Discussion Post: Physical ARCs versus E-Galleys

Top Ten Tuesday(63)

I have been meaning to discuss in some way, shape, or form ARCs on my blog for some time, however, I just feel that I don’t have that much experience with them to properly do a post about them. That being said I’d just like to take the time to discuss with all of you, no matter your experience, physical ARCs and digital galleys.

This isn’t going to be a super in-depth discussion on my part about the pros and cons of each of these but to just kind of discuss everything about them in general depending on your experiences with ARCs as well!

I will be doing a full length post discussing ARCs and tips on how to receive themΒ  at some point!

Of course everything I’ve written in this post is just my own opinion, I’m not trying to offend anyone by any means. Please keep that in mind while reading or commenting back! Thank you!

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What’s the big deal with physical ARCs?

Let’s face it: everyone wants physical ARCs. Don’t lie! Getting an advanced reader copy of any book in any form is awesome but as book lovers I feel a lot of us still covet those physical copies a bit more. Because they’re right there in your hands with their beautiful covers and their pure awesomeness!

Physical ARCs are a bit harder to obtain than e-galleys so getting one kind of makes you feel good about yourself and your blog, like you’re doing something right in order to have received one! It’s almost like getting a huge compliment!

However, like I said they are much harder to obtain and can therefore lead to a lot of disappointment as well and some publishers don’t offer e-galleys at all! Some publishers are easier to work with than others, some will send you ARCs and some won’t, some will email you back stating whether you’ve been approved or not and some won’t. This can get frustrating at times since most of us don’t know what we are doing wrong!

Personally, I have yet to receive any ARCs or even feedback from publishers or imprints of Penguin, Harper Collins, or Simon & Schuster. There’s also no real way of knowing what kind of stats they like to see in order to be considered either, at least not to my knowledge. If ANY OF YOU KNOW THE ANSWERS PLEASE TELL ME YOUR SECRETS!

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What’s wrong with just requesting e-galleys off of Netgalley or Edelweiss?

Nothing, absolutely nothing!

Netgalley is very easy to navigate and getting approved is fairly easy there, Edelweiss on the other hand is a little less user-friendly in my opinion and also a little harder to get approved on. But I digress…….

E-galleys are great for many reasons such as: they’re much easier to request and obtain, you get access to them a lot quicker, and there’s no adding to the clutter on your shelves!

However, one of the biggest drawbacks to e-galleys (at least in my opinion) is that if you request them on Netgalley you have a feedback ratio. Which I understand helps publishers to see if you actually read and review they galleys they give you but also it can hurt bloggers as well. Let’s say you’ve read and reviewed maybe 30 books on Netgalley and you’re always good about reading and reviewing the ARCs you request, well if you receive let’s say 4 or 5 ARCs your feedback ratio will immediately drop below the wanted 80% before you send feedback in. (PLEASE DON’T JUDGE MY MATH TOO BADLY, I’M TERRIBLE AT IT)

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It’s kind of a bummer! Some bloggers are more than capable of handling multiple ARCs but maybe won’t be approved for them because their feedback ratio is slightly below 80%. It’s just sort of annoying sometimes.

My slight irritation with this came from my experience last week emailing and requesting a few physical ARCs. I was told by the publisher that they would send me these if they could but that I should request them off of Netgalley which is problematic for two reasons: one being that if I request them off of Netgalley will I end up getting an e-galley and a physical ARC of one of them? You said you’d send them if you could but to also re-request them? Makes no sense to me.

And reason number two being that if I requested the 4 ARCs I wanted off of Netgalley and somehow got approved for them my feedback ratio will drop, potentially stopping me from getting approved for any other ARCs until I finish these. Which as we all know ARCs have different release dates, we are more than capable of reading and reviewing ARCs with differing release dates.

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Join The Discussion!

What are some of your experiences with physical ARCs or e-galleys?

Do you prefer one over the other? Why?

Do you find it easier to obtain physical copies or e-copies?

What do you think of Netgalley’s feedback ratio?

Are there any pros or cons to either that I didn’t list?

Do you have trouble requesting or being approved for physical ARCs?

Are there any publishers you find easier to work with?

Do you know the answers to the SECRETS I mentioned above? (If so I’d appreciate it!)

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy


32 thoughts on “Discussion Post: Physical ARCs versus E-Galleys

  1. Drew @ The Tattooed Book Geek June 15, 2017 / 1:04 pm

    I think this is one of the things that varies by country. I’ve heard that in the US you have to request specific ARC’s from publishers each time you want a book. Whereas in the UK, yes, you can request specific ARC’s from publishers but they also have mailing lists where once you are accepted you receive press release emails for upcoming books and you can either request one or if the book isn’t for you decline/ignore the email.

