I’m often asked how I get review copies or as most of us know them, ARCs. To get review copies physical ones or digital is quite difficult for international readers. As an international reader myself I’ve been lucky enough to be sent review copies and in today’s post I’ll be sharing as many tips and techniques that I use. I hope this somehow helps you all.
What is an ARC?
ARC stands for Advanced Readers copy.
So, an ARC is an early copy of a book before its release date. The point of an ARC is to generate hype around the book, and for authors and publishers to get feedback on what reviewers think about the book. Basically an honest review.
Who gets ARCs?
ARCs are mostly sent to reviewers. I’ve seen reviewers who only post on Amazon, Goodreads, Booktube, Bookstagram, etc. The point is that you must have some kind of connection to the bookish world. Of course having a book blog will actually raise your chances (this is from experience). You should also keep in mind that some titles are reserved for libraries to review so they might not send an ARC to reviewers with other platforms.
A few points to think about:
- Follower count to most publishers is important. Some review sites ask for you to add your different social media follower count to your bio. So having a following is important but it isn’t necessarily the main point they’ll focus on. Again, this is from my experience.
- Having a blog isn’t mandatory (to some) but if you have one your chances of acceptance will be higher.
- Some publishers will check your blog when you request a title so it’s a good idea to have some reviewers on your blog and other bookish things. They want to see how serious you are.
How can I get an ARC?
There are several ways to get an ARC. I’ve tried multiple ways and I’m going to try and list them all here for you to decide which you’d prefer.
- Review Policy: This isn’t exactly a way but it does help. Most bloggers have a review policy page. This is where authors or publishers who have stumbled on your page can know if the title they’d like you to review is suitable for you or not. You can also list some rules and such if you’d like them to know anything important. Here’s mine if you’d like a rough idea.
- Blog Tours: There are plenty of blog tour pages out there. For a blog tour you can sign up and if you’re picked you can help promote the book with a review or other fun stuff.
- Email Request: Some publishers have emails for you to use when requesting a title. What you should mostly pay attention to the publicity. This speaks volumes to the publishers. Make sure you aren’t requesting the book from the wrong publicity. I’ve only used this method about twice. I requested The Gilded Wolves from Wednesday Books in December and was sent a copy about a week ago!
Please remember to be polite and formal with your email. Inlcude you name, where you blog, the book you’re requesting with the title, author and release date. Explain that you would love to read and review the title. Thank the publisher for their time and at the end of the email include your links so that the publishers can find you.
- Goodreads Giveaways: Every now and then you can find giveaways of Goodreads. Though this as I’ve discovered is only for U.S. and Canadian readers.
- Netgalley and Edelweiss: This needs some extensive explanation so I’m moving it below!
Netgalley & Edelweiss:
I’ve tried Netgalley and it was the first place I requested ARCs from. The thing with Netgalley is sometimes you find this title that you really want to read, but when you click on it guess what? you can only Wish for it (as shown in the picture below). And ta-da! Iv’e been rejected for titles on Edelweiss too! (more evidence below).
My feed was messy but I can assure you there are more! Also Penguin has never loved me so there’s that.
I’ve had some luck with the Wish for it button only once before for a title I was really excited for, but I understand how discouraging this can be for many. It always feels like a direct attack. Which is why I use Edelweiss more. I know what you’re thinking. I know many of you have been rejected for so many titles on there but I’m here to help, and if you have questions that havent been answered please do contact me.
Edelweiss & Netgalley profiles and Mechanism:
Both Netgalley and Edelweiss require you to have a profile/bio in order for them to send you review copies. I’m sharing what I have written in mine (same profile for both) so that you can get an idea on what to include in yours.
- List you social media paltforms with links: Blog, Bookstagram, Booktube, Goodreads, Emailm Twitter, Tumblr, and whatever else you have. I write for a website (TheNerdDaily), so I’ve included that too.
- Include some information about yourself: I’ve included in this what I am and what I love, example: I’m an avid reader, reviewer and blogger. I share my reviews…..my favorite authors are….etc.
- Include the genres you love to read: I’ve included fantasy, contemporary, dystopian…etc.
- Adding follower count could also be helpful.
- There’s a links category: Here you can add links for Blog/personal, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Goodreads, and Skype. You do not have to add links for all of them. I didn’t add my skype.
On Edelweiss you can find Profile Strength. This has levels and most of the time if your’s is at excellent then being declined is a lot less likely to happen.
When you’re done with all of that then you can get ready to request! Netgalley and Edelweiss send emails when you’ve been approved or denied for a title. Edelweiss sometimes doesn’t though (as I realized yesterday) so it’s always better to check. Some titles wont be approved or denied for months so this is all about patience.
So you know what a declined ARC looks like, here’s a look at an approved one. This isn’t one that I’ve requested but I just wanted to show you what the side button will look like when you’re approved.
The book above is a free ARC. Some books are already available for download and sometimes you can find some interesting titles. And there’s an image below with when the title is pending.
And you can categorize the titles into shelves. There’s Anticipating, Highly Anticipating, Currently Reading, Finished Reading, Did Not Finish, Favorites and Clear. Clear is for when you want to remove the book from your shelf.
Why are you requesting?
I bet this is what you’ve been waiting for the most. These are the things that I write in the Why are you requesting? box. I know it can be anxiety inducing but hopefully this will be a bit of help to you.
I always start off by letting the publishers know how excited I am for the title. Here’s an example of what i wrote when I requested The Wicked King earlier last year:
The Cruel Prince is officially my favorite read of this year. I loved the world building, the characters and everything that Holly Black had to offer. I can’t wait for The Wicked King and I would love to be given a chance to read and review this title.
After that I always include where I’ll be posting my reviews regardless of whether I wrote it in my bio or not. So it goes something like this:
I would love to be given the chance to review The Wicked King. I post my reviews on my blog, Goodreads, Instagram (dedicated to books), retailer sites where the book is sold, and the website that I write for (The Nerd Daily). I also share links to my reviews on Twitter. Thank you for the chance.
Of course for Netgalley you don’t need all that hustle but it doesn’t really give you a chance to explain yourself. Therefore the pressure is all on your bio. What’s great about Edelweiss is that you can request a title again even after you’ve been declines. So you have multiple chances, and you should never give up because of the first rejection.
Lastly, don’t be discouraged if you’re an international blogger. I know it’s hard but you will get there, trust me. It takes time and dedication and working hard will definitely get you somewhere. Be postive about the whole experience you never know what might happen.
I hope this post served it’s purpose. If you need help with anything at all don’t hesitate to ask for help. Good luck!
Have any questions or tips? Leave them in the comments for all to know XX