Hi, and thanks for joining me on day 9 of Blogtober! Today I want to talk about how to request ARCs. I’ll be going over how to traditionally request a book rather than Netgalley and Edelweiss requesting; but this is primarily about talking with publishers. There weren’t a lot of resources for me when I was looking for how-to’s in ARC requesting, so I hope this helps some people! Let’s get into it.
I made my first arc request earlier this year, and in return received Call It What You Want by Brigid Kemmerer from Bloomsbury! When I got the package and saw my name, with ‘Some Books & Ramblings’ underneath, it made my heart soar. I was finally being recognized with my blog!
Below, I’ll be sharing some bullet points to hit in your email to the publisher you’re requesting from. I would recommend writing out a draft with blank points in the right spots so you can copy and paste it whenever you make a new request. Make sure you make it original per each request, especially if you’ll be making multiple requests to the same publisher! You don’t want to look robotic and lazy.
Step one: Figure out who the publisher of the book you want is.
This is the first step you should make. When you figure out who the pub is, you’ll need to go to their website to figure out how to contact them by email. If you hit a wall in finding the correct email to use, your last resort step should be asking the author. You may also want to try asking the publisher through social media! They may be able to give you the right email.
(One of these days I’ll be putting together a resource doc on the big 5 pubs and their smaller imprint pubs with email links, but it probably won’t happen this year. If you already have one or want to help make one, let me know!)
Step two: Draft your request letter.
Open whatever document you write with (I used Word so I could save the document to my blogging materials folder on my desktop, but you may use Google Docs or a different app!) Start out with Hello ______, And a paragraph about who you are and what you do. Mine is below:
Hello, Penguin Teen!
My name is Sam, and I’m a LGBT+ teen book blogger! I live in
City, State, and I have a bookstagram where I try to post lots of pictures of gorgeous books as well as a book reviewing blog where I also help host lots of blog tours.
Next, you’ll want to mention the book you’re looking to request. Tell them the book, author, release date, and a bit about why you’re requesting it! 2 or 3 sentences should do, you still want to fill the rest of the letter with material! An example of what I would write, below:
I am emailing you about potentially requesting an arc of Beth Revis’ book due to be published this Fall, Bid My Soul Farewell. I’ve read Beth’s other books before and absolutely loved how wonderfully her characters are written, and I especially love how this series is turning into a villain origin story!
I’m interested in reading and reviewing Beth Revis’ next book because of how much I loved her first book in this series, Give The Dark My Love. I received an ARC of it last year and devoured it. I was so enthralled with the plot and characters, the budding romance, the healer aspects and learning about Nedra’s family. I am a twin myself, so to see what is happening between Nedra and her own twin is heartbreaking.
Now is where it gets fun. Tell them why you’re excited for this book! Did you read this author’s other books? did you just binge the series and need the next book? Do you just read any book this author writes and you’re not stopping any time soon? Let them know! Be sincere, be kind, and be excited. Another example of mine below:
When you have that written out, now would be the time to mention any memorable interactions you’ve had with the author. Have you met them while they were on tour? Share a few sentences on it! Did you have a fun twitter conversation with them! Mention how kind they were in their replies and how awesome it is that they interact with their fans! Having a connection with the author might help sway their opinions on how eager you are to read this book.
I was lucky enough to meet Beth Revis on her Give The Dark My Love book tour last year when she stopped at Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh, NC and had a talk with Kati Gardner. Both were especially lovely, and even agreed to let me interview them! I’ll link that below in case you’re interested in reading that.
I’ve also interacted with Beth numerous times on social media through Twitter, Instagram and Email and she has been nothing but kind. I would love to read and review her next book because I can’t wait to see what happens with Nedra and Grey’s stories, and to support Beth’s work!
Finally, the most important step: Briefly explain how your review process works. Remember, you are not requesting to read this book just to read it. ARC’s exist for early reviews from bloggers and fans like you! give a short outline on how you review, and offer to send the review to them when you have it written. You can also offer to share your review onn retail sites such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Book Depository!
Also, be sure to share links to your reviewing platforms (such as your blog, Goodreads, Youtube, Netgalley, etc) and any links to previous reviews from that author’s works. Make sure it is an actual embedded link and not just the web address. The easier your link is to access, the better. An example below:
For my reviews, I normally do a short review through Goodreads when I’ve finished reading a book and then I write a full length, in depth review to be posted on my blog. I summarize that review and post it to retailers like my local independent bookstore, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. I follow up and post reviews on Netgalley as well; and I would be more than happy to send a review to you should you be interested!
Link to my interview with Beth and Kati: https://somebooksandramblings.home.blog/2018/10/05/an-interview-with-beth-revis-kati-gardner/
Finally, sign off your letter with your name and full mailing address. Often, publishers don’t respond to requests because they get so many and can’t respond to all, so having all the information they need in one location is helpful! Reiterate again how thankful you are for taking the time to read your email and mention that you can’t wait to read the book. My example below:
Thank you so much for considering me for an early copy of this book. It would mean a lot to me if I was chosen to read this book early!
I hope you have a great day!
– Sam P
My mailing address, should I be chosen to receive and review the book:
First and Last Name House # Street Address City, State Abbreviation, Zip Code
I can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or through the contact link on my blog.
Step Three: hit send!
Voila! You now have an arc request! A tip: Highlight the important information such as the title and author of the book you’re looking for, the interactions you’ve had with the author, and other interchangeable information that should be changed from request to request. That way, you can easily copy and paste your drafted letter and find the spots that need editing. Try to make your requests each unique in their own right to it doesn’t look as though you copied it from someplace else, which would not be helpful to your cause.
Something that would be extra helpful for yourself would be to keep a list or spreadsheet with the names of books you’ve requested, from who, and when, so you can keep track of it you ever got the book, a response, or something else. I always take the time to email the publisher back if I’ve received a book to thank them for sending me a copy. It shows that you are grateful and happy with the book, and it also serves as a way for them to know it A, arrived and B, was undamaged. I know when I send packages to people, I always appreciate it when they let me know when it has arrived.
I hope this is helpful! Have you ever requested an ARC? Were you successful? Do you have any tips to share with others? Comment below so they are all in one easy to find place! If you have a post of your own on how to request an arc, even better!
I with you all the best in your ARC requesting!