I started this week with A LOT of ideas about blogging but no concrete plans regarding what to actually post. Then I turned to the almighty twitter and people voted for an ARCs managing post.
What makes anyone think I know how to manage ARCs? Have I deceived myself into thinking I know how to manage ARCs??? maybe. But apparently I’ve tricked everyone into thinking I know something about working with review copies.
Anyway, I’ve requested, received and reviewed quite a few ARCs. I’m officially part of two blog tours this spring and I will soon have two hard copies of ARCs???? So if you want to know how to START managing ARCs, I suppose I might have a couple of semi-great ideas.
Now there are other bloggers with more experience and great advice about ARCs – Vicky is just one blogger you should check out! I’ve learned a lot from the book community about ARCs, and quite a bit of my management system comes from what I learned from other bloggers!
I request tons of ARCs through Netgalley and Edelweiss. It’s probably the simplest way to get ARCs – y0u just need an email account and have to set up a profile. Now, you never know when you’re going to get a book copy, and all the ARCs are e-books.
Talking to publishers – eessshhhh. I haven’t emailed a publisher – YET. And not just because it’s terrifying. My address is currently my college mailing address, and I kind of don’t want THAT address on a publisher’s list. And once you email a publisher requesting an ARC, they’ll have your address on file. So, I’m waiting till I move to my post-college apartment and get a PO Box/more permanent address.
Another way to receive ARCs is to stay active on the internet! Yes! It works! I promise! If your blog is active, and you have an email address connected with your site, authors and publishers may email you about receiving ARCs. Super cool!
Google Sheets + Actual Planner
Let’s start by talking about planning for ARCs. Once you have more than one ARC, it starts getting complicated. Really complicated. When do I need to read the book? What’s the due date for my review? Do I publish the review on publication day or do I need to post it earlier?
So many different facts to remember. And my brain is on senioritis college mode so it’s not going to remember everything. At all.
And since posting reviews on time is VERY important to managing ARC’s percentages, I have to write it ALL down. I keep a planner, and when I get an ARC, I pencil in what month I need to read it.
That way, when I glance over my monthly TBR, I have a very helpful list of books I KNOW I HAVE TO READ THAT MONTH. Otherwise, I will procrastinate reading various ARCs and feel both guilt and failure. It’s a terrible combination
I also have started using Google Sheets to plan out blogging content and manage my ARCs! it’s really helpful! Especially when I leave my planner at home and need some sort of calendar when i’m working on ARC reviews at Starbucks.
Don’t be Nervous or Get Discouraged!
Asking for ARCs can be terrifying. It’s easy to get caught in a trap of thinking that your numbers aren’t enough. Don’t let yourself think that.
I’ve gotten approved for ARCs and been completely surprised. I’ve also gotten turned down and been soul-crushed. That’s just a day in the life of book blogging.
I honestly can’t tell what publishers are really looking for. All I know, is that I’m never confident that I’m going to get an ARC. I just keep requesting and hoping for the best. Basically #1 advice, always ask and don’t get discouraged.
Write down Thoughts
It can be SUPER hard to remember all your thoughts about an ARC. Especially if you’re reading it at 3 am the day beore you’re supposed to review it. Opps. Never happens to me, right?
Maybe, I learned that I need to write down what I think as soon as I can. Otherwise, I might forget. And then my review is super generic and kind of bland. Opps. Lots of opps.
Is it okay to really negatively review an ARC??? Well, I’ve done that. I try to be polite, but if I think a Book is terrible, I’m going to be honest. Case in point, THIS review.
When to NOT ask for an ARC
Now, here’s my list of “don’t ask for an ARC” moments. these may or may not come from personal experience.
- You haven’t gotten around to reading the synopsis.
- You’ve read the author’s other books and don’t like any of them.
- When the review deadline is less than 10 days after you’ve requested it. been there, done that, bad idea.
And you might ask – what If I’m not enjoying an ARC or don’t have time to review it? Well, that happens to me sometimes. And it’s okay – don’t feel guilty if you don’t enjoy an ARC or your life just gets too busy to handle all of it. Try to publish a review, eventually. I mean, if a review’s late, it’s late.
Well, I hope that’s helped! I’m far from an expert on ARCs but in the last year, I’ve learned SO MUCH about book blogging and working with ARCs.
One more piece of advice, be sure to have a page on your platform where you share what kind of books you like to review. That way when authors or publicists are looking for bloggers, they’ll know if you qualify! Don’t hide this page, make sure it’s easy to locate and read.
Also, one of my book reviewing dreams is to be able to attend a Book Con and pick up ARCs there! That’s a dream I really hope happens some day!
Do you enjoy reviewing ARCs? Or have some advice for requesting or managing ARCs? Do you prefer e-ARCs or hard copies? Have you ever been able to pick up ARCs from a book con?