Hello, everyone! You know how I’ve written not so long ago a post about reading slumps, well I figured out that I could also write ARCs 101 and I’m going to try to make a detailed post about everything you should know when it comes to Advance Review Copies from what they are, how you can get them, the pros and cons of them and so much more. Stick with me, hope it’s going to be a fun ride!
What is an ARC?
ARC is the abbreviation for Advance Review Copy, they are an uncorrected edition of an upcoming release that publishers usually send to bloggers, booktubers, librarians, booksellers and more. Its main purpose is for marketing, people that get ARCs for free will promote the book and spread the word about the new release therefore making more people buy it and read it.
There are also two types of ARCs : physical ARCs – which obviously means you get a physical copy of the book and e-ARC, which is an electronic copy.
I’m an international book blogger, which mostly means it’s harder for me to get ARCs – especially physical ones because I can’t go to book conventions, there are lots of publishers who can’t ship to my country. But I also feel like I get lots of ARCs taking these things into account. This list is made up by publishers that I’ve worked with before, so I can guarantee that they work with international bloggers.
Publishers that work with international bloggers and their contact info :
Macmillan US : firstname.lastname@example.org – they’ve been very nice to me each time.
Pan Macmillan : email@example.com – check their requirements before requesting ARCs from them though.
Penguin Random House : here is a form specifically for international bloggers.
Abrams : firstname.lastname@example.org – I’m sure they give ARCs in Europe, but I’m not sure about other regions.
Hot Key Books : they regularly do bloggers call outs on their Twitter, so you might want to follow them there and be on the lookout for their next blogger call. Also, I think this might be available just for Europe.
Usborne Publishing – they have a contact form that you can use (x), they replied to me within a day and they were really kind, so don’t worry about them not getting your message through the form.
I also know that HarperCollins works with international bloggers and I’ve heard this is their email : email@example.com. I haven’t had much luck with them, but maybe you do!
Besides that, I know for certain that people at Simon & Schuster send e-ARCs to international bloggers. Whenever I worked with them, I looked for a certain ARC and got the correct contact info from the author’s contact page. I think you have a better chance to get the e-ARC by doing this instead of sending a message to their publicity team.
Netgalley and Edelweiss
These two sites are amazing even though they sometimes can be very unfair to international bloggers. Also, if a book you want a lot is on wish for you, I’d suggest you try to contact the publisher because they might agree to send you a Netgalley widget which would give you immediate access to the book.
Authors might reach out to you if you have a review policy and some contact information on your blog. I’d recommend you to specify the genres you’re interested in reading, so you don’t receive emails with books that you’re unlikely to read.
What to include in your email
Besides the usual (your name, address, blog link, social media links, stats), you should also include some essential information as in : genres you usually review on your blog, books that you previously reviewed from the publisher, why you are interested in the ARC you’re requesting (what intrigues you about the plot, about the characters).
Also, let publishers know that you would be okay with an e-ARC if they can’t send you a physical copy if that’s the case. You have more chances to get the book if you do this, just trust me!
Also, Edelweiss has great catalogues that you can use to see what books each publisher is going to release and whether they have ARCs for them or not. These are very helpful and I’d recommend you use them!
Pros and Cons
Well, ARCs seem very shiny at first and you’ll probably be lulled to them like a sailor to a siren’s song because it’s a nice feeling when you get to read a book before it’s published. I know that at first, it seemed like such a huge achievement for me that I’d read that book before everyone else (or almost everyone else). But there are obvious cons to getting ARCs, for example : you might get a little too excited (especially if your requests are being accepted) and request too many review copies and then struggle to read them.
There’s also the issue that ARCs make us forget all about the poor backlist books. I haven’t read a backlist book in a while and sometimes I feel so bad about only reviewing ARCs on here, I’M SORRY GUYS ABOUT THIS, but I just have lots of them to read and review. They just took over my reading life and it’s totally my fault for not being keeping my requesting habits under control.
Also, there are some people who don’t like reviewing ARCs at all and they are totally valid. There isn’t just one stance on review copies and everyone is different. I know that I was super happy and enthusiast about them when I first started and while I still want to help authors a lot, sometimes reading ARCs can be very stressful especially if the request is accepted very late and I only have 3 days to read a book. It can be a lot. Just don’t be afraid to take a break when you feel like doing it.
Then there’s the privilege that comes with getting them, ARCs are mostly obtained by US bloggers, some Europeans bloggers also fare better than others, diverse readers don’t get as many chances to read books that represent them as they should. That’s all quite upsetting and I think everyone responds differently to it. I know when I first started, I’ve heard some US bloggers talk about how international bloggers don’t get ARCs and how we should just understand that and move on (don’t think every US book blogger is like this because I know lots of US book bloggers who are very supportive of international bloggers and I’m so thankful for them. I don’t want to generalize things in any way.) and it frustrated me to no end, but it also motivated me to try and grow my blog and reach out to publishers and promote books a lot. I know I probably had it a lot easier than many of you, but all I’m saying is that if you’re interested in ARCs and you’re an international book blogger, don’t give up!
I believe in you and I believe there are authors and publishers who want their books to reach a wider audience and impact readers from all the corners of the world.
International Book Bloggers Spreadsheet
Right now I’m working on a spreadsheet with international book bloggers that want to review and promote books. I’ll probably keep on adding bloggers on the list for a few days before I try to find authors and publishers who are interested in working with international book bloggers, so if you want to be on it, reply on Twitter, please!
Also, if you’re an US blogger and you want to help spread the word, RTs are most than appreciated!
Do you have some tips for bloggers who want to request ARCs?
Any publisher that you’d like to add to my list?