How to Receive Physical ARCs – Information & Good Practices

How to Receive Physical ARCs - Information & Good Practices

I have been meaning to do a post about ARCs (Advanced Review Copies) for ages, and finally I got a bit of encouragement to finally get my butt in gear and make a post. Christine submitted this BBB Question:

How do bloggers receive physical ARCs? Christine

If you’ve been blogging for a few weeks, you’ve probably heard about NetGalley and/or Edelweiss. These are both sites where you can register and request e-ARCs.

But how do bloggers get physical ARCs?

Short answer: we contact publishers directly with our requests. After working with you a while, the publisher may decide to add you to a “mailing list”, which is when they start sending you unsolicited review copies. But don’t close out of this post yet, because there are many other things to consider before you go out mass e-mailing publishers. First, let’s look at some requirements.

How big does my blog need to be before I can request physical ARCs?

Honestly, this answer is different for every publisher. Different publishers have different priorities and things that they look for in bloggers. But, from the research I’ve done and the people I’ve asked, I’ve come up with a couple “ballpark requirements”.

  • Blogging for at least 6 months.
  • A strong, active following. Around 500 followers.
  • Post almost every day.
  • Your blog is not dominated by memes.
  • You review honestly and fairly. When you don’t like a book, you don’t bash the author. You don’t have to sugarcoat things, but you’re still respectful.
  • You have good interaction with your readers (people comment on your blog and you reply back).

Again, this isn’t a firm set of rules; these are guidelines that I estimated and put together. Different publishers have different priorities. Some focus solely on page view numbers and follower reach, while others care more about the quality of your reviews.

And, of course, there are exceptions to every rule. You may only be blogging for 3 months, but you might have made huge strides in the blogging community so publishers send you ARCs. That’s great! Although that is probably the small minority of bloggers.

The important thing to understand is that ARCs are not free to make. They cost more to produce than finished books do (since they are purchased in smaller quantities). Don’t be mad if a publisher doesn’t send you ARCs, because at the end of the day, ARCs are for marketing. They are spending money on making these books, and they need to send them to places that will help with their marketing campaigns. That’s why they usually go to more popular blogs.

How do I get in touch with publishers?

I have compiled a list of publisher e-mail addresses you can use. This information is freely available online by Googling the publisher and finding their publicity contacts. These are not my personal contacts. If you get a reply back from the publisher, it will be from a person’s e-mail address (instead of publicity@publisher.com it will be someones.name@publisher.com)—that is your contact, and that’s not an e-mail address you want to share with people out of respect for that publisher.

Everything I post here can be found publicly online, I just compiled it in one easy-to-find place.

Looking for another publisher?

If the publisher you’re interested in isn’t listed here, go to their website and look for a “Contact Us” page. They usually have a list of contacts and you’re looking for the “Publicity” e-mail address!

What do I say in the e-mail?

Remember, when you request an ARC you are basically asking the publisher to make an investment in you. They send you a book for free (which costs them money to make and ship), and in exchange they’re hoping to receive publicity for their book. So make sure you be polite, be courteous, and give them the facts.

Essential Information to Include

  • Your name
  • The name of your blog
  • Your blog’s URL
  • The genres you read/review
  • What book title(s) you are interested in
  • Any extra information about the books (Did you read the first one in the series? If so, link to the review. Did you feature the book in a Waiting on Wednesday post? If so, link to the post.)
  • Statistics about your page views and follower counts
  • Your full shipping address

Sample E-Mail

I do not recommend that you copy this directly, just because I think it’s a bit lame to use someone else’s words in your e-mail. But this gives you a good idea of what format you should use in your e-mails!

Hello HarperTeen!

My name is Ashley and I own a book blog called Nose Graze ( https://www.nosegraze.com ). I would love the opportunity to receive the following books to read and review on my blog:

  • The Elite by Kiera Cass
  • Life After Theft by Aprilynne Pike

I regularly review dystopian, contemporary, sci-fi, and romance books on my blog, and I feel that the above two would be a perfect fit! I read and loved The Selection and you can read my review of it here. I also featured The Elite in a Waiting on Wednesday post!.

Here’s some more information about my blog’s statistics:

  • 4,500 unique visitors per month
  • 450 page views per day
  • 650 e-mail/RSS subscribers
  • 1500 Twitter followers
  • 845 Facebook fans
  • All of my reviews get posted on my blog, Amazon, Goodreads, and also get advertised on my Twitter/Facebook accounts.

Just in case, here is my shipping address:

{shipping address}

Thanks so much for your consideration!

Sincerely,
Ashley
https://www.nosegraze.com

What happens now?

A Sometimes the publisher will e-mail you back to say that the ARC is on its way (or that they have none left, etc.).

B Other times, they might never reply to you but you will eventually get the ARC in the mail! Publishers receive hundreds of e-mails a day and they don’t always have time to reply.

C Or, they might not reply, and you might not get an ARC either. The publisher might decide to not send you the ARC because you don’t have enough followers, or because there are none left, or for any other reason. If this happens, don’t despair! Spend a few more weeks working on growing and improving your blog and then try again.

After you start sending in requests, the publisher might decide to put you on their mailing list! This means they might start sending you ARCs that you haven’t even requested! You don’t necessarily have to review these, but it is nice if you give them a chance! The publishers just send you books they feel you might be interested in. However, if you do request a book, please do review it. If you specifically request a book but do not review it then you are wasting the publisher’s time and money!

