ARCs, Ettiquette, and a Fascinating Read from another Blog

So one thing that had me interested in getting into doing reviews were ARCs. I will freely admit, again, that I am a decidedly cheap bastard and while I love to read and get books, my wallet does not love it. It also doesn’t love my obsession with video games but thats another problem entirely.

Watching episodes of Mailbag Monday by SFF180 didn’t help. How awesome would it be to have books delivered to your door, more then you could ever hope to read? You could find gems you did not even know existed.

However, I am nothing if not a realist. NetGalley is certainly a godsend when it comes to getting stuff to read for free, in exchange for my thoughts and what little press I can give the authors. And of course I have a huge backlog of things I can reread and review finally (oh Midkemia books I am looking at you!).

What I have done however is do some searching, and while I found a few various articles detailing things about getting ARCs and the like…I never saw anything that directly gave a good path and suggestions for it.

Then I found the following thread on Goodreads. Written by a lass who calls herself All Things Urban Fantasy. Interesting name. I like it.

The thread links directly to 3 distinct parts of an editorial written by ATUF. I am going to copy the links here as written.

Part 1: ARC Resources
Part 2: Requesting ARCS (with comments from publishers!)
Part 3: ARC Protocol

Now granted I don’t intend to follow their path exactly. But the advice seems solid.

Part 1 details things like NetGalley, and other sites like Goodreads and how to go about entering ARC Giveaways and the like. I was aware of NetGalley obviously and Goodreads, but LibraryThing is a new one and I may have to check out.

Part 2 is where the fascinating stuff comes in. Seeing what boils down to an interview with publicists about requirements and pet peeves in regards to ARC requests is awesome. It amazes me that people would not send an address when asking for a physical object to be mailed? And getting an authors name mispelled?

Part 3 is just some general organizational tips as well as the tenant of DO NOT RESELL YOUR ARCS. This one confuses me. It never occured to me to ask for these sort of things with the intent to resell them. But I suppose if you got a copy of say some new JK Rowling book set in the Potter universe you could post that on ebay a few months in advance and make a killing.

I am too honest to do such a thing, but I can see it happening.

If you are curious about getting physical ARCs and have no idea where to start I suggest checking out the posts above. The blog itself is great and the advice contained is still relevant, even if it was written a few years ago.

Another handy resource I found is this blog post here.

And if you do get ARCs why not throw some advice down in the comments below!


2 thoughts on “ARCs, Ettiquette, and a Fascinating Read from another Blog

  1. Absolutely! For me, the best thing to do is to think of it from a marketing perspective. They have a limited number of ARCs to send out, and they want to get the most bang for their buck out of each one they send. They want to know that you have a ‘loud’ voice. Furthermore, it’s really time-consuming for them to hunt down every mention of their book on every blog, so sending links to them makes their job easier (which makes them think of you as a more convenient option). Show them that giving an ARC to you would be beneficial to them from a marketing perspective, and they’ll start remembering your name and sending you books more often. With authors, you appeal to their ego and their love for the baby they’ve spent years creating. With publishers, you appeal to their wallets and business sense.

    Something I like to do on NetGalley is to mark the publishers that approve me as favorites, and request more of their books more often. Then, I’ll go to the publisher’s website and get contact details for their marketing/publicity department (unless I receive a specific contact email from NG when I’m approved) and note it down so that I can send my links to them as soon as I post the review, and not just include the link on NetGalley. I also add the publisher’s and author’s twitter handle to my linked tweets so that they see the mention when the link goes live, and they usually retweet it, which gets my blog a huge boost in stats. One publisher even quoted my review when they talked about author events in their blog!

    It’s also important to remain professional at all times, in all correspondence. Check your spelling, check your tone, show them you can write intelligent, quotable “blurby” things, and be polite.

    In the meantime, build up the quality of your blog, and the stats will follow. Continue creating good content on a regular basis. I actually follow a rule of never having more than three days between posts. If I’m stuck reading a long book, I might post an author interview or guest post that I’ve kept in my back pocket, or quickly read and review a short work from my TBR list (like a short story or anthology of short stories) so that my blog never has a ‘dry’ spell – I learnt my lesson after a week on vacation.

    If you go after the numbers too quickly, then you will get high numbers, but they’ll be spambots, or people who are doing that thing where they follow you so you’ll follow them back and boost THEIR stats, and they’ll never look at your blog again. Instead, follow the people who have engaged with your content, and people who are linked to your content like the publisher, the author, the publicist, and anyone who likes or comments on something you’ve done. Take time once in a while to weed out the spammers – it will reduce your numbers but boost your engagement with a real crowd of followers. Take part in “blogs commenting back” events and lists, like reading challenges on other blogs, to attract participating, active bloggers with similar interests. Bring them in by being a social butterfly, and keep them by being good at what you do. Slowly and steadily build the stats and they will be more worthwhile and more stable (instead of mass follows and unfollows).

    Finally, engage with the authors who you review, before and after you review them. I ask them to write guest posts and participate in interviews, and I like and comment on their posts on social media as well. If I love their book, I’ll mention it frequently to other people, beyond my links to my blog. If I’m clever I’ll link back to my blog at the same time in the least pushy way I can. By nurturing a relationship with authors, you make them remember you. For example, I absolutely loved the excerpt of a book from a sampler put out by St Martin’s Press, and I reached out to the author in hopes of an ARC, or at least an interview. Today he emailed me to say he’d asked his publisher to send an ARC via NetGalley!

    Everything I’ve said above is how I manage my blog, and at this point I’ve had 3 invitations to read ARCs on NetGalley, been approved for 47 books (of which I’ve reviewed 21 so far), and about 50 ARCs that were submitted to me via email by self-published authors. I also have about 5 books that were submitted directly to authors who I befriended through social media; this can be tricky though because you must maintain your objectivism while reviewing their books and you might not necessarily like the book as much as you like the person.

    Wow. I’ve written quite an essay here, when it was meant to just be a comment. ^_^

    Liked by 2 people

  2. It’s so true that once you start receiving ARCs that it becomes a bit of a shock to have to pay for a book!! My advice would be to always include your current blog stats when you request a review copy direct from the publisher, ALWAYS send links back to the publisher once you’ve reviewed a book they’ve sent and be patient – work on building your blog following and reviewing consistently and you will reap the benefits in time.

    Liked by 2 people

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