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ARC’s: Advanced Reader Copies and how to get them

What is an ARC? It’s essentially a book release 3-6 months ahead of publication to librarians, booksellers, professional readers, reviewers, contest winners, etc. The cover and contents may differ because it may not be in it’s final published form.

I stumbled upon my first ARC purely by luck. It was Baby Teeth by Zoe Stage… which, BTW is a great creepy book for this time of year.

I honestly don’t remember how I found the request link for Baby Teeth but one day a book showed up in my mailbox with a few instructions about the publication date, hashtags to use on social media, posting pictures, and the timing of the review. I remember thinking, “how cool is this? A free book to read and review!”.

Then I just had to convince my husband that the book was indeed free and, no I did not order yet another book. I also may or may have not let him also think that with other books that have since arrived on our doorstep.

Over the course of this year, I have discovered that I really enjoy not just reading new books but writing and sharing book reviews. What a great combination!

This week I started looking at NetGalley, a site for “readers of influence”, to request ARC’s from hundreds of publishers listed on their site.

I registered, filled out my profile, and found a few of my favorite publishers. Now, I had read on other blogs that it’s fairly common for your request to get turned down so I requested 15 books just to increase my chances.

I was sent 14 of the 15 and they now live on my new Kindle.

So here are a few things that I’ve learned from this process:

  1. Fill out your profile as completely as possible. Some publishers have very specific things that they are looking for, I.E. an active blog, a Goodreads account, an Instagram following, a history of solid reviews, etc.
  2. Request books that fit with the preferred genres listed in your profile.
  3. Be mindful of the publication dates – I’m so glad I did this because I will still be able to handle 14 books to read and review.
  4. Make a schedule of your books and what needs to be read first and then the dates the publisher requests you to abide by as well.
  5. Be OK with e-reader copies. We just de-cluttered our entire home so I’m really happy with electronic copies. It’s also more environmentally friendly.

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This also gave me an excuse to buy the Kindle Oasis which I am super happy with. It is waterproof, super light, glare-free, has page turn buttons, the screen adjusts based on the light in the room, and probably my favorite feature: it has built-in Audible with Bluetooth capability.

Happy reading!

Do you read ARC’s? What has been your favorite book you have received?

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