Thursday, January 19, 2012

How to Get ARCs: A Step-by-Step Guide

While there are a lot of questions new bloggers have, one of the most frequently asked about topics is that of ARCs or, more specifically, the acquisition of ARCs. To that end, I have compiled all of the information I have gathered regarding ARCs, how you get them, and what you should do with them once you have them.

I am by no means an expert and this post is by no means the end-all-be-all of ARCs, so if you have any additional sources or advice, please share in the comments! Also feel free to ask any questions I may not have addressed and discuss this topic with one another in the comments.


1. What are ARCs and who gets them?

The What

ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies) are copies of a book that are printed up before the book goes on sale and are sent to reviewers, librarians, bookstores, and similar 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.

ARCs are marketing tools. ARCs are actually more expensive to produce than a finished copy of a book (I'm always surprised by that!) and only a small number of ARCs are printed.

ARCs are often a little less polished than the final copy (more typos) and may be slightly different from the finished version (names, different wording of some sentences, minor rearrangement, things like that). Because of these changes, reviewers are asked to only pull direct quotes from the finished version of a book. The cover may also differ from the final version.


The Who

Bloggers get ARCs so they can post reviews and help generate buzz for the book. This works primarily as a "word of mouth" type of advertising, so bloggers who have the ability to:
  1. Reach a large number of people, and 
  2. Provide informative reviews that will encourage book sales
are most likely to receive ARCs. Keep in mind, "encourage book sales" doesn't mean "give all 5 star reviews." A blogger encourages book sales by writing informative reviews that give readers an idea of whether or not they will like the book.

As a general rule, the "big" publishers like seeing a blog up and consistently running for around 4-6 months before the blogger requests a print ARC. You don't have to wait nearly as long to request e-ARCs (I got e-ARCs when I posted reviews on Amazon and did not even have a blog). Some indie or self-published authors will begin pitching review requests when a blogger is less than a month old.

There is also an element of chance when it comes to who gets ARCs and who does not. Remember this! I have been denied an electronic ARC only to have a print copy appear in my mailbox a few weeks later. Sometimes bloggers get added onto a publisher's mailing list without doing anything, but more often bloggers must make the first move.

It all depends on a lot of different factors (some known, some seemingly mysterious), patience, persistence, and a little random luck.


2. Where to get ARCs?


E-galleys (electronic ARCs)

E-galleys are the wave of the future! Personally, I'm pretty bummed about this because I don't have an e-reader, but I can see how much more cost effective it is for publishers to distribute ARCs this way.

If you're a new blogger, publishers are also a lot more willing to give you an e-galley than a print copy, so e-galleys are a great way for newbies to get their name on publishers' radars. Here are a few sources to get you started:

NetGalley

Each publisher has different requirements for users requesting galleys. Expiration dates for galleys vary. I have a more in-depth Tips & Tricks post coming up about NetGalley.

Simon & Schuster's Galley Grab

Register an account and, if Simon & Schuster approves you, then they will begin sending a monthly newsletter with galleys you can download. All galleys expire upon publication of the book. As far as I know, this is on temporary hiatus while they make improvements, but you might still be able to register.

Galley Grab is no more! Simon & Schuster has moved its e-galley offerings to Edelweiss.

Edelweiss

See the Edelweiss Addendum post for more information about this e-galley and publisher catalog service!


Print ARCs

There are a bunch of ways you can get your hands on print ARCs, and these are only a few of them.

Publishers

When contacting publishers, look for an email address for the publicity department. If you are requesting a Young Adult title, make sure you send your request to the children's publicity contact. Here are a few links to get you started:
And here are a few catalogs for you to look through (when requesting, it's a good idea to include the Title, Author, ISBN, and release date of the book)

Other places you can find contact information:
  • On the back of ARCs: Usually you'll find publisher contact information on the back of printed ARCs and/or on the copyright page
  • Through your NetGalley emails: When NetGalley sends you an email confirming or denying your request, you can usually find the email address of the publishing contact who handled your request somewhere in the email (look for "on behalf of...")
  • Through your NetGalley approvals: If you are approved for an e-galley through NetGalley, sometimes there is an option to "contact the publisher" and this will provide you with an email address for the publicity contact

Authors

Authors do not receive many ARCs, but sometimes they do and are willing to send you a copy (rarely--usually their friends and family have first dibs, understandably!). Some authors will also forward your information to their publicist.

