Should Authors Provide Their Book For Review?
Since having my blog and booktube for the past six months or so, I've been given many free copies of novels in exchange for review. I love helping authors by reviewing their novels and they are seeking the feedback. Personally I think giving free copies (whether physical or eBook) is a good policy for authors who are just starting out. Of course they want to sell their books, but they also need to develop a group of readers so that someone will want to buy their books.
Being an aspiring author, I plan to seek beta readers and reviewers who will read in exchange for a copy of my book. One day I would like to be able to sell more copies than I'm giving away, obviously, but as an author it's important to develop a reputation with your target audience. And what better way to develop that relationship than to offer up your book, free, to bloggers and other reviewers? I think that's the best advertisement you can get.
This obviously also depends on how the novel is published as well. A self published author may be able to give out eBook copies, but not physical. An author with a publisher likely has to go through that publisher to offer their books. Or the publishers determine how many copies and how they will be given away. So it all depends on the means of publication and what can be afforded by the author/publisher.
With all that said, I don't think it's wrong to seek reviews where the book must be purchased. I do believe that the author will get more support by offering free copies. I'm an avid reader, but I can't afford to buy every book I'm interested in. I'm more likely to buy books by authors that I already know and like. So giving me a free copy to review helps me determine if you go on my list of authors to buy. I've read several novels that I've gotten for free from authors and then gone and bought the sequel because I liked the first one so much.
So I think a lot of it has to do with expense and marketing. If you are in a position to offer copies (physical or ebook) then I think it's definitely a great way to get your book read and out there in the public eye. If not, it may just take you longer to get your work noticed. Then again, it may not. It's just something the author has to determine and see where they want to go with it. As a blogger/booktuber, I love receiving free copies and helping spread the word about lesser known writers that I come to appreciate. So I think it's a great thing, but not the only way.
I hope this post made sense! I'm feeling a little all over the place at the moment. So share your thoughts in the comments. What do you think about authors giving out free copies of their novels in exchange for reviews? Should they? Should the not? Does it matter to you? Let me know down below!