A Super Basic Guide to Requesting Physical ARCs

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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!

contacting-the-publishers

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.

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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!!!!!
  • Seriously.
  • 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.

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:

Hi, [Publisher]

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:

[Your 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.

Lauren
Wonderless Reviews

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.

whats-next

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.

Remember…

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.

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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!

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53 thoughts on “A Super Basic Guide to Requesting Physical ARCs

  1. I discovered over a friend blogger in Austria a website for German-speaking Bloggers where you can register and ask for books by simply clicking on a button. First you have to register your blog though and say how many reviews you write in a week (45 publishers are represented in the Random House Group, which is really convenient and practical). The deal is though that I prefer to read in English since the titles are most of the time more up-to-date, yet I am afraid that UK publishers would resent me for the simple fact that English isn’t my mother tongue. Maybe I’ll try one day, yet I feel like my blog is too small even if I’m blogging for soon 2 years.
    You’ve written a really encouraging and helpful post!
    xo Annina | Blattzirkus

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, I’m a German blogger and I was wondering if you were talking about Random House’s Blogger Portal in your comment? Because I think it’s such a great platform for us Germans and maybe even German speaking bloggers! My blog is still pretty new and I am still under 200 followers, but I’ve been approved for both physical and digital ARCs already!

      But I’m also in the same boat as you were I prefer to read my books in English and I was just thinking about maybe contacting UK publishers and see if they would be willing to work with me at some point – especially since I have quite a big audience in the UK.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hey 🙂 Yes I was talking about Bloggerportal and I got approved for both physical and digital ARCs as well (digital ones are in my opinion easier to get anyways)! I love it as well yet sometimes wonder if it looks greedy when I apply for more ARCs when I got like 5 already (approved within a range of a couple of months)? Idk what’s ethical when it comes to that tbh. How do you see it?

        My audience is mainly from the US or the UK as well, sometimes really widley spread as well and I’m even below 100 followers sooo yeah. Maybe just trying and seeing where it will lead? 🙂

        Like

  2. Wonderful & insightful Lauren! I’ve heard that it is easier to acquire arcs in Australia. I haven’t tried in a bit since I tend to have better luck on Twitter with ARCS, not sure why lol. These are great tips everyone can apply though & I may just give it another go 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  3. These are great tips Lauren, thank you for sharing your experience. I tried with international publishers to send some emails to get some ARCs but never got one so far – I don’t know if it’s because of geography or because I am too impatient and should wait. Anyway, I am glad you included that part about “blogging for ARCs” and everything- if there is definite envy whenever I see all of the gorgeous ARCs around, this is not why I started blogging at all! 🙂
    Great post! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. This was such great advice, Lauren! I had just opened the contact information for Tor here in Germany and I was just staring at the empty contact form like ‘What do I even say? How do I start this?’! Your post came at the perfect time! Thank you very much!

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  5. Great post Lauren, I’ve requested a few physical ARCs here and there but honestly most times I’m not that bothered. They’re usually on NetGalley at one point or another and I prefer reading books on my Kindle most times, also they’re going to be released eventually and I guess I know I’ll read them then if I’m interested enough. 🙂
    I think this was really great advice, and I love how you included the links for other countries sites as well! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hachette is one of the pub lists I’m not on XD That and penguin. I love getting review copies but have so many owned books that I haven’t read I haven’t been requesting (i’m trying to stay on top of things but I don’t think it’s working coz my TBR is still way to big). Great post lauren! I know when I first started I was so scared to request anything from publishers now I don’t really mind I mean the worst they can do is not reply or say no it’s not like they’ll ban me from ever reading the book XD

    Like

    1. Hachette has sent me so many books (either ones I’ve requested or won in a giveaway). I sometimes feel bad asking for more 😂😂 I only contacted Penguin recently so I haven’t received anything from them yet. Ahh, yeah that’s definitely me too. I only request a book if it’s something I REALLY want. I feel like requesting books just for the sake of it is unfair to the publisher and other people. When I email a new publisher for the first time I get super nervous, but fortunately I’ve contacted most of them now 😂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I feel so bad at review copies piling up I can’t stand the self guilt at not being in the mood for them. Once I finally get my unread books read I might request more but who knows if that’ll ever happen XD I don’t really collect arcs either so I’m not to fussed unless its a release from a fave author or a second book I’m dying for XD I asked to get on Hachette mainly for the new Stephen King I am dying to get that in my hands

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        1. Ah, same!! It’s why I’ve tried to hold back a lot. I still have a fair few on my Netgalley shelf that have been there for way too long. Oops. I tend to prioritise physical review copies too so I think that’s why NG has suffered a little recently. Yeah, I could care less about collecting ARCs either 😂 Oooh I think I remember seeing that in their most recent catologue. It sounds really interesting!!

          Liked by 1 person

  7. Awesome tips! I don’t really request too many ARCs just because I don’t want the obligation, but once in awhile I get some. Mostly ones that are pitched to me now and then, rather than ones I ask for, though. :p

    I actually think the 6 months/500 followers thing is a good rule of thumb, though, yeah, it’s not an official rule for a lot of publishers and some will send ARCs if you don’t meet those standards. I agree that the worse they can do is say no, though perhaps I’m overly polite and didn’t really want to bother publishers with requests when my blog was much smaller and I knew they would reject me anyway. Just keeping in mind that ARCs are for publicity so they don’t have much incentive to send them to blogs that have 40 followers, you know?

