on Goodreads and check the publisher details.


Finding the correct Website - Okay this is a slightly tricky part. Googling the publisher will give you the main website. The first thing you need to do is look if there is a country specific website for the publisher. For example in the US website of Pan Macmillan , at the right bottom there are given the links to their sites for various countries. Since I’m from India, I would go to the PanMacmillan India site.


Finding the Contact Us page - The page you now need to go is Contact Us. This is where you find the emails addresses. Look for a mail ID pertaining to either marketing/publicity. That’s the ID you need to address your request mail to.


Writing the Email - There is no fixed format to write this email but it’s good to keep a few points in your mind. There are certain things a publisher needs to know to decide whether they want to send you a review copy or not.


  • Who you are and what your review platform is. Start of the mail by telling them your name and where you blog. Also make sure you include the link of your blog and not just the name.

  • Request to review the books. I generally find the book on their website and add the link. (Links are important! They give publishers easy access to everything. They don’t have the time to google your details or the book’s details.). Also request and never demand. Publishers are in no way entitled to send you review copies; so you need to be polite about it.


  • Tell the publishers why you would like to read and review the particular book. At this point I add a list of genres I usually review. If you’re requesting a sequel, it helps to add a link of your review of the previous book(s).


  • Links and Stats - Make a list of stats you think the publishers ought to know. Here is an example.

Total followers on my blog- 167 (via Google Friend connect, bloglovin, email subscription and Google plus)
~1700 unique visitors per month
~200 page views per day
~110 comments per month (excluding my comments)
225 Twitter followers
550 Instagram followers
All of my reviews get posted on my blog and Goodreads and also get shared on my Twitter and Instagram accounts


  • Thank them for their consideration and add your postal address. I know this seems a bit weird-to add your postal address before you’re accepted but this is something I learnt from the more experienced book bloggers out there. Publishers might not reply to your email but still send you the books. They don’t have the time to reply to every email they receive and would like to have all the information in one go.


  • Click Send after checking that you have the correct email address and a proper subject ( I usually say ‘Request for Review Copy’)


What do you do after receiving the book?


This does not always happen. Publishers might decide not to send you a review copy for various reasons but when you do get one there are things you need (Not all of the are compulsory) to do.

When I got a mail from Pan Mac saying Freeks was on the way, I thanked them via email. When I received the book in post, I once again sent them a mail to inform them of the same and gave them a tentative date of when the review would be published. (This is NOT compulsory but hey! it’s nice to be polite.)

Since I have a book twitter account and a Bookstagram, I posted a picture of the book and tagged the publisher in it.

I made the book my top priority. It takes publishers money to send out review copies. If you’ve requested a book and received it, it’s only fair you read and review it as soon as possible.

Once I read and reviewed it, I shared the links of the various places where the review could be found (this could be your blog and/or Goodreads and/or Amazon and/Facebook) with the publisher via email.


Indian Book Bloggers…

Here is a list of links to top Indian publisher’s websites -
Pan Macmillan India


In the ‘Contact Us’ page of all these websites, you’ll find an Email address for publicity and/or Marketing. This is the email ID you need to address your ‘request a review copy’ mail to.

Also, hop on over to Amy's post to know about her experience of requesting physical books from publishers.

Via Goodreads Read and Review Groups

I’m sure ALL book bloggers know about Goodreads unless of course you’ve spent your life in space. I for one absolutely love this site that brings book lovers closer! Aso, the groups on Goodreads are wonderful. I discovered Making Connections on Goodreads back when I first started my blog. It’s a wonderfully maintained Read & Review group and a great place for book lovers to discuss anything bookish. I’ve reviewed about 6 or so books so far via this group. Just click on the link and go through the threads to understand how this group works.

The best part about this group is I’ve found a lot of amazing indie authors and also made many friends. And I do believe there are more such groups on Goodreads but Making Connections is the only one I’m a part of. Go support some amazing new authors guys!

Via Instafreebie

It shocks me that this wonderful site promoting and helping new as well as established authors is not so well known! Instafreebie is an amazing site where you can get free ebooks (In all 3 formats - PDF, epub, mobi) and sign up to author’s newsletters. You NEED NOT review the books but as far as I’m concerned the author is giving us their books for free so it’s only fair that as readers, we review them if we can. I’ve discovered some wonderful authors such as Christina Rozelle via Instafreebie.

Via Xpresso Book Tours Review Opportunity

Most book bloggers know about Xpresso Book Tours run by Giselle of Xpresso Reads. What many don’t know is that along with tours and blitzes, Xpresso Book Tours also run a review opportunity program. I’ve reviewed a couple of books via this. You can find more details here.


We hope you’ve enjoyed this “Special”! Please share your thoughts in the comments and let us know what your policies are regarding review copies, NetGalley, and requesting from publishers.
Stay tuned for Part 4 next week!


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