When I joined the book blogging community, I found lots of experienced bloggers were only too willing to share their blogging secrets and pass along tips that had worked for them. And I soaked up that knowledge and applied it to my blog. So now I wanted to do the same for others but rather than spewing it all out in one far too long blog post, I’ve decided to post in an A to Z format. As inspired by the A to Z April Challenge.
The A to Z of Handy Tips for BookBloggers
A is for ARC
What is an ARC?
ARC is advanced reader copy and we bloggers throw the word around like everyone should know what it means. Before blogging though, I had no clue what the initials meant or that I would ever be lucky enough to get my hands on one. If you are writing reviews, then publishers will consider giving ARCs to you in exchange for honest, unbiased reviews.
How do I can my hands on ARCs?
NetGalley – for ebooks. You set up an account and submit a request for the ones that interest you.
Edelweiss – for ebooks also. Not as easy to navigate as NetGalley but it CAN be easier to get auto approval on there. It works much the same way as NetGalley, you set up an account and send in requests for books that interest you.
BookBridgr – if you are a UK or Irish based blogger, this is a great source for physical ARCs. You have to set up an account and wait to see if you are approved before you can use the site.
Direct contact with Publishers – It’s probably best to wait for at least 6 months before you contact publishers directly. At that stage, an email to their publicity/marketing dept with stats about your blog and what books you’d like to be considered for is worth a shot. If you don’t hear back, then wait a while and try again.
Blog Tours: If you participate in a Blog Tour for a review stop, then you will get an ARC copy of the book. Some companies to check out are Xpresso Book Tours, Lola’s Blog Tours, Caffeinated Virtual Assistant
Your own Blog: You can set up a review policy and invite submissions from authors.
A word of warning about ARCs:
If you adore books and you are thinking that being sent free books sounds like the best thing since sliced bread then I hear you! And yes they are fab and I love being able to read books long before they hit the shops. But BE CAREFUL! ARCs are exciting but they can burn you out. Especially on sites like NetGalley, it’s possible to request far too many and there is nothing like a daunting stack of ARCs that you are committed to reading to dampen your excitement very quickly.
And you don’t need to ever read an ARC to book blog. All that you need is have a passion for books and reading and ARCs don’t need to come in to the equation unless you WANT them to.
That said there is nothing like an email approving you for an ARC that you badly wanted to make you feel happy all day long. Or a book from a publisher hitting your doormat. And I personally love reading ARCs but I have learned to curtail it. I need balance to find time to read books I own, series I’m already committed to, books I want to reread and to also read ARCs that I get. My suggestion is that you don’t get too trigger happy on that request button.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that ARCs cost money. If they are listed on a site like NetGalley, then the authors/publishers pay a fee to have it listed there. And if it’s a physical book, then there is the cost of printing and posting so I do think that you need to bear than in mind before you request too many. Someone, somewhere is paying the price for them and they are a privilege. In my eyes anyway.
And on the other side of the fence, you will spend time reading the book, writing your review, formatting it and promoting it on social media. So if you factor in your time, it’s not really free for you either. It’s probably a dreadful investment if you break it down to a wage per hour but I LOVE being part of this industry that I love.
So I think the relationship between book bloggers and ARCs can be tricky. My biggest tips are don’t over commit and enjoy them!
Talk to Trish: Do you read ARCs? What is your favourite place to get ARCs?