Let’s wrap things up

Just to summarize what we’ve gone over so far:

  • It costs publishers money to make physical ARCs and to ship them out. Don’t feel like you’re “entitled” to them. They are a privilege and a marketing tool. Publishers send them out to create buzz, hype, and to get the word out about their titles.
  • Don’t e-mail publishers until your blog is established.
  • When you e-mail publishers, always include plenty of information about your blog, your statistics, and include your shipping address!
  • Don’t spam publishers with more e-mails if you don’t hear back.
  • Read and review the books you request. Don’t waste publishers’ time and money by requesting books and not reviewing them.

That being said, good luck, have fun, and enjoy the ARCs! Remember that it’s not the end of the world if you don’t get approved for physical review copies. There are still sites like NetGalley and Edelweiss, and they usually have plenty of review copies available!

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I'm a 27 year old California girl living in England (I fell in love with a Brit!). I like to inject a little #girlpower into the WordPress development community by teaching women how to be coding badasses. more »

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49 comments

  1. Great (and helpful) post! I always find that I have a hard time getting a hold of physical ARCs, as I live in Canada. It’s not impossible though. But, definitely more challenging.

    Sam recently posted: Newsday Tuesday!
  2. This is extremely helpful, Ashley! I’ve been hesitant to ask for ARCs, mostly because my blog is too young for now, but also because I’m worried about the reception on the other end. I’m not totally familar with the publishing industry, but this is an awesome start for when I begin thinking about requesting ARCs.

    Janita @ Book, Interrupted recently posted: Top Ten Tuesdays! (14)
  3. Great information here, although I do have a question. When should we request the arcs,from the expected publish date? For example, if I were to request “The One (sequel to the Elite) by Kiera Cass, which is expected out next april 2014, When should I send in the request for an arc? When is too soon or too late? Thank you so much for sharing all this.

    Jay @ Vailia's Page Turner recently posted: TGIF Weekly 19
  4. Great information! Quick question, when you receive an ARC and write about it, is there a proper way (or a necessity) to acknowledge that’s how you received the book? For example, I know fashion bloggers will say “top c/o such-and-such company”.
    Thanks!

  5. Great post, thank you so much for the info! One question : how do you know what ARCS are available to be requested? Do the publishers post this anywhere?

    1. Publishers usually don’t have any kind of list out. The general rule is that if there’s a book you want, you should just mail in a request for it 3-4 months before its publication date. That’s when publishers start thinking about sending out ARCs. πŸ™‚

    1. You can certainly contact Australian publishers and ask for ARCs. πŸ™‚

      It’s unlikely that US publishers would send you books due to territory rights (and shipping costs, but mostly territory rights). But there are typically Australian divisions of major publishers that you can contact.

  6. Love the post! I was curious if you have any advice for people who are just beginning their blogs and are interested in receiving these said ARCS, I’m sure one would have to build their website but are there tips or tricks on how to acquire more followers? Thank you!!

    1. Hi Jessica πŸ™‚

      The two best tips I can offer are:

      1) Focus on posting quality, unique content. Here’s my post on what a quality blog post is.

      2) Engage in the community. There’s no one single/best way to do this. Just find a place or social media site you enjoy, and engage with people there. Examples might be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. You don’t have to be on ALL of those. Just pick one or two you really like and get super active on there. Don’t focus on promoting your posts, but focus on engaging with other people. Form relationships. I promise that will feed back into your blog. πŸ˜‰

  7. Thank you for this very well written post! This was exactly what I was looking for. Its good to know I’m definitely not popular enough to receive ARCs and I can work on that before I request ARCs. But I will attempt for eARCs, and I’ll continue to grow my blog πŸ™‚

  8. This helped me so much! I’m new to the YA community and would like to contribute a little more and this post really helped me!! Thanks!!!

  9. This has been super helpful!! Thank you πŸ™‚ I’m still building up my blog and am thinking of requesting for Arcs soon πŸ™‚

  10. This post may be 3 years old but it’s still so-very helpful (:
    I’ve only very recently (2 months ago) started a blog. Your post really made me get the idea of how to go about receiving ARCs. And I now know I have lots to do before I can get some amazing ARCs to review on my blog. But I’ll do my best to get there!
    Maintaining a blog is hard work but every time I write a post, every time I review a book, every time I get a comment… I smile. Because I’m having fun. And that’s the most important thing (:

    1. Yes! Having fun is definitely the most important thing. ARCs are lovely, but certainly not “necessary” to be a book blogger. πŸ™‚ The most you can do is ask nicely, but if you don’t get them, it’s not a big deal. You can always buy the books or get them from the library!

  11. This article is super helpful! I just started my blog a few weeks ago, and I have found reviewing books to be one of my favorite parts! I think your advice will help me to get some awesome ARCs to read and review!

  12. This was so helpful Ashley! I really want to write up a similar post with publisher contacts for the UK in a compiled list – so many blog posts only have US links!

    I’ve only recently started looking into requesting physical copies, as I currently review a lot of E-Arcs through Edelweiss and Netgalley!

    Anyway, this was really helpful as usual!

  13. This is an amazing post. I loved it!!
    Can you also do a post on how to get twitter followers? I’m basically new to the blogging world and I’m struggling to get followers.
    Thankyou!

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