alice grass

ARCS- AKA Books I Never Get

Friday, December 20, 2013
Let's talk about ARCs shall we???  For those that don't know... ARC stands for Advance Reader Copy, or a book you get to read before it's published.  Let's be honest here.. I never get an ARC for a book I am eagerly anticipating.  I mean... what is going on here???  I am signed up on Netgalley, Edelweiss, and Goodreads.  I might as well count goodreads giveaways out right away.  There seems to be one copy to give away and 2000 people sign up to win it.  I am never the one.



I don't know how people are getting a hold of these sought out books.  Yes I know... I can get an ARC of a book that is on a blog tour, but those aren't the books I want! There I said it. I guess I need to be one of these big blogs to get anything.  Plus Edelweiss is a nightmare to navigate.  I was looking at it right now for Infinite by Jodi Meadows and it was terrible to try to figure out where to look.  When I did find the Request Copies link and narrowed my search down to Young Adult, Bibles are showing up!! (not that I don't love the Bible by the way).



I tend to get comic book ARCs through Netgalley... all but the cool ones from DC.  There again I am always automatically declined.  BOOM!  Not even 5 minutes after I put in a request I get an email... denied. Then sometimes I will put in for a comic and get an email that says... we're sorry but all the copies that can be given out are gone.  Then WHY is the book still listed as available?  Take that book down!!! I also just read that there is a rating for each person on Netgalley... turns out mine is only 40% and I guess you want it to be 80%!  Why am I only 40%!  NOOOOOoooooo!



If you follow my blog clearly I am not trying to only get free books and ARCs.  I just want to know why I can't ever get them.  It's not like I am a new blogger.  I think I have some type of following (or at least I hope I do).  Is there some secret group out there I am not apart of???   Well waiting till release day is OK too... I mean.. I didn't even know ARCs existed until I started blogging.


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54 comments:

  1. Don't get discouraged! It took me a long, long time before I started getting approved for ARCs, and I still get turned down for some titles I really, really want. There are some great tips about NetGalley at http://bookswithbite.net/book-blogging-411-netgalley-rejection

    Good luck!

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    1. Thank you for the link! I guess to me the system is a little confusing. I really don't understand the rating system. 40%??? I would like to know how someone gets a 10% rating from them?

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  2. I definitely agree with you about Edelweiss! I signed up for it and never even requested any books, it's so confusing. Netgalley is much better organized. I have some luck when it comes to requesting things from Netgalley - probably raising the rating will help. I went back and added reviews/feedback of books that I requested on there when I realized my rating was low. I got it up to 80% that way! It is nice to get early copies of books - especially if you can help build early buzz for it, so I hope you get accepted for more soon!

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    1. Oh so you added reviews after the book was released? I could do that. I have 3 that I didn't end up reviewing that I could check out from the library and read them and then review and then add them. I didn't think of that!

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  3. I have found my best success rate has been contacting the author through their website to request arcs..they usually have a form you can fill out!

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    1. OH humm... well that is a good idea. Heading to the websites now to try to find out if I can contact the publisher/author that way. Exciting to think I might have a chance there.

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  4. Edelweiss takes some time to understand, but once you get the hang of it, it's such a wonderful site! Getting ARC's also takes time. You have to put yourself out there and make connections with publishers :)

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  5. I don't know anything about Edelweiss, but here's what's worked for me with NetGalley.

    When I first started, I only went for books that were available as "read now." Were they the big titles I was most excited for? No, most of them were by authors I'd never heard of. But it gave me an opportunity to start building that feedback rating. Next I started requesting books from small press publishers. They nearly always accepted me, and a couple of them even added me to "auto-accept" status after I read and reviewed a few of their books.

    I agree with the other Charlene though - make sure you're sending feedback. That's what that "rating" is; all it means is you've reviewed 40% of the titles you've been approved for. I make a point of sending feedback for every single book, even if it's to say I don't like it or I didn't finish it.

    Hope this helps! Good luck!

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    1. OHHHHHHH!! Well that makes much more sense now with the whole rating thing. I thought it meant that I didn't like enough books I was reading. Also... that is a great idea to review books for immediate download. I have only seen one of those lately and was surprised. I hadn't heard of that before then.

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    2. NetGalley is glitchy though. I've been approved for books an hour before they were archived so I couldn't download them. THEN they count towards my stats but I cannot review them unless I buy them out of pocket.

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    3. OK now that is bad. I recently talked about in a post the fact that I tried to contact Netgalley for help and no one bothered to answer me. But they were answering other people on twitter... soooo.... hummm...

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  6. I also suffered from the same problem months ago. I just couldn't figure out the science behind requesting ARCs. Every time I put in a request for titles that will be published by one of the Big 6 publishing companies, I immediately get a rejection e-mail.

