By: Melanie | January 16, 2016 | (59) Comments

midnight blogging 101

Midnight Blogging 101 is a sporadic feature where we share advice, tips and tricks for your blog.

———

Hello people of the universe! Sorry about our absence over the past few days. Our web host – RFE Hosting – had some issues with hackers and all the sites they look after went down, ours being one of them. BUUUUT that issue was fixed yesterday, thankfully, and we are back!

(completely intentional .gif choice because THE 100 IS COMING BACK SOON AND I AM SO READY)

Anyhow, it has been half a year ago since I did a tips and tricks post so I thought it was time. And today? We are talking about ARCs!

How do you get arcs if you’re international? – Jenna

How to be as successful as you guys? how do you ask for ARCs and when? – Anonymous

how to get an ARC or free copies. I live in Indonesia, so it’s kinda hard to get publishers send copies to my country, I’ve tried asking once, and they said they don’t send out copies abroad. Do you have any suggestions? – Anonymous

thingaboutarcs

 What is an ARC?

If you’re thinking this…MinorMajorArcs_700

you are incorrect.

In the book world, ARC stands for Advanced Reader’s Copy. It is an uncorrected proof/manuscript that is usually bound into book form and is then sent out from the publishers to the media (booksellers, librarians, book reviewers such as The New York Times or book bloggers etc.) before the actual release of the book. The purpose of sending these out to the media is so that they can read + review the book in advance to help build attention on a certain upcoming release.

They often look something like this:

  

But, they can also just be a finished copy that is given to a member of the media ahead of the book’s official release date. It really differs from publisher to publisher and country to country.

ARCs and Obligations

If you request an ARC, it is expected that you do read the ARC/review copy and write an honest review in exchange. Seems like common sense, but there are people who think that they can just request ARCs for their own benefit. ARCs are to provide further publicity for a book, and if you cannot do that, then don’t go around asking for ARCs. ARCs may be sent to you free of charge (apart from the expectation that you write a review), but they are sure as hell not free to make. In fact, ARCs can cost as much as it does to make the final book. Requesting an ARC is like signing a contract saying that you will, in the best of your ability, provide an honest review for the book if the publisher were to send it to you.

Of course, if the ARC/review copy is sent to you unsolicited (meaning you didn’t request it, the publisher just thought you might like it) then you should not feel pressured to review it if you don’t want to. When I first started receiving unsolicited books for review, I got it into my head that I had to read and review every single one of them – but that isn’t the case! That simply took the joy out of reviewing for me. Never feel that you must review unsolicited review copies – but if you can and want to, then go ahead!

When Should I Start Requesting ARCs?

Please please PLEASE do not start a book blog for the sole purpose of ‘getting free books’. Book blogging is a hobby, a passion, and while getting ARCs does sound amazing, they’re only one of the gazillion benefits you get out of book blogging.

Personally, I wouldn’t recommend you to start requesting ARCs from publishers/publicists until you’ve been blogging for at least 6 months. The reason why I say this, is that many publishers will not send you books until you have been blogging for some time – and the main reason for this is because it shows you are dedicated. Anyone can start a blog, but to actually maintain it for over 6 months is hella hard, it shows you’re 100% into this, that you have experience with reviewing. Publishers will feel confident in sending you a book for review if you’ve got the passion + experience. 

Do Statistics/No. of Readers Matter?

Yes, statistics DO matter in regards to requesting ARCs. If a publisher/publicist is to send you a book to read + review, how is this going to help build up the attention/hype for this book? A blog with relatively large numbers of readers can do this. Publishers are in a way, investing in you. They send you an ARC -> you read it and review it honestly on your blog -> readers of your blog see this -> maybe they’ll become interested in the book -> buy it the next time they see it at a bookstore.

I wrote a post on getting more people to read your blog, which hopefully you’ll find helpful in terms of gaining readership and page views.

