I know there’s a bunch of these posts that exist already, but since I’m only new to it myself I figured it might be interesting for people to see from the perspective of someone who hasn’t been blogging for years and years. Obviously, I don’t have publishers or subscription boxes chasing me down but I’m still extremely grateful for what I have been able to receive.
Like I said in my other Newbie 2 Newbie Blogger Tips posts, sometimes I think it’s easier for new bloggers to learn from other new bloggers because we’re all kind of in the same situation? I also wanted to write this because when I first started blogging I struggled to try and find information on requesting ARCs that wasn’t exclusively related to being in the US. I feel like it’s a lot easier to get ARCs sent to you in Australia than I thought, but there is also a more limited catologue. Whilst this is mostly going to focus on requesting ARCs in Australia hopefully there’s some general tips that everyone can take away from it!
Just about every advice post out there will say things like:
- Wait until you’ve been blogging for 6 months or
- Have at least 500 followers
I’d seen this so much that I just presumed it was a rule stated by publishers. I have seen some interviews where publishers have said they feel more comfortable giving 6 months bloggers physical ARCs because it’s more likely that you’re serious about blogging and not just trying to get free books. Of course stats CAN help because it costs money for publishers to send out books and the more people who are seeing your posts increases their chances of selling more books but it doesn’t ALWAYS matter.
During my past year of blogging I’ve realised that you should contact a publisher when YOU feel ready to. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been blogging for or how many followers you have. The worst thing that can happen is that they say “no” and I promise that’s not the end of the world. More than likely they will still add you to a database. If one publisher says no, try another one! Just don’t keep hounding them unnecessarily because that will more than likely not help your case.
I understand how scary it can be – trust me. It’s only because of blogging that I’ve gained the confidence to be able to do something like this. It might not seem like a big deal to some people, but for me it was terrifying. I struggle to talk to people online never alone contacting a professional establishment. I definitely know how overwhelming it can be. A part of me still doesn’t know how I did it. BUT I DID! And that feeling is so great. Every publisher that’s got back to me has been so lovely too!
If you’re also feeling too nervous to directly contact a publisher I have some really in-depth and helpful advice (that was sarcasm):
- JUST DO IT!!!!!
- Write the email.
- Reread the email, but only enough to make sure there’s no typos. If you reread it too many you’ll potentially talk yourself out of sending it.
- Remove yourself from the situation.
- HIT SEND.
Where do you find the Publisher’s Email address?
On most publisher’s websites they’ll have a Contact Us page. There you’ll find a bunch of different emails for various departments. If they have a Publicity email that’s the one you need. If you can’t find it then just send an email to their general contact one and it’ll get passed on to the right place.
Here are some publishers and their contact pages:
If you have direct publicist emails then it’s important not to give them out. Just give people the general publicity email.
- Allen & Unwin AUS || Allen & Unwin NZ
- Bloomsbury AUS : email@example.com
- Hachette AUS : firstname.lastname@example.org
- HarperCollins AUS : email@example.com
- Harlequin AUS || Harlequin US
- Penguin AUS : firstname.lastname@example.org
- Pan Macmillan AUS : email@example.com
- Simon & Schuester AUS : firstname.lastname@example.org
What should you say in the email?
I’m no expert at this kinda stuff so maybe you’ll even be able to think of something better than I did. Basically, keep it professional but don’t sound like a robot. You don’t wanna go full on fangirl, but let them know you’re genuinely interested. When I was sent Hamilton: The Revolution for review I used some lyrical jokes and hey, it seemed to work because I got the book.
Most publishers prefer when you actually give them a book title not just something generic like “Can I be added to a list!” So make sure to try and find some of the upcoming releases.
Some Available Publicity Catologues for Australian Publishers
If you’re not in Australia it should be easy to substitute these for the US or UK division.
A basic email that I send looks like this:
My name’s Lauren and I’ve been blogging at Wonderless Reviews for over a year now. I primarily review YA Books from the fantasy and sci-fi genre and I would love to feature some of your titles on my blog.
If possible I would love to recieve a review copy of:
- [Book Title] (I wouldn’t try requesting anymore than 2 books.)
Here are some quick stats about my blog:
- # of followers
- # of views
- # of visiters
- I also include Twitter stats because that’s just as relevant (feel free to use Instagram/YouTube too)
If the review copy is available here’s my address:
I’d also be happy to receive any other books in the future that fall under the genres I listed above!
Thanks so much for your time and consideration.
Things to keep in mind:
- Don’t forget to include a link to your blog!!! You’d be surprised how easy it is to forget.
- If you’ve reviewed books from the Publisher you’re contacting link a couple in the email!! I mean they might be too busy to read them but at least they know you’re interested in their titles and serious about reviewing the books you read.
- INCLUDE YOUR ADDRESS!! This makes it so much easier for the publisher so they don’t have to follow up asking for the information.
- A lot of the time Australian publishers tend to send finished copies not actual ARCs.
Sometimes you’ll hear back from publishers. Sometimes you won’t. I never heard back from HarperCollins or Simon & Schuester. I could probably try contacting them again because it’s been nearly a year, but I just haven’t bothered 😂. Hachette, Allen & Unwin, Pan Macmillan, Penguin and Bloomsbury have me on a database now so that involves them either sending me publicity catologues, unsolicited review copies or gives me the chance to be like “hey can I have this book?” and then it either shows up at my door or it doesn’t. There’s been a few publishers I haven’t contacted at all because nothing in their catologue has really interested me and I don’t want to be requesting books I don’t want to read.
I can’t speak for other countries, but I think the best publishers to start out with for Australian bloggers is Hachette. They are super friendly and really welcoming to new bloggers. I contacted them back when I was under 500 followers and was blogging for around 6 months.
If you think the book has been lost contact the publisher right away and they should be able to sort something out.
Make sure to ACTUALLY review the book. Publishers are pretty understanding when life gets in the way, but if you keep requesting books and not writing reviews publishers will probably get hesitant to send you more books.
Don’t be discoruaged!
This is honestly the most important thing. Not being sent ARCs doesn’t make you any less of a blogger. I feel like there’s so much elitism that surrounds them sometimes. Like yeah, they’re cool to receive but it’s NOT why I started blogging and it shouldn’t be the reason why ANYONE stars blogging.
At the end of the day…
Everyone’s experience with requesting ARCs is different. There’s no right or wrong way or strict specific guidelines to follow. Just be polite and respectful!
UPDATE: International blogger???
Laura @ Green Tea and Paperbacks recently put together this wonderful and informative post for international bloggers who are looking to try and requesting physical ARCs! Definitely go give it a read.
What’s your experience with requesting and receiving physical ARCs?
Do you have any tips? I’d especially love to hear from International bloggers.
I hope you’re all having a fantastic day!