Many authors state on their site whether or not they can send you an ARC and how you should go about requesting one, so make sure you read their site carefully before you shoot them an email.


LibraryThing's Early Reviewer's Program

I don't have an account with LibraryThing, so I can't speak on it much. I have heard it is a good source, but you need to review each book you receive in order to receive more.

Goodreads First Reads

I received one of my first ARCs through this program when I was first starting out as a blogger. I've since received one more a few months later, but I haven't gotten any since.

You don't have to review these books, but you should and whether or not you review is a consideration for getting more books from them.

ARC Tours

I have only participated in a few ARC tours, but these seem like 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. There are three types of ARC tours, and you should decide which ones you are comfortable participating in before you commit to any.
  • Tours where you get to keep the book: These are the only tours I will participate in. The pros are obvious- you get to keep the book! Not only do you get a book out of the deal, but you also don't have to pay postage or worry about short deadlines for passing on the book (though you do, of course, still need to make sure you meet the review deadline for the tour). The cons are that there are very few book tours like this offered.
  • Tours where you must share the book: These are the most common type of ARC tours offered. The pros are that you get to read an ARC! The cons are that you must pay postage, read the book faster, and you don't get to keep the book.
  • E-galley tours: These are closer to the first type of tour in pros- you get to keep the book, you generally have longer to read the book, and you don't have to worry about paying postage. The only con is if you don't have an e-reader (like me!).
You can find a great list of tour sites at Smitten With Books (as well as other ARC information). The two tour hosts I have worked with in the past are Kismet Book Touring and Premier Virtual Author Book Tours. I had positive experiences with both.

Amazon Vine

This is Amazon's ARC program and, as far as I can tell, it is invite-only. I have NO IDEA how Amazon chooses who to invite. All I know is you must post your reviews on Amazon, and you probably need good "helpful" ratings (not sure what they consider "good") and you probably have to publish your reviews often. It seems like members of this program receive a decent amount of books.

See Krystle's comment below for some insider information! (Thank you, Krystle!)


Sources for Reviewers AND Non-Reviewers

Even non-reviewers can receive ARCs! Here are a few ways I know of to snag an ARC if you're a non-reviewer, newbie reviewer, or established reviewer:

The Saturday Swap

Ruby from Ruby's Reads hosts this about once a month as a way for readers to swap books. Participants usually have a bunch of ARCs they are willing to swap. You do not need to be a blogger, nor do you need to have ARCs to swap (published books are fine!).

Giveaways

There are ALWAYS giveaways going on around the blogosphere, and many of them are giving away ARCs! I got one of my first ARCs from a giveaway hosted by Kelsey from The Book Scout. Different bloggers and authors (yes, authors host giveaways on their blogs!) have different rules (some want you to follow their blog, sometimes you have to tweet, some don't have any requirements, etc), but generally you do not need to be a reviewer in order to enter.

Shelf Awareness

This is a FREE daily e-newsletter you can sign up for, and I'm pretty sure you don't have to be a reviewer. When you sign up, make sure you register for the "PRO" edition. This edition contains a compilation of publishing and book-related news, but it is also the newsletter that has all the ads in it.

Ads? Who wants ads, right? This is one situation where you very much want ads, because these ads more often than not are links you can click on to request ARCs!

I've received a bunch of ARCs through Shelf Awareness and I highly recommend checking it out. The actual content is usually pretty interesting, too.

Random Buzzers

This is a site run by the publisher Random House and there are a few different ways you can get ARCs.

The only way I'm personally familiar with is through their Buzz Bucks program. You fill out little quizzes or do quick activities to earn Buzz Bucks that you can then use toward getting books. Most of the books are finished copies, but sometimes they do offer ARCs (though, really, free finished books are pretty exciting, too!).

They also have message boards where you can sign up to receive ARCs. I've never participated this way, so I can't give any details, but it seems like a great program.

Swap with other bloggers

A ton of bloggers are more than willing to swap books with you. Off the top of my head, I know Tayte from Reading in Paradise and Ruby from Ruby's Reads are currently looking to swap books.

Ask your local librarian or bookstore

These people sometimes receive ARCs. It can't hurt to politely introduce yourself and ask if you can leave your contact information with them in case they have any ARCs they are willing to pass on to you.  


3. Should you write a review policy?

YES! Even if your blog has only been running for a day, you should write a clear and to the point review policy. You can use my Review Policy as a guide if you'd like.

