Every once in a while, I see an email from a blogger or reviewer asking about how I get ARCS and review copies.
Firstly, an ARC is a copy of an unpublished book. ARC= Advance Reader/Reviewer copy. But you probably know that already. Now the question is back to, how do I get it?
I will try to answer that question and explain all the ways to get ARCS as best as I can. Here I will discuss all the primary ways and some extra ways to get both ARCS and Review copies.
Let’s start with simple things,
Who gets an ARC / Review copy
As said above, ARCS are advance reader copies. These are copies of books that are printed before the book is officially released and hits the stores. And as the name itself says, these are meant for reviewers.
It doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to be a book blogger. Are you a regular reviewer on the Amazon or Goodreads? Hola! You’re on board with the other reviewers!
Where do I get them?
No definite answer. There are a dozen ways to get them!
Review Programs are where publishers offer their books for free in return for reviews. You have to apply and get approved before you are allowed to request copies. However, you can only choose from what the publisher is offering. There are different requirements for each program. Most of them only allow only one or two books at a time and require that you post the review before requesting more. They’re an amazing way for new bloggers to start getting books. You can see my Book Blogger Programs list and sign up for one or more of them.
Blog Tours are run by publicity companies and you’ve probably heard of them before. They offer publicity services to authors and one of these services include reviews from bloggers. You can join these companies and sign up for their virtual book tours to get review copies and ARCS.
I have a list of these companies if you need it.
Request a copy directly:
Do some research on the book and find the publisher’s email id. You can usually find it hidden on their website somewhere. If the publisher is the author itself, i.e, if the book was indie-published, get the email of the author. Tell them about why you think they should send you a copy.
ARCS are expensive. If you request one, you’re going to have to put the cost of the ARC and some more in the author’s / publisher’s pocket. You have to show them how you’ll do that in your email. Tell them of your traffic, unique visitors, followers, etc. Add a little about why you want the book ( been dying to read the second book in a series ? Tell them that ! ) because you gotta appear like you’re actually interested.
While requesting a book via email, be sure to ask the right publicity. Don’t send a request to HP about an Avon book that you want, even though they’re just branches.
Here’s a list to get started with :
- HarperCollins + imprints
- Macmillan + imprints
- Random House + imprints
- Penguin + imprints
- Simon & Schuster + imprints
Good luck with getting approved!
I have been quite lucky with this one. You can review the books you receive or not, but from my experience, I’ll advise you to throw a review always if you want to keep your feet wet there.
Update: Goodreads first reads has shifted to the US only.
It’s a newsletter you can sign up for. They always have a book or two you can request on all their newsletters ( yes, all ! ) and most of them are print copies. I signed up for this since someone told me this was a great way to get ARCS.
This program is only for those who are US based. Although they offer a few to those from Canada, it’s not much and it’s just a waste of space in your inbox. As for as internationals go, don’t even waste your time signing up here.
Link: Shelf Awareness Pro
I’ve personally never tried LibraryThing for review copies but I did go through the list of books they are offering and I have to admit, they have a wide variety.
These giveaways are like Goodreads but apparently have a higher chance of winning, due to the decrease in the number of participants. Good luck!
I never tried NetGalley. Yes, I have been living under a rock but I also checked their list out. They have some amazing books offered as E-ARCS and you must have already seen your favorite book bloggers flexing those bomb af ARC acceptance to you.
So, check it out! You might like their system!
It’s like Netgalley’s long lost sister with their systems being so similar. Although I’ve never used either of them, the general advice I’ve been seeing everywhere is that you should never request anything you don’t want to review. And you should keep your review to request ratio near unity if you want to continue getting accepted.
Publishers Weekly Emails:
So, this is very similar to Shelf Awareness. There are Ads placed in corners of the email and these are books being given away. So, you might just get lucky and get a few of them. One book I remember from Shelf Awareness was a ‘first come-first serve’, so I think it is possible to see those kinds of ads
If you sign up in here, they’ll send you emails with titles up for review. And you can see on their home page some pretty covers. I guess I’m curious if the titles that get thrown are wide. If anyone signs up, give me a heads up about the content.
Link: Reading Deal Review Club
If you have a functional amazon account (Account that has been verified and is allowed to post reviews), then you can check out their membership. I have not used their service and they don’t seem to be popular as of June 2019, so there is no way to know if their offered titles would be decent. If any of you try this, let me know if you see any real gems hidden here!
Amazon First Reads:
This is yet another way for you Amazon users to get your hands on those hot, fresh ARCS. If you are a prime user, you definitely have to check this out.
I requested a book called Death by Diploma from them just a few days ago and they give you a month (exactly 30 days) within which you have to review the book or report to them of the DNF. I actually ignored all the emails they sent me before now, but a very nice highland romance caught my eyes from the last month’s email. SO, maybe their collection is worth checking out? I don’t know, you guys, I never saw any popular hyped titles here.
Never used it but I went through their ‘how it works’ and I’m intrigued. So I signed up now but I expect to never collect enough points to get a book. Nothing in life is easy. But, here’s the link for y’all- Bookish First
So they put up books for giveaway often in their email but their giveaway rules say it is only for the US residents and sometimes includes residents of Canada and rarely International.
If you are international like me, then yeetus this. You don’t need to bother with this.
They have a read and review program you might be interested in. They also throw in a lot of giveaways so keep your eyes wide open.
Unpopular methods :
Goodreads Groups :
Let me just make it clear that I find it really hard to believe that no one ever brings this up. Goodreads is more than just a shelf keeper. It is a book lover’s paradise! If you poke around, you’ll find things no one told you about. For me, these groups were one such thing.
There are several groups on GR dedicated to connecting authors and readers. A lot of authors post in these groups about wanting reviewers and all you have to do is send a reply that you want to join in. And there you go. You get a review copy. No approvals by no one.
You can start here,
Facebook Groups :
There are some authors who have ‘street teams ‘ on facebook. The perks of being in those groups are that you’ll be among the first to hear of review offers. That’s awesome, right? Just check in on facebook about the authors you’ve read and you might stumble upon a group like that
Sign up to Macmillan’s newsletter and receive an update about their books and of course, get early reading copies. Not for internationals again *sighs*
Unbound worlds run giveaways for sci-fi books OFTEN. There’s a high chance you’ll win at least a few. I’m not signing up though. My email id is flooded enough already.
Sign up to the authors’ newsletters. You’ll be surprised many of them always offer for their readers to become ARC readers or VIP readers etc. Don’t sign for a lot of them though, you’ll get your inbox filled with too many than you can ever go through.
Following Publishers: Following publishers on Twitter and other places is something you could consider doing since they hold a lot of giveaways. Thanks to Karen@BookerTalk for pointing that out.
Just The Free Books
If you’re lazy like me and don’t want to review but want books for free? I’ve got you covered.
The last one sounds sketchy, but a lot of authors sometimes add their books to wattpad. I’m speaking about amazing books like Silence and Storm still out in wattpad.
Note for Bloggers :
I highly recommend that you put up a review policy even if your blog’s small. You’ll get a ton of emails with review requests even if you had just started. So the review policy will help you narrow the email down to what you want. And read a lot about book blogging and requesting ARCS directly. Don’t lose hope if you don’t get approved now.
All the best with your blog!
Are there other ways to receive ARCS that I forgot? If yes, tell me what they are in the comments below.