    But things started to look bright when a fellow blogger shared to me the fomatting of her profile. I followed her formatting and requesting hard to get by titles became easier for me. I think your number of followers would also influence your chances of getting approved. I find it that publishers are more likely to approve your request if you have more than 1000+ combined followers. Once I was able to achieve the said number, approvals from Penguin, Simon and Schuster, Harper and HQN were almost a piece of cake. I am still having trouble with Scholastic though but I think it has to do something with me being an international blogger.

    I am planning to write up a guide about NG and EW in the succeeding weeks. I hope it would be helpful for those who aren't quite familiar with the site yet.

    And Edelweiss is really an awesome site once you figure out how it works and once you get approved. A lot of the hard to get ARCs can be found there.

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    1. Thanks for the great comment. I really look forward to seeing your post. Especially on Edelweiss. Navigating that site is a nightmare to me. Do you know when ARCs are usually released? I am not sure when to start looking for one?

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    2. I've heard that the general rule is about 6 months before the release date.

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    3. OK... well then some of the books I want to read are about at the 6 month mark!

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  7. Haha I know how you feel. TSC is a newer blog so at this point, I haven't received review requests for any book I've really been anticipating on my own. What has kind of made me feel better is that I volunteer at the library and my librarian has an amazing selection of arcs she lets me borrow.

    It's interesting though to see your comments because to me, you are a big blogger with a pretty impressive following. I guess Mari & I have a long way to go!

    -P.E. @ The Sirenic Codex

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    1. I didn't even know libraries received ARCs! My husband is a part time security guard at my local library. Next time he works I am going to have him ask around and see if they get any at his branch.

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  8. I went onto Eldeweiss one day to see if I wanted to join, but I was so confused. I didn't know that they rated people on Netgalley. That seems terribly unfair. Don't get discouraged though. I hardly ever get ARCs and I usually only get them in giveaways. Great post!

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    1. I don't know why Eldeweiss doesn't follow Netgalley's format. It is clearly more user friendly. I think maybe that Eldeweiss gets some sort of a kick back from publishers for also selling books (I am just assuming you can buy books through their site since they have catalogs from publishers and sometimes I even see advertising pieces that look like they can be displayed in stores). I am not sure who is ordering from this site? Libraries? Book stores??? Confusing.

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  9. It doesn't sound like you're actively contacting publishing houses for ARCs, which you should really be doing as an established blogger.

    Most BIG bloggers get a lot of their ARCs that way, as opposed to only requesting on Netgalley and Edelweiss. Eventually, if your requests are accepted and you review consistently for a while, and you have a decent following, publishers will usually give you the green light and you will be given free reign over their entire catalog...so no need to request and wait for an approval anymore.

    And there are a bunch of great blog posts out there about how to request ARCs directly through publishers...normally you find the publicity contact for a certain publisher, and then send them an email requesting an ARC that contains all of your follower information and what your blog is about.

    If you Google information about it, there are a bunch of blogs that explain how exactly to set up your emails in order for the publishers to be more interested in you. And then you can just save the formatting and fill in the blanks when you go to request new books.

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    1. This is a big help. I didn't really understand what it meant to have a relationship with a publisher. I need to research my follower number and page views. I am going to go and good this right now... I'll link up what I find on this post so others can see the format that needs to be followed.

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  10. Aw, I'm sorry you can't get the ARCs you want! That totally sucks. :( I'm in Australia, so I guess it's definitely a smaller pond for book bloggers since I get a LOT of ARCs that I want. (I'm totally lucky, I know!) I have a definite smaller audience then you, too. So no idea what's up. :( On NetGalley, I never got approved until I'd reviewed a lot of read-now titles (books I didn't particularly care about). Anyway! Best of luck.
    I'm stopping by from Candace's linkup! Here's mine!

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    1. I keep hearing about the read now titles and will totally take advantage of those now. I never thought about using those to make my percentage rating higher. I am about to check out your link up!

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  11. It sucks not getting ARCs, I'm in the same boat as you. But I always have to remind myself that I started blogging for fun, not worry or stress (for ARCs). Awesome post, good luck!

    Lisa
    www.turningpages94.blogspot.com

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    1. I do agree... and I was hoping I didn't come across in this post as one of the bloggers that's into blogging for ARCs. I truly blog to blog. I have only read like maybe 3 ARCs in the two 1/2 years I have been blogging. So I really hope it didn't seem like this post was about whining that I don't get ARCs... more about WHY don't I get ARCs.

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  12. Haha, I have yet to win anything on Goodreads, too. Hm, yeah, 40% is not too good. Mine is 83 or 84 I think (but I request like 1-2 books a month) "I can get an ARC of a book that is on a blog tour, but those aren't the books I want!" Yep, plus I'm INT, so if it's not on Netgalley/Edelweiss, I'll just wait until it comes out. But I think you should try to get in touch with publishers/authors directly. Good luck!! :)

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    1. HA 40% sucks let's just say it. Goodreads.. sigh... I don't know why I keep putting in for books on there. Now the books you put in for on a giveaway is shown up on your newsfeed automatically and sometimes I don't want everyone to know I put in for 15 books. Geeze!

