I’m here to tell you everything I know about getting physical ARCs. First let me say, I don’t use net galley, so I’m only talking about a physical copy. Second, in case you don’t know, ARC means Advanced Reader Copy, they are also called galleys. I started my bookstagram in December 2018 and I received my first ARC from Harper Collins Canada in February 2019. I had just over 1000 followers on Instagram. Now I receive arcs from 6 different publishers.
These are the steps I take when looking for an arc:
- Find the right email address! This sometimes takes some digging around on the publishers website but eventually you’ll find a blogger or publishing email.
- Be specific. Ask for a particular book that is coming out soon. And don’t be greedy, especially the first time you email a publisher. Only ask for one book.
- Give them details about your social media presence. I like to include my Instagram follower count, avg. weekly impressions and avg. reach. They will come and check so don’t lie. And just because you don’t have 10K followers doesn’t mean you won’t get books. I only had 1K when I got my first one.
- Tell them where you post reviews. For me, I give them a link to my blog and I give them details about this blog, like avg. monthly views. If you post reviews on goodreads, give them a link to that. They want to see your reviews.
- Don’t get discouraged if no one answers you. Just try again later, or a different publisher. More than half of the emails I send to publishers don’t get a reply.
- If you get an arc, don’t forget to send a link to your review and any Instagram photos you posted about the book. And make sure your link takes them directly to the photos.
Okay some tips about getting lots of arcs:
One publisher told me they want reviews in a four week window, from 2 weeks before release date, to 2 weeks after release date is the best time to post your review.
Don’t request too many! I usually have one or two per month that I need to review. They have sent me this free book in exchange for an honest review and at least one photo on Instagram and I always keep that deal. If you aren’t going to be able to follow up on your side of the bargain, don’t request them. If you request too many you will be rushed to post about them. Personal note: This is happening to me right now! I received so many fall preview arcs from different publishers that I have 8 arcs to read and review in September. That is way too many but I’ve learned my lesson.
Different publishers do things differently. Some publishers just wait for you to request things and then let you know if you can have it, or they don’t say anything at all and just send it to you. I’ve gotten a few surprise ones. One publisher asked me for my address and then I didn’t get the book until 2 months later with no reply to my follow up email. These are busy people, so don’t be offended if they are slow to answer or don’t answer at all. A few other publishers have a blogger list, and they just send you a list each season of available books to request. Then they send them to you as the release date approaches.
Don’t be afraid of rejection. All you can do is try! Just send out those emails, be specific, polite, and don’t be greedy, and eventually you will have some luck!
I hope this helps answer some of your questions, if you have any more feel free to message me on Instagram or comment here!
Edit: okay I got a great question from Instagram asking how do you know about books not released yet. Most publishers have a coming soon page on their website. Also sometimes I will hear about a book from the authors social media. Then I find out who the publisher is and request it. But your best bet is the publishers website. Another place to look is the New Releases section on good reads! They have books releasing this month, but also books coming soon so you can see what early reviewers are saying and request books you will be interested in.