Everyone loves reading books before they come out! I know I do! But how do we book bloggers get our hands on advanced reader copies? Let me count the ways.
#1 NetGalley/Edelweiss and Other Services
NetGalley, Edelweiss, First to Read, Bookish First and many other programs offer a way for you to get an e-galley of the book before publication. It will be delivered to your kindle or nook for your reading pleasure. Because you are getting a galley, chances are there will be mistakes in the copy, so try not to hold them against the book when you review it.
I attend BookCon every year and run around to the many booths to get my grubby little hands on advanced copies. When you get a physical ARC, they have information for who to contact with a review and when to post it on the back cover. Which brings us to the next way to get an ARC.
#3 Contact the Publisher/Agent
As you review more you will make contacts with publishers, agents, and authors. You can reach out to them to request specific copies of books. I personally request from Sourcebooks, HarperCollins, and the New Leaf Literary Agency. I have made these contacts at conventions.
Sourcebooks has my favorite blogger outreach program, so if you ever find yourself at their booth ask them about their blogger outreach newsletter.
When you are granted an ARC, you are obligated to review it in a timely manner. Keep that in mind when you are logging in a plethora of requests for books.
NetGalley uses a feedback rating for its reviewers. If you don’t provide feedback, you rating goes down, as does your chance for approval from publishers.
I recommend a few things when you start requesting:
- If you know you don’t like a certain genre, don’t request it. There’s no need to write a bad review when you know up front you won’t enjoy the book.
- Check the publication date. Give yourself an appropriate amount of time to read and review that book.
- Read the synopsis and check to make sure you are not requesting the second or third book in a series. NetGalley and Edelweiss both have an issue with making this little factoid clear. Save yourself the headache and check it up front.
- Both NetGalley and Edelweiss offer a way for you to filter your search results. Use them. As I only read YA, MG, and Picture Books, I don’t need to see cookbooks and autobiographies.
- Do. Not. Request. More. Than. You. Can. Read.
- When you are approved, make a note somewhere for the book’s publication date to remind you to paste your review into NetGalley/Edelweiss before the book is archived.
- Make an adobe digital editions account. Many books are sent through this program, especially graphic novels.
Listen to the Guidelines
When you are approved for a title, you will receive an email. Sometimes, the email details when you may publish your review, a media kit, and sometimes even a chance to get in on the author’s blog tour. ALWAYS. READ. THIS. EMAIL. It is not just telling you that you can read this book.
Most publisher prefer the review to go up around 2 weeks of the publication date. I prefer my reviews to go up 2 weeks prior in this case to keep my feed timely.
In one case, I was put on an embargo and not allowed to talk about the book until 1 week before its publication.
This is why it’s important to read that email.
That’s all for today. Join me next time when I talk about writing your first review.