Along with having 6 months of blogging experience, I wouldn’t recommend you request any books for review until you have at least 100 followers. The higher amount of followers you have, the more likely the publishers will want to send you an ARC for review.

So Then… HOW do I Request a Book for Review?

I still remember sending in my first request for an ARC and I was COMPLETELY terrified. I feared the rejection and once I sent the email I was basically refreshing my inbox ever 5 seconds. Yup.

Things to note before sending in an ARC review request:

  • Publishers/publicists are super busy! Trust me, I completed 2 work experience placements at 2 different publishing houses last year and they got emails every 2 minutes. No joke. So don’t be sitting at your computer refreshing your inbox every 5 seconds because chances are, they might not respond until the next day or hell, next week. In fact, they might never respond! They might even read your email request and send you the book without replying, because they’re just that busy. But, this could also mean they won’t be sending you the ARC. And that’s okay too.
  • Rejection sucks, but it’s nothing to fret over. Publishers might not send you an ARC for a number of reasons, they might’ve not seen your email, they might’ve run out of ARCs to send out, they might have hella high expectations in terms of blog statistics… the list is endless. The best thing to do is just accept it and move on – it isn’t the end of the world. You can always try a different publisher!
  • If you don’t get a reply to your request, you can send up a follow-up email. I would wait 2 weeks until doing this, as I have had instances where I get responses to my emails 2 weeks later. When sending a follow-up email, don’t just ask them if they saw your ‘previous email’. In most cases, the publicist already has forgotten what you are referring to as they get a large volume of emails daily. I reckon your best bet is to also include your previous email (by forwarding it) or rewriting it altogether in that follow-up email. Don’t badger them, though, one follow-up email is more than enough. You can always try again in another 3-4 months with a request for a different title.
  • Keep your email within reasonable length. Don’t make it too long, as publicists don’t have all day to read your request, but not too short either, as otherwise, you may not seem sincere enough.
  • Always provide your mailing address at the end of the email in your request. Some publicists might want to send you the book, but might not have time to ask you for your address, hence, ignore your request altogether.
  • Keep your email professional. Not too formal, of course, but not too casual either.
  • Only send an email request to publishing houses in your own country. I live in Australia, so I send requests to only Australian publishing houses. Most publishing houses don’t send abroad due to rights/permissions and crazy high shipping fees. There are some publishers who do, but those are few in number – I’ll talk more about this later on.

So, I haven’t sent in an ARC request in FOREVER (as now I am on a number of publicists’ mailing lists so I just simply ask them for a title without sending in my stats + intro about me) but if this is your first time interacting with a certain publisher, this is how it should probably go (this is just a rough template that I whipped up):

Dear [insert publicist’s name here],

I hope you are well.

My name is [insert name]. I’m a passionate [insert genre, for me, I would write YA] book blogger/reviewer from [insert country]. I am just writing to request [insert book title + author here – you can request more than one ARC, but I wouldn’t request more than 3 at once, otherwise you’d seem greedy even if you’re not trying to be!] from your [insert publishing imprint here – if you know it] imprint if you have it available for review? [Include a sentence explaining why you want to read the ARC.]

I regularly post book reviews, discussion posts and blog tips over at my blog, [insert blog name here, ensure you link them to it as well]. I have been blogging for [insert number of months/years], and try to make my reviews are honest as possible. Here’s sample review that I wrote recently on [insert book title + hyperlink], if you’d like.

My blog statistics are:

[insert your blog statistics here in dot point form – feel free to include your statistics for Instagram, Twitter, Goodreads etc. as well]

My mailing address is:

[insert address/PO Box address here]

Thank you for your time and consideration!

Best,

[insert full name]

Where do I Find Contact Information to Reach Publishers?

So Mel, you told us how to write a review request but how do I actually find all the publicists’ email addresses??

Normally, on the publishers’ website, you can find the email address where you can send your review request to. Sometimes this takes a lot of searching and link-clicking, but most publishing houses’ websites are pretty easy to navigate. Also, sometimes you’ll have the direct email to a certain publicist whereas other times you’ll be directed to an email something along the lines of: publicity@publishinghouse.com. Both are fine.

