I had a lot of questions about how to receive ARCs when I first started my bookstagram and saw all those posts of books others had received from publishers and I did a lot of research. I thought I would put together a guide based on my research and my first experiences sending requests to publishers to help other book bloggers and bookstagrammers.
If you are unsure what ARCs are, I put together a little ARCs 101 guide but basically ARCs are advanced reader copies of books sent out before publication for reviews and pre-publicity buzz.
Before I get into the details, I wanted to address something I know had some fear about: whether I should even bother sending requests to publishers because I was new to reviewing or didn’t have enough followers. My piece of advice is this: if you don’t ask, the answer is always no. There is no harm in sending a request, the worst thing that can happen is you don’t get the book.
I would suggest maybe starting off with reviewing eARCS through NetGalley or Edelweiss+ which I talk about here or reviewing backlist books so you have some examples of your work to send with your request. Even so, like I said before, there is no harm in asking. A publisher I had good success with is St. Martin’s Press. I heard back pretty quickly via email and they were more than happy to send me the two books I had requested. You can contact them via email at [email protected].
Where to send your requests
The first step in sending an ARC request is finding the person to contact. If you want to email a specific person, I suggest looking for publishers from the different companies using Google or social media. Most publishing houses have a page with information regarding where to send review requests, usually to a general publicity contact email.
For my first few review requests, I went to the publishing company’s website and then looked either for a page regarding review copies or just went to their Contact page.
Angel over at Avid Reader put together an amazing directory of publicity contacts but here are some links to a few of the bigger publishing companies’ pages that have information with where to send review requests, including specific imprints:
HarperCollins Publisher includes imprints such as Avon, Broadside Books, and Dey Street. Harlequin is also a part of the HarperCollins family.
Within the Penguin Random House family are imprints such as Berkley, Doubleday, Dutton, and Gotham.
Macmillan includes imprints such as Celadon Books, Flatiron Books, and St. Martin’s Press.
What to put in your request
This may seem like a difficult task but it doesn’t have to be. Important things to remember are that publicists are extremely busy and receive a lot of requests, so you want to make sure you include all the pertinent information while still being to the point. And of course, make sure you are polite and professional. If you do not have a specific book in mind, you can always ask to be added to their blogger mailing list instead.
Key Information to include:
- Your name (first and last)
- The title, author, and publication date of the title you are requesting
- Link to where you review books and your relevant stats
- How the book can be sent to you (mailing address, kindle e-mail, NetGalley info, etc)
Other information you may want to include in your request:
- Links to previous reviews, preferably for the same author or publisher
- Brief reason(s) why you want to review this particular title
- How you promote books (reviews, giveaways, author interviews, etc)
Here is a sample of an email I recently sent to St. Martin’s Press:
To whom it may concern:
My name is Elisabeth and I am a bookstagrammer where I primarily review romance novels but also other genres as well, such as nonfiction books. My instagram handle is thatbookishbrunette and my account can be found here: https://www.instagram.com/thatbookishbrunette/
I would like to formally request review copies of Hideaway by Nora Roberts (pub. date 5/26/2020) and The Hilarious World of Depression by John Moe (pub. date 5/5/2020). I am a big fan of Nora Roberts and was intrigued by the book’s description, and as an avid romance reader I feel it would be a really good fit for my bookstagram. As for The Hilarious World of Depression, I was drawn to this book because of the description but also the fact that I personally struggle with depression and would love the chance to review and highlight a book that brings this topic out into the open.
If I were to receive review copies of these books, I would post reviews on Instagram, Goodreads, and Amazon. I would also feature the books in my stories and other non-review posts.
As of [Date of the email], these are my current Instagram stats: – Followers: [Number of followers] – Reach: [Number over week long period] – Impressions [Number over week long period] – [Number of profile visits] – [Average number of likes per post]
I currently read and review books through NetGalley where I have a feedback ration of [percentage].
If would be willing to provide review copies, my mailing address is: [Insert Full Name & Mailing Address]
Thank you so much for your time and consideration. All the best, [Your Name]
When I sent this request I had not officially launched my blog so I did not include that information. I also do not have a lot of friends/followers on Goodreads yet so while I mentioned I would post a review there, I did not include my stats, particularly because Instagram is my main platform. Tailor your review request to fit you!
It might seem a little pushy to include your mailing address (or kindle email if requesting an eARC) in your initial email but its really not and publishers genuinely appreciate it; this saves them the time of having to email you back for this information if they agree to send you the book.
Remember, publishers are extremely busy and back and forth emails take time. Anything you can do to make their job easier, the better. On that note, don’t bother them with a bunch of follow-up emails when waiting to hear about your request. You just need to be patient and wait. Plus, you might not get an email but still have a book show up at your door.
Don’t get discouraged if you don’t hear back and/or don’t receive the book you requested; ARCs are limited and publishers get a lot of requests. Just continue improving your blog, instagram or other platform.
If you do receive the book, make sure you do review the book and send the review to the publisher after writing them. If your review is negative, don’t tag the author in your review.
Remember, if you don’t ask, the answer is always no. Thanks for reading!