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  13. When I first started blogging I contacted Berkeley Publishing to see if I could get on their lists... I though having a niece who had been a major editor for them (and introduced a profitable romance line) would give me an edge. I was told that I needed to have over 2000 followers on my site.

    Then I started reviewing authors that I really liked and started to get noticed by them (I always put a link to the review on their FB page) and after a year I started getting requests from authors to please review a book. It takes time, a long time.

    Be patient... keep writing your reviews, even if you have to get the books out of the library (I try to be the first on the list when a new title is put on the data base).

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    1. Most of my books come from the library. I can't remember the last time I bought a book so that doesn't really bother me. I wish I could link up to facebook but for years now my blog has been blocked on there. I have no idea why. I have tried to contact facebook but that is just a total waste of time. I have just given up on getting my blog on facebook.. but that is a whole different post!

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  14. LOLOLOLOL!!!!! Tell it sister; you and I must be part of the same club :) I always feel like I'm not part of the book-ish "in crowd" or something. ARCs--especially the ones you are dying to read--are like that mysterious/mythical artifact I can never get my hands on. Sigh. I think your blog is pretty big, though, so like you said, I don't understand why you wouldn't get them. Wishing you tons of ARCS and no "denied" requests in future :-)
    Ninja Girl

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    1. Thanks... one ARC I was dying for was Doctor Sleep. I mean I run a huge Stephen King Fan group on goodreads. 6000 members. I emailed the publisher and put all my stats out there for them... totally expecting to get it. Or MAYBE get it... or ok MAYBE a response. Nothing.

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    2. Aw, that sucks :(. I will cross my fingers and just hope they are so backed up they haven't had a chance to respond yet.

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  15. I know what you mean. It seems like the popular books that I really want I never get. Also, like you DC has been declining every request I've made. I guess I pissed them off because I got a bunch of titles from them for awhile.

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    1. DC tickets me off.... and I never see Marvel comics on there to request. I am going to just quit requesting DC comics all together. Most of the volume 3s are coming out now anyways.

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  16. I will agree that Edelweiss is a confusing site! I have requested ARCs from there and have had moderate success with it. NetGalley is much easier to use, but like everyone else has already mentioned, you have to submit feedback, even if the book has already been archived.

    Also, you could always try sites like Cuddlebuggery and ARCycling for ARCs. They are donated from bigger blogs, so they are usually second hand, but who cares? I've received several ARCs from those two sites alone.

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    1. That is a good idea... now that you say that I remember seeing that option on Cuddlebuggery. I thought it was a good system when I read about it but never thought about signing up. I think I thought they would think my blog was too big. I think you have to have like 300 followers or less or something like that. It's been a while since I read the rules ...but I am going to head over there now and check it out again.

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  17. Because a lot of people have already commented on NG and EW, I thought I would give a shout out about GR. I have won quite a few books through their giveaways. I sign up for a lot of the giveaways (all the books that look mildly interesting). Once you figure out a system for it, it only takes a few minutes every day. Then, once you win a book, you need to post a review for it. You chances for winning giveaways increase, if you read books in the genre/demographic the book is for and if you review books that you have won through their giveaways in the past. It is a positive feedback loop. You can learn more by reading the rules when you sign up for a giveaway. I won a few recently, and I haven't had a chance to review them, and I noticed that I haven't won as many as I used to win.

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    1. Do you think it increases your chances of winning a book if you add it to your TBR list on goodreads? I don't really want to add every book I enter for but I wondered if that would make a difference.

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  18. That's so weird, Angela! Publishers should definitely be looking at you, you have a dedicated following and are serious about blogging. Especially NetGalley, they don't really look all that much about stats or anything. I can't believe you don't have better luck :( I recently started using Edelweiss and after exploring it a little it isn't all that scary. Rarely get accepted there though, some pubs only accept booksellers. Hope you have better luck soon!

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    1. I didn't realize some pubs only accept booksellers. Which honestly doesn't make much sense. This is because a few years ago I worked at Barnes and Nobles for like a month or so. I remember they would get these boxes full of just book stuff. ARCs... book marks... all that jazz. None of this stuff was allowed to be given out to customers only employees. It was just given out at random and I never saw an employee like write a review about it or rave to customers about what they read. They just took them home and that was that. Soooo sending them to book stores just doesn't do anything to me to promote the book any further.

