Friday, February 16, 2018

How To: Get ARCs

I know there are loads of posts about this, but some are out-dated, plus no two bloggers have had the same experience. That said, I've been meaning to make this post for a while...and keep putting it off. BUT! I'm working on being more active as a blogger, and focus more on original content instead of just writing review after review. (Although I plan to post plenty of those as well!)

First off, what in the world is an ARC, and why do bloggers want them?
An ARC (Advance Review Copy) is what authors and publishers use to market new books, and get reviews before the book is released. Often there are two kinds: Print paperbacks, and digital copies. Some authors only have digital copies, while others have both versions available.

Where can I get ARCs?

NetGalley is one of the first sites I discovered as a blogger, and still the one I use more often, especially for big name titles and publishers. It's free to make an account, just remember, these books are for review, so only request titles you plan to read. It's easy to get overwhelmed here. These are all digital galleys, many are ARCs.

Edelweiss now is similar to NetGalley. It's a place for the larger publishers to get ARCs out into the hands of book sellers, librarians, teachers, and bloggers (reviewers).

There is two big differences in NetGalley and Edelweiss.
First, it is possible to request a title after you have been declined on Edelweiss.
Second, you can give a reason for requesting the title. Here is where Edelweiss really differs from other sites. Publishers evaluate your profile and reason before approving someone for a title. Some titles have a strict number of people approved, while others approve all who apply. It just depends on how well known the title, author, and publisher are.
Read others by this author or others in this series? You can provide a link to you review(s) along with your reason for requesting the new title. These are also all digital galleys.

BloggingForBooks is another site. This one I found last year, and have really enjoyed all the titles I get from here. You get to choose one book, and print or digital format. Once you choose a book, it  takes between 1-2 weeks for the book to arrive in the mail, or much sooner if you choose a digital ebook. Once you receive your book, read it and leave a review. As soon as your review is approved, you are free to request your next book.

I'm new to this one, so I haven't requested anything from them yet, but it looks like a great site for Christian books.

Tyndale Blog Network is Tyndale's site for review copies. The way it works is they have a list of available books and you get to choose two. You get a choice of print and digital copies. Unlike some of the other sites, these aren't ARCs but instead are new releases. After you receive your book(s) you can leave a review. It takes about one business day for review to be approved. As soon as that happens, you are free to request your next title.

First To Read
FirstToRead is Penguin's answer to reviewers. They offer titles each month that you can enter to win. Each book is a digital ARC galley. If you win, you will receive an email prompting you to download your copy. You earn points for each day you log in, requesting books, and even more points for reviewing the books you win. These points can then be used to guarantee a copy of a book in the future for review.

BookishFirst is another site where you enter giveaways for ARCs and new releases. You get an excerpt of 'first look' at new books and get to write a mini review on your thought of the sample chapters. You then get to enter for a chance to win either an ebook or print of the book you were looking at. Some giveaways only offer ebooks, while others offer both.

Inkitt is another publisher who has a site for reviewers. Mostly paranormal romance, but they sometimes offer other genre, and publish a little of everything. The way their site works, they offer ARCs for review, each ARC you review gains points. Once you have enough points, you can request a new release, or older release title for review. I'm pretty sure they offer both print and ebook options on the new releases, but I know all ARCs are digital.

Hidden Gems (Or Hidden Gems Romance) used to be a romance site, but now offer a variety of genre including Fantasy, Sci-fi, Mystery, Romance, and a few others. Unlike the other sites above, this isn't a publisher, but instead they work to offer indie and self-published authors a place to gather reviews. All books are digital copies, and these are mostly new releases or slightly older titles.

BookSprout is another site I just discovered. I had an author send me to Book Sprout for an ARC and I discovered it's a site to help authors build what's called a 'street team'. A street team is what author call fans and readers who read and review ARCs and new releases for a specific author. I'm a member of a few street teams for my favorite indie authors, and have been asked to join many others. These are digital ARCs that you request from the various authors on this site. By requesting, you agree to join their street team.

A Novel Connection is another site for indie authors. They require free users to review one of their titles a month, or you can pay $1.99 a month, and not be required to review any titles. This site just started last month, so it's still very new, and only has a few titles, but look like it has potential to become a great site for readers.

KindleScout is different from most of the other sites. It's similar to BookishFirst in that you get an excerpt that you then rate and review. But with a catch. These titles aren't all going to get published on Amazon. We as readers get to vote, and the Kindle publishers then review each title, choosing a few each month for publication. If a title you nominated is picked, you then get a free kindle copy of the book for review.

Image result for goodreads
GoodreadsFirstReads is Goodread's giveaway. These giveaway are a combination of big publishers and indie authors. The biggest titles are much harder to win, but it's still possible. I have won around 10 book in the last few years, and really enjoyed quite a few of them. The fewer entries, and the more books offered for that giveaway, the more likely you are to snag a copy. I find the Kindle giveaways with 100 copies up for grabs are the easiest to win, but I have won a number of print copies as well.

LibraryThing giveaways. This is similar to Goodreads, but you are a lot more likely to win. There are two sets of giveaways, each with their own rules. The Early Reviewers are ARCs some from publishers, others from indie authors. They offer both print and digital copies and you just have to check on the individual giveaway in question. The Early Reviewers are for reviews, and it is required that you review them.

Then we have the members' giveaways. The often request a review, but it's not required. Again they offer print and digital copies of new releases and older releases. Most of these tend to be digital copies from indie authors but there are a few print and audiobook copies as well.

Blog tours are also another great way to get books. Some are ARCs and others are books that have been published for a while, but the author or publisher is looking to get more reviews and start some chatter.

Blog Tour Sites:
RABT Book Tours
YA Bound Book Tours
Silver Dagger Book Tours
Lola's Blog Tours
Hot Tree Promotions
Rockstar Book Tours
Fantastic Flying Book
Audiobookworm Promotions
HF Virtual Book
Barclay Publicity
Read It Write
Book Unleashed
Chapter By Chapter
Enchanted Book Promotions

The one way I'm not going to talk much about, yet probably the most obvious? Contacting publishers directly. While I know many bloggers get books this way, and I've even gotten a few from smaller publishers, I have yet to get any titles from what I consider 'big publishers' like Bloomsbury or Scholastic. There are plenty of other bloggers that talk about these, and once I get more experience requesting from them I plan to make a post just about contacting them, but as of yet, I rarely if ever even bother.

One piece of advice I can give about big publishers is that they have a review roster that you can ask about to find out what books they have coming out.

I'm sure there are many more sites for ARCs and review copies, but this was all I could think of, I'll add more if I think of them. Also feel free to comment any sites you know of so I can add them to the list.

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