Want to review books for free? I’ll share some free link-love too!

Books, books & more booksAww geez…I’m telling u! All these GREAT ideas come from Blog Mastermind!

Okay, here’s the deal chickie-dee!

I will link out to your website/blog (free link-love) and send you free brand-spankin new book(s)!

Don’t think its a fair trade/barter? Then, tell me what else you want and I’ll see it we can come to an agreement.

Here’s the thang:

I have over a dozen books sent to me just this past month!

Either by the authors or publicists asking for a review, they find me from multiple lists that I got on when I was actively a book reviewer when during the pre-publication publicity period for my book, I actively ask for review copies when a great book pops up, and being a ‘best-selling author’ attracts tons of publishers who just send me anything having to do with:

  • Women entrepreneurs
  • Home based entrepreneurs
  • Women in business
  • Entrepreneurialism

I actually thought I could read a few while on bed-rest or during my travels…but, like DAH! I’m disabled, and on bed-rest, traveling to go near family because I can’t do what I was able to do before!

Then, now, I have September booked solid trying to clean up one client’s unfinished work…and Yes, it was finalized our FREE PRWeb.com $200 Press Release offer will end September 30, 2007…so, we have tons to do to leave this awesome program with a bang!

So here I am left with this dilemma “how do I prioritize my book reviews?”

Well, sorry to say it’s the paying gigs.

I’m a book reviewer for some publishers that pay me honorary checks of $250 or $300 of their line of books. Oh, and these are all “pre-press” books, so I never turn them down because I have an active Editorial role to pay in their books’ development stage. So it’s truly an “honor” and not a job for me…and this only happens a couple times a year.
Interestingly, I realllllyyyyy wanna read these books.

I wanna “connect” and “network” especially with the authors who contacted me personally…

So Are You Interested in Making Some Unique “Ponn Notes” = “Cliff Notes” in exchange for some link-love?

What really rocks my boat is that I would read ~250 page book a night, at least 4-5 a week…until the past year.

So, deep down inside–I’m saying “I think I can” and my body is saying “No you can Not”.

I even borrowed 3 books so I can read them all in the 12-hour car ride–I barely finished one! [That review will be posted sometime soon…]

Oh, my criteria for some “Ponn Notes”: You have to share lessons learned, thoughts to ponder, activities to work on, resources they refer too. The thing is I *never* just “read” a book. I mark it up, devour it, take notes, I grow from it. Even if its a poorly written book–I remain patient to find the hidden gem which may only be one-sentence from the whole book. I need you to really make me know that I “experienced” the book itself. I’ll post an example soon…

So, this is just one more way I’m “systemitizing” my online business, growing it, and freeing up my time to do what I need to do–not just what I love to do. Meaning: I love to read–but my body can not. So, I need to give in.

I love life & spending it with my girls much more.

So, rather than reading the books I’d like to read…I’m choosing my “special reading time” with my girls read who now read to me rather than the other way around ;-)

[Aww–I hafta share this: Our 7 yr. old in the 6 weeks I was in bedrest read over 80+ hours to me mostly–and clocked all those hours for one of her Summer Reading Programs. Our 6 yr-old loves to read aloud…and our 4 year-old narrates her turn every single day. Have I mentioned how much I love homeschooling lately!?…or ever?]

Okay, if you’re interested in reviewing books comment below. If you’re not, and you’re having an “Aha” moment of ‘letting go’ & ‘giving in’ or “systematizing your business”, please share your thoughts below as well. I don’t know if I’m being overly-simplistic in my recent discoveries given my present limitations…or what. What’s your what?


  1. says

    Frankly Ponn I think you’re amazing doing what you’re doing. I don’t see how you can be fitting it all in even if you were firing on all 6 cylinders. So systemising your activities to focus on the most important ones that require your specific input is brilliant.

  2. says


    I love to read and would love to be a part of this great opportunity to review books.
    And I concur with Karen…you are amazing and inspirational to boot!!
    So let me know how I can help with this project.
    P.S. Just the other day…my daughter (9yrs old) started reading a new business book I picked up for myself (it was my birthday on the 2nd of Sept) called (The Success Principles by Jack Canfield) and she said she thought it was a great book as well. I didn’t have to “convince” her to read it…she just picked it up and started reading it. I also spend time with my daughter reading each day…most of the time it is things that she loves to read…however, I think I will start incorporating some business…or self help stuff in there as well.


    Teresa Morrow

  3. Ponn says


    Firing 6-cylinders–not me…I’m barely pedling (physically)–I actually had to use the motorized cart at groceries last week but just being back in CT–I’m already feeling better ;-) The power of the mind, ya no!?

    I feel energized–at least because I’m delegating, outsourcing, finding critical partners & yes “systematizing” as much as possible.

    But, honestly–thanks for noticing my dear ;-)

    Hit me with your addy babe! And, I’ll even let you pick your 1st book. The book I read on the ride was The e-Code a biz-book & all my girlz were intrigued. I have so much to share–all about online biz, which my 7 yr-old will be starting her blog soon, so she read some of it over my shoulders & we discussed just about everything when I wrote notes.

