Saturday, October 29, 2011


Since it's calling for 4-7 inches of snow BEFORE Halloween tomorrow, I'd figured I'll take a few moments to go over ARC requests due to the amount of requests I've been getting plus some pesky misconceptions about ARCs in general. 

Oh wait. I just checked the weather, and now it's calling for up to 10 inches. Whoa.

I know this isn't stimulating info, but it would make me warm and fuzzy if you read.

Okay, onto the ARC stuff. First and foremost, an ARC is an Advanced Reader Copy for those who do not know.  They come in two forms: print and digital. Neither of these two forms are free or without their problems. Print ARCs cost more money than a normal print run due to the size of the print run. They are pretty expensive actually. Digital formats are also not free and they come with the huge pirating problem. Even if the digital format is encrypted, all it does is allow the ARC to be tracked, but in most cases, doesn't stop it from being uploaded. 

ARCs are very expensive for a publisher, therefore they are usually limited and not everyone gets one. And each copy, print and digital, is worked into a marketing budget per author. These ARCs are used for marketing a book in hope that the reviewer will read it, review it, and if they love it, tweet, talk, blog, and otherwise gush about the book. That's the best case scenario, and that doesn't always happen obviously. The ARC is traded for a reviewer's honest opinion. 

Reviewers are everyone from book bloggers, magazines, and review sites. 

Some fast facts about an ARC and requesting them:

  • I don't give out ARCs. Requesting an ARC from me ends with me emailing said reviewer with instructions on how to request one. (I get about ten of these a day). The only time I give out ARCs are from my own author stash and they are for giveaways. The same most likely goes for every author who has a publisher.
  • Not everyone who gets an ARC will be approved. It doesn't mean a pub hates anyone or whatever. It just means they have a limited amount. Nothing personal. It's like when a blogger turns down a book review. 
  • Always fill out the requests correctly. Most ARC rejects come from the fact that the request said nothing about the blog and talked about how their love of kittens, yarn and walks on a beach. 
Things to include in an ARC request always vary per publisher, but here are some things to include:
  • Blog Address
  • Followers
  • Traffic amounts
  • Where you post your reviews to
  • Make sure your profile is filled out on Net Galley. A huge bulk of rejects come from profiles not filled out correctly. Pubs don't have time to search down all the info above. 
Misconceptions concerning ARCs
  • Followers  always determine if you'll get an ARC. False. Some pubs set a required follower amount, but if their profiles are filled out, have good traffic source, and what not, they do get approved. For example: Entangled says a 1000 on Net Galley, but they do approve with much, much less followers if profiles are filled out and you have a good traffic. (I am a firm believer that follower count means nothing when you compare it to traffic and etc)
  • ARCs are cheap.  False. I just needed to say that again. Those shiny babies cost money.
  • Authors control who gets an ARC. True and False. In some situations, I'm sure they do. I have certain bloggers no matter their following, I always demand they get an ARC. Sometimes they do. Sometimes they don't.

So if you want to review a book, always contact the publisher and follow their guidelines for the review request. It's a 50/50 chance on getting approved, and that's the same with every pub-no matter how big or how small. 

Question about ARCs? Ask away and I'll answer the best I can.


  1. Thanks for all of the great information.

  2. I have yet to request an ARC but it's good to know this type of information if I ever intend to request one. Thanks.

  3. This post was very informative, I appreciate it. I guess it can be hard when you see many bloggers getting ARCs and you just want a piece of the pie.

    My question is are ARCs unfinished and what exactly does that mean ? Does it mean the book didn't get the grammatical once over or does it mean like there are character/concepts that are missing from the final draft ?

  4. Thanks for all of the great information.

  5. Kat- it usually means that the ARC is uncorrected and there could be errors. ARCs are copy edited so there shouldn't be glaring issues. Typically, you'll see goofy formatting issues with ARCs.

    The difference between an ARC and 1st edition could be nothing. Or there could be major scene changes or special features can be added to the 1sy edition.

    Hope that helps

  6. A wealth of great information in this post. Thanks for taking time to explain all of this. Only one burning question I have for you, is there an easy way to look up a contact to email for publishers you want to request an ARC from?

  7. Gina- Probably not. =)

    With Spencer Hill, they have a contact Page for it. But Entangled and most big pubs use Net Galley to handle e-arc requests. As for print ARC requests for Entangled and big pubs... you usually need a contact within their marketing department. But you might want to also check out the author's website. Some times they list instructions to contact their publicist, etc