ARC Books: How to Get Advanced Reader Copies from Publishers

If you’re wondering how to get ARC books (advanced reader copies) from publishers, you’ve come to the right place! Here’s everything you need to know about ARCs – both physical ARCs and e-ARCs – and how to request them from publishers.

I’ve received a lot of ARCs from publishers over the years as a Bookstagrammer, so I wanted to share some helpful tips!

stack of ARC books on a bed

Disclosure: I received the ARCs & finished copies in the photos in this post for free from the publishers in exchange for an honest review.

What is an ARC book?

An ARC (advanced reader copy) is a free uncorrected proof of a book – either in print or digital – provided by a publisher prior to a book’s release. Often, ARCs are gifted to book influencers and book reviewers in exchange for an honest review, as a way to generate buzz for that book.

(Another term you may have heard – galleys – are similar to ARCs, but are issued earlier in the proofreading process and are less finalized.)

There are two types of ARC books: physical ARCs and digital ARCs.

Physical ARCs will almost always be paperbacks, and are often a larger size than standard paperbacks. You can also identify them by the ‘uncorrected proof’ notation that should be on the book’s cover or spine.

Digital ARCs (also known as e-ARCs) are electronic files you can read on a device such as a Kindle, cell phone, or iPad.

How to Get e-ARCs

Requesting digital e-ARCs is super easy! All you need to do is create a NetGalley account and fill out your profile. Then, you can request e-ARCs from publishers through NetGalley.

NetGalley

NetGalley bridges the gap between readers and the publishing world. It’s your first step toward working with publishers.

When you create your profile, be sure to fill it out completely, and add any relevant information (such as any social media platforms where you share your book reviews). Your profile helps give publishers a good idea of your audience and your interests.

NetGalley has a digital library of all the e-ARCs that are currently available from publishers. Use the search bar or navigate the categories to find ARCs you want to request.

NetGalley find ARCs screenshot

(There are also ARCs you can read without a request, under the ‘Read Now’ category!).

If you’re approved for a title you request, you’re usually expected to read and review the book prior to publication.

Likely, this means submitting your review to NetGalley in addition to sharing your review to your audience on social media (Bookstagram, Goodreads, etc.) and/or your book blog.

A quick tip: when you first join NetGalley, you may be tempted to request every book you come across. I don’t recommend doing this!

If you request too many books at once, you may not have time to finish reading (or reviewing) them on time. You want to create a positive reputation with publishers, and that wouldn’t give a good impression.

Plus, your book review percentage (known as your ‘feedback percentage’ on NetGalley) shows up on your profile where publishers can see it, so that might hurt your chances of being approved for future titles.

Start slow and build up from there. 🙂

How to Get Physical ARC Books

Requesting ARCs from publishers isn’t as intimidating as it sounds, I promise! They want to send their books out to reviewers to generate buzz and excitement for their upcoming releases.

If you want to request physical ARCs, it does help to have some sort of audience (even if it’s small) on a social media or book sharing platform. But it’s not always necessary!

If a new release catches your eye, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and just ask.

stack of books next to a teal tumbler

Directly Requesting ARCs from Publishers

First off, one of the main ways to get ARCs from publishers is to email publicity contacts directly. You’ll want to do this at least 2-3 months in advance of the book’s publication date.

Start by looking at your favorite books. Which publishing houses printed them? That’s a good start in determining where to search for potential ARCs and contacts.

If you have a specific title in mind, Google which publishing house has the rights to that title in your country.

Once you find the correct publishing house, check out the media page on their website. Most publishers will have an email address listed for ARC requests. That’s where you want to send your email.

Often, there are different emails for each imprint. Make sure you’re using the right one!

How to Email Publishers for ARC Books

Start by introducing yourself, with a sentence or two about why you’re interested in that particular book. Is it written by your favorite author? Does it cover subject matter that you’re passionate about?

Next, publishers do want to see your social stats, including where you share reviews and your follower and/or engagement numbers.

Also, if you’ve reviewed books released by that publisher in the past, let them know! (As long as it was a positive review, of course).

Be sure to include your shipping address so it’s easy for them to send you the book. (No, it’s not too presumptive – they appreciate not having to take an extra step!).

Please note: these publisher contacts get a lot of emails, so you might not always get a response (even if they decide to send you the book!). Be patient and respectful.

Lastly, if you receive an ARC from a publisher in response to a request, be sure to send them a link to your review once it’s live!

a pile of ARC books

Book Influencer Programs

Many publishers have an influencer program specifically for easily requesting ARCs. (Here is a list of all the Bookstagram influencer programs I know about!).

Most programs have some sort of application process where you’re asked to share a little information about yourself and your social platforms.

If you’re accepted, most publishers will send out an email each month (or quarter) with a list of all the ARCs and finished copies they have available at that time. You fill out the form with what you want to request, and the publisher will do their best to grant that request. Easy peasy!

Goodreads Giveaways for ARCs

Last, but certainly not least, you can receive both physical ARCs and e-ARCs from Goodreads Giveaways!

It’s super easy to enter. All you need is a free Goodreads account and a shipping address (for physical books, so they know where to send it). You’ll be notified by email if you win.

Then, just keep an eye out for your book, and try to share your review on Goodreads once you read it.

I hope you found this guide on how to get ARC books helpful, and best of luck! 🙂

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