    And, you–thanks sweetie! Delegating stuff to you is one of my time & mind-savers :-D

  4. Admin says

    Ohhhh, I’m so honored ;-)
    Thanks my dear…I love to see a new commentator, especially the quiet ones, that I never get to meet unless they write a quick note–and even more so empowering for me–from someone willing to help out build our buzzing community here ;-)

    Welcome, I’ll emai you offline shortly.

  5. says

    I would love to help out since I love reading and writing reviews. I’m trying to start my own business so any book in that field would be great. Hey, I’m a “bookaholic” so ANY book would be fine by me. *lol* I guess the only problem is that I don’t live in the US and you might not want to ship it overseas, unless it’s an e-book.

    Anyway, feel free to email me if you think I can help out in any way.

  6. Ponn says

    Sweet! I love both 2–but, well…you’ll help me do more ;-)

    Hmmm….overseas, eh? I’ll email you offline now. You’ll definitely on top of my list for eBooks, info-products–since I get a ton of them too.

    Oh, I just thought of something cool…when I have requests, I can always see if they’d send to “my” overseas’ addy, in both our names ;-)

    It doesn’t hurt to Ask, right!?

  7. says

    I have newly discovered your site from blog catalog. What an inspiration you are … truly a breath of fresh air. I would love to review a couple of books for you. Please let me know what is required and I would love to get on board.

  8. Ponn says

    I’m humbled! Thanks sweetie :)

    Since I’m living outta boxes, I had 4 in a reach-able back-pack…and now with you, I have 1 left. Sweet deal!

    To know I have hit a cord–I’m glad I posted this–because I have SO many other offers for reviews that I simply can NOT do myself!

    I’ll catch you offline ;-)

  9. says

    BLOG MASTERMIND pfft I told you about this months ago! When I started doing it for pjmommy its really simple to do heck if you own a blog just get some letter head and fax it over to places they will generally send you a review copy. you will work with a lot of people. I get books on a daily basis for pajama mommy. and I’ve had about 50 books sent to me in just over a month

  10. says

    Thanks Ponn for letting me be a part of this. I like the fact that I don’t have to go through the process of faxing and getting the copies of these books because Ponn already has them and is graciously sending them to us to READ and review for your blog…so I’m happy to get the link-back and free publicity ;-) The more books and knowledge to boot, the merrier, right? It is all good!
    Thanks Ponn for doing this for us;I guess I could do it myself but hey, you already have the books, right?
    Well, I will await the 1st book in the mail.

    Blog with you soon!

  11. Ponn says

    Amanda–My dear.

    I’m sorry if you feel I didn’t give you credit when it is due…I assume “pfft” isn’t a good sign of happiness :-(

    The brillant idea I got via BMM was to open to my readers/listeners an opportunity to be “guest book-reviewers” on my site for free publicity, link-love & a free book :-D

    I’m not questioning your method of seeking review copies.

    I’ve been getting so many sent–and very eager, some quite arrogant publicists calling and emailing me, even prodding me with continuous “when am I gonna put up my review?” “is it coming this week?”, etc.

    In the limits of my time, I politely get myself out of these situations and more workload by simply turning down book reviews–also because they don’t pay; I can’t prioritize them.

    But, for the publicists, authors & publishers who send me freely, with no pressure to produce a review in according to the publicist’s time-table–these are the books I’m offering our readers.

    So, I asked any readers if they wanted to help unload some books, review them, help me clean-house (literally) so we both gain–I get more content, and they get coverage on my site.

    And, quite frankly–I’ve even prioritized the books of choice to all the above reviewers by the order of how kind, knowledgeable & willingness to cross-promote and joint venture here at EmpowerWomenNow.com

    This one post brought out 3 readers/subscribers to start commenting here–and we’ve built strong relationships because of this “call out for help” ;-)

    As for your comments about seeking books-to-review; again, this is not the intent of this blog entry and I apologize if you feel I didn’t credit you appropriately.

    For our readers, I fully-acknowledge that Amanda did share how she gets book reviews sent to her months ago; but I knew then and more so now that my time is limited to my disability, move and homeschooling that I will not actively seeking to get more books.

    If anyone wants to duplicate Amanda’s advise, please accept her advice as solid actionable steps you can do if you are a blogger who wants more books.

    I’m grateful that you jumped to this opportunity first! And, you got 1st dibs on an excellent book, written by a truly Empowered Woman Entrepreneur–and your thorough review will be the open up the doors that the author & I have in store for Women Entrepreneurs throughout the world!

    By the way–for all my reviewers–I think you will be totally happy, pleased and plesantly surprised by the packaging, shipping and method of delivery. They all went out in the mail today–so, please drop a note the minute you receive them! [P.S. One of our family’s businesses is being book resellers. You’ll understand when you see my “package”.]

  12. Ponn Sabra says

    Hi There! Thanks a peach for helping out ;-)

    Who would’ve thought this one little post would generate so much interest!?…Definitely not me!

    I had 4 in my backpack, now all gone–at this rate; I may be able to get rid of many more even before my move is complete! Yipppeee!

