ARCs (Advanced Reader’s Copies) are kind of a big deal in the blogging community. They can be seen as a blogger’s status symbol. Some people think that only the “good” and popular bloggers receive them, which isn’t true at all. Sometimes they even cause jealousy — I know I’ve been a victim of ARC envy before — but that’s not something we can stop ourselves from feeling.
I’ve seen a ton of bloggers talk about ARCs on their blogs and Twitter, so I decided to help out new bloggers, too, by talking about what they are and how can one request them. I’d like to thank Ava @ Bookishness and Tea for inspiring me to write this post. You can check out her post here!
To be honest, I didn’t even know what an ARC was when I first started blogging. I didn’t know why it was such a big deal in the blogosphere, and why people got so disappointed when their request was rejected (after all, you can still buy the book when it’s published, right?).
But now that I’ve been a part of this community for over a year, I know what it is, and have even received some of my own! But for those of you who have questions about ARCs or don’t know how to receive them, today I’m here to talk about everything I’ve learned about them this past year!
What is an ARC?
ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies) are copies of a book that are printed up before the book goes on sale and are sent to book bloggers, librarians, bookstores, and other outlets. The purpose of ARCs is to generate early buzz and reviews, encourage purchases, and assist librarians and booksellers in deciding whether or not to purchase a particular book for their collection/stock.
What’s an e-ARC?
E-ARCs are e-versions of ARCs. If you’re new in the blogging community, I’d definitely suggest requesting e-ARCs first rather than physical copies. You’re more likely to get accepted that way since you’re new to blogging and don’t have a large following yet.
How can I receive an ARC?
ARCs are mainly sent to you by publishers. You email them requesting a certain book(s) and they, sometimes, send them to you; or if you’re an “established” blogger, you might even find them at your doorstep without requesting!
Whereas, as I said before, if you’re a new-ish blogger, you might want to request e-ARCs first. You can do so by making an account on Netgalley and/or Edelweiss. You can request an e-ARC of the book you want to read and review, and your wish might be granted.
You can also receive ARCs through:
Authors: They don’t receive many ARCs, but sometimes they do and are willing to send you a copy. You might even see them emailing bloggers themselves, asking them to review their book—that usually happens in the case of indie/self published authors, but I’ve seen a few exceptions.
Some authors will also forward your information to their publicist. Also, make sure you check out their website before sending them a review request, as most of the time they state whether or not they send out ARCs of their books on there.
ARC Tours: I have only participated in a few ARC tours, but they are a great way to get to read ARCs. Sometimes the person putting together the tour will contact you, but more often you approach the tour host and submit an application.
You can find publishers’ emails on their website, but I decided to list them below for you. 🙂 You send your request to that address, with “ARC Request: *name of the book* by *name of the author*” as the subject.
Make sure that you sound professional in your email! You don’t wanna look greedy or say things like “Please accept my request, I’m dying to read this book.” Remember that the book will eventually release, and if your request wasn’t granted, you could purchase a copy and read it then!
Also, don’t forget to send your mailing address in that email. Publishers are very busy people, they don’t have time to email you back asking for your address. And make sure to put your stats and the number of months/years since you’ve been blogging — those are some of the most important things publishers look for. ARCs cost a lot of money, and they wouldn’t want to send it to someone who just started blogging, right?
You normally won’t receive a response, so just keep checking your mailbox and you might receive the book. Do NOT bother the publisher with a million follow up questions, asking if they saw your request and are going to send you the ARC — that’s highly unprofessional.
Macmillan (Imprints: Feiwel and Friends, Swoon Reads, Henry Holt, Farrar Straus and Giroux, Roaring Brook Press): firstname.lastname@example.org. They also have a blogger galley request form you can access here.
Penguin (Imprints: Dial, Dutton, Putnam, Razorbill, Viking, Philomel): email@example.com. Penguin also has a Blogger Request Form which you can access here, and a First to Read program where you can request e-ARCs.
Harper Collins (Imprints: Balzer + Bray, HarperTeen, Greenwillow Books, Katherine Tegen, Epic Reads): Cindy.Hamilton@harpercollins.com
Bloomsbury: firstname.lastname@example.org / teensUSA@bloomsbury.com
Simon & Schuster (Imprints: Aladdin, Simon & Schuster BFYR, Simon Pulse): ChildrensPublicity@simonandschuster.com
St. Martin’s Press (Imprints – Griffin Teen, Thomas Dunne): email@example.com
Random House: firstname.lastname@example.org
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: email@example.com
What to say in your email?
Here’s a sample of an email I sent to a publisher to request an ARC:
My name is Shikha. I’m a passionate YA book blogger/reviewer. I love to read and review Young Adult contemporary, fantasy, science fiction, and more. I’m writing to request an ARC of THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN by Roshani Chokshi if you had it available for review? I’ve heard a lot of bloggers constantly rave about it, which has made me really excited for it. Its synopsis sounds really intriguing too, and I think my blog readers would love to hear my thoughts on that book.
I post book reviews, discussion posts, and blog tips regularly over at my blog, Fiction and Tea. I’ve been blogging since a year, and try to make my reviews as honest as possible. I post my reviews on Amazon and Goodreads as well, and also promote the book and the link to my review on my Instagram, where I have 11.5k followers, and Twitter.
My blog stats are: *you can either write your stats as a paragraph or make a bulleted list like I did*
My mailing address is:
Thank you for your time and consideration!
[insert your full name and your blog’s name]
I, surprisingly, received a response from the publisher saying that they had put me on the waiting list. I kept checking my mailbox a few weeks, waiting for the ARC to arrive, but when I’d finally lost my hope, guess what? It showed up on my doorstep one day! 😀
Oh and be sure not to copy my email. Be original! Let the publisher know why you’re excited for the book. Don’t make your email way too short with just the book info and your blog stats. It should show your personality and have enough information about yourself.
What to do after you’ve read the book?
If you don’t want to keep the ARC after your review has been written, then you can give it away. Librarians or bookstores would gladly accept them—they use them to help determine whether or not they want to purchase the book for their collection.
You can also host a giveaway, donate it to an ARC tour site or swap with a friend or another blogger. This way, another person gets to read it before it’s released too!
Be sure to post your review before or on its release date. You received the ARC to review, right? So that’s what you should do at the end. Don’t disappoint the publisher, they just want the book’s promotion!
I personally post the review a few days before the book’s release date so that people can hear my opinions on it and decide if they’d like to give it a try or not.
Also, ARCs are NOT for sale. Don’t ever try to sell them, and, if possible, stop others from doing so too. It’s illegal. They’re just a promotional tool, not something you need to have just to show-off.
When can I start requesting them?
I’d say you should be blogging consistently for at least 6 months and have at least 100 followers before you start requesting ARCs. Though, the number varies. Some publishers look for a larger following (300+ followers), but I personally started receiving them when I had about 100 blog followers. Having a large Instagram and Twitter following helps too.
Also, I’d send an ARC request about 2 – 3 months before it releases, so that the publisher has time to view our request and decide whether or not they’ll accept it, and then we must also have sufficient time to read and review it. One thing about reviewing books is that we shouldn’t feel obligated to do it. We’re requesting a book because we want to read it, right? Let reading/blogging be a fun hobby of yours 🙂
What if I’m an international blogger?
Sadly, publishers don’t send ARCs worldwide, but you can definitely request e-ARCs via Netgalley or Edelweiss.
Don’t forget, ARCs cost a lot of money to print and if you receive them, be thankful and try to review it as honestly as possible, before its release date. Make sure to email the publisher with the link once your review is posted, thanking them for the opportunity!