How to Get Advanced Copies of Books
I’m often asked how I manage to get my hands on books before they’re published. I receive a lot of advanced copies from various sources throughout the year, sometimes I request them and sometimes they just show up in the mail. This partly because I’m considered a “professional reader” since I blog about books ( please do not let that trick you into thinking I actually earn a living by reading!)
Advanced Reader Copies (ARCs) are sometimes called galleys. These are copies of books released by the publisher prior to the official publication of the book to get feedback and rally interest in a title before it goes on sale.
You actually don’t have to be a blogger to get advanced copies, so here are some ways you can give it a try.
How to Get Advanced Copies of Books
1. Be a book blogger/grammer/tuber
The best way to get ARCs is if you have a platform of some sort from which to talk about them. For me, this is my blog and also my Instagram account. You don’t need multiple platforms, just one will do if you can show you have an “above average” audience for discussing books. Many “Bookstagrammers” use that as their sole platform and there are also “Book-tubers” doing the same. Some mix and match, but the point is it helps to have some kind of platform. Not all publishers require you have one though.
Librarians and book seller’s often have access to lots of ARCs as well due to the nature of their work
2. Have a presence on Goodreads and Amazon as a reviewer.
That simply means writing reviews for the books you’ve read. Leaving only a star rating does not count as a review. The more reviews you leave, the better you’re chances for being viewed as a legitimate reviewer.
3. Request from Edelweiss or NetGalley.
These are websites that serve as a “middle man” between publishers and readers to provide free ebook ARCs. You can review available books and request a copy of any you want. You do need to register for an account first. And just because you request a book doesn’t mean you’ll be approved.
Each publisher has their own criteria for approving requests and it helps to read up on those before you request.
It’s also important to not overwhelm yourself by requesting a ton of books that you will then feel obligated to read before their publication dates.
*note* I use NetGalley exclusively and keep a notebook where I write all the books I’m approved for and their publication dates. This way I can check on what I have waiting without needing to go online.
4. Goodreads giveaways.
If you want ARCs, the more active you are on Goodreads, the better. At all times, there are many giveaways listed. Some are for physical copies and some are for ebook editions. This is a great way to discover books that are son-to-be released.
My friend Monica received her first ever Goodreads giveaway book this week and sent me this photo. I’m super jealous because Ive been wanting to get my hands on a copy of this book for months! What a great cover, right?
5. Reach out directly to publishers.
If there’s a particular book coming out you want an ARC of, research who is publishing it then go to their website. Most publishers have contact information for requesting. Then send an email requesting your copy. It helps to explain why you’re requesting it, and again where you’re going to review it and what kind of following you have. FYI – I’ve tried this route a few times with no success, although I hear from other book bloggers that it works.
Other things to consider.
Once you establish yourself as a reviewer, you will get requests from authors and publishers left and right, asking you to read and review their book. It’s important you understand that you are under no obligation to do so. If you do have a blog or other platform, I highly recommend you establish a review policy that you can direct folks to. Here is mine, I don’t respond to anyone who contacts me through my blog and obviously haven’t read it. It saves me time and stress.
ARCs are given in exchange for an honest review. You should not have to pay for your ARCs up front or commit to leaving any type of review. Here is a post I wrote about the Dos & Don’t for authors/publishers reaching out to bloggers. This will give you a good idea of what behavior is acceptable and what’s shady.
I hope this is helpful and that you feel comfortable trying to get ARCs. If you have any questions I didn’t address, or additional tips please let me know in the comments.