What is an ARC?
ARC stands for Advanced Reader Copy sometimes also known as a galley copy. They are books printed during the editing process before the publication date. They are printed in small batches and are distributed for free to reviewers, librarians, award committees etc. that will give feedback to the author and publisher before the final edition is printed and who will get the word out about the book to get preorder numbers on the book up.
Why do I want an ARC?
Maybe you do, maybe you don’t. Usually when you request an ARC you are promising the publisher or author an honest review before the publication date. So if you cannot write a full review before publishing, make sure you don’t ask for an ARC as they are limited and expensive for the publisher and author to have printed. If you aren’t sure if you can get to it, but want to try, request an e-ARC (more information to come below)
Gather your social media and blog stats. To do this on Instagram and Twitter you will have to switch to a business account (which is free). The more you know and can prove your worth, the better your chance will be to recieve ARCs. Know your followers on all platforms, how many people see your posts on average and how many people take actions based on your posts on average (likes, RT, saves, profile visits etc.) Make sure you have samples of book reviews ready and have posted several on Goodreads and Amazon. Make sure they are lengthy and thorough, but not terribly long, so that the publishers can get a good feel for how you review books without having to read a novel. Set up your Netgalley account and Edelweiss accounts for E-Arcs.
Ways to Get ARCs Before You have a Huge Following
There are several ways to get ARCs while you are still building a large following on platforms. If you don’t have a TWITTER get one! Authors and Readers giveaway ARCs like crazy on Twitter. If you are a teacher or librarian there are even more opportunities for you there. Follow all your favorite authors. Anytime I read a book I follow the author that wrote it. Also follow as many publishers as you can find. Tag these accounts in positive reviews and shout outs as much as possible. Sometimes when they see you shouting from the rooftops how much you love their books, they will remember you when their next one comes out.
Goodreads giveaways are a good place to win ARCs. The more reviews you write on Goodreads compared to how may books you have on your shelf, the more likely you will win a book on Goodreads. I am not sure what the statistics are or the ratio, but I have heard from several sources that you are more likely to win if you have written reviews.
Bookish First is another great community for receiving ARCs. Bookish First is a platform in which you leave the publishers first look feedback, get entered to win an ARC and earn points to turn in for ARCs. I have already received 2 ARCS from them and just joined in April (and haven’t been active this month AT ALL ). Go to BookishFirst.com and when you join, enter in my referral code for some extra bonus points to start off with a9f935be700381f89
Netgalley is by far the easiest place to get ARCs. Make sure you have a well filled out profile. You can start requesting eARCs right away. Make sure you check out a couple that are “instant approvals” or “read now” books. Keep your review percentage above 80% before you request more books (hint: request a picture book every so often so you have an easy and quick read to boost that percentage up!)
The Email to Send to Publishers
Okay so if you are wanting a specific list of PHYSICAL ARCs you will most likely have to request them from the marketing department of the publishers. If you have a small following, or have never requested before, start with small indie publishers first! A lot of the big publishers won’t work with you until you have a massive following (10K and up on Instagram) You need to request ARCs in a 3 to 5 month window of the book being published. For example: It is June 26th so if I were going to request ARCs today I would be looking at books publishing between September and November. I could possibly look at early December publications and request them as well, but likely wouldn’t be able to receive those yet. Note: During the COVID pandemic A LOT of publishers are not able to distribute physical ARCs or review copies of books so be aware that you will likely be offered an eARC of a book if you request physical copies at this time.
Here is the email I send: Make sure you put in ALL of your social media platforms in the email not just the ones I included (I do not have a bookish facebook page/group and I do not have booktube so those would be 2 that you could include.)
Hello, My name is Erin Decker McDowell and I am a PreK through 12th grade librarian, education fantastic, book reviewer and literacy advocate. I am really interested in the following books coming out in the near future and I was wondering if you had any ARCs available of any of these or similar titles. I am willing to publish reviews on my blog, Goodreads and Amazon for anything I request and share anything else that you send with my followers as well as the ARC trading group, #BookPosse on Twitter which is comprised of 32 members who retweet each other’s ARC shares, reviews etc. and ship ARCS within our group. I am interested in these titles because I mostly read YA and MG fiction and particularly enjoy fantasy stories. I of course read other things such as picture books, adult titles, MG/YA historical fiction and contemporary fiction.
