The A to Z of Handy Tips for #BookBloggers – A is for ARC

December 21, 2015 A to Z of Handy Tips for Book Bloggers 33

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 to Z of handy tips for book bloggers


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?


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33 Responses to “The A to Z of Handy Tips for #BookBloggers – A is for ARC”

  1. Bea @Bea's Book Nook

    ARCs are a delightful benefit of book blogging but you are so right that they aren’t necessary. It is absolutely possible to blog without them. and I too have fallen victim to requesting too many, it was a hard lesson to learn. My fave place is NetGalley. Occasionally I’ll request a print book but most of the time I’m quite content with digital. I also review my own books and books from the library so there’s a mix.

    Good post!
    Bea @Bea’s Book Nook recently posted…Sunday Book Share #172

    • trish

      I think a mix is great that way you get the thrill of arcs but also have time to read older books and other books that catch your eye. It works for me anyway.

  2. Laurel-Rain Snow

    I started reading ARCs from Amazon Vine several years ago, and for a while, I also had a few authors on tap who sent me books right away. Things got a little crazy, so I had to cut back.

    Then I started with NetGalley this year, and wow, was it easy to get too many too quickly! Once I caught up, I started limiting myself…and if I work out the release dates just right, I can manage. With my list. I love lists, too.

    Lists help keep the crazy away….I have a list on Word docs., and also handwritten lists. Lists to track my lists…

    I enjoyed this post!
    Laurel-Rain Snow recently posted…AUTHOR’S HOME PAGE

  3. Kathryn

    Great post Trish, I totally agree if I ask for it then I invest in it by reading it and posting about it. I also mostly ask for books I think I’ll like so that I can be kindly about them!

    It still excites me that a local publishing house here in NZ found my blog and asked if I would be interested in receiving books to read and review. I only ask for 1 – 3 a month from their catalogue because like you NetGalley ones can be easy to pile up, although soon as I am approved I add date to calendar of when it is published and also a possible date I will read it.

    I also have a couple of fav authors who invite a read and review and happy most times to oblige although have got better at saying no if I don’t really think I am going to be a good reader for it.
    Kathryn recently posted…It’s Monday! What Are You Reading.

    • trish

      I have had a few Irish publishers contact me too and it is a fantastic feeling. I’m always going to love and appreciate arcs but will try to keep them to a manageable limit.

  4. Maureen Beatrice

    I definitely read ARC’s and I love them. I receive them from Netgalley, for Blog Tours and sometimes just from the authors themselves. I think receiving ARC’s is really great but I do get the whole getting too much ARC’s part. Especially in my first few months as a book blogger, I accepted every ARC I could get my hands on. Soon I had way too much ARC’s to get through.. and I began to feel really stressed. Nowadays I really consider my options and plan really carefully before accepting or requesting a new ARC.

    My favorite place to get ARC’s is definitely Netgalley. I love how the website works and the ARC’s are a really good quality.

    Great post Trish!
    Maureen Beatrice recently posted…Review ‘An East End Christmas’ by Elizabeth Waite

    • trish

      I agree that NetGalley is great, I love ebooks and there is such a great variety on there. And I think that happens to every blogger in the beginning but we live and learn 🙂

  5. Terri M.

    I’m not sure how I avoided the ARC Rush. When I started blogging, I focused on those books I already had on my shelf. I’ve requested a few from NetGalley and FirstReads (Penguin), but I have never been drowning in them. Based on what I gather from bloggers who have been around awhile, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing!
    Terri M. recently posted…Winter Has Arrived

    • trish

      Definitely not a bad thing! A few are nice but when you reach drowning levels then that is just way too much stress.

  6. Greg

    Nice post Trish. I’m one of those bloggers who doesn’t do ARC’s although I’ve been tempted many times- and I am planning on opening a NG account this new year. I’ll keep my requests reasonable though, I don’t want to over commit! I appreciate the good advice. 🙂
    Greg recently posted…Top Ten Books You Wouldn’t Mind Santa Leaving

    • trish

      NetGalley is great fun and I’m to first to sing it’s praises! So enjoy it Greg and I think with your attitude to it, you’ll be fine!

    • trish

      I think there is a sweet spot between getting enough to make it exciting and too many which like you said is stressful. Hope we both hit that middle ground this year!

  7. Lola

    Great post! I agree that ARC’s are a privilege and it’s a good idea to remember that someone did pay money for it in some way. I think most book bloggers made the mistake of requesting or accepting too many ARC’s or review copies at first and then feeling overhwelmed.

    I am still not too good at saying no or staying away from negalley, but I sure have gotten a lot better at it than at first. I still have too many review copies, but I do work steadily to get through the pile and am hoping I can get the pile down a bit this year.

    I read ARC’s and review copies. As I live in the Netherlands I hardly ever get physical arc’s and I get msot of my ARC’s and review copies through netgalley or review requests send to my e-mail. Thanks for mentioning Lola’s Blog Tours 🙂
    Lola recently posted…Lola’s Kitchen: Top Ten Dinner Recipes

    • trish

      I’ll never be able to stay away from NG and I don’t want to either! I just want to show restraint and enjoy the arcs that come my way without getting overwhelmed.
      I’m as happy with digital arcs as I am with physical arcs as I kind of prefer reading on my kindle anyway.

  8. Bookworm Brandee

    This is such a great idea, Trish! I love that you share your knowledge, tips, tricks, etc. 😀 I wish I’d had a warning about Netgalley before I went one-click wild those first few months after finding it. Oh well… I do get ARCs from Netgalley sometimes but now I typically get them from authors. And I get those read faster than the ones from Netgalley. 😉
    Bookworm Brandee recently posted…Review ~ Masters for Life ~ Ginger Voight

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