#NewBloggers 101, Book blogging, Discussion, Edelweiss, NetGalley

When Should I Start Requesting ARCs? Part 1 of #NewBloggers 101 post series

This is the first post in the #NewBloggers 101 series, geared towards making it easier for you to wade your way into the book blogging world, if you’re a new blogger! There will be more installments, some of them will be guest posts and joint posts, so keep your eye on my blog on Fridays! This time… we talk about requesting ARCs. If you want to find the other #NewBloggers 101 posts, just expand this list:

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2018 (15)

So when is the right time to start requesting ARCs (advance copies of books)? Just in case your wondering, we call these ARCs – for ‘Advance Reader Copies’. Sometimes these are actual advance copies that you receive before the book comes out. Other times, they are just ‘Reader Copies’, or ‘Digital Reader Copies’ – for books that have already come out, but the publisher just wants to make them more popular among readers. But for the sake of convenience, we really just call them all ARCs in the community.

So… You might have heard something about requesting ARCs already.

 

That it’s hard.

 

That it’s scary.

 

That you shouldn’t try unless you’re an established blogger already.

But what if I said…

NO.

No? Why no?

Because I’ve been requesting books BEFORE I even had a blog.

And guess what?

I wasn’t declined.

 

Yes, of course I am talking about ebooks, when you’re starting out. Print books would be a tougher one, and I can’t coach you much on that part because I am international, and the print ARC rules for internationals are slightly different. Not to worry! We will have guest posts for print ARCs later on, but for now, if you’re new – let’s just talk about requesting ARCs as ebooks.

So I am telling you that you should request e-books RIGHT NOW.

 

Don’t wait. It will make you bitter and anxious! If you want to try – go for it! Be prepared that you obviously won’t get that super hyped book, maybe – but who knows, you might! Some publishers work on first come first served basis, so if you’ve requested at the right time…

Even if you don’t get approved on MANY of the books you wanted, you will be approved for SOME. Before you are able to ask and receive more popular of craved books, you should review the ones who are easier to get – you might even want to start out with the ones who are ready for download (‘Read now’ or ‘Download’ options), so you could put a few reviews up there and publishers could know you won’t just run off with the book into the sunrise and never speak to them again. (Don’t worry about technicalities for now, we will talk about where to request in another post.)

One word of caution.

When you request books, don’t overdo it! When I first signed up for NetGalley, I downloaded WAYYY too many books. And here I am, still trying to lick those wounds clean! Nothing other led to the establishment of my monthly meme State of the ARC, where we all try to cut down the ARC that are turning stale on our shelves.

So do sign up for requesting platforms, but THINK before you push that request button. Ask yourself:

  1. Do I really want this book?
  2. Do I only want it because it has a pretty cover?
  3. Do I only want it because it’s free? (This is a misconception. You’ll have to work for it.)
  4. Do I only want it because everyone else wants it?
  5. Do I have other engagements when this book releases that would prevent me from reading it, for example, exams or vacation trips? (Because you will have to read it around the time of release and post your review)

If you are confident you really want it – REQUEST!

AND THEN FORGET.

Please, please, never check your ‘inactive’ section on NetGalley. If you’re on Edelweiss, if you see “you’ve been declined for…” in your mailbox, just delete the email and don’t read it. It’s best not to count these, because there will be declines, and there’s no reason for you to get worked up about them! It’s normal to be declined even for seasoned bloggers. Just pay it no mind.

Now if you don’t know WHERE to request, I can just drop a hint that you should sign up for NetGalley and Edelweiss, but I won’t go into a lot of detail – we will cover more about these tools in another post! For now, I just wanted to answer your questions about the right time and circumstances. We will be talking about filling out your profiles well and how to use NetGalley / Edelweiss another time!

So have you requested books already? Or have you just been considering it? What advice would you give other bloggers, if you already have? Share in the comments!

I’m Evelina and I try to blog about books that matter, with a bit of fun there too! Disability and equality will be topics you see a lot, but there’s also a lot of scifi, fantasy and… GIFs. I’m also the proud founder of #ARCsAnonymous.