Here are the titles I am interested in as well as my current social media stats:
[INCLUDE SPECIFIC LIST OF BOOKS WITH TITLE, AUTHOR and ISBN NUMBER]
Instagram: @BibliophilePrints 6153 Followers with 10 – 20 new followers each week 25,000-30,000 Impressions each week 300 Website clicks each week (including an Amazon link in which I list all books sent to me for marketing purposes) Audience is 95% Women, mostly #bookstagram
Twitter: @ErinBookDragon 1446 Followers 375.8K impressions a month
20 link clicks each day 550 Retweets each month
Part of #BookPosse (at least 3 tweets per title per reader that receives it) Audience is mostly educators and librarians
Blog: ErinDeckerBlog.wordpress.com (165 followers)
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/erindecker (157 Followers)
If you decide to ship these or any other books my address is
[INCLUDE YOUR ADDRESS HERE]
Thank you so much for your consideration! -Erin Decker McDowell
This is MY email. So make sure to edit and tailor it to YOUR truth. I will say, I mostly receive ARCs BECAUSE I am a librarian, not because my social media accounts have a high following or interactions. If you are interested in ARC sharing groups, I have more information below about that. Please note that I am not the person to ask to join #BookPosse and at the time of this article, Book Posse is not taking new members.
Some Popular Publishers Marketing Accounts
Here are the contact Emails for some of the publishers that I have requested from. Note these are current as of June 2020 and may change at a later date so be sure to look up name of publisher MARKETING to find the correct email addresses if these bounce back. When you email, you will PROBABLY not get a reply from anyone. Do not hound publishers. Books may show up at your home, they may not. If they don’t try again in a month with a new request and updated stats.
Penguin Random House Group:
AVERY and VIKING STUDIO
BERKLEY, NAL, ACE, ROC, DAW BOOKS, PERIGEE, HP BOOKS, CELEBRA, JOVE, ONYX, PRENTICE HALL, PRIME CRIME, SIGNET
BLUE RIDER PRESS
DK EYEWITNESS TRAVEL
G.P. PUTNAM’S SONS
HUDSON STREET PRESS
Note: Penguin Books and The Penguin Press are two separate departments. If you are uncertain which department to contact, please look up the book/author on the website for further details. Also, this email address is for books published specifically by the Penguin Books imprint (department), not for any and all titles published by the company, The Penguin Group (USA). Misdirected requests may be delayed, so please use the information listed on our site to direct your correspondence to the appropriate division.
THE PENGUIN PRESS
Note: Penguin Books and The Penguin Press are two separate departments. If you are uncertain which department to contact, please look up the book/author on the website for further details.
RIVERHEAD TRADE PAPERBACKS
YOUNG READERS: DIAL BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS, DUTTON CHILDREN’S BOOKS, FIREBIRD, FREDERICK WARNE, G. P. PUTNAM’S SONS, GROSSET & DUNLAP, MINEDITION, PHILOMEL BOOKS, PRICE STERN SLOAN, PUFFIN, RAZORBILL, SPEAK, VIKING CHILDREN’S BOOKS
Grand Central Publishing: email@example.com
Little, Brown and Company: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hachette Audio: email@example.com
Little Brown Books for Young Readers: firstname.lastname@example.org
Center Street: email@example.com
Amistad – Courtney.Nobile@harpercollins.com
Avon – MorrowGroupPRrequests@harpercollins.com
Broadside Books – Tina.Andreadis@harpercollins.com
Custom House – MorrowGroupPRrequests@harpercollins.com
Dey Street – MorrowGroupPRrequests@harpercollins.com
Ecco Books – Sonya.Cheuse@harpercollins.com
Harper Books, Harper Business, Harper Design – Tina.Andreadis@harpercollins.com
Harper Luxe – Pamela.Jaffee@harpercollins.com
Harper Paperbacks – Kelly.Rudolph@harpercollins.com
Harper Perennial – Tina.Andreadis@harpercollins.com
William Morrow – MorrowGroupPRrequests@harpercollins.com
HarperCollins Children’s Books (all imprints) – HCCBpublicity@harpercollins.com
Harlequin – Lisa.Wray@harpercollins.com , Heather.Connor@harpercollins.com
Simon & Schuster
General Phone: 212-698-7033
General Fax: 212-698-7035
Vice President, Director of
General Phone: 508-427-7100
General Fax: 508-427-6790
Director of Marketing and Publicity
Atria Books, Howard Books
General Phone: 212-698-7086
General Fax: 212-632-8083
Vice President, Director of Integrated Marketing
Avid Reader Press
General Phone: 212-698-7433
General Fax: 212-632-7695
Deputy Director of Publicity
General Phone: 212-698-2808
General Fax: 212-698-4350
Vice President, Marketing and Publicity
Gallery Books, Pocket Books, Saga Press
General Phone: 212-698-7625
General Fax: 212-698-8083
Vice President, Director of Publicity
General Phone: 212-632-4915
General Fax: 212-632-4957
Vice President, Director of Publicity