    I admit finding figures for publishers can be a nightmare, I only ever found one for Tor/pan macmillan in the UK and they wanted 1,000 followers but didn’t say if it was for each blog, Twitter and Facebook or just 1,000 in total over the three so finding figures is a nightmare.

    I think for me in the UK Orbit is the easiest publisher to get on with, for the main reason that the publicist replies to requests, etc and other publicists from different publishers can be quite lapse in replying.

    I don’t use Netgalley, I had a few ARC’s from there last year with terrible formatting and I prefer paper ARC’s. Not going to lie and say I don’t but I do, being a fantasy fan they are easy to get as the press releases only offer paper ARC’s. I think on occasion Titan say both physical and e-book are available but no other publishers I deal with. I also on occasion suffer with headaches and e-readers seem to make them worse, especially with having to look at a screen for work so yeah, due to that I prefer paper ARC’s but that’s due to preferring paper books.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Heather @ The Sassy Book Geek June 19, 2017 / 2:49 pm

      It definitely does vary by country I’ve noticed chatting with other bloggers. I believe we have mailing lists here in the US as well but I’m not sure if people find those to be better than requesting specific ARCs. I think here they depend more on specific requests because there are more requests in general maybe.

      I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks getting stats for some publishers is a nightmare! Thank you, I’m sure it would be a similar following here as well! It’s just sort of nice to know what publishers are looking for so I know if I’m wasting my time and theirs by requesting from them.

      I agree that some of the ARCs I’ve gotten from Netgalley have had bad formatting as well. Especially the books that have lots of drawings and flourishes at the start of each chapter!
      Thank you Drew! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Tanja June 15, 2017 / 1:24 pm

    I usually get ARCs from Netgalley. I’ve never even tried to get a physical ARC because I live in Bosnia and it’s obviously much easier for publishers to send me ebooks. And if I really want to read a book, I usually don’t wanna wait a week or two for it to arrive.
    My biggest issue with Netgalley is that sometimes publishers wait for too long before approving a request and then it turns out that they approved it a day before the book is archived so I don’t have the time to download it – but of course it impacts my ratio.
    You’re completely right about Edelweiss, it’s not user friendly at all. Netgalley is so much prettier πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Heather @ The Sassy Book Geek June 19, 2017 / 2:54 pm

      Yes, being an international reader can bring troubles like that or so I’ve heard from some of my other blogger friends! It’s definitely easier to get a hold of e-galleys in general. I get really impatient for any sort of book mail so I definitely love getting it instantly as well!
      I’ve had similar problems with book publishers on Netgalley as well concerning when I get approved. I’ve gotten approved really close to the release dates as well and sometimes it just isn’t enough time to read and review it!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Swetlana June 15, 2017 / 1:29 pm

    Do you prefer one over the other? Why?
    I think for myself and our blog, it’s much easier to get approved for e-galleys which I really appreciate because I still get to read upcoming releases and can share my thoughts on upcoming books which is (usually) a lot of fun! I would probably prefer getting physical copies because I find it easier to read an actual book as I get a bit distracted when I read e-galleys on my laptop. I am so tempted to check out other things too!

    Do you find it easier to obtain physical copies or e-copies?
    So far, I’ve definitely had more success requesting e-copies compared to physical copies! But I’ve also only recently signed up for blogger programs by German publishing houses and while I got rejected for a good amount of them (mostly because the books were already and they weren’t sending out ARCs anymore), I still haven’t heard back from one of the publishing houses.

    What do you think of Netgalley’s feedback ratio?
    I feel like it can work against a reviewer quickly if they get approved for multiple ARCs at once! I had that happen recently where I hadn’t been approved for ARCs in a while and then in the span of an hour or so I was approved for 3 and then another later on. How am I supposed to work against that? There’s just simply no way. And my approval rating obviously suffered because of it.

    Do you have trouble requesting or being approved for physical ARCs?
    I think the only thing working against me at this point is my approval rating which I’m currently trying to get back up again as the releases for the ARCs are approaching slowly but surely!

    Are there any publishers you find easier to work with?
    I don’t know, I haven’t really worked directly with a publishing company so far and instead always through different programs they had set up for bloggers.

