One of the best parts of book blogging is getting to discover awesome new books before they’re published and/or receiving free copies of books already published. But this should not be the reason you get into book blogging. I blog because I love reading — bloggers are not entitled to ARCs.
People like to say that you should wait 6 months or whatever before getting ARCs, but just go ahead and put yourself out there (without begging or being obnoxious). I started getting some digital books my first week, but wasn’t getting print copies of books I really wanted until the second month. Having a social media presence is helpful for getting authors to find you and offer advanced reader copies!
If you’re contacting publishers directly, send a brief email clearly stating your basic stats like where you review books, how many followers you have, and/or how many unique page views you get. If you’re using a request site, make sure you fill out your whole profile so they can see where you review books and that you’re serious about it. You don’t need to have a blog! Often just having a presence on bookstagram or Goodreads is more than enough.
If you’re willing to read e-books, there are a ton of ARCs out there… which may or may not be a good thing. Some are in really rough shape, but you’ll quickly learn how to wade through the options or decline emails. (I try to only request/accept books I’m genuinely interested in so I can honestly attempt to finish them and give productive feedback).
Once you start working with publishers you’ll be put on a list to receive a google form where you just check off the ARCs you want to receive every few months, so you don’t have to go out of your way to individually request everything!
A few sites I’d recommend:
- Blogging For Books
- Penguin Teen (they’ve moved to a new form for the bloggers they work with, but this one is still good if you’re new)
- Book Blogging (I’ve never found anything I wanted to read on here, but the site exists).
- Book Look Bloggers
- First to Read
- Sign up for the Shelf Awareness Pro newsletter and watch the ads
- Macmillan contacts
- Crossway (Christian review copies)
- Harper has said they’re going to stop giving ARCs to bloggers and focus more on booktube instead, BUT I don’t know if that also includes the digital ARCs through Edelweiss.