Review copies are the holy grail of book blogging.
And while I might not be the best source of information on how to get them, as I’m rejected more often then not, I have received a fair amount of them, so I thought I’d give my two cents.
First things first: Before you go requesting books, make sure you can handle it.
Have a system in place to keep track of everything, or you are going to lose your mind.
- My preferred way of keeping track is a word document.
- Every book sent to be is written in, along with who sent it/where I got it from, the format, the release date, the date the review is needed by, the title and author, and any requests by the person who sent it to me for the review.
- Then, anything due in the next month is highlighted for urgency.
- Physical copies do not leave my desk if I’m not reading them to make sure they stay in my mind.
- Review copies take precedence over my own books.
Its how I do things.
Find something that works for you.
Before requesting books, make sure your blog is running smoothly. You don’t blog to get free books, you get books because you blog well. Remember that.
If you barely post, no one will send you anything. If your content/reviews or terrible (I don’t mean negative, I mean terribly written), you won’t get anything.
- Post consistently (once a day, once a week, doesn’t matter).
- Post good content.
- Make sure your blog is easy to navigate.
- Have a contact page/email somewhere it can be found. If, like me, you don’t want your personal email online, make an email just for blog contacts like I did.
- HAVE A REVIEW POLICY. You can see mine here.
Where To Get Review Copies:
There are a couple different ways to get review copies.
- Go to book fairs and conventions.
- Wait for a publisher/author to contact you.
- Email a publisher with a request.
- Join a blog tour.
- Join an ARC site like Netgalley, Blogging for Books or Edelweiss.
Book fairs and conventions are great, but if your like me, you have no means to get to them because they are far way/expensive.
Next option: wait. I have been contacted by a few authors (generally self published) to review their books, so it does happen. This is why its important to have contact information and a review policy page. But if this is the only thing you do, your not going to get many books.
The next section is all about this.
Blog tours are GREAT. You get your blog acknowledged by other bloggers, and you all get to share in the excitement over the same book. I’ve joined two blog tour sites:
I like them both, and have joined blog tours and book blitzes on both. You can always do some research to find tour sites that fit your tastes. But if you want in on the big name book tours (which I have no experience in), I’d say your going to need some groveling and patience.
I don’t know what else to call these, but you know what I’m talking about.
This is where I get most of my review copies.
My personal favorite is Netgalley.
Netgalley is a site where any book blogger can sign up. They have both READ NOW and Requestable titles, most prerelease, some old, of all genres. The better your review ratio, the more likely you are to be approved by a publisher, so you are encouraged to actually post your reviews. All books are e-books though, so you either need an Ebook reader or a computer with Adobe Digital Editions installed.
Blogging For Books is also good. This site has both print and ebooks, but you can’t request another book until the review of the last one is posted. Selection is pretty limited, but they have some good ones every once in a while.
The other one I mentioned is Edelweiss, which a lot of people like but I don’t really enjoy using. Its frustrating and not easy to navigate, but go try it out if you’d like.
If you have the guts, you can always email a publisher asking for an ARC. I’ve done this twice. Once, I was ignored. The second time, I got the book. Really, it depends on the publisher, the book you’re requesting, and whether you have enough followers to make it worth the money to ship you the ARC. Don’t get discouraged, your not going to get every book, but try, eventually, you’ll get one (or a lot!).
Just make sure to thank the publisher when you do get a book, post your review on time, send them links, and NEVER be rude about not getting approved. You want to build relationships, not end them.
You are never entitled to an ARC. Don’t act like it.
Here’s a sample email of what I use when emailing publishers. If it helps you., let me know!
My name is Sam, I’m a book blogger and I’d like to request a review copy of:
Expected Publication Date:
You can see my blog here: Link
My blog has X followers, and that number seems to be increasing steadily.
I get, on average, between X views a month, and an average of about X unique visitors a month.
I also share my reviews on Goodreads, Tumblr (where I have X followers), and Twitter.
(Info about me/my blog/why I blog)
I want to review BOOK TITLE because ………..
If you want to see some of my other reviews, here are some that I am quite proud of:
I also have a review policy page: Link
This page will give you more in depth information for what you can expect of my reviews.
I also have a directory of my reviews, if needed: Link
I understand you get many requests for Arcs, and that all cannot be answered. But, if you are interested here is my information:
My email is X and if it is more convenient for you, I also accept e-arcs.
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions regarding my request.
I thank you for your time and your consideration.
Other Helpful Resources:
So, thats all I have for you today.
If there’s anything I didn’t cover you’d like me to cover, let me know!
Any discussions or topics you’d like me to talk about, any questions you have, shoot them over to me, I’m happy to help/answer in any way I can!
Did this help you? Do you have any thing to add/share? Let me know!