    I can’t tell you how many followers, etc HarperCollins might want for your country, but here in Germany they asked for at least 1000 followers or more on your chosen platform! And then I think they also wanted to work with bloggers who had been blogging for at least a year or longer! I had one representative reply to one of my requests telling me that they prefer blogger who have more experience and to get to them once I’ve been an active blogger for a longer time. But then HarperCollins also accepted me for an eARC of a book they had denied through their blogging program.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Heather @ The Sassy Book Geek June 19, 2017 / 3:24 pm

      Yes, definitely agree that e-galleys are a lot more convenient and easier to get a hold of but sometimes it IS really nice to read a paper book.

      I also think that for international readers it seems to be harder to get a hold of physical ARCs for some reason you’ll have to let me know how you do!

      I 100% agree with your opinion on Netgalley’s feedback ratio! That’s my exact same problem with it! Yes I understand it’s to help the publishers but it definitely can work against a reviewer like you said which is a bummer.

      I’m thinking with Harper Collins and similar publishers that it’s probably 1,000 followers here as well since I have yet to ever get in touch with them. I wish publishers would get in touch with me and let me know what stats they want but I also understand that they’re busy, it’d just be nice to know for sure that way I’m not wasting my time or theirs with requests that don’t meet their standards!

      Thanks for joining the discussion by the way Swetlana! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  4. TeacherofYA June 15, 2017 / 2:42 pm

    I totally feel you, as my NG score is 73% or so…so I stopped requesting from there. I have recently been approved on Edelweiss which IS so much harder – there’s just so many blogs and it helps to have a brand niche. I know some that have such a creative niche that they get physical ARCs at 6 months! It’s covetous but I also don’t have room for all of them.
    I love getting books to review but I also have slowed down. I have to work and it makes it harder: plus I used to have more time. Then Twitter happened.
    I wish you luck on your ARC journey. I am right there with ya.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Heather @ The Sassy Book Geek June 19, 2017 / 3:38 pm

      That’s my only problem with Netgalley is that I can request a couple ARCs and not get anymore or not want to get more since my ratio drops.
      It definitely is covetous, I also don’t have room for a ton of books either or even time! I have so many other books I own that need to be read, so getting a ton of ARCs isn’t good for that either!

      Thank you Stephanie! πŸ™‚


  5. Life of a Literary Nerd June 15, 2017 / 3:15 pm

    I’ve actually had much better luck being approved for ARCs on Edeilweiss than NetGalley, especially from more notable publishers like HarperCollins. I think I’ve only had 1 request denied on Edelweiss, while I have almost 30 on NetGalley. I also find that NetGalley will leave more requests unanswered – I’ve had some requests pending since March.

    Since I’ve just started actively blogging within the past 3 months, I haven’t really tried to get physical ARCs yet. But for now, I’m happy with digital galleys!

    Liked by 1 person

    • ashley June 15, 2017 / 5:31 pm

      Its not that your requests on NetGalley have gone unanswered, it all has to do with the publication date of the book. If the book won’t be published until January you might not know if your request has been approved until closer to the publication date.


    • Heather @ The Sassy Book Geek June 19, 2017 / 3:43 pm

      That’s impressive! I only ever got approved for one ARC on Edelweiss and just sort of gave up on that stie but that is the only place to get E-galleys from HarperCollins since they don’t offer them on Netgalley! And that is an annoying thing about Netgalley, some publishers let requests go until the book is published :/

      Thanks for joining the discussion by the way! πŸ™‚


  6. amortalreader1 June 15, 2017 / 4:29 pm

    Great Discussion. If the publisher has mentioned requesting them on Netgalley it usually means they only are going to send you an Ebook via there. I haven’t personally experienced being given a physical copy as well when told to use Netgalley.
    I have received some physical arcs in the past and I have to say I personally prefer it, being on a laptop so often for blogging and at work I don’t like to then come home and spend time on my kindle. I feel like a physical book gives me eyes a bigger rest from the screens and lights. However I do love netgalley and my kindle too, I just go through moments where I like reading them.
    I only ever request one certain type of book of Netgalley because I struggle to read fantasy etc without having the book in my hand. I think it’s just easier to flip back if I need to clarify something.
    I definitely agree with how frustrating Netgalley can be at times especially trying to keep that feedback ratio up. I think you really have to be organised in keeping your requests and reviews in date and making sure you don’t over request which can be difficult. I tend to request maximum 5 when I go on then wait to hear from them before I request more. I know some people who request hundreds and never read them but I assume that must be the read now options as they surely wouldn’t be accepted with such a low feedback rating?
    Great Post πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Heather @ The Sassy Book Geek June 15, 2017 / 5:29 pm

      Thanks Hannah!