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Sim @ Flipping Through the Pages
Guest

Nice start on the series 🙂 You know, that we are similar in terms of requesting early on NetGalley 😛 I too got so many ARCs from “Read Now” section when I initially joined NetGalley, just because either they were free or had pretty covers 😛

But yes, now I am not happy about that and of course, I am dreaded to decrease that number. This is the best advice that we can give to new bloggers – “Don’t request books without thinking”.

ioana @dragonwaffles
Guest

OH WOW THIS WAS REALLY HELPFULL THANK YOU ❤!!
1 problem I have with Net Galley is that I requested arcs but they send me samples or arcs of graphic novels that are just straight up white pages (I tried different reading apps and it shows up horrible on every single one). So yeah major problem there I am sick of it and it has caused me to worry and just stress over it a whole lot more the I should. Soo any tips for that?

(Anyway great first post and I’M EXCITED TO READ MORE!!)

Fanna
Guest

Yay, a new series and what an amazing start! This would be so helpful to all those who’re still wondering if there’s a perfect time to start requesting ARCs 😀 Definitely agree on asking yourself if the book is actually interesting you or if it’s just ‘looking’ good–I end up requesting quite a few simply because the cover’s good…guilty 🙁 Also liked the point that checking out your schedule or planner before requesting one can be helpful; it’s so sad when the review goes up months after the book is already out. Loved this post, Evelina, as always <3

JJ @ This Dark Material
Guest
Great advice! And I can totally testify that it’s true. I started requesting ARCs as soon as my blog was up, and although it may have helped that I had past film reviews posted (I really have no idea), I got quite a few of my requests approved! Not just from smaller publishing houses or debut authors; lots of them are anticipated titles from well-known imprints. My approval rate isn’t 100% (and Edelweiss has been more selective so far) but I’m far from short of advance reading material. So don’t be nervous guys— take Evelina’s advice and go out and… Read more »
Silje
Guest

I’m so excited to see all the posts in this series! It’s such an awesome idea! Personally I probably won’t request e-arc’s as I always get the worst headache when reading on electronic devices (I’ve tries pretty much everything idk why it happens). But this is a great guide! ☺️

Sophie Eloy
Guest

Great post Evelina! I’m 100% with you on this. What you could maybe add is a link for European bloggers to UK houses on Netgalley as some accept international readers/bloggers. The same with some international (US) publishers that accept international reviewers on some books.

Lara @ Words With Lara
Guest

Awesome post! NetGalley and Edelweiss are such great platforms for new bloggers. I didn’t find them until later on so fortunately I don’t have a backlog of eARCs that I need to catch up on. The only annoying thing is NetGalleys new rules for international bloggers.. But ah well, there are still some books on there that we can request! Looking forward to more posts in this series.

Erica
Guest

Wonderful post! Very informative!! I need to get requesting some ARCs! 🙂

Ivyclad Ideas
Guest

This is a really good post! I’ve never requested an ARC. I just don’t have the time for them and, if I’m being totally honest, they’re not something I’m fussed about, but I wouldn’t have known where to look even if they were. It’s good to put this information out there! 🙂

Amy
Guest

I love these types of blogging series! To be fair, I’ve been blogging for 2 1/3 years now, so I know most of these things… but I’m always curious to hear about other people’s experiences and advice. Looking forward to seeing more posts like this! XD

Paula Bardell-Hedley
Guest

A very useful post – I completely agree about the ‘don’t overdo it!’ I requested a number of titles on NetGalley over a period of time, and have suddenly been sent a mountain of ARCs within the last few days. Needless to say, they are nearly all due to be published this month or at the start of February. I’m going to be very busy!

Simi
Guest

I’ve had a few ARCs before, and wanted to request for more using Netgalley, but you have to be over 18 and I’m not 🙁 I’ll give Edelwiess a shot though. Thanks for the advice!

Simi ~ simizat.wordpress.com

Sam@WLABB
Guest

I loved that you advised NOT to check the inactive shelf. That is awesome advice.

Jacqueline @bluejaybooks
Guest

Yes, it is very important not to constantly check your inbox for ARCs. I haven’t had this problem with ARCs in particular, but other things… it’s just a bad idea 🙂

I’ve also had a history of being afraid to request ARCs. I wish I’d seen this blog post when I was starting out! 🙂

Jenna @ Falling Letters
Guest

Looks like sound advice to me! 🙂 Especially the not going overboard advice 😛 I can’t remember why I made a NetGalley account, but I know it was about four months after I started book blogging. I think the most important tip is to only request books you’re truly interested in, so I think it’s great you mentioned that here.

