I have been blogging for just a little over two years now and I decided it is FINALLY time to share some of the knowledge that I “think” I have accumulated over this time. When I first started blogging Physical ARCs were like unicorns and I read through soooo many “How To” posts just like this one and I over thought requesting them a ton. Was it necessary to worry so much about it? NO. The truth is requesting physical ARCs is not as intimidating as you may think and I’m here to help! I mean the worst they can do is say no, right?
One more thing though before we begin! Requesting e-galleys on sites such as Netgalley and Edelweiss are a lot simpler (and easier to be accepted on) so if you’re newer to blogging I suggest starting on either of those two sites before jumping right in to requesting physical ARCs!
Basically we contact publishers and request them, pretty simple. Sometimes if you’ve worked with a publisher for long enough they’ll add you to a mailing list in which you’ll receive unsolicited ARCs (or ARCs you didn’t directly request). I personally don’t have a ton of experience with the mailing lists but it is something publishers will do!
While I can’t say “exactly” what certain publishers are looking for there are a couple of general things you should keep in mind before you go emailing a bunch of publishers with requests.
- You should be consistently blogging for at least 5-6 months
- You should have a good amount of followers, 400-500
- You post book reviews and not just book tags and memes
This is just a general idea of what you should look for in your blog since most publishers look for this as well and it can vary. For example when I received my first physical ARC I had been blogging for half a year consistently but I only had a little over 200 followers, these things can vary from publisher to publisher. Some publishers want you to have even more followers, +1,000, before they’ll send you an ARC as well. It’s also great to be very actively interacting with your followers too, after all most of us are here to chat about books too!
Also keep in mind that I said “consistently blogging for at least 5-6 months”. Publishers want to see that you take your blog and blogging seriously and that you’re not just trying to get a bunch of free books that you’ll never review. It’s a good idea to post a couple times week to show that you are active with your blog as well and that you’re not going to just disappear after getting an ARC.
Believe it or not but some publishers will go check out your blog when considering your request so it is a good idea to have some actual book reviews on your feed/home page/blog and not just a ton of tags and memes. You are after all requesting a book to review so they want to make sure you’ll actually review it! You should also review every book honestly and fairly (you can state this as a disclaimer on your review policy page if you would like!) and always be respectful. A publisher isn’t going to want to send you a book to review if you’re going to be rude and bash the author if you didn’t enjoy it. You also don’t want to sugarcoat it if you truly didn’t enjoy it, no one wants dishonesty including your readers!
Over time you may establish contacts at each publisher but you should never share these contacts with others since it took time and trust to build these contacts up and it would be rude and unprofessional to go around sharing a contact’s email address with others.
All of the following email addresses can be found on each publisher’s public contact page and are not my personal contacts. I will show different imprints for each publisher as well as include the general publicity email and link the page with the imprint’s publicity email address as well.
***Keep in mind most of these are the YA (children’s) imprints and publicity emails****
- Macmillan (Imprints: Feiwel & Friends, Imprint, Farrar Straus and Giroux, Henry Holt, St. Martin’s Press, Flatiron Books, Tor/Forge, & Swoon Reads)
- Harper Collins (Imprints: HarperTeen, Balzer + Bray, Katherine Tegen, & Greenwillow)
- Harlequin Teen
- Simon & Schuster (Imprints: Simon Pulse, Simon & Schuster BFYR, Margaret K. McElderry, & Aladdin)
- Hachette (Imprints: Little Brown BFYR & Poppy)
- Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
- Random House (Imprints: Delacorte & Del Rey)
- Penguin (Imprints: Dial, Dutton, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, Philomel, Puffin, Razorbill, & Viking)
When you email a publisher with a request remember to of course be polite and professional, you are making a request of them after all, but also try and give them all the information they need in ONE email. Publishers are very busy people and you don’t want to waste anyone’s time by forgetting to include important information, such as your address.
The following bullet points are in order of what I personally include in all of my ARC request emails.
What To Include:
- Your name and the name of your blog
- A link to your blog
- The information (title, author, and publication date) of the book you’re requesting
- Why you are requesting this book or why you’re excited for it (did you read the first one and love it? Did you read another book by this author and love it? Include links to other review if so!)
- Where you will be publishing your reviews for this book if approved (Goodreads? Amazon? Barnes & Noble?Links to Facebook or Twitter?)
- Your blog stats (follower count, when you started blogging, visitors/month, or comments and likes/month)
- Social media links and followers
- Your FULL shipping address
I personally believe that the more information you can give a publisher the more likely it is you’ll be sent the ARC you’ve requested, but by being professional and not just chattering away about “how much you’d really love to read this book”. Yes, you probably are really excited to read the book but you need to show the publisher that you’re worth investing a review copy in!
Do you HAVE to include everything I’ve listed? Of course not, you can include whatever you feel is necessary! Some people prefer not to include their blog stats for example, I do because I believe it gives the publisher a better idea of how much “buzz” I can generate for the book on my blog. However, a couple things really do NEED to be included such as your blog URL and full shipping address, they’re kind of important!
The simple answer: you wait.
As I’ve said many times already in this post, publishers are busy people! Here’s usually how it will go after you send your ARC request:
- Sometimes the publisher will take the time to email you back and let you know they’ve sent the ARC and it’s on its way to you! Or they will let you know they don’t have any left to send.
- Other times they won’t email you back at all (they’re busy and may not have time) and you’ll either find an ARC in the mail in a week or you won’t receive it at all.
If you got the ARC that’s fantastic! Get reading and reviewing that baby! I’d also like to just note that you should ALWAYS, ALWAYS review an ARC that you received. Didn’t read it by the release date? That’s fine, as long as you still read it and review it! You can’t be expected to cram something in ALL the time, life happens after all! DNF’d it? That’s fine, just be sure to let people know why it is you couldn’t finish it! The ARC was given to you so that you could review it so hold up your end of the bargain!
Didn’t get the ARC? You just have to be patient! Just because you haven’t gotten a reply or an ARC in the mail after a week or two doesn’t mean you won’t. Sometimes it takes them a little longer to get to your request, for example: I once requested a title in May and didn’t get a reply until August and I DID end up getting the ARC!
And if you STILL don’t get a reply or ARC then? It’s okay! Just take some time to go and try and improve your blog and hope to have better luck the next time you request an ARC! Trust me when I say we have all been there and that ARCs are a privilege not a right.
Hopefully some of you found this post helpful or useful in some way! I tried to include EVERYTHING I could think of that someone would need to know in order to request physical ARCs!
Please let me know in the comments if you have any questions that I didn’t answer, I will try to help you out to the best of my ability!