Hello, my fellow book lovers. I’ve been requesting e-ARCs* since March, and I thought it might be nice to share some tips and tricks with you, based on my experiences. I am by no means an expert, but I wish I had know the following when I first started requesting them.
*e-ARCs are digital advance reader copies, so books you read for review before the release date
You can request e-ARCs on Edelweiss and Netgalley. My requests have yet to be approved on Edelweiss. Though I also get plenty of rejections on Netgalley, I do get lucky there much more often. I also find it an easier site to navigate.
When you first join the site, you’ll want to request as many titles as possible. Don’t do that! What if you get approved for all of them? You’ll never have the time to read those. So don’t go overboard while requesting e-ARCs. Even though the chances of getting approved for all of the titles are slim, you may not want to spend all of your spare time reading ARCs. There are plenty of other books you can read in the meantime, just have a look at your bookshelves!
I personally find this the most important piece of advice. Only request titles you are genuinely interested in! There’s an abundance of books on both Edelweiss and Netgalley and you might discover some great books through them. But do some research beforehand and make sure the book you’re requesting is something you’d actually read. Trust me, I have some e-ARCs of books that were released months ago, that I still have to read. I had requested them because I’ve heard of the books somehow, but once I got approved, I wasn’t actually excited to pick them up.
Your feedback ratio is the amount of approved e-ARCs you actually reviewed. So if you keep on requesting e-ARCs, but don’t actually read them, your feedback ratio will go lower. And that’s not good, because publishers want to make sure you will actually review it. That’s why it’s so important to only request titles you’d want to read.
The second ARC I got approved for, was the Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli. I was over the moon! It was one of my most anticipated releases of the year and though I had only just joined Netgalley, I got approved for such a great book! Surely, I would get approved for other great titles as well, right?
Well, I was wrong about that. Even much smaller publishers decline my requests. There’s no way of telling when you’ll get approved and when you’ll get declined. It really doesn’t matter whether the author is famous or not, whether the publisher is big or not… All you can do is try, but there are no guarantees.
That leads me to piece of advice no. 5: don’t take it personally when you don’t get approved. I really struggle with this one. Sometimes, I have the feeling everyone got approved for a certain title, except for me. It makes me wonder whether I’m doing something wrong, whether my blog isn’t good enough. As difficult as it is, you can’t doubt yourself. Requesting e-ARCs should be fun, instead of making you feel bad about yourself and your work. So when you see everyone got approved but you, pick up another book instead and think “well, it’s their loss!”.
This is an obvious one: you have to write honest reviews. If you didn’t like it, write that in your review. Though this is a simple piece of advice, it might be something you struggle with when you first start requesting ARCs. Because what if the publisher sees your negative review and never approves you again?! If they do that, the publisher is very unprofessional. Furthermore, whose approval means more to you? The approval of your fellow readers, or the approval of some publisher who probably never visits your blog anyway? This is something you especially see on BookTube: “you’re the only one who’s honest!”. Though it’s possible some readers enjoy every single book they read, people will notice whether you’re honest or not.
These were some pieces of advice if you want to start requesting e-ARCs! If you need any more help or have further advice, feel free to leave a comment 🙂 I hope this post is going to be useful!
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