Thursday, August 21, 2014
Thursday Thoughts || Advanced Reader Copies
Like I usually do, I'll quickly define our topic in case anyone doesn't know. An Advanced Reader Copy or ARC is essentially an unfinished proof of a book that's set to be released in the future. An ARC can be physical or come in e-book form. As far as I know, physical ARCs are always paperback and will usually say the release date on the spine or cover along with something like "do not sell." The point of ARCs is to let "professional reviewers" like book bloggers and BookTubers read a book before it's publisher's release date so that they can create buzz, form opinions and offer their criticisms. Before I joined the book blogging world, I have never heard of this. It's weird to think of a time when I didn't know what an ARC was, but it's nothing to be ashamed of considering most people don't. That's why a lot of unethical people start blogs or YouTube channels looking for "free books." They don't understand the concept of ARCs, nor the idea that they aren't just entitled to receive them because they have a blog or a channel.
Usually, publishers will only send ARCs if you have enough of a following and have been consistently producing content that's receiving hits for about six months at least. They also want to see that you'll actually review the book if you end up being sent it. If you have a nice arsenal of quality, past reviews and pump them out on a consistent basis, you're who they're looking for. But, if you're newer to the community there are ways to receive ARCs that make things a little bit less picky. The main way and the only way that I've ever gotten ARCs is through websites that do just that. The main two-- the only two-- that I can think of are NetGalley and Edelweiss.
NetGalley is my preference because it's just so damn user-friendly! It's basically a website where you create an account, link your site(s) and put all your info. Then you can request ARCs through their catalog of books and, if approved, download them onto your device. I think I've probably been approved just as many times as I've been denied. I haven't gotten too many ARCs in my time in the community, but I've gotten enough to be well informed. NetGalley has an approval rating system where publishers can see how many of your approved ARCs, or galleys, you've actually reviewed. The higher your approval rating, the more likely it is that you'll be approved for future requests. Edelweiss is very similar. To me, it feels a little more professional (for lack of a better word.) It's essentially the same as NetGalley aside from the fact that, in my experience, it's harder to get approved and you don't get to keep the galleys forever. Whichever fits you best is what I would recommend if you're just starting out.
Now, for the more personal questions that I put in today's prompt, I'm going to quickly answer those for you right here. My blog has been going since early February of this year and my BookTube channel has been going since the first of June. In the time since I started this blog, I've received nine ARCs. Admittedly, I did not get around to reading all of them and I feel horrible about the ones I haven't gotten a chance to review. All the ARCs I've ever gotten have been eARCs. I would love a physical one as I prefer physical books to eBooks, but I haven't hit that milestone yet. The time will come eventually when my blog and channel are popular enough that I can garner physical ARCs, but for now I'm totally content with the way things have gone. I think when anyone first finds out about websites like NetGalley they go a little insane with requests only to realize they don't have enough time to read and review all of the books they get approved for. Since starting, I've basically just cut back on requests SUPER much and made sure to pay attention to the release dates for every book I request. As long as you don't over-book (wink wink! see what I did there?!) yourself, the world of ARCs is a marvelous and exciting place. Good luck, young padawan.
I apologize that this kind of went from a Thursday Thoughts post to "ARCs for Beginners," but I hope you took something from this nonetheless. I want to quickly direct you over to two videos that were recently posted by Bekah AwesomeBookNut on her YouTube Channel. They're HERE and HERE. Those videos are both essentially beginner's guides to Advanced Reader Copies. If you'd like more information and a more seasoned reviewer's opinions, those are the videos for you! I hope you all had fun this week for Thursday Thoughts. I know I did! Don't forget to comment and link up to share your own opinions. Also, join us next week when our topic will be "The Power of Social Media!" See ya then!