ARCs are your BFF in the book blogging world, especially when it comes getting traffic for your blog. They’re also one of the greatest perks of book blogging–free books before their release date! A note of caution though, if you’re starting a book blog just to get free books, you’ll probably crash and burn very quickly. You have to be passionate about books and really enjoy writing to run a successful blog. Also, ARCs will not rain down into your lap the second you hit “Publish” on your shiny new blog. Publishers want to see that you’re reliable (you’ve been posting regularly for a solid length of time) and that people are actually reading your reviews (how many followers and how much traffic you’re receiving). Also, hard copy ARCs are much harder to obtain than eARCs (digital copies), since they cost much more the print and ship. That being said, it is still possible to get those, you’ll just want to establish yourself as a blogger before requesting them.
How to get digital ARCs
NetGalley is an online site for booksellers, librarians, reviewers, educators and media. You fall underneath the reviewer category. NetGalley is my favorite site for eARCS because it’s relatively easy to navigate and understand, especially for beginning bloggers. And it’s free! There are “Read Now” books (no wiating for publisher approval), and books available by request (publisher must approve you). In the future I’ll be writing a more in-depth blog post on NetGalley, how to use it and it’s benefits. For now though, just know that this site is awesome, and a really valuable resource for beginning bloggers.
I’m not really an Edelweiss pro yet, so I can’t give you too much information on this one. I do know it’s a bit harder to obtain eARCs on Edelweiss than it is on NetGalley. It’s also a lot more confusing to navigate. There are also more specific and narrow criteria for being approved for a book, and publishers are much more picky in who they approve. That being said, it does seem to carry more of the high-demand, highly anticipated ARCs, so it does have that advantage. I would suggest Edelweiss to established book bloggers who already have a steady following and high traffic numbers on their blog.
How to get hard copy ARCs
Nothing, and I mean nothing, is more exciting than getting a surprise package in the mail, opening it, and realizing it’s the advanced copy of a book you’ve been dying to read and review. One of the reasons getting these packages is so exciting, is because they’re often few and far between, especially if you’re a brand new blogger. Currently, I’ve only received 10 hard copy ARCs (and countless eARCs). They’ve got their own special place on my bookshelf. One important note: half of my ARCs have come from the same publisher. This is because I built a relationship with her. I kept her updated on when and where I had reviewed the books she sent me. This made me both credible and reliable in her eyes. This is an important part of getting hard copy ARCs–maintain contact. When you receive the ARC, it will almost always have a press release packet tucked in it. The public relations rep that sent the book to you will have their contact info on it- send them a thank you email. Then, once you’ve read and reviewed the book, send a follow up email with links to all the places you’ve reviewed it.
Now, I couldn’t possibly post the contact information for every public relations, ARC provider at the Big Six publishing houses. Hard copy ARCs are hard to obtain mostly because you have to really want it; you have to be willing to dig for the publisher’s contact information, and you have to prove you are truly excited about that book and you can effectively promote it. To the publishers, you are a marketing tool. So my tips for getting hard copy ARCs:
- dig for contact information
- show your excitement
- be willing to email multiple people about a single book (and don’t be afraid of rejection)
I’ll be posting a more in depth blog post in the future, but for now just follow my tips for getting hard copy ARCs and you’re on your way! For now, see below for my favorite ARCs that I’ve received and reviewed!