      This is exactly what the publisher told me “Thanks so much for reaching out! We’ll try to send you copies that we have, but feel free to request these titles on NetGalley!”

      I know usually they will say to request them in Netgalley if they don’t have physical copies but the way this was worded was a little more confusing. If they were not going to send a physical one i would have preferred if they said use Netgalley instead of “feel free”. You know? I feel like I made it more confusing, haha!

      I’m in between on fantasy books because like you said it’s nice to be able to flip back and forth and but at the same time I personally get intimidated by the size of some of them in which case I’d prefer it on my kindle, haha!
      I’ve never over requested on Netgalley but it could be sooooo easy! It’s not hard to keep clicking that request button haha!
      I always read the ones I receive as well I can’t imagine people requesting so many and not reading them….it’s so sad since someone else could have gotten one. Although with read now copies it’s a little different.

      Liked by 1 person

      • amortalreader1 June 16, 2017 / 3:39 am

        Oh yes that is definitely confusing how they worded it! You would think they would would look to see if they have any physical ARCs then reply and tell you to request via Netgalley. Very peculiar indeed!

        I understand what you mean about the size of them, I’m the same. I too get intimidated and i’m like ‘boy that will take ages to read’ then I spend days thinking about it when I could of been reading it. Darn Brain! I hope the publisher you originally requested off contacts you again and lets you know if they have physical arcs or not!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Heather @ The Sassy Book Geek June 21, 2017 / 10:08 am

        Thank you! I was slightly confused with that email because I don’t want to request the ebooks if I will potentially receive the physical ones! Also if I requested the 4 ARCs my Netgalley feedback ratio would drop so bad!

        I’m glad I’m not the only one intimidated by size, haha! I also sit and drag my feet the same way like “it’s just so big it will take me forever” when I could have been reading it also, haha! πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  7. ashley June 15, 2017 / 5:27 pm

    I’ve had the most luck with NetGalley. I haven’t requested physical ARCs, I don’t really have the shelf space for them. I feel like the approval rating on NetGalley is more for publishers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Heather @ The Sassy Book Geek June 19, 2017 / 3:50 pm

      I’ve had the most luck on Netgalley as well and I’m definitely running out of shelf space too which is a bummer.
      I know the feedback ratio on Netgalley is for publishers and that’s why it can be a hassle sometimes. Like when I request maybe 4 ARCs and get approved my ratio drops and prevents me from getting approved for anymore since it would be below the desired 80% even if they all are released at very different times.

      Thanks for joining the discussion by the way Ashley! πŸ™‚


  8. Bionic Book Worm June 15, 2017 / 9:32 pm

    I’ve never used Netgalley. Sadly prolonged screen time really messes with my eyes and I end up with a massive headache. But it seems so much easier to get access ARC’s! I’m so envious of people who have these giant ARC hauls! It seems to be easier to see what’s available and easier to actually request

    Physical copies are so much harder to get. Most publishers run on a “by request” basis so it’s just the luck of the draw. You just have to request and hope you aren’t too early or too late. But more than 90% of the time they won’t have it or they won’t approve you if you don’t have enough followers. When applying to a publisher I highly recommend specifics. List your platforms and social media (include links!) and how many followers you have on each. But each country may have different requirements. I’m currently working with The Hachette Book Group, Penguin Random House, and Harper Collins. They’re all really great to work with so far. The Hachette Book Group actually sends out a newsletter with a list of books to choose from every so often and I think that’s an easier way to handle it. But like I said, it’s still SO difficult to time it right!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Heather @ The Sassy Book Geek June 21, 2017 / 9:58 am

      You’re definitely not the only one, there are so many other bloggers I talk to that having similar problems with reading on screens for long periods of time. Which is why you would think physical ARCs would be a tiny bit easier to get a hold of, but I still understand.
      I’m definitely envious of other people’s ARC hauls as well, so many books!