  13. says

    Really I haven’t had any issues. I got boxes they usually send them over to me with a press release and if i want i just email them and get an interview. Penguin Publishing has to be one of the nicest places to work with!

  14. says

    Ponn, Have you thought about hiring a full time assistant? I did her name is Holly she is really well-priced too! And does EVERYTHING I can’t do including a TON of book reviews.

  15. Ponn Sabra says

    Phew! We’ve ALWAYS been on the same page–just clearing the air :-)

    I get most of my books from McGraw-Hill, Wiley, and a tons of small press, self-publishers (since the latter 2 are where my humble beginnings started).

    Thanks for sharing about Penguin Publishing.

    Honestly, there are some publicists that the individual authors hire, within my niche: women entrepreneurs, that are SO all-over-my-emailbox!

  16. says

    Ponn. I just found your site through Mommy Zabs. I am an avid reader and have been an entrepreneur for the past ten years. I currently do book reviews for my own pleasure on my own site I would love to help you out with your reading and review some books for you. Please let me know what you would like me to do to help you out!

    Amber (Homeschooldiva)

  17. Ponn Sabra says


    Full-time V.A = 10, 20, 30 hours/week of their time?

    I’m always looking for great Team members–you know that! Please share her contact info to me offline ;-)

    HomeSchoolDiva–eh? I’m a Proud HomeschoolMama of 3 darlin girlz (7,6 & 4) ever since they were born!!

    As I’m in the “move” I have only 4 books tuck away in one backpack for easy-access. I’ll definitely email you offline to get your addy, so once I get my next list of books, you’re the 1st on the list. I just got a GREAT pre-press editorial review today ;-) These are my ‘Favs’!

    Stick around, MommyZabs has been extra kind in her wonderful intro of me & my site ov’r yonder ;-)

    BTW, how old are your chickies?

    To our success & empowerment,

    P.S. Entrepreneur for 10-years…great! Please apply for my awesome new Sept. contest for FREE Coaching for 3 months from the Women’s Entpreneurs Coach!…whether in start-up, success, expansion or to-sell stage…she’ll help you out!

  18. says

    I would absolutely love to be a part of reviewing books if you are still needing ladies. This is very inspiring what you do. Thank you for sharing that with us.


  19. Ponn Sabra says

    I totally have my 2nd-list going! I think…no, I *Know* I found my next home!!! So, I’m praying by week’s end–I can start unpacking our boxes and get my “new” life rockin’ and rollin’ back as an official original East-Coast Girl ;-)

    Thanks SO much for your interest in helping out…and keeping me humble.

  20. says

    Goodness… Here I was thinking that I would be one of the few willing but there’s a bazillion other replies.
    Uh… *cough cough*… ~blush~…
    If you need anyone else, I’d be more than happy.


  21. Ponn Sabra says

    Definitely room for 1, 2, 3…more! Why not spread the link-love near & far–to all the entrepreneurial book lovers/reviewers willing to help!? ;-)

    Thanks for extending your hand!

  22. Ponn Sabra says

    hee hee…I guess the other gals are just busy reading, because your book was sent out on a different and separate date than everyone else! My pleasure to empower women who take action like yourself!
    Looking forward to your book review…yikes…which means I need to post my book review so everyone knows how detailed I get! Thanks for the heads-up ;-)

  23. Ponn Sabra says

    I’m mailing a book I just received today. It’s a great one for my target market: home based entrepreneurs (bloggers). ;-)


  24. Ponn Sabra says

    I’m working on 1 for you right now.

    Since I’m getting so many requests so quickly now–I’m thinking I *really* want you all to be “regular” book reviewers here at EmpowerWomenNow.com and welcome others as well :-D

    Let me know if this interests any/all of you.

    Also, Megan & Raquel are going to be my “test” runs of having book authors/publicists sending them books directly to them…I’m *really* curious how this works; especially this will be a time & money saver on all our parts ;-)

    Hugz & Again, Thanks for all reaching out!

  25. says


    I, too, found your site through Mommy Zabs. I would love to review books if you are still looking for people for your second list. I love to read!


  26. Ponn Sabra says

    Welcome aboard my dear! I’ll email you offline, as I just got another book request yesterday!

    Sweet! Zabs is the best :-D

  27. says

    I would love to review some books and share my findings as well as what I enjoyed about the book. I have a thirst for knowledge and love to read books where I can learn something, especially since I am a small business owner and am always looking to improve. Thanks!

  28. says

    Yes, I would love to receive free books to review for your site and mine. I used to write book review for Kirkus in the 90’s and would love to do it again with a focus on female entrepreneurs!
    Rosanne Ferreri-Feske: 615-595-6380

  29. says

    Hi! I know this is super late…but if your still giving links about reviewing books for free…i would love to do so! I LOVE reading! Thanks!

  30. says

    Wow, this was really a genius idea on your part. Seems like your campaign to free up your bookshelves was a smashing success! I have always read books, but only recently decided to start my own blog reviewing them. I was looking around for any tips on getting free books and ran into your site. I’ll have to venture into future posts and see some of the reviews…


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