This morning as I was catching up on my blog reading, I happened across a reference to NetGalley.1 It sounded promising so I went to check it out straight away.
NetGalley "delivers secure, digital galleys to professional readers." The site considers you a professional reader if you are a reviewer, blogger, journalist, librarian, bookseller, educator, or member of the media. That definition is pretty broad and it may well cover the majority of this blog's readers.
Here's how it works:
You create an account on the site, after which you can search all the books available for request (you can also browse the catalog by genre, publisher, or date added).
Once you have an account you can request any of the titles, but almost all of the requests are vetted by the publishers (I did request one title that had automatic approval). Each publisher has different reviewer guidelines, which are outlined on the What are publishers looking for? page. Because the publishers screen you before approving your requests, it seems like you'll have better luck if you include lots of information in your profile (they call the part of the profile that the publishers can see your "public bio").
It seems like the majority of the time you'll be able to get the books you want in a format that'll work with the reader of your choice (using Adobe Digital Editions for rights management just like when you borrow ebooks from the library), but NetGalley also has a web-based reader.
Once you read the book, you still post your review in whatever places you would normally post it (whether that's on your blog, bookseller websites, or other review sites like LibraryThing and GoodReads), but notify the publisher about your review (and share a copy) through NetGalley (more details about this are on the Before you Request page).
The site also has Groups and Communities, but I haven't yet figured out what their purpose or how they work.
In any case, I have a long train ride on the schedule for Saturday so I've requested a bunch of books in the hopes of getting approved for a few in time to load them onto my Nook before the trip.