Usually, if you go to the publishers’ website of the book you want to request, head to the very bottom of the homepage, you’ll find a ‘contact us’ link or a ‘media/publicity’ link. Click on that, and you should find the email you need in order to send your ARC request.

But What About International Bloggers?

Now, unfortunately, most publishing houses are situated in the US, the UK, and Australia, and aren’t willing to send books abroad. So what about all the international bloggers? Where can you guys get ARCs? I’m not an international blogger, so I can’t exactly offer any insider tips, but I do know of some US publishers who do send ARCs abroad to INTL bloggers, but (I imagine) you would have to have rather high stats in order for this to happen.

List of publishers that I know send ARCs internationally:

Of course, aside from print ARCs, eARCs are also a great idea for all bloggers!

eARCs – What Are They and Where Do I Get Them?

eARCs are basically digital formats of ARCs. You can request them on Edelweiss or Netgalley from the publishers, and once they approve your request, you can download it onto your e-reader, computer or mobile device! Bless technology *nods*

Hopefully y’all find this to be helpful! Don’t forget though – ARCs are just one of the benefits of book blogging and do not let them consume your whole life! Also, our co-blogger applications are closing on the 18th of Jan

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Melanie

Owner (and crazy nut) at YA Midnight Reads
Melanie is one of the totally fabulous bloggers at YA Midnight Reads. She's a 16 year old student from Melbourne, Australia. She is normally found binge watching TV series, reading , blogging, procrastinating or fangirling about how Percabeth is the best ship ever. She's also a lover of caps lock and uses it excessively.

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59 Responses to Midnight Blogging 101: The Thing About ARCs

  1. Ella says:

    This is such a fabulous post for people that have no idea how to to go about requesting ARCS! ^.^ When I first started requesting ARCS this time last year I would’ve KILLED for a post like this to explain it all to me! I had absolutely no idea really but even reading this post now has given me tips I can use in the future!

    Wonderful post, Mel! <3
    Ella recently posted…Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club by Alsion Goodma :: could i have a second slice please?!My Profile

  2. This is super helpful Mel! Thank you. 😀
    Bieke @ Istyria book blog recently posted…{Bieke Reviews} Revenge and The Wild by Michelle ModestoMy Profile

  3. Loved this post! Really liked how you used math in a post!! 😀 But yeah, I’ve been confused for quite some time as to how to get in touch with publishers and this has been the only post I’ve seen that’s actually outlined it 🙂 Thanks!
    Geraldine @ Corralling Books recently posted…Truthwitch by Susan DennardMy Profile

  4. great posts. love your tips.

  5. I am not big on printed ARCs, I prefer finished printed copies and in healthy doses. But this post is truly awesome and I am sure it is going to help new bloggers a lot 🙂
    And I am an international blogger outside US, UK or Australia and until you are true friend with author or publisher, there is no chance of getting printed ARCs. At least I never heard of any non-US/UK/Australian blogger getting printed ARCs in english.
    Lucia @Reading Is My Breathing recently posted…REVIEW: 5 REASONS THAT MAKE TRUTHWITCH BY SUSAN DENNARD YOUR NEXT BOOK-HUNGOVER-WORTHY READMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Really? Because a lot of my INTL blogger friends get print ARCs from HarperCollins and Macmillan. I’m sure you can too if you approach them!

