Blogging takes time, book blogging even more so since there's a ton of reading and writing involved. Now with Instagram and Youtube, it's turned into a full time job (depending on what path you choose). I stick to blogging, Instagram and a little bit of Twitter (even though I know a little bit of Twitter isn't quite enough).
Instagram gives immediate book envy, but you have to reign it in to be at peak performance. You aren't going to be a rep for anyone if you are in the 100's of followers. You are probably going to have to buy some props, maybe a couple of those Pop figures that look so cute daintily perched on that shiny white book shelf, and you will most likely have to buy some books. I don't buy books if I can help it...and this is how I do it.
Libraries are the best place for free reads, not to mention library book sales, where you can practically get books for pennies on the dollar. The only issue is books from libraries are often not very good for pictures. Laminated hard covers, stickers, and damage can all detract from a picture. Luckily, most books from library sales are donations and don't have many issues except for damage or wear. There is always a strategically placed prop to use if you get desperate.
This one takes the most effort, but the payoff can be big. I have gotten multiple signed books from thrift stores. My best find was a signed, advanced reader copy of Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater.
The three books above cost me about 2.50 all together. You'll see a lot of duplicate books (Twilight, Hunger Games, Better of Dead, Da Vinci Code) but there is always the chance you'll find something fantastic.
NetGalley and Blogging for Books
These are review websites for librarians, book buyers, and book bloggers. If you have a book blog it usually has to be up for at least six months before they will consider you, but numbers speak.
These are all e-books, but most of them will be advanced reader copies. They have an archive date so you don't really own them. I've had the pleasure to read some really enjoyable books this way, but make sure to review and link to all your social media if you use this method.
BLOGGING FOR BOOKS
I really love this site. It's limited, but the books are usually hardback and sent out quite quickly. Some of the best books I read came from them last year, you just have to make sure to review and link thoroughly, similar to NetGalley.
You can buy new here for sure, and it's especially good if you've got prime. The one thing a lot of people don't use though is the click here for other options button. I have bought books for a penny (only paying for shipping) this way.
I strongly suggest getting on mailing lists of your favorite authors and publishing houses for whatever genre you review. They will send you deals and contests you can enter with a click of a button. Pre-order goodies are on the rise. I love bookplates and bookmarks I can use everyday-and publishing houses are catching on fast. These are perfect for pictures too!
Goodreads giveaways are cool, but they are too saturated to expect anything.
This picture is actually from my Secret Santa in December (that the lovely @critic_uncritical_bookworm sent me), but there are trading tags on Twitter (#booksfortrade) and certain forums where you can look around. Just make sure when you trade it's with someone you have interacted with before or looks like they have a good history of trading.
Used Books Stores
We have a Second and Charles where I live, and I love it. Used book stores have become rare, so if you can find one, stay loyal. Trust me, it will help you in the long run. (I also go to locally owned used bookstores)
Friends, writing group associates, and random writers may ask if you want to review their books. This is a great opportunity, even better if the book is spectacular. Just make sure to list what you will or will not review before taking on offers. For example, don't review a Romance if you do SciFi. It will waste you and your reader's time.
Is there anything that you do to make your experience in book blogging easier?