Friday, August 26, 2011
ARCs and how to get them
ARC = Advanced Readers Copy. A copy of a book that isn't finished and still might change, but is produced to start creating a buzz and get the book's name out there in terms of reviews. Reading an ARC means you get to read a book before anyone else, which can be especially exciting if you have already heard good things about said book.I review a lot of ARCs over at my blog and I get asked from a lot of readers how I managed to get said ARCs. My answer: hard work. It wasn't easy, and I don't want to come across like I have the most successful blog in the world, because I don't. There's still a lot for me to learn and a lot more I have left to give. But I can give advice on how to start!
- Firstly, your blog needs content. It seems like a really easy point and more like a 'duh' point too, but editors and authors are going to go over to your blog and if you're sporadically posting or you have like two posts with no comments, they're going to be less likely to spend money on sending you a book when they could give it to someone else where the review would be better received.
- Secondly, build up your followers. You might have a blog with loads of great insightful posts and reviews, but only 10 followers. When an editor/author is looking at your blog, they're going to want to see that sending a book to you will be doing them a favour too. And by that it means you help to create a buzz and get the book out there. Which you can't do without any followers to read your review. Building up followers is harder, but once you have a fair few (and I'm thinking in the 100 range), you'll be more likely to receive ARCs.
-Review other books. All the books you read? Review them. And review them properly. Don't fill your reviews with slang and bad grammar. Keep it professional. DO NOT personally attack the author in your reviews either. Feel free to mention anything you didn't like, but don't go overboard and start swearing and generally becoming a disgrace. Believe me, you won't score ARCs that way. An author isn't going to purposely want to be your next target and is definitely not going to send you a book to abuse.
- Sign up to contests giving away ARCs. One you start to review a few, even if it's only a couple, that's still a step closer to becoming the kind of blogger publishing houses like to send books to. You can sign up to book tours (Around the World tours is good for US only book tours and Good Golly Miss Holly does some great worldwide tours) which offer a lot of ARCs and the only cost to you will be postage to send the book on. Follow authors on twitter and their blog because they often hold contests where you can win a copy of their book before it releases!
- Go to book conferences. Especially places like ALA and BEA, which - if you know how
to work your way around the stands - offer lots of goodies including ARCs! This can also help you gain followers (see point two) because once you've read the ARC and it's yours, you can give it away in a contest. Contests always attract followers.
- Sign up to places like Netgalley. That is my absolute favourite place for eARCs (electronic versions) and you can get quite a few great reads there. You request books that you want and then the publishing house will either accept or reject your request based on your Netgalley profile. You'll need to include your blog link there in order to increase your chances of getting accepted. Some books have an automatic accept on them, so anyone can request and read.
- Sign up to Simon and Shuster's Galley Grab. They send out a monthly newsletter with a link to books coming out soon and their electronic ARC download. Again, you will have to be accepted first. But if you've followed the above steps, by this time you hopefully will be.
- Politely email publishers and authors and request ARCs that way. Please, please, please be polite and dignified. If you don't receive an answer, wait a few months and try again. Chances are these people are probably pretty busy and you're not the only one to request an ARC. Usually, publishers will prefer to send to those in their country - cut down on shipping costs. But I have a few publishers who don't mind sending internationally because we've built up a relationship already.
That's mainly it for now. I hope this was helpful in the case anyone wanted to know. Good luck on your ARC hunt!
14th -- Jennifer Galasso
16th -- Chris Bedell
22nd -- Rosanne Rivers
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