First of all, I just want to start this post saying that I’m not an expert in this, I’m not one of those established bloggers with a large following, I don’t know all the facts, I don’t get all the arcs; but I feel like this is a topic where the more you know the better, so I’m just trying to share what I know and my perspective on certain things to hopefully help someone out there.
Okay, so now that we’ve gotten that out of the way… I just wanted to write a post about this.
I’ve been blogging for almost a year now, and I’ve learned a few things on the road so far. The most popular thing that book bloggers want to know about are ARCs, The What, The Who, The Where and The When. Well I’m going to try to answer this to the best of my ability, as well as link you to some other great posts out there that were very helpful to me.
I personally requested my very first print ARC when my blog was exactly 3 months old. Now, I know that if you’ve read anything related to this topic, mostly everyone tells you you’re blog should be at least 6 months old before requesting, but I’d had a very successful month in my opinion, and I felt ready to request, and so I did. The ARC I’d requested was The Young Elites by Marie Lu, from Penguin. I’d sent the email on July 8, and I never heard back from them, so I figured they just weren’t going to send it to me. Then on a sunny summer day, August 4th, I went outside at around 6 pm and saw a white package in my mailbox, turns out it was the ARC of The Young Elites that I’d requested. I made a post all about it which you can find here, and you can read my review here. I was literally so happy when it came that I started reading it that same day. Soon after that I’d also requested an ARC of Isla and the Happily Ever After also from Penguin (although a different imprint) ,because those were floating around that time, but I didn’t get it. I also made my very first personal contacts around that same time. I guess it goes to show that different publishers have different views and requirements on things.
I’ve requested a lot of ARCs since then, and I hardly ever got any of them. I requested from a lot of different publishers. Once I got reply saying that there were no more review copies. Once I got reply where she told me that she didn’t know that she’d be able to send me a physical arc when she starts sending them out, but she asked for my Netgalley account, and said she’d send it to me on there if that happened to be the case. Then again, for one request, I got a reply saying there were no more physical arcs, but she’d gladly send it to me on Netgalley. One time I requested a book that had already been published a few months earlier, but I did get a finished copy in the mail. I wouldn’t recommend you do that though, and I probably won’t ever do it again.
An important thing when requesting ARCs is to keep a notebook, or a file with all the titles you requested there because you wouldn’t want to keep requesting the same title over and over again. The hardest publisher for me was definitely Harper Collins. I sent them 2 different emails over the months, requesting a total of 4 ARCs, and I never heard back. It wasn’t until recently that I got in contact with someone from there. Another hard one for me is Simon & Schuster, I still have never heard back from them , even though I’ve only sent them that one request in July.
I’m sharing this because I want you guys to know my personal experience and that it’s not all just a straight line to getting ARCs.
So when should you request ARCs? Most people will say 6 months, because that’s what most publicists say as well. As you can tell from above, I didn’t wait that long, and I’m not going to tell you too. I think you should request when you feel that you are ready to request, you’ve got nothing to lose. Although, don’t rush yourself, know why you started blogging in the first place. I can honestly say that I started this blog because I wanted somewhere to post my reviews without any hassle. I used to write my reviews on post on Instagram, and that really became inconvenient at times because I’d have to break the comment up into two because if it was too long then IG wouldn’t let me post it, and sometimes I’d lose my whole review if I hadn’t copied it prior to posting it. If you started your blog to get ARCs and not because you love writing, and reading and sharing your thoughts on the books you’ve read, then you need to reevaluate.
The Where and The Who:
Who do you contact? Well I’ll include a list of general e-mail information for most publishers below:
- HarperCollins: email@example.com
- Macmillan: All imprint contacts are listed here.
- Here are a few :
- Farrar, Straus & Giroux: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Henry Holt and Company: email@example.com
- St. Martin’s Press: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Tor/Forge: email@example.com
- PenguinTeen: Fill this out
- Penguin (All Imprints)
- Scholastic: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Spencer Hill Press: Fill this out
- Random House Imprints:
- Ballantine Bantam Dell Books: BBDPublicity@randomhouse.com
- Children’s Publishing: email@example.com
- Crown Publishing Group: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Knopf : email@example.com
- Simon & Schuster Imprints
- Little, Brown: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Abrams: email@example.com
- Bloomsbury: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Disney Hyperion: email@example.com
- Candlewick: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: email@example.com
- Sourcebooks: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Hachette Grand Central: email@example.com
These are all the ones I have right now, if you know for a fact that any one of these isn’t up to date, or if you have any that I don’t have up there, do let me know. If there’s a specific email that you can’t seem to find anywhere (that happened to me with Disney Hyperion) let me know, I’d love to help.
You can also get ARCs from:
- Goodreads First Reads Giveaway
- I’ve won there a couple of times. They have a lot of nice giveaways, both ARCs and Finished Copies.
- Blogging For Books
- I’ve used this once before. It’s this program where you can request a book (e or physical) and they send it to you, but you can’t request another one until you’ve reviewed the one you’ve got. It’s pretty neat.