      Thanks, Lucia <33

  6. This post is so helpful! My blog is still new, so I didn’t feel comfortable requesting ARC’s yet, I wasn’t even sure when to start or how to do it! This definitely clears things up, thank you so much!
    Maya @ Suddenly Inundated recently posted…Why Should Everyone Write?My Profile

  7. This post is phenomenal! I’ve recently moved from South Africa to the UK and I’ve been emailing a couple of publishing companies this week as I’d like to be sent review books like I did in South Africa and I was also refreshing my inbox constantly to see if they had replied haha, but if I don’t hear back from them it’s not the end of the world. Love this post! 🙂
    Kyra @ Blog of a Bookaholic recently posted…The Boy Who Sailed the Ocean in an Armchair by Lara Williamson captured my heartMy Profile

  8. Great post for new bloggers! I like that you note bloggers should try and blog for around 6 months and get around 100 followers before they request. This is a great tip because publishers want to know you won’t get these books and then not review them or review them to an audience of one or two people -which, sadly, isn’t really helping.
    ShootingStarsMag recently posted…Unique Formatting Challenge: Book Ideas!My Profile

  9. Thank you so much for the super informative post. I have been blogging for just over a year now and I have gradually increased my followers. I have never been clear on exactly how to request the physical ARCs, so this helps. I am international so I appreciate the tips on the publishers who send out ARCs internationally. Great post!
    Cynthia @ Bingeing On Books recently posted…BOOK REVIEW: Maybe In Another Life by Taylor Jenkins ReidMy Profile

  10. I have been book blogging for about three years so I’m quite familiar with the process, but I have to say this is the most informative and helpful guides for ARCs and reaching out to publishers that I have ever seen. If only I had something like this when I started out! That sample email would have been great. And I was also totally under the impression that I need to read all those unsolicited ARCs too, until I realized I wasn’t obligated!
    Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum recently posted…Mogsy’s Bookshelf Roundup: Stacking the Shelves & Recent ReadsMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Awwww *blushes* that is very nice of you to say, Mogsy! Honestly I wish I had something like this when I started out as well! Would’ve made life so much easier.

  11. I’m so glad that technical problems are sold. Interesting post, Mel. I remember when I was a newbie blogger it took me awhile to get what ARC was. Lol. I think this post is very helpful and informative.
    Ksenia @ Something Delicate recently posted…Audio Obsession #6. Favorite narrators.My Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Yeah same! It was starting to really stress me out after two days of being down! Yeah when I just started out I was so flippin confused about what ARCs were, had to pretty much learn as I went.

  12. I wish I had this post when I started blogging! So informative and full of such great information. xD Thanks for putting this together Mel, and, as always, fabulous post! <3
    Zoe @ Stories on Stage recently posted…Their Fractured LightMy Profile

  13. Inas says:

    This is great!!!
    You really answered my question!
    And that mailing format is really truly helpful!
    I already got many eARCs by the time i read this, though..
    Some authors even messaged me first!
    But thus post sure helps a lot!
    Thank you Mel!
    Inas recently posted…GIVEAWAY: Life After The Undead by Pembroke SinclairMy Profile

  14. This is a super helpful post that I would have loved to have to read when I was starting out!

  15. Kelly says:

    This is a great post introducing ARCs! I’ve been book blogging for a while (does three years qualify as a while?Is it like dog years?) When I started I didn’t really know that ARCs were a thing, I remember they were a super strange concept to me when I first discovered them. While they’re a great bonus, but the definitely aren’t the best part of being a book blogger! That award probably goes to the community (which is generally pretty fantastic).
    Kelly recently posted…Review: These Shallow GravesMy Profile

  16. I wish there was something like this when I first starting blogging. I am going into my 5th year and still I am sometimes clueless haha.
    ARC’s are amazing things but at the start I requested so many and it was crazy.

    Thanks for the post
    Angel @Angel Reads recently posted…TV Series Review: Shadowhunters Ep1My Profile

  17. Super helpful, thank you Melanie! I guess I could qualify but I’ve never tried. Getting ARCs would be so cool (and it took me so long to figure out what they were, I honestly used to not understand why book bloggers were so into geometry. I have one other question: are there expectations for how long it will take you to review the book or is it just before the publishing date?
    Shar@weavingwaveswords recently posted…Mini-reviews: Immaculate, Pretending to be Erica, The Girl With All the Gifts, Paper TownsMy Profile

