Welcome to another fantabulous Stop & Chat discussion my lovlies! I get a ton of emails, tweets and general questions regarding today’s topic so I’m really excited.
Physical ARC Request!
That’s right! Today we are tackling the in’s & outs, goods & bads, awkwards & fantastic world of requesting physical ARC’s. I feel the need to tell you I AM NOT AN ARC EXPERT. I don’t have this detailed plan where I get all the ARC’s or anything like that. But I have sent my fair share of request and have also completely fudged a few too so at least I can be of some help.
I sent out a tweet requesting that if anyone had questions to please send them and I’d be happy to answer them! And geez did you guys send in a TON of really great questions!
This is probably the #3 question I hear when it comes to ARC’s. When should I post the review?! My rule of thumb is always within a month of release. ARCs are a way to promote a book. It does no one any good to review “Best Book Ever” in January if it doesn’t hit shelves till September right? A month before release helps with the buzz the publisher is already pushing and it gets it off your plate. But if you’re just too booked the month before, I honestly and personally think 1 month following release isn’t horrible either. People are still riding the high (or low) of the book and throwing your opinion out right during prime discussion time can really help a ton of readers out!
This one is tricky to answer. I sent my request for Midnight Thief in January even though the book wasn’t set to release till JULY! I mostly did this for two reasons. 1) Disney isn’t as open with ARCs for bloggers as other publishers. 2) I knew how hot this book was going to be and wanted to make my desire known early! On the flip side I requested Fire & Flood in the middle of December and it was set to release in February. Mainly because Scholastic is typically nice to us bloggers. I say stick with a 3-5 month window. Early enough to be put on a list, but not so early they think you’re crazy. In the end remember to weigh all the variables too! Is it a smaller publisher? Did I review the other book (more on this soon)? Do I have a personal contact? Is this a highly anticipated sequel/debut? Take all that look at that window and jump.
This is the #1 question I hear when it comes to ARCs. After asking a few publicist friends I found there are no “magic” set of numbers. Each publisher and publicist is different and while your numbers is factor #1 it isn’t the only thing that matters to them. They also need to see you’re the right person to promote the book. Do you stay on top of your blog? How long have you been at it? What platforms do you use? Who do you reach? I sent my very first physical ARC requesting with less than 2k unique visitors per month. I got 1 and never heard about the other 3. If your unique visitors count isn’t through the roof maybe highlight some of your blogs other qualities! Interviews, features and various forms of outreach (photo a days?!) can show a publisher that you’re the right person to spread the word!
*Social Media Followers
*Experience (have you been blogging for a week? longer?)
*PERSONALITY! Anyone can send in a request for a book. It’s up to you to set the stage and show WHY you of all people are the right pick.
I send review links the day the review goes live. I also add the publisher in a few of the tweets I have going up for the review just as another way to spread the word. One RT from them and an entire audience you never knew existed is on your blog crossing their fingers about this book! And remember! The email doesn’t have to be fancy. A quick “hey thanks for allowing me to review “best book ever”! My review went live today and I can’t wait to see what happens next in the series!” or even “hey thanks for allowing me to review “mediocre book”. Even though this didn’t work for me, thanks again for allowing me to review it.” Simple, to the point and honest.
I would, personally, mention it but don’t let that make up the entire request. Maybe just something along the lines of “I’ve been fortunate enough to have reviewed “Books X, Y and Z” published by you as well and would love the chance to review “Best Book Ever” too!” Then go into WHY you think you are a good pick. So you’re showcasing you have adequately promoted for them before and are eager to do so again.
In all honesty I’m not 100% certain. I sent off a email to one of my publicist friends and as soon as I hear back I will definitely let you know! But as far as I know, when it comes to INT bloggers the restrictions with the rights are what really prevents you from receiving ARCs. Yes you can find a few on NetGalley but there are just too many laws and rules to allow INT ARCs.
A question I’m surprised I didn’t see but have been asked is, “who do I send the request to?”. Your publisher contacts are yours and your alone. If you don’t have specifics contacts yet may I suggest creating a folder on your web browser that links directly to the publishers “contact us” page? My folder is titled “ARC Request” and it had been a huge help when I want to send a request but can’t dig around for the general contact email!
At the end of the day the best advice I can give you is to just TRY. Worst case scenario you’ll send a request and never hear anything back. Don’t let that keep you from at least trying.
If I missed any questions or you have some questions about the answers above just leave them in the comments below! I’m happy to help share my experiences…the good, the bad and the “oh my gosh I sent that request to the wrong publisher”!