The Business of ARCs – How I get my books

I have been reading books my entire life, and I have gone through stages of extreme reviewing, and times where I reviewed nothing (two kids, out-of-state moves, etc). I started consistently reviewing again a little over a year ago. I created a Bookstagram, then blog, then Facebook, and Twitter. I found that I loved it so much!

I started noticing that all these bloggers and bookstagrammers had advanced reader’s copies of books, and I wanted them too! So, I started googling, and I found some sites. I have continued to research and find new ways to get ARC’s. I continue to see posts where bookstagrammers are frustrated trying to figure out how to get books.

Well, what I have found, is that there is no secret to getting ARCs. It comes down to persistence, research, and consistency.

So, I have decided to share how I get my ARCs. Please note that any of these avenues that you choose to go down, you have to be consistent, reliable, and create quality posts, or you won’t continue to be chosen for these opportunities. Publishers, authors, and tour hosts depend on you for whatever you have agreed to post. So, please, be a book star and post on time, with great content, and a solid review.

Before I talk about how to get the books, I want to mention that we all have books on our shelves already. While you are waiting for any of the below options to come through for you, be awesome with the books you have! Publishers are looking for good photographs, but also great content. Put time and thought into what you are posting. Talk about the book that is featured in your photo, on your post. TAG the author AND the publisher. They can’t find out about you if you don’t tag them. So, show them how great you are! Side-note – if you didn’t like the book, there’s no need to rub it in their face, go ahead and leave the tags off that post.

Here is what I’m going to talk about below: Review-Request Sites, Tour Companies, and Emailing the Publishers.


Reviewer-Requested Sites

NetGalley
Online Resource
E-Books Only

My first place for ARCs is NetGalley. It’s an amazing site with hundreds of publishers and thousands of books! Publishers use NetGalley to get their books into reviewer’s hands. You have to be approved for each book you request. There are some publishers I still can’t get a book approved with, but I keep trying!

NetGalley publishers have the ability to review your account and decide if they want to approve your request. You may have to start small, using smaller publishers, and that’s ok. Get your reviews out there and grow your review count. Keep your rating ratio (number of reviews versus the number of approved books to review) around 80%. This is the NetGalley goal, and publishers look at these things.

So, what to do:

  • Head over to NetGalley
  • Create an account.
    • Make sure to read the “Before You Request” post so that you make your reviewer page as publisher-friendly as possible!
    • Add your kindle email. It will make receiving ARCs so easy.
  • Start shopping! You can search by publisher or a book’s title.
  • Request a few books!
  • Start reading and reviewing!

When I first started NetGalley, I requested a TON of books. Don’t do this! You’ll feel a bit overwhelmed when all the publishers start approving your requests. Once you have read the book, write your review, and post it to NetGalley first. There is an option to cross-post that review to Goodreads and to Twitter, which is so convenient.

NetGalley might lead you to publisher contacts. Sometimes they reach out to you to remind you to post on Amazon once pub day comes up. Sometimes, someone will reach out to you and ask if you would like an ARC so you can photograph for Instagram. You never know what kind of contacts will come from NetGalley. However, if no one ever reaches out to you, you are at least getting a shot at some great new books!

If you would like to read more on NetGalley, I have created an entire post about how NetGalley works. Here’s the link: The Business of ARCs Part III – NetGalley


BookSirens

BookSirens is a great space to request to read and review books, as well as have a page dedicated to who you are as a reviewer so that authors can reach out to you! Here’s a link to my reviewer page so you can see what it looks like. The data pulls in from your Goodreads account, so it’s best if you have one of those.

BookSirens has a lot of books that you can download to review. They will start you out with only 1 download and once you post your review and your links to the author’s requested sites, you can download another one. As your reviewer stats grow, BookSirens will increase the number of downloads you can have at one time.

I really like this site because it takes your preferences into account and you can shop by very specific genres. The other cool thing about BookSirens is that you are posted as a reviewer. I get at least 1 person visiting my blog each day that is linked from BookSirens, so I know it’s driving traffic. Those authors then use my contact form to request a review. So, BookSirens offers you ARCs to review from their site and points authors to you based on the genres you have listed that you like. It’s great!


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Tour Companies

Book tour companies are everywhere! Some offer only e-books, while others have e-books and physical copies. Some only utilize blogs, while others have opportunities for bloggers and bookstagrammers. Some even have Twitter and Facebook options!

The below list is by no means complete. It is, however, the companies that I regularly work with and really enjoy. I’m breaking the tour companies up into two groups based on the types of publishers they work with: Big Publishers or Indie/Small Pub Houses. As a note, I have categorized these based on my own experience and opinion, each of these tour companies may work with multiple types of publishing houses, I am just giving you a general feel for the types of books you can find.

Companies that work with Big Publishers:

Rockstar Book Tours
E-Books and Physical Books

RockStar Book Tours

RockStar is one of my favorites for the big publishing houses. They have great communication and a wonderful book selection. I just got approved for a kid’s book from a major publisher the other day. I was denied on NetGalley, but the opportunity popped up with Rockstar, and I got it! So, try, try again my bookish friends! RockStar offers both e-books and physical copies. You can sign up to be a tour host here. You can see their current review opportunities here.


Storygram Tours

Another favorite of mine! Storygram tours has a lot of sign-up opportunities each month. You won’t get approved for all of them, but you can hope to get one or two each month. I do regularly review their children’s book options, and it is a lot easier to get approved for those, if that is a genre you review. I do, however, also get approved for their adult and YA novels, so it’s not impossible!

Storygram Tours is an Instagram-based review site, so it is great for those that don’t have blogs. They didn’t previously require a review, but I just got my details email on one that askedm if possible to have a review, so just a reminder to sign up for books you have an interest in, and intend to read. You can sign up to be a tour host here. You can see their current open opportunities here. They don’t have many open today, and that is because they fill up pretty fast after they send the opportunity email, so don’t wait, fill it out if you are interested!