  18. Awesome post, Mel! And I’m pretty sure I saw somewhere that ARCs are MORE expensive than regular copies – I certainly cherish mine. And I was such a terrible blogger to start with that I didn’t request ARCs for a year and a half…didn’t occur to me to comment on other blogs for some strange reason.
    Emily @ Loony Literate recently posted…The Latest Adventures: Camping, Caving and Attempting to Rewrite WanderlandMy Profile

  19. I TOTALLY AGREE WITH THIS POST. *nods emphatically* I think I started requesting ARCs when I hit that lucky 100 mark…and now I’m rather flooded with them and barely request. xD hehe, which I think is okay?! I mean bloggers wants for ARCs wax and wane, so it’s probably good and spreads the ARC availabiltiy around! I’m really relieved you said that about unsolicited ARCs though. *gulps* I get them a lot and usually they’re books I wouldn’t touch with a 10 ft pole…but I still read review them. I feel bad about giving them low ratings though. D: Is a bad rating worse than no rating? I HAVE NO IDEA. *collapses* I didn’t know about those INT publishing houses though!! That’s really cool!
    Cait @ Paper Fury recently posted…How To (Nicely) Attack People With Friendship On The InternetMy Profile

  20. This is a great post, Mel! I agree with what you said about making sure you’re intentions are well when starting a blog – it’s more work then it looks! And, like you said, while ARCs are free for us, they’re aren’t for the kind publishers that send them to us. They deserve gratitude and a review.
    Rachel Lightwood recently posted…{Bieke Reviews} Revenge and The Wild by Michelle ModestoMy Profile

  21. I remember your first ARC requesting post that you wrote several years ago and finding that really helpful! This is such an awesome post Mel with lots of useful tips! Thanks for sharing!
    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence recently posted…The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey – Book & Movie ReviewMy Profile

  22. MARYAM says:

    This is really helpful and I have been looking for this exact blog post everywhere and this post has answered all my questions. THANK YOU

  23. Awesome post Mel! The world of ARC’s can be a tricky one to navigate, especially for new bloggers, so I can see this being a really helpful post. I definitely learnt something with the international publishing houses as well. Thanks for sharing lovely 🙂

  24. Such a fabulous post!! I absolutely had no idea about how to request ARCs when I first started blogging. I’d have killed for such a post! All your tips would be really helpful for newbie bloggers 🙂

  25. Valerie says:

    This post is SUPER INFORMATIVE. I feel like it would definitely help anyone looking to request ARCs from publishers. I’m too lazy to go through the whole email process, so I just rely more on eARCs and book events, which works fine with me!

    Awesome post Mel!
    Valerie recently posted…An Innocent Life: ALAMW 2016, Christmas, And The New YearMy Profile

  26. Aubrey says:

    Thanks for all the great information! 🙂

  27. Lexa Cain says:

    Super post, Mel. I know a bunch of people who get books from NetGalley. If you’re a regular person and not a book blogger, you can also request books from LibraryThing and Freado and are expected to review on Amazon and share the book via social media. (As someone who put some “free” books on LibraryThing, It’s been my experience that only about 30% of the people who get the books actually write a review.) Have a great week!
    Lexa Cain recently posted…Celebrate: 1 Down, 2 To Go & Giveaways!My Profile

  28. This is a fantastic summary of the process. I’m learning about it to, but from the other side of the table! Right now my publisher is getting ready to send out ARCs, and it is so crazy watching who they give them too and trying to figure out the marketing logic behind the particular book bloggers and reviewers they pick. I’m so happy that anyone who is dedicated to reading and book blogging has a chance to build a following and start getting this (which, as you say, is just one of many perks) Great post!

