A Guide to ARCS | #1 Emailing Publishers – Featuring Jess from Bookends And Endings

Requesting ARCs (or Advance Reader Copies) can be hard, because not only do you need the right contact details, you also need to convince the publisher you are the right person for their book. You need to show them you’re committed, have an audience and that you are interested in the book they’re going to publish. ARCs are distributed, usually, a few months before they are getting published. They are distributed for the purpose of reviewing, and to spread the word about the book. For internationals, it can be even harder to request ARCs due to high shipping costs and restrictions from the publishers.

This post will be part of what I hope will be a series on different aspects of getting ARCs. This first post will be about physical ARCs, there will be a post containing contact info for internationals and further tips and pointers, a post about Netgalley and Edelweiss and probably a post about other ways of getting ARCs (I’m not sure about the specifics yet). Let me know if this is something you’re interested in! This first post, and guide, is written by the amazing Jess from BookendsAndEndings, so definitely check out her blog and give her some love!

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Often, the idea of emailing a publisher to ask for an ARC, or even a finished copy, can seem really daunting or intimidating. I’ve been blogging for a year and a half, and successfully receiving review copies for about a year now, and even still I’m sometimes nervous to request a book. Seeing as I do have quite a bit of experience requesting ARCs, today I’ve got some tips and general advice for doing so.

Quick note – the advice I give is generally how I structure my emails, and obviously you might think this structure would work perfectly for you, but equally, you might want to go for something else. Feel free to use this structure in its entirety or mix and match the advice!

First up, before you even start asking the publisher for an email address or writing the email itself, there are some questions you should ask yourself. How committed are you to blogging? Do you know if the publisher takes bloggers who aren’t in their database? Have you been blogging for long enough to be credible? I’m not saying that any of these things should entirely prevent you from applying, but it is worth bearing in mind that if you’ve only been blogging for two weeks, you don’t care about the book that much, and the publisher only sends books to people on their mailing list, then you might not be successful that time around. (Generally, I would say that after six months of blogging, you seem credible, but I asked for ARCs after six weeks just because I thought it was worth a try, and I knew that I was committed.)

Next up, you need to gather the right information so that you look professional in your email. For me, this is usually checking that I’m emailing the right publisher (and, if possible, the right branch – this isn’t always possible, but if you can, go for publicity or marketing), and checking that I have the right publication date. Goodreads often displays the US and UK publication date, so I need to ensure that I refer to the UK date to match the publishers I’m emailing.

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At this point, you can start with writing the email. Introduce yourself to start off with, in particular, your blog and what exactly you review, to make it clear that you’re who they’re looking for to promote their book. For example, I would write something along the lines of: “Hi, I’m Jess, a YA book blogger from bookendsandendings.wordpress.com.”

Next up, you need to explain why you want the book. For me, this is usually why the description appeals to me, and what it is about the book that really makes want to read it enough to request an ARC. It’s particularly useful if you’ve already read a book by the same author, and especially if you’ve written other positive reviews of that author’s books which you can link to.

This is when you move on to stats and numbers. I tend to share my most important statistics, which for WordPress are blog followers and blog views, and for Twitter are followers and tweet impressions. Obviously, this is different for everyone, as it depends on what social media you have, and what your strongest platforms are. This is also a good time to add a USP if you have one – for example, I am a Youth Reviewer for a local independent bookshop, so I share all my ARC reviews with them.

Finally, I close off, leaving my mailing address with them (it is generally better to leave your address with them initially, as otherwise, they have to rely to ask for it, and then you have to reply again), and sign off with something along the lines of ‘thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing back from you.’

And that’s that! All you can really do from there is wait for a reason or for an ARC in the post. Another word of advice – if you’re applying to be on a blogger database, I would advise doing something similar, but instead of mentioning books and thoughts around a specific author, instead, mention books published by that specific publisher which you’ve loved or are hyped to read. Best of luck with future emailing!

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Thank you so much Jess for writing this great post! I hope you found it interesting to read and don’t forget to check out Jess’ blog!

Do you often request ARCs? Do you have any tips or tricks when it comes to requesting ARCs? Do you want to see an entire series on the different aspects of ARCs? Anything in particular you’d like to see?

35 thoughts on “A Guide to ARCS | #1 Emailing Publishers – Featuring Jess from Bookends And Endings

  1. This was a great start and I definitely think it’s helpful to people just starting out with blogging or people who want to try requesting ARCs! I’m really excited to see where you’re taking this series next, I think it can be super helpful for a lot of people! I’d love to see a post about an internationals POV on ARCs and maybe someone who has been successful in receiving them from publishers?? It’d be cool to see how they did it and what to keep in mind etc. Lovely post, Lia ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jackie! I will definitely put some time into writing a post about internationals and maybe ask some people for experiences etc. That was the initial goal of this series, to help out internationals!
      Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah that was something I was planning on including in this series as well! There are a lot of ways to get eARCs without using Netgalley but they’re not well-known!

      Like

  2. Very helpful post! As an international blogger I’ve waited till I had some months under my belt but I’m seriously considering contacting publishing houses so it was the perfect post! Wish me luck 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is some really great advice, especially the order in which to write your email segments, which is something I’d considered but wasn’t really certain about. I also think you make a great point about finding out the details of the right department to contact – you don’t want to sent your enquiry to sales when it’s for PR! Awesome post!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ahh, I never request physical arcs, mostly because I have only been blogging for a year and I didn’t think that was long enough. This post definitely gave me a whole lot more confidence though!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s really interesting to read, since I never requested any kind of physical ARCs. For sure I want to amplify my public and followers on WordPress before trying to requeste physical ARCs. And when I do I want to be sure of the book I’m going to chose, a noel that can convince the publisher that I’m the right one for this novel.

    Sure the most important thing is to write to the right person. I learned it while trying to colloborate with the italian publisher. Sometimes isn’t even a general email adress but a specific person.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes that is definitely important! Contacting specific people can be very helpful, but publishers don’t just share those email addresses with everyone, so a general one can be a good start!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you so much for this information!! I saved this for later on and the advice in both the post and the comments are AWESOME!!

    I want to really figure out what I want to get out of blogging before I ask for ARCS. And, honestly, I have so many library books that I need to read so it shouldn’t be so hard to restrain myself xD

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve wanted to request ARCs for a while now, but I don’t know if any publishers would be willing to care… I’m pretty tiny right now 😛
    I appreciate this post a lot, I might try the format soon!

    Liked by 1 person

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