If you want ARCs and if you want to keep getting them then this post is for you. Time to chase down those publishers and consume them like a dinosaur. Professionally, of course. And if you follow this guide, you’ll not only be like the Tyrannosaurus Rex of ARCs. You’ll be a Tyrannosaurus Rex with those little grabby toys so you’ll have reach. Because seriously, those little arms are so fucking annoying.
I know what you’re thinking about this post, btw.
The reviewing kind of dinosaur, is the answer to your question. And also a carnivore, so be careful what impertinent questions you ask of me. I just want to say that there is no definitive way of getting ARCs. Nothing works 100%. But there are always things you can do to help. And we dinosaurs are here to help you. Help us,
eat help you.
First thing is that you have to think about what you, as a dinosaur in the literal sense, have control over and what you don’t.
When you think about it, there are some things you can control when it comes to making your blog a desirable place to send arcs, and there are things you can’t control. You probably think of those things like the cages and pens keeping you in and from noming on all the delicious humans just walking around er… I mean getting your ARCs.
Things you can’t control:
Like a bright flare light on a rainy night, you keep your eye on these things, thinking they’re holding you back, but the truth is, they are a distraction. The humans were in a car all along and you were too busy looking at the light, damn it! Sorry, this topic makes me a little emotional.
Things You Can Control
How you communicate to publishers.
The content on your blog.
Where you post your reviews.
Door handles (if you’re a raptor dinosaur only though)
How you handle the ARCs you get
And believe it or not, these things can affect you breaking out of your pen and going on a rampage a lot more than you think. Also, it’s good for ARCs. So read on as we explain, but please be patient, this keyboard is hard to reach and awkward to use.
Controlling the things you can control and letting the silly humans deactivate the gates for you:
Put yourselves in the publisher’s shoes. Every day they get emails from bloggers wanting ARCs and the publishers have to decide who is going to be the most profitable to send them to. So first you have to look at your blog from a publisher’s perspective. Ask yourself some basic questions:
How old is your blog?
If it is under 6 months old they may not consider you stable enough to send ARCs to unless you already have a big following. Think about it. Blogs open and close all the time. A blogger just starting out kind of has to prove that they’re still going to be around in 6 month’s time. A year’s time. 165 million year’s time. It’s hard, but from one dinosaur to another, if you wait until you’re at least 6 months old to start requesting ARCs, you may find your chances improved.
How often do you/can you post realistically?
posting regularly generally helps cultivate a readership and is going to show a publisher that you’re a reliable place to send ARCs because you are a) committed and b) active in the community.
Where do you post your reviews?
Publishers and authors seem to like it when you post your reviews to a number of sites. Not just your blog. Amazon, B&N and Goodreads are good places to look at posting. We don’t always get around to doing this, though we try to for Goodreads, but we know should.
How have you approached the publisher?
When you approach a publisher, the first thing you need to consider is what your email looks like to them. It should be short, concise and lacking in requests that they provide tasty scientists for rapid consumption. It should also be professional so get a friend to check it over.
Your email should probably include:
-Your blog name, URL, your name and links to your social media (I usually have these as my email signature)
-Information (and links) to past publicity you have done for them, with specific examples to books of theirs that you have already promoted.
-Upcoming books of theirs that you are interested in promoting. This doesn’t need to be an exhaustive list, but it gives the publisher an idea of what to send you.
-Your postal address at the top of the email.
-Where you review
-A brief overview of your stats
-A thank you for them spending the time reading your email and the hope that they will respond.
So in effect, your email might look something like this, though keep in mind, this is not a definitive email. It’s just a suggestion. Adding your own touch will always be helpful. Unless that touch is the bloody paw print of your victims.
TyRex A Saurus
PO Box XXX
Chatsman Ohio 72349
20th June 165,000,000 BC
To Whichever Human it may concern,
My name is TyRex from Dinosaur Reads blog. I’m a book blogger for all books to do with dinosaurs.
I’m really interested in continuing to promote your books and am looking at reviewing your upcoming titles Chomp and What’s Shaking (the Earth)? I would love it if you had any review copies of these titles you may be able to send me.
My Monthly page views are: Irrelevant because I eat all my visitors.
My subscribers: Do not suffer the same fate
Thank you for taking the time to read this letter and I hope to be able to work with you in the future to promote dinosaurs and dinosaur books.
Dinosaur Reads Blog
A smart blog, for prehistoric animals
He was so delicious, btw
How you can stay in touch with Publishers
One of three things will now happen.
1) You will receive a response and they will send you ARCs (yey but you’re not out of the woods yet!)
This is great! Now is the time to put those ARCs at the top of your TBR, read them promptly, review them honestly, break into a room dramatically and roar, and then CONTACT THE PUBLISHER. Tag them in your review if it’s positive. Email them the link to your review. Take a picture of the ARC when you get it and tweet/instagram/tumblr it, tagging the publisher to say thank you.
2) You will receive a response email but no ARCs (yey – this is still good and I’ll explain why)
You didn’t get ARCs, THIS TIME. But you have a name of a publicist and this = a contact. Guard this preciously with your life. A contact is a foot in the door.
Or a head…
Doors are hard.
And if you eventually want to eat those jelly-guzzling kids, then you need that contact! You now have a direct line to someone in the publishing house who mails the ARCs. They’re aware of your blog. Maybe they’re hoping to do blog tours with you in the future and this can open the doors to ARCs. Don’t give up hope! If you can be resurrected after 165million years then you can wait a little longer to get your ARCs.
3) You receive no response and no ARCs (Don’t panic. All is well, there’s plan B!)
Don’t panic. We’ve all been there. Usually publicists are simply too busy to respond to ARC requests. But you can still review the books, tag the publishers in that review and try again in the future. What you may find, if you continue to support their books and tweet at the publisher’s main account, is that the publicist may eventually come to know you, recognise your professionalism and accept your request in the future!
Don’t forget, publishing is an industry with a high turnover rate (like evolution. Hahahahahahahaha. No really, it’s a bitch). Publicists change all the time so keeping in regular contact with your publicist is important to ensure your contacts stay up to date and you keep receiving ARCs.
We dinosaurs hope you have found this article helpful. Just as we have found you bringing us back from extinction useful. Let us work together. It’s not at all a terrible idea.