The biggest shock to me when I first started blogging was the incredible number of authors who would contact me for review requests (particularly indie and self-published authors). This WILL happen to you, so it's best to be prepared.

What you should include in your review policy:
  • What book format do you accept? Not accept? (ARCs, finished copies, audiobooks, e-books?)
  • Will you accept self-published or indie published books?
  • What broad genres do you accept? Not accept? (YA, middle grade, adult?)
  • What specific genres do you accept? Not accept? (Dystopian, fantasy, paranormal, contemporary, etc?)
  • Contact information (include your email address, do not include your mailing address)
You can also state what publishers/authors can expect if you accept their request, like how long it will take you to post your review, what your reviews include (rating, summary, etc), and any other places you will post your review or mention their book.

You might also like to include information on whether or not you will host giveaways, author guest posts/interviews, blogger guest posts, and if you will participate in ARC tours.

Review policies will make your life so much easier. Trust me. If you need to decline a review request (and you will encounter this at some point), it is much easier to point to your review policy ("I'm sorry, as stated in my review policy, I am not currently accepting e-books/short stories/dystopians/books with a character named Frank/etc for review").

Your review policy will also help you avoid getting review pitches you don't want anyway. Some people won't read your policy, but many will (my self-published requests dropped drastically after I stated in my policy that I am not accepting self-published books for review). Stating what you will and won't review up front saves both you and the requester time and frustration.


4. What to write in your request?

There are many different ways to go about writing a review request. The following is a list of things you may want to include:
  • Briefly introduce yourself (use your real name, both first and last)
  • Blog name and type of books you review (YA, MG, adult?) 
  • Blog link, and links/mention of any other place you regularly post reviews
  • Your blog stats (Date/Year you started blogging, number of unique visitors per month, pageviews per month, how often you update your blog--NOT including memes, etc)
  • How you promote books on your blog (reviews, author interviews, author guest posts, giveaways, etc)
  • If you work in a book-related field, include that (library, bookstore, etc)
  • A short reason why you're interested in the book, if applicable (don't make this about YOU, show how you can help THEM) 
  • Your mailing address (very important to include!) and your email address (yes, write it out)--you can include this in an electronic signature
  • The title of the book(s) you are requesting (+ ISBN/Imprint, author, publication date)
  • Links to previous reviews you have posted, preferably for the same imprint or similar book (thank you Jana!)
You want your email to be polite, professional, and to the point. Remember the purpose of an email like this is to of course request a book, but also to show the publisher/author that you would be a profitable person to send a limited ARC. This is business. ARCs and shipping cost money, so you need to show that you will do something that will make their expenditure worthwhile.

When I first started requesting ARCs I was SO shy (ok, I still am) and I ended up writing very little in my request. Too little. I pretty much stuck to my blog stats and the book's information. My requests had no personality and did nothing to show the publisher what *I* could do for *them*. Even though it may feel uncomfortable tooting your own horn, it is important you include enough information about your blog and your accomplishments.  

As far as I can tell, it is better to include all of your review requests in one email. That is, if you are requesting three titles from one publisher, ask for all of them in one email, not three separate emails.

If you are contacting the publisher for the first time, try to keep your number of requests to a minimum. Newer bloggers are more likely to receive titles that are not getting as much advertising attention. At this time, you may also offer to host an author interview/guest post. If you are more established, you may also offer to host a giveaway.


4. What to do after you've requested the book?

Wait. Don't bother the publisher with a million follow up emails. Publishers are very busy and oftentimes they won't even email you back (the book will just appear in your mailbox...or not).

If you get the book, great! Read on to #5.

But what if you don't? It's disappointing, I know (really, I know), but it isn't the end of the world.
  • Do not get discouraged--review requests are denied for all sorts of reasons, and some of the reasons have nothing to do with you personally
  • Do continue working on improving your blog (there is always room for improvement)
  • Do not argue with or insult the publisher/author--be gracious, say thank you for their time, and move on
  • Do read the book when it releases (you wanted to read it, right? Now you can!)
  • Do send your review to the publisher
  • Do not say anything snarky about them denying your request
  • Do wait a few months and then try again for a different ARC (maybe ask for a "smaller" title)

5. What to do after you've read the book?


Writing your review

You write your review! If you request an ARC, then you should write a review for it, even if you did not love the book. It's ok, publishers understand not every book will work for every reader. Just make sure to keep your review respectful.