      I have gotten physical ARCs before so I do understand the gist of it and always supply as many stats as I can. The smaller publishers are much easier to work with it’s just the bigger publishers I don’t know what they’re looking for you know? I’m sure they want 1,000+ followers though and I”m just not there yet!
      Thanks for joining the discussion by the way! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  9. mugglesandmundanes June 15, 2017 / 11:12 pm

    Honestly, I feel that getting ARCs is hard as it is and I totally agree with the Netgalley feedback ratio. I couldn’t get the approval for a bookI wanted because of it at some point. I also do feel like it varies by country. Oh and another thing I dislike is when I request an ARC and my request is denied solely based on the fact that I requested it from another country, cause either way they would send it to me as an ebook.
    Also with getting physical copies, I feel like it rarely works out because of the number of people requesting stuff which I feel makes the publishers really picky when it comes to who to give it to. Maybe someday thoughπŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    • Heather @ The Sassy Book Geek June 21, 2017 / 10:05 am

      It definitely does vary by country, different publishers are easier to work with in some places and harder in others.
      Physical copies are also much harder because of the reasons you stated, lots of people want them! I’m guessing the bigger publishers are probably looking for 1,000+ followers I’m sure.
      Thanks for joining the discussion! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Lauren @ Wonderless Reviews June 16, 2017 / 7:07 am

    I think being in Australia it’s definitely a lot easier for me to receive physical ARCs which I’m extremely grateful for. Although, we do have a smaller selection and most times our ARCs are actually finished copies, haha. I love receiving them, but I don’t mind if all I can get is an e-ARC because I normally prefer reading eBooks anyway. I just love getting book mail πŸ˜‚ and it’s kinda cool to know that actual publishers are sending them to me. It makes me feel like my blogging is paying off? Not that I got into this for free books, but it’s like a nice little reward?

    I much prefer Netgalley to Edelweiss (even though Edelweiss has more popular titles). I have never been approved for one single book on there and I think it might be a country thing? I’ve kinda stopped trying, honestly πŸ˜‚

    Great discussion, Heather!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Heather @ The Sassy Book Geek June 21, 2017 / 10:12 am

      Yes, one of the reasons I don’t like living here in the US, haha just kidding…..a little. I just think there’s so many more people requesting physical copies here that there just aren’t enough to go around and so publishers are much pickier. Which is definitely understandable.
      I’m the same way, I think the best part of physical ARCs is getting book mail and it really is a nice reward for all the hard work we put into our blogs!
      Netgalley is so mucher easier to use and I honestly don’t use Edelweiss because I’m kind of too lazy too. It’s a harder site to work with in my opinion!

      Thanks Lauren! πŸ™‚


  11. Eva@Brilliantly Bookish June 17, 2017 / 2:04 am

    Since I’m from Belgium the whole thing lies a bit different for me. I don’t think I’ll ever recieve physical ARCs, because being international makes it a lot harder. E-ARCs I might get approved for though, since it doesn’t matter where you are in the world when it comes to electronics. I just signed up for Netgalley yesterday and to be honest I’m kind of scared. I really don’t know what publishers want.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Heather @ The Sassy Book Geek June 26, 2017 / 11:47 am

      I have heard from some of my other blogging buddies that are international that it is much harder as well. It can be difficult here in the US as well and I cannot imagine how it must be for you and other international bloggers!

      Also on Netgalley some of the publishers, if you go to their pages, will list their approval preferences such as what kind of stats and such that they want to see in order to be approved! Netgalley is a very easy platform to work with! Good luck! Thanks for joining the discussion too! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Anna @MyBookishDream June 18, 2017 / 1:15 pm

    I have never received a physical ARC before. Or rather I have never requested one, that has mostly to do with the fact that I live in Austria where I can’t really get ARCs of the books that I want to read. Problems of being an international reader!
    If I’m being honest I wouldn’t actually want to receive physical ARCs. I just don’t have the space for them and I love displaying books that I buy on my shelves, not unfinished copies. So even if I had the chance to get physical ARCs I don’t think I would use it.
    I usually request ARCs from Netgalley. Yes, the percentage can get quiet frustrating at times but I’m never too disappointed when I’m declined an ARC. I guess I just don’t generally care about them that much. Another annoying thing about Netgalley is when the publisher prefers bloggers from USA and UK – so I have no chance of getting the book in the first place. And I tend to find a lot of books that I want to read in that category – which is kind of good news for my TBR pile in general!
    Great discussion Heather! πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    • Heather @ The Sassy Book Geek June 26, 2017 / 12:53 pm

      It stinks, I’ve been hearing the same problem from other international readers as well! And here I was thinking it was difficult in the US!
      I don’t really have too much room for more physical books either but I think I may have hoarder tendencies because I keep getting more!
      I suppose being turned down is good in that way sometimes, the TBR pile is a little less! I really like that, it’s a nice positive way to look at it!
      Thanks Anna! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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