- Look for ARC Tours. I’ve never participated in one, but others have and they say it’s a nice way. You don’t get to keep the ARC, and you have to pay the postage to pass it along, but you do get to read it.
- ARC Swaps. If you already have an ARC that you’re willing to swap, or a finished copy that the swapper might have on their wishlist, you could swap with them. Again, I’ve never taken part, so I can’t recommend any, but google ARC Swap and a bunch of sites will pop up.
What Should You Include In Your Email?
I’m going to include the e-mail I used when requesting my first ARC, or a draft of it, to give you an idea.
My name is Ashley, I’d like to request an ARC of The Young Elites by Marie Lu.
The publication date is October 7th, 2014 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers. ISBN: 9780399167836.
I’m a book blogger. I run the blog: https://wordsweheart.wordpress.com/
I’ve been blogging for a few months now, over the past month I’ve gotten over … views and … unique visitors, from all over the world. I’m very consistent with my posting schedule, I post book reviews, recommendations, tags, hauls and more.
I’ve linked to a couple of reviews I’ve posted on there below:
City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare: http://wp.me/p4tMM6-6J
The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey: http://wp.me/p4tMM6-5N
The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan: http://wp.me/p4tMM6-85
Besides running my blog I also have an Instagram account solemnly dedicated to books with over … followers, and a Twitter account with over … followers.
My Shipping Info:
First Name Last Name
City, State Zip Code
Thank you for your consideration.
It’s not the best email, I know, looking back at it now, I see how badly I spaced everything out, but it ended up getting the job done anyways.
Here’s the email I use now:
My name’s Ashley, I’d like to request a review copy of the following title:
Publication Date :
I’m a book blogger. I run the blog Words We Heart (http://wordsweheart.wordpress.com/).
Here are some stats:
- how long have you been blogging
- monthly views
- monthly unique visitors
- Social Media Followers
- Where else do you share reviews?
(Speak about why you want to review the book /s, and add a little about yourself. )
I’ve linked to a couple of reviews I’ve posted on there below:
(Link to recent reviews, about 3)
I also have a Review Policy page which you can find here, and it goes more in depth as to what my review will contain and more things along those lines.
In case you’re interested then here is my shipping info:
First Name Last Name
City, State ZIP
Thank you so much for your consideration.
As you can see, it’s a lot easier to read and looks nicer.
Don’t copy these emails word for word, but you can use them as a base point for your own emails if you’d like. Again, if you need help, feel free to reach out.
What stats should you have before requesting?
Honestly, I don’t know. Some people say no less then 500 followers, I think I’d say about 300 followers. Seems that followers aren’t as important as views are, at least from what I’ve heard, but they still do matter, and can help you a lot. Social Media Followers are also very helpful because if your blog stats aren’t that hot, they can help, and be the deciding factor. From my experience, I think that if you get at the very least over 1,000 views monthly and about that many unique visitors as well, then you can test your luck. I don’t think it’s too hard to achieve that goal honestly, it might seem so at first, but it’s not; but we’ll get to that in the Followers section of this (very long) post. Also, don’t lie about your stats, I don’t know whether or not publishers have a way of checking, but just based on morals, be honest about it.
If you put out great content constantly, you’ll notice that your follower count will continuously increase. It’s pretty easy gaining followers through WordPress. All you have to do is seek out other book bloggers, like and comment on their post, follow them if you like their content, and they’ll visit your blog and return the favor if your content is to their taste, which most of the time it will be because you’re both blogging about the same topic. My technique, which has always worked for me is that every night before I go to sleep, I look for blogs through my WordPress App (this is a lot easier on the app then on a computer). Look through your reader and read the post of the blogs you’re already following, on these posts other blogs will have liked and commented, go to someone’s blog that you’re not yet following, read their posts, like it and give nice useful comments (not the basic “Great Post”), do this for a couple of posts, if you end up liking their blog, follow them; and repeat the process until you get tired. I can guarantee that if you did this right, the next morning you’ll wake up with notifications for new comments, likes and follows. I haven’t done this in a little while, but when I did, it worked everytime, and it was really nice because I discovered great new blogs and they in turn discovered mine.
This is a bit harder because your wordpress followers most likely won’t put in their email to follow you too. All you can do honestly is to publicize your blog on all the social medias you can. The more the better. The email subscription will be the most convenient for all the non WordPress Users out there, so make sure to put your blog out there.
Get your blog on all the Blogger Networks that you can, it truly helps. For example the Blogaholic Social Network; there are a bunch out there, go sign up!
Also, if you like reviewing Indie (Self Published) books a great way to get Indie Authors to know about your blog and to send you requests is to sign up on The Indie View , it’ll really help you with requests and views.
I hope this helped you guys somehow! My fingers are about to fall off because I’ve just written over 2000 words in one post. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out. I’m also probably going to update this post often, as I gain more experience in the process.