If you absolutely cannot write a review, then it would be good to try to find another blogger who will read and review the ARC you received. You may also want to email the publisher and ask them what they prefer you do. You can offer to find another blogger to pass the ARC along to or see if the publisher would like you to host a giveaway for the ARC.

Publishers don't expect you to review every book they send you, especially if they've sent you a copy you didn't request. BUT, if you consistently receive ARCs but then do not review them, they will take note of this eventually and they will stop sending you ARCs. So if you want to keep receiving them, then you should review them. 


When to post your review

You can post your review whenever you'd like (unless the publisher/author requests a specific date), but publishers tend to prefer you post your review within a month of the book's release.

Most don't mind if you post up to a month before the book releases, but some publishers (like Simon & Schuster) ask that you wait until after the book has been released. Check out The Story Siren's Dear Publisher series and NetGalley's Publisher Approval Preferences page for specific publishing house preferences.

Also make considerations for what your blog readers prefer. If your blog primarily caters to librarians and booksellers, then you may want to post your reviews much earlier as these types of readers tend to use reviews for collection development.

If your blog primarily serves people who read for pleasure, then sticking to the "around release date or later" rule of thumb is a good idea (these readers--myself included-- often get frustrated if they can't buy the book soon after reading the review. Plus, it's also easy to forget about a book if you hear about it too early).


Follow up

After you've posted your review, you should email a direct link to publisher and thank them again for the opportunity. If you post your review to any other site (Goodreads, Amazon, etc), then be sure to also include direct links to your review at these sites.


What to do with the ARC

If you do not want to keep the ARC after your review has been written, then you can give it away. Your local librarian or bookstores may appreciate getting your ARCs (they use ARCs to help determine whether or not they want to purchase the book for their collection. Librarians also use them as giveaway prizes.).

You can also give it away or swap with a friend or another reviewer/blogger. You can host a giveaway on your blog, donate it to an ARC tour site, or set up an ARC tour of your own. If you host a giveaway, then authors and publishers usually like to know about it so they can help you spread the word (more pageviews for you = good, more publicity for them = good).

The only thing you should NOT do with your ARC is sell it.


6. Additional information

The following are sources for additional information about ARCs. All of the sources are phenomenal and I highly recommend checking them out. Many other bloggers have written up advice on acquiring ARCs. If you know of any I haven't listed, please link them in the comments!

The Story Siren
The Story Siren's Dear Publisher Edition series (this is like GOLD):

Presenting Lenore

Reviewer X

Books with Bite

Bookalicious

All Things Urban Fantasy

Authors and Publishers


What have your experiences been with requesting ARCs? Do you have any advice or links to share? Please feel free to ask questions and answer whatever questions may be posed in the comments!

83 comments:

  1. Now this post is a goldmine! Such good information. I really appreciate it.

    When you say that you should include in your request how you getting the ARC can benefit them (instead of why you want it)...what do you mean? Can you give an example of what you'd say to show a little personality as well as make yourself seem important to them?

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I'm a little bleery-eyed (I should have been getting ready to go to sleep...oh wow, um, an HOUR ago!) so don't quote me :P

      I might mention something along the lines of how I try to encourage interaction with my readers in the comments and why. If you know you'll be participating in something bigger (like if I had just hosted the Historical Fantasy Jubilee or Busting the Newbie Blues) then I might mention that and how that will affect traffic/exposure.

      If I were you, I would probably mention how you co-host Follow Friday and how in doing so you are able to expose books to a wide range of both repeat and new readers.

      Does that help?

      Delete
  2. Wow!
    You've blown my mind with this post, I swear!!
    I can't imagine how long it took to put it together and it has so much useful information.

    :) I can't really talk about most of it because I haven't experienced it first hand but I agree about NetGalley, it's awesome and a great way for new bloggers to sink their teeth on the ARC world.

    :D

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thank you! It did take a while, but there's still SO much information I want to add (and don't exactly know the answers to yet) so I'll update as I learn more :)

      Delete
  3. Wow, Small. Thank you, thank you, thank you. This post is fantastic - info-filled, accessible, and answers every question I could possibly have. Excellent job, and thanks again.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Fantastic post!!! This is like the best post on the matter!!

    One thing to comment is, that as i noticed back in August many authors don't actually read our Review Policies. I was really angry about it. I know my Review Policy is big, but everything i wrote is important.

    And one really good advice for the newbies, is to not overdone it with the ARCs because then they will not have time to read books they bought or like. Or re read something old. ARCs are awesome, if you have control of yourself :p

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thank you so much!

