Hello, fellow readers! I am continuing on with my Books on a Budget series today with what I consider to be the most requested way to acquire books. I am a member of the Booksparks Booksharks Facebook group, and new bookstagrammers and bloggers are constantly asking, “How do I receive ARCs from publishers?” I do plan to write a more detailed blog series on this soon, but I did want to include it in this blog series.
The easiest way to acquire ARCs, especially when you are new to reviewing books, is to join NetGalley or Edelweiss. I have had the most success with NetGalley, and the general consensus in the bookish community is Edelweiss is harder to get approved through.
Because I do plan to write another series on acquiring ARCs, I will not go in to too many details on using these sites, but I did want to give you a few tips for first starting out on NetGalley:
1. Find Titles in the “Read Now” Section
Caution: Do NOT go crazy in this section like I did.
When first joining NetGalley, you need to create your profile and then head over to the “Read Now” section of the website. There are tons of books just waiting for you to review and you immediately get approved to read the book. I went crazy and requested close to a dozen books when I first joined because I did not truly understand how to use NetGalley. Many of the books were releasing in less than two weeks, and there was no way I could read and review them all by then!
2. Keep Your Feedback Ratio Above 80%
If you request a bunch of books and then never review them, your feedback ratio on your profile will reflect this. So if you request ten books and only read and review two of them, your feedback ratio is 20%. Publishers are going to be less likely to work with you if you are not holding up your end of the bargain to write a review for these ARCs. Currently, my ratio is 70%, which is lower than I want, but I have been working my way up after finally reviewing some titles I requested last year.
Honestly, I have found physical ARCs to be a bit harder to come by. It was several months before I finally got up the courage to email a publisher and request a book! I started bookstagram in May 2018 and my blog in June 2018. I finally emailed a publisher in August 2018 to request a book I really wanted. I did not get the book I wanted the most, but I did receive a finished copy of another book I was interested in. A month later, I requested two books from another publisher. I never heard back from them or received a copy of either book.
The thing to remember about requesting ARCs from publishers is that you most likely will never hear from them one way or another. The books either show up or they don’t. Because I have not received many ARCs in this way, I don’t have many tips, but here is what I can share with you:
1. Include Stats About Your Blog/Instagram
Publishers want to know why they should send you a copy of this book. Let them know how many followers you have on your accounts. Include links to everything and make sure you are active on these accounts.
2. Include Your Mailing Address
In your email, include your full name and mailing address. If the publisher does decide to send you the book(s) you requested, this will cut down on time. Plus, publishers don’t have time to email you back and forth to get all of the information they need. So save them the trouble by including it up front.
3. Send Your Request to the Correct Email
You will have to do some digging to find the correct email address. Publishers have many imprints, and you want to make sure your request goes to the correct person. Usually there is a link at the bottom of their webpage for contacting them. They will usually post which email is for media inquiries or review copy requests.
I know this was very short, but I do want to write a full series on requesting ARCs when I have more success and can share what worked for me. Do not get discouraged if you request books and never receive them! I have only received one physical book that I directly requested from a publisher in one year blogging!