    I’m lucky enough to live in the US, where lots and lots of the publishers are. Some people who have requested books internationally may not be getting them just because of rights issues. Sometimes the publishers legally can’t be promoting/selling the books in certain countries.

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    1. Thank you! The obligation thing is the reason why I only request books that I really want to read. I think it’s unfair to the publisher and other people to request books just for the sake of it. Plus I want to read books that I want to read!

      Ahh, definitely! I just wanted to try and get across that it was more a “when you’re ready” situation? I waited until six months before I contacted anyone because that’s when I felt ready. I thought for sure I wouldn’t get anything because I had under 500 followers so I was really surprised when I did. All those posts made me think that the only bloggers who got books were ones with 1000s and 1000s of followers, haha. It put me off for so long.

      That’s why I never bother requesting books on Netgalley that are region specific. Except I did break that rule recently because I was pretty desperate to read the book just to see what would happen 😂

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  8. Absolutely agreed with all of this! I started asking for ARCs after like, two weeks of having a blog? The rule about having 500 followers is nonsense imho. Also, in my emails I always talk about why I’m interested in that particular book – it is usually a diverse book so I mention if my mental health or sexuality are represented in the book, etc.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Right! I understand it in a sense, but I feel like it can put so many new bloggers off? I remember thinking I had no chance so I didn’t bother for ages because I presumed only bloggers with 1000s of followers received them. Ooh yes!! If I’m requesting a contemporary I normally throw in about how I’m really interested in books with mental heath ect. representation.

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      1. That’s a real shame. I think as well it maybe helps to contact smaller publishing houses rather than really big ones like Hachette/Penguin, etc. They’re more likely to get back to you/not care about stats.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. You are THE BEST! I’m recently delving into the requesting ARCs world, and it’s so hard to find information on it. If you could maybe do an advice post on how to review an ARC and what the rules are that would be great because I received a couple eBook ARCS and idk how soon after I have to post a review or anything like that. Thank you so so so much!

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    1. Aw, thank you ♥

      When it comes to reviewing ARCs I would honestly treat them like any other review. A general rule of thumb is that you should wait until at least a month before the book is published before you post a review because that’s the best time frame to create hype. I usually try and post mine on days the book is released, but that doesn’t always work out haha. Most times on Netgalley they’re pretty lax about everything though. If you’re in contact with a publishers they might tell you when they want the review posted.

      If you DNF’d or didn’t like an ARC I would still post a review, but when sending feedback either to the publisher or Netgalley instead of sending them the actual review I’d just say something how you appreciated having the chance to read the book, but it wasn’t for you!

      Sorry this isn’t an entire post, but I don’t think I could write enough because I’m TERRIBLE at reviews myself 😂 I hope it managed to help!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Such an amazing post Lauren. I think the rule of having over 500 followers if not more would definitely apply to the larger publishing houses such as Penguin, Disney etc because they usually send their review copies to booktubers with like 100k followers. Like you say sending the email never hurts, for myself being a UK blogger I’ve not received an email back from Penguin and I have under 500 🙂

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    1. Yes, definitely! I’m really surprised that out of all the major publishers I only haven’t heard back from Simon & Schuester and Harper Collins (they have accepted my requests on NG though!). I think a lot of is to do with geography too. I think it’s a lot easier in Australia because everything is so much smaller.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. In my almost three years of blogging I have requested two books. I never heard from one, and the other is a book that comes out in Sept so who knows?! That said, I did receive an unsolicited ARC, Dreamology by Lucy Keating about a year or two ago and OMG I FELT SO HAPPY because it was the first ARC I had ever received. Lol. Because of my location, Ecuador, I mostly use only NG for review copies. My mom lives in the US so my system for physical copies is that she mails them to me IF THERE WERE a lot of physical copies, at least, that’s the plan XD So, obviously, it’s complicated, so I stick to e galleys. I’ve gotten used to this way of book blogging and it definitely hasn’t affected my thing. ARCs are privilege, not a requirement to be a book blogger.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. This is great advice!! 😊
    Congrats on the publishers. I never heard back from Hachette.
    You should try Harper Collins again! I got approved not long ago, the lady I talked to was absolutely lovely!!

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    1. Thank you!!

      Ahh, really? They’ve been so great to me I feel bad when I ask for stuff because they’ve sent me so much 😂 I probably will try again next time something in their catologue catches my eye. I always get worried I’m bothering publishers, but I think a year is enough of a break 😂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, kinda devo. They are really great on NetGalley!! Might have to clear a few books from them off of there. I dunno.
        I am loving the thriller selection from HC/Harlequin at the moment!!
        I feel the same!! Like once is enough, you don’t like me okay cool!! haha. But if your blog has grown why not try again I guess.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Lauren this is amazing and literally just saved my life thankyou so much! This is super informative though and I’m so glad you wrote it since, like you said, most of these guides are US based. Anyway this is such an excellent useful post thanks

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I love your basic advice posts! I think it’s really nice that you give advice to new bloggers from the point of view of another relatively new blogger, and you always sound really nice and approachable! 😊

    There were some books coming out this summer that I wanted to request a review copy of, but I’m in the middle of moving house and currently don’t really have a fixed address in the UK because of moving from campus accommodation to the city – so that would have made things hard 😂 But I’m hoping to request some books in the future – if there are any new releases I’m interested in 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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