      It is frustrating when authors/publishers clearly do not read your review policy. A lot do seem to read mine, but I still get a handful of requests every month that make it obvious they didn't even read the first section (or sometimes even the first sentence!). Grrr. Very annoying.

      SUCH a good piece of advice! I need to constantly remind myself of that. I have the next few months almost totally filled with review books, which is nice, but I want to be able to read older books too.

      Delete
  5. Oh I love this post! I'll have to try your advice for writing letters to publishers, I probably put way too little information in them.

    Thanks for making this clear and have all these amazing sources linked up in one place (:

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Good luck! You don't need to write a book for them, but keep in mind that your ARC request is like when an author send you a review pitch. Basically, you're "pitching" yourself as a reviewer.

      My first few were more like order forms because I was too shy to say anything else! :P

      Delete
  6. I'm still a bit undecided whether I want to start reviewing books on my blog or stick to goodreads, but this was still SO helpful, you have no idea. Thank you so much.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Unbelievable. I'm seriously going to bookmark this post for future reference because I can't even comprehend all the information. Really awesome.

    I don't think I'm quite at the point to ask for ARCs yet, but when I do, this will be my source of How-To. Awesome, thank you so much!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I'm so happy to hear that! Thank you! I hope this can be a good resource for you. :)

      Delete
  8. Can I say you have outdone yourself on this. Its great for us Newbie's. I have written and received a few ARC's and am constantly excited when they show up. But I try to remind myself that I can always read the book when it first comes out and still get great responses on my blog, so I don't depend heavily on ARC's. Lizz and I are in the process of writing a policy and this came just at the right time for us so thank you there. I do participate in a few ARC tours and love them. I can easily read a book in the 5-7 days allotted because I am very picky about the books I sign up for, never overloading myself. I think this is where people get overwhelmed. I am also a BIG book swapper, I have swapped with both Tayte and Ruby. It is so much cheaper to mail a book out for 3.00 than to go buy one you want for 20.00. You just have to find the proper person with a book you want..and trust me they are out there. I get books in the mail at least 3 times a week and the post person basically knows me by name I am there mailing so much! It is a fun way to read something you want and make friends along the way. I am bookmarking this page. It has been the most helpful I have ever read. Thank you again Small, my blogging life has grown greatly in the few weeks I have known you!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words! I am very happy to hear this post and others have been helpful to you. :)

      "I try to remind myself that I can always read the book when it first comes out and still get great responses on my blog..."

      SUCH an excellent point! This bears repeating. :)

      I'm so happy this came at the right time for your policy.

      Yes, swapping is a fantastic alternative. Do you mind if I add your blog to the list of people who swap?

      Delete
  9. This post is PURE GOLD! Thank you for so much information. I'm still in the "Way too shy" phase but with the help of this gold mine? I may be able to build my nerves!

    I do have a question for you - not necessarily ARC related I suppose. Do you send the publishers your reviews? Like one general email at the end of the month? And if so, when/what do you say? (I've heard this can be helpful in getting ARCs!)

    -Jac @ For Love and Books

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    1. Thank you! And you are so welcome. You can totally do it!

      I do send publishers my reviews occasionally, but so far it has mostly been as a follow up when they have sent me the book.

      I have planned on sending out emails at the end of each month with links to all of my reviews for their imprint, but I've never actually gotten around to doing that. Most publishers say they do like it when reviewers do this (I also need to get over my shyness about this. I feel like I'm bothering them!)

      If you haven't spoken with a publisher yet, that's probably a great way to break the ice. Send an email introducing yourself and your blog, attach links to the reviews you have already posted for books they publish, and then either request specific titles or ask if they would consider adding you to a preferred reviewers mailing list. Then each month you can follow up with that month's reviews.

      If you try it, let me know how it worked out for you? :)

      Delete
  10. Wow, I am printing this and it has been "starred" in my reader:) Thank you for taking the time to compile all this valuable info for us newbie's! I have been a fan of your tips and tricks section since I started stalking the blogs a few months back. They are always so informative. I'm REALLY new, so I'm not ready to start requesting ARCs yet, but it's great to know I have a study guide to see me through it when the time comes. I look forward to seeing your Tips and Tricks post regarding Netgalley as well. Thanks again:)

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    1. You're so welcome! I'm blushing with all of the sweet things you've said. Thank you so much. :)

      Delete
  11. Wow, what a fabulous post! I think you covered everything really well. You must have put in a lot of time to create this awesome post. You definitely answered some of my own questions. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thank you! I'm sure I've missed a lot (I still have questions!) but I'm going to try to update this post as I learn more.