JustRead Publicity Tours
E-books and Physical Books

JustRead Book Tours

JustRead is a tour company that primarily focuses on Bookstagram Tours. They do, however, have blogger opportunties, as well as Facebook and Twitter. Their tours are mainly christian-fiction based, as they work a lot with Bethany House Publishers. You will find a lot of clean romance, as well as memoirs and historical fiction. You can sign up to be a host here. If you would like to take a look at the current sign up list, you can find that here. JustRead Book Tours takes their business very seriously. They have rules on the way your Bookstagram post needs to look, while still allowing it to be your own post. So, make sure to read through their rules carefully so that you have a successful post.


Companies that work with Small Publishers or Indie Authors:

Goddess Fish Promotions
E-books Only

Goddess Fish Promotions

This company has tons of tours available. They provide only e-books, but it is pretty easy to get approved. They are a great way to get books to review and push readers to your review, which helps your overall stats. Goddess Fish Promotions is honestly the tour company that drives the highest volume to my site on blog post days. They generate a ton of traffic for me. They re-post my review and link to Twitter and Facebook, as well. I have found them to be a great partner for reviews.


iRead Book Tours
E-Books and Physical Books

iRead Book Tours

iRead is a great review company that offers a variety of books to review. They have mystery, memoirs, romance, fantasy, children’s books, and so much more. Here is a link to their Upcoming Tours. Each tour listing will note if the book is available through e-book or physical copy.

You will need to complete a form to join their host list. Once you are approved, you can start signing up for tours! Check back often so you don’t miss opportunities!


Silver Dagger Book Tours
E-Books only.

Silver Dagger Book Tours

One of my favorite things about Silver Dagger tours is that the content they provide for their tour hosts is amazing. They have excellent images, headers, and text for your post. They offer e-books only, but have a wide-variety of genres. You can sign up to be a tour host here. You can see their current list of book tour sign-ups here.


Contacting Publishers

Reaching out to a publisher is like cold-calling. You are going to get a lot of radio silence and you can’t be discouraged. I, personally, have found that it takes a lot of time to email the publishers and it hasn’t been super productive for me.

I have, however, had publishers reach out to me on Instagram, through NetGalley, and through my blog, and those relationships have been amazing. I have gained a lot of opportunities by saving those names, and then reaching out directly to that contact when something comes up. Recently, these publishers have started to just send me books that I didn’t even ask for, which creates a very real “Surprise Bookmail” situation, and is a lot of fun!

However, you can absolutely send emails to publishers asking them for a review copy. Lots of people use this as an avenue to get ARCs. If you are going to do it, I have provided an email that I sent to a publisher a while ago. You don’t have to use this format, but it is important to highlight who you are, how you talk about books, what book you want, and why you would be a good person to review it. Also, if you provide them with your address, and they decide to give you the ARC, they are ready to send it and don’t need to follow-up with you!


Good Morning,
My name is BreeAnn and I run a book blog called She Just Loves Books.  I am inquiring about a review copy of the below book:

The Sunday Girl by Pip Drysdale.  ISBN 1728210852 Pub Date: May 5, 2020

This book caught my eye because I am a huge fan of thrillers and I loved the idea of The Girl on the Train mixed with Bridget Jones!  The synopsis of this story sounds excellent and I know it is one that my readers would enjoy hearing about.

I share thrillers with my audience often and love to discuss this genre.  I know this upcoming release would resonate with my followers.  I would love the opportunity to review and share this book with them, before its publication date.

Along with posting reviews on my blog and social media sites, I also post all reviews on Goodreads and Amazon, and to any other selling site that the publisher or author requests.  I am very active on Instagram where I share my own book photographs for the books that I read or am currently reading.  I share unique reviews that my followers enjoy.  I also provide all links to social posts back to the publisher for reference.  I really hope you will consider my request for an advanced reader’s copy of this novel.

My average weekly reach is 14,000 and impressions are 17,000.

Blog Link:  https://shejustlovesbooks.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/shejustlovesbooks/
Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/1347779-breeann-she-just-loves-books
Amazon: https://amzn.to/37Jnxwv
Twitter: https://twitter.com/shejustluvbooks
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shejustlovesbooks/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/shejustlovesbooks/

Shipping Address:
Fill in your own here.

Thank you so much for your taking the time to read this email.  I hope I can be considered for this opportunity.

BreeAnn Last Name
She Just Loves Books
Add your email here


That’s it! I hope that you have found one or two things that will help you begin receiving ARCs. Now that you’ve got the info, good luck with all the new books you’ll be getting!

Let me know if you use any of these, or what your favorite way to get books is!

Check out The Business of ARCs Part II – How I Get My Books!

Check out The Business of ARCs Part III – NetGalley

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13 thoughts on “The Business of ARCs – How I get my books

  1. A lot of it has been luck as well, without that 17000 reach most of these opportunities just won’t be there. Storygram and many tour companies and publishers won’t look at accounts under 5k, and those over 5k end up with unreadable stacks of books. NG and giveaways for a lot of us 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is an incredibly helpful post! I love that you even included how to format email requests! I’ve been a part of the book blogging community for a hot minute, but I haven’t dipped my toes in ARC side of the hobby at all 😅. Net Galley is practically the only site on your list that I’m familiar with, so I’m so happy to see all these other resources 😁.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Omg this information from your side is actually amazing…..i was looking for this piece of information for so long…thank you so much BreeAnn as i came to know about your from this post only….i will definitely try some of these like Netgalley is on my mind and i will let you know😍😍….You are amazing…..if i have any queries while doing it then can i contact you😄

    Liked by 1 person

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