Laura Thomas
Guest

I was like you in the beginning. Requested way too many. Now I’m much more selective and trying not to request any but those I really really want. I’m really liking this new series of yours. And very curious about the print requesting. I usually get offers right from the publishers without using Netgalley.

Ana
Guest

Hahahaha! I remember the first time I joined NetGalley, I over did the request button. I didn’t notice the category “Read Now” and I clicked a couple books in there too and my inbox was full. I didn’t get to read all the books and my review rate has gone down. I’m still working on holding myself back from requesting too much. It takes so much energy! And I’m sure you know how exhausting it would feel.

This was a great start to the #NewBloggers 101 series.

Dani @ Perspective of a Writer
Guest

GREAT ADVICE Evelina!! I’m amazed at what ARCs I can get if I ask at the right time. In fact some I’ve been rejected for, seen another listing and gotten that one! It is bumming to not get popular books but so true about timing!! <3

Sophie @ Blame Chocolate
Guest

Wonderful advice, Evelina 🙂 I agree, it’s super scary and intimidating at first but you won’t know it until you try it – so get to trying!
Timing is definitely key but sometimes it’s about luck as well. Bottom line: just don’t give up!

Chloe @ Book Dragons
Guest

Awesome start to the series. I will say though that I’m not actually an eBook reader at all, I take forever when reading electronically. And like you I’m international, however for everyone else who does read eBooks this is super useful. Can’t wait to see what’s coming up next in the series!

Aj @ Read All The Things!
Guest

This is a helpful post. I’ve had my book blog for 4 years, but I’ve never requested an ARC. I’m happy to just review backlist books. Still, I might want to try the ARC thing, someday.

Danielle
Guest

Such a fun and great post! I love your use of gifs 🙂 I also love that you included the wise words of caution. I did the same with Netgalley haha. It took me one whole year, but I finally have a clean slate. I think I am going to limit myself to 2-3 requests pending at a time this year. It was a fiasco haha. Also think it is great that you meantion “requesting and moving on”. This is such solid and important advice!

Mathangi
Guest

Great topic to start the series with! I’m so glad to know I’m not the only one who went crazy in requesting for books from netgalley :’D

Jenn
Guest

This is great advice! When I started blogging I had no idea what any of this was and I stayed away from it. I’m still not on NetGalley or Edelweiss, but that’s my own personal choice. I can’t wait to see what more you have in store for this series!

Cait @ Paper Fury
Guest

Oh yes this is such epic advice! When I started off on Netgalley as a smol and tiny bean blogger, I did a lot of the “read nows” to boost my ratio so that then I could start requesting. Of course I’m basically just crying in the corner now because I get freaking denied for EVERYTHING on Edelweiss and Netgalley. But I think they do have it out for INT bloggers at the moment. Oh well. I love that you’re doing these 101 posts! So great!

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[…] should be something weekly. So this week we had a discussion about a very important question – when should one start requesting books? Then I also gave a shoutout to all my favorite bloggers, AKA the bookblogger / booktuber tag. And […]

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suckerforcoffe
Guest

I’m still considering because so far, the authors are the one who send them to me. I want to try and ask but I’m hella scared and I don’t even know why.

Andreea
Guest
Yaay! This post is amazing and I found it really helpful. I was scared to request books on Netgalley, last year I got only 3 – and 2 of them were the authors finding me on a different platform and inviting me on Netgalley to request the book, the third was one that I really wanted and got it (it wasn’t popular or anything). But now I kinda went crazy on the request – well, been declined for 6 of them already… but after reading your post I no longer feel bad because of this – and for some it… Read more »
Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity
Guest

Great start to the series. I know when I began blogging (and even now) I had a habit of requesting way too many ARCs. It’s just so easy to get sucked in to ease of requesting on Netgalley. That is definitely one bonus for Edelweiss, you have to put a bit more work into requesting over there which helps with not over requesting. It’s very much a case of getting ARCs when you feel ready and to not get too crazy (which is a lesson we all could do with learning).

