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Best Ways To Get ARCs

ARC stands for Advanced Reader Copy. Likewise, ARE stands for Advanced Reader Edition. These are uncorrected proofs of a book sent out by a publisher (or author) to get some feedback about an upcoming title and hopefully get some more attention on the author and book. Most bookish people find new titles via recommendation, whether it is from a friend or colleague or someone you follow on social media. Publishers send out ARCs in the hopes that the reviewers will like the book and publish an honest review on social media and/or their blog.

There are all sorts of ways to get ARCs but some of the most popular ways are:

  • Edelweiss

  • NetGalley

  • Straight From The Publisher

Edelweiss is a site that allows you to discover new titles and place orders. This is great if you host a book club or enjoy giving out books as gifts. While it is originally for booksellers, there are many people who review just so they can have access to new books. I have found many a new favorite through Edelweiss. With this site, you have to be accepted by the literary agent/editor/publisher before you’re given their title to read.

Once you sign up, you’re tasked with filling out a profile. The more in depth your profile is, the more likely you’ll have your ARC requests approved. Moreover, with each new ARC/ARE you request, you may be asked a simple question like “why do you want to review this book?” It may sound tedious, but a few short sentences is all it takes. Once you’re request is approved, you can either read the book on Edelweiss or download it in a version that best suits you.

Sidenote: If you want to request three or more books at a time from Edelweiss be careful. I have done this and then they all come in at once! Since Edelweiss access expires, you don’t want to have too much on your plate!

NetGalley is really a wonderful site for book lovers. With cool features such as voting on covers and creating reading groups and friends, it is a good alternative to Edelweiss for those who aren’t looking to have to wait on books or be approved. NetGalley is completely free to use and you can even search upcoming titles by your favorite publishers or authors. Once you create your profile, you’ll begin getting ARC recommendations that suit the genres you lean towards, making it easy to find your next read.

Leaving a review on NetGalley is also super easy. Just click on the title from your shelf and you’ll be taken to a review page. You can leave just a star rating or write an entire review. NetGalley also allows you to share your review socially with just a quick press of a button, making it easy to update your Goodreads book challenge or share it with your followers on Instagram or Twitter/X.

If you are more of a career book reviewer, someone who reviews two or three books a week, then you may be able to get books straight from the publisher. I love this as you often get physical ARCs and not just digital ones. The simplest way to do this is to already have a track record of reviews. Whether you review via Amazon, Goodreads, StoryGraph or some other form, publishers (more specifically marketing teams) want to know that you won’t get the book and never read or review it. My next suggestion would be to reach out. Personally, I use Shelf Awareness to stay up on the latest news, but if you follow a particular publisher, you can usually go to their site and find out more information on being a reviewer. Shelf Awareness is simply a weekly newsletter that lets you stay up on current bookish news. They also do frequent ARC giveaways, which is pretty cool.

Are you familiar with either Edelweiss or NetGalley? Which do you prefer?

You can also sign up for Online Book Club which may give you access to hundreds of books, either before they are published or as new releases, completely free to you! Some even subscribe to the newsletters of their favorite authors so that they can get books as they come along with other freebies writers tend to give subscribers including book plates, deleted chapters, unreleased short stories, etc. If you feel like paying for that content, you can always become a member of that author’s Patreon or Ko-Fi if they have them.

Online Book Club is just what it sounds like. Members can sign up and then they get access to digital ARCs and books. However, once you agree to review a book, you are expected to review it. There’s even the added bonus of getting paid per review. One thing to note is that the interface isn’t the nicest and the site definitely takes some getting used to.

Patreon and Ko-Fi are very similar. You sign up, become a member or subscriber of the person you choose and this allows you to have access to new content as well as certain content they only allow for their subscribers. For the most part, each are a monthly subscription. However, with Ko-Fi, people can also simply donate to their favorite artists, content creators, writers, etc. It can be a one-time donation or a monthly subscription.

Does reviewing books sound like something you’d be interested in?

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