Today we’re going to talk about ARCs! ARCs are Advanced Reader Copies, sometimes also referred to as galleys. They are copies of a new book given out by the publisher to reviewers, librarians, etc., before the book is printed for distribution. You know, those wonderful, sometimes unreachable treasures that every avid reader dreams of getting their hands on. We all want them. Some of us get them, some of us don’t. Today, I’m going to give some advice on how to get them!
E-Galleys (Electronic Galleys)
There are several resources online that are available for requesting ARCs. The two websites I use to request and receive ARCs are Edelweiss- Above the Treeline and Netgalley. Becoming a member is free on both sites and even if you’re not a librarian, a teacher, or someone working in the publishing industry, you are still able to create a profile on both. Once your profile is created, you can begin searching for titles. I recommend making a profile on both sites because sometimes Edelweiss will have ARCs that Netgalley doesn’t, and vice versa.
As a new member, some ARCs will not be available for download. Your next step can be to preview the approval preferences of your favorite publishing houses. Each publisher lists exactly what they’d like to see on your profile before doling out their ARCs. Including links to your blog, Twitter and Facebook profiles, and prove that you’re an active blogger or somehow work directly with books (librarian, teacher, etc). Providing this information will increase your chances of being approved.
I’m going to put this right out there: print ARCs are significantly more difficult to obtain. I am a librarian and I sometimes have a problem receiving print copies after I request them. What I have done in the past is register for reader’s advisory webinars through Booklist. This way, I can kill two birds with one stone: I get a heads up about upcoming publications and, usually, the publishers that are presenting in the webinar leave a personal contact emails where they can be reached after the webinar. This is when I’ll email them and request a copy of any book that caught my eye and usually I get a print ARC shortly after. I am not sure how well this will work for individuals who are not currently working in libraries or schools, etc, because when I register for the webinars, I have to submit my company’s name, as Booklist is a resource of the American Library Association.
If you’re not a librarian, etc., you can always contact the publishing houses directly through their contact us page. Sometimes, emails are buried but make sure to always send requests to the publisher’s children’s department, as YA is often classified as children’s fiction (in broad terms). When writing, include similar information to what you would on your Edelweiss/Netgalley profile. Sell yourself, basically! Show the publisher why you should be sent an ARC.
Once you have your coveted ARC, read and review it! Even if you have a blog, always make sure you send feedback through the websites listed above or sent information to the publisher itself. Usually inside of each ARC there will be instructions as to where to send reviews or feedback info. They want to hear from you!
Remember that an ARC is a marketing tool. Publishers want to get them into the hands of readers and industry professionals that will help create hype around their product. The more feedback you can give the publisher when you complete the book, the better. Now that doesn’t mean that the publisher is expecting you to give it a 5 star review just because you received it. They want the reviewer to post informative and honest reviews that will pique genuine interest among their targeting audience. Always review your ARC with honesty and don’t assume that you’re required to give a stellar review, because you’re not.
I wish you the best of luck getting ARCs! Happy Waiting on Wednesday!