      Delete
  12. One thing I added to my requests are links to books I reviewed that are similar to what I am requesting or from the same company I am requesting from. And, I started requesting very early on and was successful. It probably helps that I am a librarian, but I have never once put into my request any stats about my blog and it doesn't seem to affect the ARCs I get.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Great point about the links! I forgot to add that. I'll edit, thank you! :D

      When you request, do you say that you are a librarian? How much information do you give? I never know if I should include the library name and leave it at that or if I should give more details.

      Delete
  13. Hi Small!
    Thanks for taking to compile that massive list of helpful infomtion. I will print it and store for reference!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I'm a part of Amazon Vine. I actually have no idea how I got in it to tell you the truth. I used to cross post a lot of reviews from my blog onto Amazon but then I got tired of it and didn't keep it up. So I started deleting all my reviews. I left the ones that had comments on them. THEN I got the invite in my e-mail. How strange.

    Anyway, there's two editions of the newsletter you get. The first one always comes on the third Thursday of each month which offer new ARCs, products, or whatever you checked off in things you were interested in. You can choose up to two. The next Thursday after that you get another larger newsletter with all the leftover books from everyone that weren't included in the first newsletter. (This actually has a whole bunch of books that you weren't offered). You can also choose only two books from here.

    After that it's up to you when you want to review them BUT you must at least review 75% of the titles you select before you get to pick new stuff. Heh.

    Amazon Vine is really the only way I get printed ARCs. Hope this helps?

    I can't sign it with OpenID anymore. =(. My blogger account is to my old blog I had to make for class. Wah, I wanna put my LiveJournal instead. Haha.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. That totally helps! Thank you for all of that information! The process of snagging an invite is still so mysterious, but it's great to know how it works once you get that invitation (it's like a secret society!)

      I found you through your Amazon reviews :) And then YOUR blog is what introduced me to the blogging world and NetGalley. So I owe you a huge gigantic thank you!

      As for OpenID, blogger has been doing weird things with the comments lately. I haven't changed the permissions settings, but I'll check and see if Blogger switched its defaults or something. :)

      Delete
  15. You know, I 've been on the Random Buzzers site 3 times and I've never been able to figure out what I was supposed to do on it, hah. Thanks for clarifying, Small, the next time I happen to go back there at least I'll know what to look out for. D'oh!

    P.S. It always surprises me when I'm reminded about ARCs being more expensive than finished copies, too. Do you think it's just because it's a smaller run? Then print MORE, I say! :D

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Haha, I find most of the Random Buzzers site to be totally baffling and overwhelming, but the quizzes/activities are easy peasy once you can find them.

      Yes! Print more! I agree! :D

      Delete
  16. Super helpful post, Small! Review policies are beneficial to both sides - you decrease the number of requests sent your way for books that you're not going to read and authors don't have to waste their time emailing you to read their book and can target somebody better.

    I wasn't aware of Shelf Awareness so thanks for sharing about it.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Yes, review policies help everyone. You state why perfectly!

      Shelf Awareness, ah, LOVE! That's how I connected with Lisa T. Bergren and got my ARC of Waterfall (and so many more!) so you can see why I have such massive amounts of love for them :P

      Delete
  17. Holy crap. WHAT an epic post. I am definitely telling people about this post. Thanks for your attention detail and epic amount of info!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thank you so much!! As the internet equivalent to a hermit when it comes to social networking, I am so incredibly appreciative when people help me spread the word. THANK YOU! :D

      Delete
  18. Thank you for writing such an informative post! I now know where to send people when they ask me! It gets tiring repeating myself and this post has everything!

    I very rarely request books myself, especially since I became an amazon vine reviewer, but I'm glad you pointed out to people that the publishers don't usually get back to you and that's normal. I remember when I first started sending requests and wondering if I'd ever hear back.

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    1. You're so welcome! Thank you so much, I can't tell you how much I appreciate you saying you'll send readers my way :)

      Ooh you're in the Amazon Vine secret society! :P Congratulations!

      Delete
  19. Small, you've organized everything so well. What a fantastic guide. Truly, you are a national treasure, to book bloggers everywhere. Bravo!

