When I first started blogging, I didn’t know where to start on blogging. I wanted to write up a basic guide on getting arcs for other fellow beginners!
For Edelweiss and Netgalley, the name of the game is to grow your approval rating. The way to do this is to start by requesting less-in-demand titles. There are some galleys on Edelweiss that you can be automatically approved for. On Netgalley at least, there’s a specific section!! Download one of those, review it, download another of those, review it, and it’ll show Edelweiss [and especially the publishers you’ve just requested from] that they can count on you.
Marija at InsideMyLibraryMind wrote up a post called All You Need to Know to Start Using Edelweiss a while ago that really helped me get started.
This is a really common question: how many followers do I need to get started? And the answer is… it’s not a rigid number. On Netgalley, specifically, you can get read now arcs with very few followers.
This comes with a caveat: you will need either a blog or a booktube to get arcs. Netgalley essentially requires people to be bloggers or booktubers. Goodreads is nice, but publishers do not tend to respect popular Goodreads reviewers as influencers (even though I think objectively I’m much more influential on Goodreads than in blogging).
It is a lot harder to get arcs personally sent to you. Let me just make that clear. It is. But there are ways to make it easier!
Hello, whatever publisher I’m emailing! My name is Elise and I’m a book reviewer on WordPress (thebookishactress.wordpress.com) and on Goodreads (goodreads.com/thebookishactress). I’m writing to let you know I’d love the opportunity to read and review a few books:
- ((whatever books you want go here))
Here’s my shipping address:
((whatever your address is goes here))
Here are some more stats on my blog:
- 2.5k+ followers on WordPress & BlogLovin @TheBookishActress
- 4.1k+ individual page views per month
- 2.1k+ unique visitors per month
- 15k+ followers on Goodreads @TheBookishActress
- #10th most popular reviewer worldwide on Goodreads, last 12 months
- 1.1k followers on Twitter @jespergayhey
- 1.1k followers on Tumblr @inejgayfa
TheBookishActress is a review site focusing on sff and young adult fiction. All reviews are posted on Goodreads, Twitter, and Tumblr, and arc reviews are posted to TheBookishActress two weeks pre-release date. All books I receive, even if not finished in time for the publication date, will get a mention in hauls and will be reviewed when read!
I tend to enjoy fantasy and speculative fiction, moral ambiguity, and lgbtq leads, though I’m pretty indiscriminate in what I read, and these titles seem right up my alley! I love very weird and character-driven books and will reliably enjoy almost anything with morally ambiguous lead characters. Other fave topics: lgbtq+ themes, discussions of past abuse and recovery, thrillers focusing on the power of women. (Vary this section based on what you actually want.)
Thank you for considering me!
Now, there are other ways of getting arcs. I started out getting most of my arcs temporarily via a local independent bookstore. Indies often get arcs (and especially young adult arcs) from publishers attempting to promote books and hoping they’ll find an audience. But indies don’t actually have the staff required to read all of these books. Thus, independent bookstores often use teen readers to help read arcs.
Another common way to get arcs is via book events!! I have not attended many of these, so I don’t have a lot of tips for this, but BookExpo in New York City is one of the most common.
There is also #arcsfortrade on Twitter. This allows you to trade arcs for other arcs; a lot of people read arcs, then trade them for others on Twitter. I used this extensively at one point!
Sadly, any of these methods are a lot harder when you’re an international reader and blogger; discussion about this has been more common recently, but I still think this is worth mentioning. One of my favorite bloggers, Marija @InsideMyLibraryMind, has talked about this extensively, including on this excellent post on The Eternal Frustration of an International Book Blogger.