  29. Alise says:

    What a great, informational post! I find the ARC world still a little tricky to navigate so this is a nice post for those who are looking for information or even a refresher.
    Alise recently posted…DNF Review: Sword and Verse by Kathy MacMillanMy Profile

  30. Fabulous post! I think you did an amazing job summarizing it, and being realistic- which is SO important. I waited a year before even requesting via EW and NG, but I am kind of ridiculous 😉 And requesting physical is definitely daunting. Here’s a question that I have asked people but no one seems to know the “best” answer: What do you put in the email subject? I have had debates over this with friends, so I am just curious as to what you do 😉
    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight recently posted…Review- I See Reality: Twelve Short Stories About Real LifeMy Profile

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    shopping recently posted…shoppingMy Profile

  32. Wendy says:

    SUCH a helpful post, thank you Mel! I made my first successful request of an ARC recently (and it’s a book I’ve been anticipating for months as well) – I don’t have a book blog, but I contribute to a site with personal reflections on pop culture. I got lucky though because it was the author who I emailed (she specified so in her newsletter), so I got a really quick response, and even though it’s an American publisher they’re willing to ship to Australia. Yay! 😀
    Wendy recently posted…“Unless all the voices of our culture are in the history of art, it’s not really a history of art,…”My Profile

  33. Fabulous post! Physical ARCs isn’t something I’m looking for but getting to read books I’m excited for early KS great so I’m on Edelweiss. I might sign up for Penguin’s mailing list sometime though because I want to read Traci Chee’s debut. I think they send intl but I’m not sure, so just a side note! Super helpful guide!
    Alyssa @ The Devil Orders Takeout recently posted…7 Types of Villain Deaths: Which is the best of them?My Profile

  34. Yarravy says:

    Really interesting post! I didn’t really know what ARCs were and what they meant until recently. This was really interesting and really informative 🙂 I completely agree with you on the ‘don’t blog for ARCs’ thing’, blogging itself is amazing and it should be done because you enjoy it.

  35. “Please please PLEASE do not start a book blog for the sole purpose of ‘getting free books’.” Exactlyyy. I know of people who want to blog JUST for the arcs that that’s so doscouraging 🙁 What happened to connecting with other readers?! What happened to sharing your love for reading with the world?!

    But I digress. Loved your post! Although I don’t request many ARCS because I don’t like the pressure 😛
    Marianne @ Boricuan Bookworms recently posted…Reviews: Shadows and Haze by Paula WestonMy Profile

  36. Thank you for the info, very handy! I didn’t join for ARCs but I might like to request one someday.

  37. This post was super informative! Thank you very much. As I’m a new book blogger I was always quite confused when people started talking about ARCs but now I finally understand what the meaning of this is! Great explanation and tips.

  38. Great post with good info 🙂 I did ARCs with my previous blog, but this time around I’m not bothering with them. I’ve actually decided to not include reviews at all on my blog and instead I’m focusing on bookish discussions and just doing my own thing. But, if someone enjoys writing reviews, then ARCs are definitely something to look into!

  39. Great post! I think a lot of people will have all their questions answered now 😀 This would have been really helpful in the beginning of my blogging career.
    Mel@thedailyprophecy recently posted…101 survival guide: how to conquer your internet apocalypse.My Profile

  40. Pingback: Selling ARCs | Discussion | Princessica of Books

  41. This is a great post and very informative. I wish I had this when I first started blogging because I just sort of dove in head first and figured things out as I went. It wasn’t until 4 years later that I actually sent an email in to a publisher for a review copy of a book. Up until that point I had pretty much just stuck with NetGalley.

  42. Ines Ninous says:

    Thank you so much for your amazing tips, I have been looking for publishers who ship to foreign countries, but no results TILL NOW. ??

  43. Jasmin says:

    This is a wonderful article and I’m extremely thankful for your tips! Especially since I’m not from the US or UK. Thank you again 🙂
    Jasmin recently posted…#bookwormproblemsMy Profile

  44. Horatio Bond says:

    It is such an awesome post for people that have no idea how to go about requesting ARCS! And that is exact information what I was looking for!
    Actually my blog is kinda new, so I didn’t feel comfortable requesting ARC’s yet, I didn’t even know when to start but know it’s totally clear for me.

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