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    1. A national treasure! My gosh Madigan, you sure do know how to make me blush :)

      Delete
  20. Wow... as a bookblogger newbie this post is brilliant! Thank you so much! *toddles off to get to work*

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  21. This was absolutely... an amazingly helpful post, thank you SO SO much!!! I'm yet another baby in this wonderful book-blogging community, and although I won't be asking for ARCs for awhile, I'll definitely remember this great post and refer back to it! Many thanks <3

    Vivian @ Vivaciously, Vivian

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    Replies
    1. You are SO welcome! :D I hope it comes in handy :)

      Delete
  22. Wow, this is sooo amazing, I'm really new to blogging (my blog launched two days ago so I'm a newbie) and I was just wondering what to do later on, help so much thanks x

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    1. You're welcome! Welcome to blogging :)

      Delete
  23. Wooow, thank you! I'm new to blogland and I've been looking for more information when I stumbled upon this. It's really helpful :) The only problem I have is: I live in The Netherlands and I can't find if that is a problem of not. I'm a bit shy about asking to get a book and I don't want to apply when I don't have a chance on receiving a book.. Do you know more about this?

    I would tell in the mail that I can write the blog in Dutch and English, so I can get a really big audiance for their book. But I don't know if that would be enough to make it profitable for a publisher :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Welcome to blogging! I can't speak for the publishers or from personal experience, but I've heard it's hard to get review copies from publishers if you don't live in the US/CA (and to extent, the UK).

      But, I don't think it can hurt to ask. I would definitely mention the language you write your blog in and try to highlight any other areas of reach you might have.

      If they're not willing to mail a print copy, you should still have no trouble getting e-copies. Good luck! :)

      Delete
  24. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  25. This is really helpful. So, I only started my blog two months ago. I don't really have much hope of being contacted by publishers or authors and I don't expect being able to get free ARC. But I would really like that. I know if that happens in the future it will be in a far far future. Do you recommend I write a review policy anyway?

    ReplyDelete
  26. And sorry about the deleted comment, I made a few mistakes there :/

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Welcome to blogging! It's completely up to you whether you want to write a review policy at this point, but I would write one.

      A lot of indie/self published authors make review requests of blogs around the 2-4 month mark and some of the bigger publishers will work with you at the 4-6 month mark. So it's good to have something in place.

      Even if they don't contact you, if you're contacting them it's helpful to be able to point to your review policy so you can give them an idea of how you work and what they can expect.

      Good luck! :)

      Delete
  27. OK thank you so much :)
    I have the same problem as Mel there. I'm an international blogger too, I'm from Portugal.
    I read your reply to her so I'll focus on getting e-copies :)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Good luck! E-galleys are becoming increasingly popular. :)

      Delete
  28. This is so helpful! Thank you!

    Just wondering, though, how do you address the email if you don't know the publicist's name? I feel awkward starting off the email without a "Dear So-and-so".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It IS awkward! But sometimes it's just necessary, especially if the contact you have looks something like Publishingdepartment@publisher.com Which, yeah, not helpful.

      I've done the "To whom it may concern" thing a few times and it's worked out fine. If they email you back, then you get a name. Sometimes there will be a name on an envelope you receive or on the back of an ARC. It's sort of like a scavenger hunt where you pick up names as you go along.

      Delete
  29. This is amazing and everything that I was looking for! Thank you! But I do have one question....Just to make this clear you CAN keep an ARC that you have recieved in the mail? You are not obligated to pass it on or anything like that?

    ReplyDelete
  30. This is so helpful! I actually just now found this blog thru Google and I definetley don't regret it!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thank you! I'm so happy to hear that :)

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  31. Question: how old was your blog when you began requesting ARCs?

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Hm, the short answer is that I don't really have a short answer. The longer answer is this:

      E-arcs I requested and received before I even had a blog. I used to just post my reviews on Amazon and that was enough (at the time) to get e-arcs from NetGalley.

      Through Shelf Awareness- Pretty early on. I think my blog was only about...maybe three or four months old when I requested and received my first books through Shelf Awareness (but this is very variable because they host through all sorts of ways like directly contacting the publisher, directly contacting the author, entering a sweepstakes, etc).

      Actually requesting physical copies from publishers- I think I waited until I was about four or so months old and I didn't get anything :P Though a few big publishers did contact me and offered review copies, so I'm not sure what to make of that other than don't give up or let a rejection get you down!

      Then maybe around the six month mark I started requesting and getting more. I still request ARCs now and some requests are ignored and some are filled, so who knows?

