I’ve always loved influencer marketing. Before I jumped into book blogging and book reviewing, I reviewed a plethora of products, all the way from cosmetics and clothing to jewelry and more! Because I did these reviews, I was given multiple opportunities to receive products in exchange for reviews. When I became a book blogger, I applied what I knew from requesting products to how I request books.
Please note, this is for requesting ARCs (Advanced Readers Copies) directly from publishers. While I do love NetGalley and Edelweiss, that is not the purpose of this tutorial. If you’d like tutorials on using NetGalley or Edelweiss, let me know!
Please remember that ARCs are sometimes region locked. This means the publisher can only send the ARCs to media who are within the region.
Another good thing to remember is not all ARC requests can be fulfilled. ARCs are an investment made by the publisher and can be expensive to produce. Because of this, not everyone who requests ARCs receive them. If you don’t receive one, don’t be discouraged! There’s no need to continually nudge the publicists, one email will do.
Now that we have that covered, let’s jump into the three steps to requesting ARCs directly from publishers!
1. You Should Already Have A Presence
You should already have some sort of presence before you begin requesting, and that presence should already have some content. You should be able to show publishers that you’re serious about requesting an ARC. Remember, ARCs aren’t cheap and the publisher is making an investment by sending you a copy.
How do I start a blog or other media to start requesting ARCs?
This is a really loaded question, so I’ll give a brief answer, but if you’d like some more details on how I personally went about starting my blog, then let me know in the comments!
A common misconception is that people are receiving ARCs or other products for free. What’s really happening is people, at least bloggers and other influencers, are receiving ARCs in exchange for media presence, whether that be a review, something on bookstagram (what book lovers are called on Instagram), or a video on YouTube. Of course, there are others who receive ARC, not just media, such as libraries and book sellers, however this post is focusing on media.
You don’t necessarily need a blog to do reviews or request ARCs. Some people use GoodReads or Instagram, though a blog can certainly help. There are many people who do reviews on YouTube, within the “booktube” community! There’s multiple routes you can go to start to make a presence for yourself. You also do not need to only review ARCs. If there are other books you’ve read, it’s a good idea to start making posts with reviews before you begin requesting. You just need a presence somewhere talking about books.
2. Finding the correct contact
Requesting ARCs from the publisher is all about making that ccontact connection. Sometimes this is through an email or a contact form.
One of the best ways to find an email is to look at the author’s website, if they have one. If the author has a website, look at their contact page. Sometimes they’ll list the publicist you need to contact if you’d like to request an ARC. If this happens, you’re in luck, and you’ll have the proper email to use! Don’t reach out directly to the author if the publicist information isn’t provided, instead go to their publisher’s website.
Now, if they don’t have their publicist’s email listed, things can get a bit trickier. Find out who is publishing the book and then visit their website. Sometimes, if their book is being published by an imprint, you’ll need to contact the main publisher. For example, Wednesday Books is an imprint of St. Martins, so I contact St. Martins for media requests.
Once you’ve found the publisher’s website, look for a contact page. On the contact page, there should be an area that says something like publicity and marketing or review copies. Sometimes these contact areas will also be called media.
Make sure you read all the details on the sites when you find the emails. Some publishers have very specific emails for different imprints or demographics, and some of them also have very specific things you need to include in your requests. Some of these contact pages also have a form to use instead of directly emailing them. Just be aware of what the instructions are.
If you need help finding a contact page or navigating one, let me know in the comments, and I’ll do my best to help!
3. Drafting the email
Ah, the email! When I first started doing influencer marketing, sending the request email always made me so nervous! Now I have a specific template I follow that calms me down and makes things super easy. I’ll walk you through every step of the email, so get your pens (well, keyboards) ready!
Your email should consist of three things. They should have an introduction, demographics, and closing.
Here’s how my emails usually appear, divided by the parts (we’ll put them together at the end!):
I would love to review one of the upcoming titles from (PUBLISHER) if ARCs are available.
(BOOK TITLE) by (AUTHOR), ISBN (number). Releasing on (DATE).
This is a quick introduction that lets the publicist know exactly what you want.
This would appeal to my audience, which are (AGES) who enjoy (CONTENT). (Another reason why you would like the book).
I will share my review on my (WEBSITES).
Blog – (MONTHLY VIEWS) – (LINK)
Social media – (STATS, views or followers) – (LINK)
This lets the publicist know who your audience is and why it would be beneficial for the book to appear on your blog or other social medias. Under ages, I usually put young adult or new adult, since those are the ones who enjoy my content. Under content, I usually list books and writing, since those are the ones who usually enjoy my blog. When I list other reasons why I would like the book, I try to tailor it to the specific book. Sometimes this can be I’ve previously reviewed books from the same author, series, or from the same publisher.
Thank you for your time! If you believe I would be a good fit for this Advanced Readers Copy, I am available to review through NetGalley or Edelweiss (EMAIL). I would love a physical copy for my shelf and reviews, if possible.
Here is my shipping address, if you choose to send me a physical ARC:
This is the end of the email, where you thank the publisher and let them know how you can receive the ARC, whether that be through an online review site or through the mail.
All Together + An Example
Now that we have all the pieces, let’s see what it would look like all together. For the sake of an example, I’m going to make up a book, author, and publisher. I’m going to be requesting imaginary book PEACE VAMPIRE by Jane Doey from imaginary publisher Imaginary Publisher with ISBN 123. Let’s say it’s a New Adult vampire fiction.
Okay, ready for the example?
I would love to review one of the upcoming titles from Imaginary Publisher, if ARCs are available.
PEACE VAMPIRE by Jane Doey, ISBN 123. Releasing on October 31, 2121.
This would appeal to my audience, which are new adults who enjoy fantasies with hints of romance. I have previously reviewed your titles, and this would be a great addition to my blog. I’m a huge fan of vampires, and I love this author’s books!
I will share my review on my blog and social media, which collectively has a monthly reach of over 10k. I will also share my review on retailers.
Blog – 1,000 views / month – https://makaylasophia.com/blog
Instagram – 7k – 5k monthly reach – http://instagram.com/makaylasophia
Twitter – 2k+ followers, 40k+ reach – http://twitter.com/makayla_sophia
Thank you for your time! If you believe I would be a good fit for this Advanced Readers Copy, I am available to review through NetGalley or Edelweiss at makaylasemail@makayla. I would love a physical copy for my shelf and reviews, if possible.
Here is my shipping address, if you choose to send me a physical ARC:
1234 Makayla Lane
Makayla, SO 12345
(Okay, I definitely made up an email and address for that example, but you get the point.)
Pretty easy once you have all the pieces put together! This email format is simple and to the point. It tells the publicist exactly what you’re contacting them for, gives them information about why you would be fit to review, and tells them how they can get the ARC to you if they wish to work with you.
You can write your email how you’d like, but this is a general layout to help. You need your introduction with what you’re requesting and why, your media kit with your social media links, and a closing with how they can get the ARC to you.
Always remember, though, not all ARC requests can be fulfilled. Don’t get discouraged if you can’t get an ARC!
I hope this helps you in your bookish journey!