Simon & Schuster, Free Press, Threshold Editions
General Phone: 212-698-7541
General Fax: 212-698-7336
Vice President, Director of
Simon & Schuster Audio
General Phone: 212-698-2837
General Fax: 212-698-7664
General Phone: 212-698-7285
General Phone: 212-698-7466
General Fax: 212-632-7695
General Phone: 800-387-0446
General Fax: 647-430-9446
Director of Publicity
General Phone: 0207 316 1942
General Fax: 0207 3160331
Adult Marketing and Publicity Director
General Phone: 612 9983 6654
Director of Publicity
Tel: +91 120 4089389
Manager, Publicity and Marketing
Celadon Books: firstname.lastname@example.org
• Farrar, Straus and Giroux: email@example.com
• Flatiron Books: firstname.lastname@example.org
• Henry Holt: email@example.com
• Macmillan Audio: firstname.lastname@example.org
• Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group: email@example.com
• Picador: firstname.lastname@example.org
• St. Martin’s Press: email@example.com
• Tor/Forge: Torpublicity@tor.com
• Tor.com Publishing: TorDotComPub@tor.com
These are just some of the MANY MANY publishers out there. If you find a book whose publisher is NOT on this look google the name of the publisher + “publicity contact” to find the correct contact information.
ARC Sharing Groups
So an ARC sharing group is exactly what it sounds like: a group of like minded readers, who share ARCs with one another. There are a LOT of ARC sharing groups amongst the librarian community, but I have not seen it so much in the reader community especially in regards to YA and Adult books. Authors and publishers are more likely to send ARCs to members of an ARC sharing group with a good reputation because they know that the group will do a good job with marketing the book. They also know that sending their 1 copy to a group will not just be reviewed once, but potentially many times. If you cannot find a group to join, I suggest starting one. Make sure you start a group WITH ARCS READY TO SHARE. Don’t start one and expect people to come to you with their ARCs. Even if you just start with one or two ARCs and recruit trustworthy members with one or two, this is a good start. Come up with a name for your group and keep it small to begin with (less than 10 members and I would suggest never getting bigger than 30) Make sure all members have reviewed books before, are familiar with emailing publishers, and are willing to promote posts amongst members. For the ARC sharing group I am a part of we are required on Twitter to share the book 3 times tagging all publishers and authors (when we receive, while reading and again while we pass it on) then all 30 members of our group must RT the book giving each book we ALL read a total of 2700 tweets! That is a lot of exposure between the 30 of us and all of our followers which is why we are more likely to get ARCs sent to us. Actually since the group is fairly established, authors and publishers often come to us and not the other way around. If you start a group keep track of member information and ARC information in an organized Google spreadsheet. Make sure everyone can afford to ship books to one another often. Keep everyone in the group circulating books so they can reach as many members as possible before publication.
What to do with an ARC when you are finished with it?
Keep it or pass it on. I personally know how much work goes into the production of ARCs and hate keeping them sitting on my shelf. I only keep them if they are signed or especially special to me. Otherwise I share them with my ARC sharing group or a friend I know will review or enjoy it. My last resort is to put it in a Free Little Library. The one thing you should not do with an ARC is sell it! DO NOT SELL ARCS. It is not illegal, BUT it will get you blacklisted by publishers and will ruin your relationship with them.
Answering Your Q&A:
Do publishers ship internationally? Honestly… I have no idea! Probably some do to huge accounts that are worth the shipping and customs fees. My suggestion is to look into publishers in your country to start with.
Are you obligated to review? IF YOU ASK FOR AN ARC YES! If you win an ARC or are sent one unsolicited, no. Publishers watch though, if you email a publisher and ask for an ARC they will watch for your review. If you want to continue working for them, review it!
Should I pay $95 to get advice on requesting ARCS? NO. This is such a waste of money. There is SO much information online to getting ARCS. Besides what I just spent a couple hours writing above here are some other great guides:
How to Get ARCS – A guide
How to Get Advanced Reader Copies for Free
On Requesting ARCs and Working with Publishers
Got more questions? DM me on Instagram @BibliophilePrints OR email me firstname.lastname@example.org and I will try to answer your questions or find someone who can!