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  19. I'm guessing the 40% is on your profile yes? That's your ratio. It's books you've reviewed versus books you've been allowed access to. This could be the reason you're not having much luck with NetGalley. A ratio of 80% is considered the very least you should have. You should try to review most, if not all, of the books you've been granted access to.

    Edelweiss can be a little trickier. At first I had no idea how to work it! A lot of the books wouldn't be books I would be interested in, but then HarperTeen posts a lot of books and I'm downloading like crazy! When you're applying for books on Edelweiss make sure you put all of your stats, blog link and email address in the top box. Put a few reasons why you want the book in the bottom box. Once I started doing that I got approved! Hope that helps!

    On physical ARC's I'm afraid I can't help you. I'm an international blogger and so it's next to impossible to get ARC's. But I have to say I know what you mean with blog tour ARC's. They always seem to be books I have absolutely no interest in!

    Live to Read, Love to Read

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    1. OH man... I looked back on my netgalley account right now to see if I could add in a review for books I requested before and I can't. I didn't realize that I really needed to get reviews on there for the books I had. Sometimes... I just read something and don't always review it on my blog and because of that I didn't link it up on netgalley. Now I see I need to review EVERYTHING on there. Thanks!!

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  20. What? How do you look at your percentage for Netgalley?

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    1. You have to go under your profile... and BOOM there it is! Who knew?????

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  21. OH GOSH I feel you, girl. I don't want to sign up for ARCs because I don't have an eReader and mostly the books available are books I don't want! And then I got to other people's blogs and they have less followers than me and can get books I WANT to read. TT ^ TT It's a very depressing thing to happen in my life.

    But I bet if you keep requesting you will get one soon! Just keep the good thoughts up!

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    1. Luckily I do have an ereader... so you are right. This probably helps me get a lot more ARCs then someone without one. Sometimes it annoys me that you have to have a certain amount of followers. I wish that all bloggers got a chance to read an ARC equally.

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    1. I follow you... and I don't remember seeing this post!! Thank you for sharing it with me. This is a really really great post and explains a lot. I need to get that rating up ASAP!

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  23. It takes a while and even someone like me doesn't get some of the books by authors I adore. I continue to send emails and letters to publishers for those. As for NetGalley your rating is based on the ratio of approved books vs reviews. So they want you to be at 80% meaning that 80% of the books you requested you then reviewed. I am at 96% and I am approved for everything I request and get send invitations. So you can do it. Focus on getting those approved. The same goes for Edelweiss the more you review the more approvals and auto approvals you will get. Also copies are limited, so it is important to check their daily for new arrivals and request immediately. As for Meadows..email the publisher tell them why you want to review it and share your stats.

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    1. I am going to work on this for 2014. I never even thought about ratings until this post. I am going to try to email Meadows publisher right now. Who knows??? I have always felt it doesn't hurt to try. I have managed to get Q&As with big authors before and that blew my mind! So how hard can an ARC be?? :)

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  24. I'm right there with you! I would love to get ARCs of the books I am DESPERATELY waiting for, but I rarely get them. I can't say never, because I do for some. But then there will be that one book, that one book that I so, so, soooooooo want to read and I am denied, denied, denied. Seriously, I requested a few books on Edelweiss like 3 times and received 3 denials. Then it goes to say if you're a blogger or reviewer please have links to your blog and list your credentials...and I'm like WHAT?! I say I'm a blogger and reviewer. Although another blogger suggested I remove the blogger title and just check reviewer and maybe I'd have better luck, as I believe she only checked reviewer.

    With Netgalley, I get a little bit better luck with some books. And I now only saw this rating system you were talking about. I did NOT see that before. At least there, I tend to only request books I want to read and only recently requested two and then decided they were for me after a few pages.

    And as I am seeing in some of your responses in comments, it doesn't hurt to email the publisher asking for an ARC, they usually forward it to the PR department or something like that, but I've had it work out good for me in the past when I request. Like they will randomly email me and ask if I'd like to review this book and I'll say yes. End up loving it and I email them back next year stating that they sent me a copy in the past and I would love to review the new one and they usually send me an ARC. So contacting the publishers is always a good idea too. Tracking down the right names and department might be trickier though.

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    1. I agree... that percentage was some big secret until this post and I read in the comments that there was this magic percentage! WHAT! I too only request I really want to read but didn't always review them. I didn't realize I had to. Though I think someone above mentioned you can just post a blurb on goodreads and that counts. I guess it doesn't have to be an entire blog post.

      That is neat that the publishers will contact you later about reviewing the second book in the series. I think one reason I don't request a lot of ARCs is that I am afraid I won't like the book and then I feel bad since I received it for free. I don't feel so bad if it's off netgalley since I'm not dealing with a person to person contact.

      Good luck with your percentage. I am not even going to try to get books from Edelweiss anymore. I feel like it is a little bit of a waste of time and waiting for those books to get to my library isn't really that big of a deal.

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