Q. How do I get my hands on an ARC?

This is probably one of the most common question asked to me by new bloggers. I actually published a BB101 about two years ago regarding the same thing. I thought it might be time to revisit it.

The desperate pursuit of ARCs, the veritable pot of gold for some book bloggers, seems to be a big question for start-up bloggers.  Even if you don’t really care about getting advanced release copies, when you hear some bloggers hype them up, it almost gets you excited and in desperate need of one. I want to be a part of that club!! Where do I sign up??

For some books, there are a ton of ARCs floating around, for others there are just a few coveted versions. Other hot books – there are none. Heard word of any ICED ARCs by Karen Marie Moning? I didn’t. Doling out those ARCs is usually up to the publisher, PR person/Media agency or author. Some publishers seem to do a lot of ARCs, some hardly any.  It is really up in the air.

  • Online Library Sites
    • A good way to win/receive ARCs is through Goodreads.com & Library Thing, via their early release programs or giveaways. I like Goodreads because you just press a button and it enters you into the contest. Very simple, but unfortunately they usually have a lot of entries.
  • Make Contact
    • Another way is to contact authors and/or publishers and request a review copy of an upcoming book. Always be professional and courteous. The author or publisher does not owe you anything, so remember that when you are requesting the book.  Also make sure it is a book you are truly interested in, and not just chasing it because of the hype.
    • One time a WOW helped me receive and ARC. (Waiting on Wednesday). The author must have been google searching their book and thanked me for my interest and offered me a copy. Very cool. A good way to get your WOWs out there are to publish the link to your post on twitter and facebook. Make sure you use hashtags and maybe even direct the post to the author’s name. But, sometimes that might be a little too forward. So, use discretion.
    • Make sure to do your research on books, check if the author is on Twitter. Send the tweet out with the Book Name & the author’s twitter name, i.e.:

Waiting on Wednesday @Parajunkee. Vampires & Starbucks: A Love Story by @TSuckie – I so wanna read this book! http://tinyurl.182930129.com

Just remember, ARCs are hard to come by, so don’t be disappointed when you don’t get your hands on one. My first ARC was won from another book blogger, second one from Goodreads. When I first started the only way I could receive an ARC was via NetGalley.com

  •  Online Galley Distributors

    • I highly recommend NetGalley and now there are new programs like Edelweiss which are very similar.  But — you have to remember to review them and always check their approval standards before requesting. Then once you are approved it is good practice to review them and then post the reviews in the program, because that is where the publishers check first. Not your blog.
  • ARC TOURS
    • Another tried and true option is to join ARC TOURS. These usually happen with a passion after large conventions that give away a lot of ARCs as their promos. ARC TOURS can be organized by bloggers or publishers. Just search around, there are a few sites that do it a lot.
  • Conventions
    • Lastly, the BEST way of getting ARCs is by attending book conventions. ALA, BEA, Comic Cons…you will walk out of those conventions with more ARCs then you can imagine. If one is close, you might want to think about attending.

Reader Question of the Week:

“I’m facing what could only be considered to be a blogging moral dilemma and would love your opinion or thoughts.

About a month ago a company I had worked with previously contacted me about a tour for a book that just wasn’t “me”. I politely declined.

Today I get an unsolicited package from the author who states the company suggested her to send me her book. Since I’d worked with them previously, I’m guessing they passed on my address to her. While that alone puts me off, I’m more bothered by the fact that in addition to the book she sent a gift card. I can’t help but feel bribed.

I’ve gotten small “thank yous” in the past, but have never gotten something quite this blatant. I’m not really sure what to do.

Thanks for any input! – Anon

First, I would contact the company and ask that they do not pass on your address to their authors. You gave that to them in confidence and didn’t expect that they would pass it on. Secondly, I would return the package to the author. Because, by sending that gift card she will expect something from you. That is a no-win situation. If you are already torn about enjoying the book, the stress of the situation isn’t going to make it any easier. If you write a bad review, the chances of the author getting upset increases and the chances of you feeling guilt for writing anything non-positive also increases, since she sent you this “gift”. I wouldn’t be so blatant about sending it back either, I would just nicely state that you don’t think the book would work on your site and you feel uncomfortable about accepting a gift card with the review book, since you do not charge for reviews. I think that would be the best way, yes you might upset the author…but I think they put you in a bad situation to begin with, even if their intentions were noble.

Book Blogging News:

Halloween is over…I’m  burnt.

Happy Thursday. Talk Less. Read More. Blog with Integrity.

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