Kristina
Guest

Ohhh im eager to see the other one ! faved and will look back on it later as a reminder !

Sage
Guest

I have never requested a book, but have been offered a half dozen or so (from fiction to business and finance). At one time I was more open to accepting any “free gift” now I make sure it is really something I want to read and have time to review it in timely manner. I like your blog!

http://www.sagecoveredhills.blogspot.com

Heather Cilley
Guest

This is honestly so relieving. I haven’t requested ARCs because I have always been a bit nervous that I didn’t have the numbers to back me up. So thank you for that! Maybe this year I will start requesting ARCs 😀 Amazing post! <3

Inge Jacobs
Guest

Great post! I started with the Read Now section because I was declined for the first few I requested and I think that’s a good way to go. Then of course everybody goes overboard with the requests.. I think it’s only natural if you’re set loose like that. We all learn eventually :-). A great start of the series!

Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight
Guest
Your advice about NOT checking the stupid “inactive” folder is GOLD. Because I do it constantly, and when I see one listed as a rejection… it is bad. It’s so great that you requested early! I was so hung up on it because I had always heard the “6 months” rule, which… that’s quite arbitrary, isn’t it? Anyway, when I was new, I was so scared of rejection. So I didn’t request even an eARC for a full year after I started. Your way is much, much better! And good tip about not overdoing it, too- I have done that… Read more »
Cee Arr
Guest
(Re-posting here because somehow this comment ended up on the wrong post.) When I started, I didn’t even know ARCs were a thing! (I know, I know, how naïve was I?) I legit. just wanted to talk about books, and write about how they’ve acted as a sort-of life-raft to me through my mental health problems. It was actually over a year before I realised what these ARC thingies were! Lol. A couple of things I would add to your tips: 1. Never log onto NetGalley when you’re tired. You end up requesting things and then NOT HAVING A FREAKING… Read more »
Book Bosomed Blonde
Guest

Fantastic post, i think this will be really helpful for people just starting off in the book blogging community and maybe even for people who have been doing it for awhile but still feel a bit lost. Keep up the great work 🙂

Rachel
Guest

Thanks, this is all really helpful! Wish I’d read this before I started requesting on netgalley. It’s all worked out but I would have skipped the worrying and nerves!

Olivia Roach
Guest

I’m really all for requesting a book if you really want it! Sometimes authors and publishers may surprise you, and if you’re posting your review on Goodreads and/or Amazon as well your blog stats aren’t the biggest thing they will care about as more reviews is always best! And knowing that the reader wants to read it increases the chances of a positive review outcome. So a win win all round!

Darius Jung
Guest

A great idea for a series, can’t wait for your next #NewBloggers post!

Lashaan Balasingam
Guest

Lovely idea for your blog, Evelina! This was definitely a nice moral booster for those who have been curious about requesting arcs. I have almost zero experience with earcs since I have no device to read them on (ain’t going to read it on my phone, no way hahah) and I simply 2000% prefer paper. 😀 😀 Looking forward to the rest of your series, girl. Keep ’em coming! 😀

Jackie B.
Guest
Kudos on the first #NewBloggers post! I am with you, I’ve been requesting ARCs since before I blogged. I think it’s actually really interesting that many people only request ARCs if they are bloggers. Super interesting. I appreciate you warning people about over requesting! I definitely suffered from that when I first created a NetGalley account and I still have a few books from that list I’m waiting to get to… O_o I am really interested in the print ARCs post. The only way I get Print ARCs is through Blogging for Books. i know there are services like that… Read more »
Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction
Guest

I think most new bloggers are surprised by how many books they can get approved to read. I agree that it’s not as scary as most people seem to think!

Janine
Guest

I love your list of questions! I always over do it with arcs and find myself rushing through things to meet deadlines. That list is a great process for really getting the books you want and not the books you can get.

Rachael @ This Westgate
Guest

Thank you so much for this post! Was extremely helpful 🙂 I am just starting out my blog and not sure when would be appropriate to start requesting. Question for you though… at what point is it appropriate to start requesting hardcopies? Is there a minimum number of subscribers/pageviews required by certain publishers?

thanks!

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