      Delete
  32. I was about to embark in a quest about ARCs and how to get them when I found this! There, my search ends here for you have all I need to know :-)

    ReplyDelete
  33. This was so informative and helpful! Thank you so much for putting the time and effort into this post. Bookmarked it for reference :]

    New GFC follower :]

    Kaitlin @ Read. Write. Love.

    ReplyDelete
  34. This is really helpful. I'm a huge newbie in blog reviewing and I really want to read arc and I don't know how and this helped me a lot. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  35. Awww, thank you so much! I'm a newbie too and this so fun to read! You seem like a really nice person and I followed your blog. Every time I try and get off my laptop, I see another post of yours that catches my eye and I can't help but read it. Keep on doing what you're doing :)

    ReplyDelete
  36. Hi, I love how detailed this is and it RALLY helped me a lot! But I do have one question. When should I request the ARC? When is too soon? When is too early? Should I contact the publishers a few months in advance or mpre? When do they tend to start sending them out?

    Thank you,
    Kait

    ReplyDelete
  37. Thank you so much for all your helpful tutorials. I have been blogging for about a year but not as steadily as I would like. This information has really helped me work on my website as well as get some good ideas for increasing traffic etc...Thanks again!!

    ReplyDelete
  38. Thank you for this very informative and helpful post! I have only been blogging since June 2012.

    I am new follower!
    Thanks again!

    ReplyDelete
  39. This was really helpful! Thank you so much. I just created my first blog and I think this gives me some great starting points. The review policy setup was a great guideline to use as well. Thank you for allowing the use of it.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Hi,
    Thank you for this helpful post.
    I modelled my review policy after yours. I hope that's okay. You can see it on my blog. I don't know if you can see my blog if you click on my name or not. I just didn't want to post it here just in case you consider that as spam.

    ReplyDelete
  41. A very informative post. Keep at it.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Hey, I just want to say thank you so much! you've helped me a lot, I've just started blogging a few days ago. thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  43. Hi Small, fantastic post as always :) I just want to ask, for NetGalley (I just signed up, I hope I get approved!), how do we notify the publisher that we reviewed their book? And when do we publish our reviews of an upcoming book?

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! Good luck with NetGalley! They've made a lot of changes recently. One of the changes they made was in regard to how you provide publisher feedback. Once you get approved you'll see a link in the top right corner called the Dashboard. Click that.

      Then, for any books you've been approved to read you'll see them appear on your New On My Shelf section. You have two ways of giving publisher feedback at this point. The easy way is to click on the book cover. It will bring you to the page for the book and there's usually a "Title Feedback" button you can click that will take you to another page where you can put your review.

      The long way is this: You'll see under each book a drop down menu that says Title Options. Click that and then select Add To Reading List.

      Once you've done that, your book will move to the next shelf down, which is your Reading List shelf. Once your book is there, you'll see the same Title Options drop down menu. Click that and select Share Feedback.

      That will take you to a new page where you can enter in your review and a link to where you've posted it (if you've posted it).

      As for when you publish your reviews, each publisher has different preferences. Some don't care, but most prefer you publish either a month before the book releases to sometime after the book releases. Personally, I like publishing my reviews on or after the book releases because readers can get their hands on a copy without having to wait a long time for it to release.

      Usually you can find publisher preferences in the publisher preferences section (Browse Publishers --> click on the publisher name). You can also contact the publisher if you have their information and ask.

      Delete
  44. Hi I really love your blog. I wanted to know if you have any suggestions for a new blogger? I'm trying to re work my site and I think yours is great.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! Welcome to blogging. The best suggestion I can give is to have fun with it and do what makes YOU happy. :)

      Delete
  45. Hi! I am not a book blogger but I do own an Instagram account dedicated to books that is just under 2.5K. Do you think publishers would be interested in that type of publicity

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    Replies
    1. They might! If you have a decent following I would think something like cover reveals might be a neat thing to do on Instagram. It can't hurt to ask them!

      Delete
  46. Hi! I'm having difficulties gaining followers for the blog. Any suggestions or advice?

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  47. thank you for this helpful post :)

    ReplyDelete
  48. This was a great post. I just started doing reviews after attending Book Expo in NYC this past weekend.

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  49. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS!
    But... the "gold" is missing. :(
    I cannot find The Story Siren. :(((

    ReplyDelete
  50. Oh. Kristi the Story Siren was reported of plagiarism. Aww.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Yup, it looks like she closed up her blog about a month back. Glad everything else is helpful though! :)

    ReplyDelete

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