Why I Have Never Requested An ARC

One of the perks of being a book blogger is that it *automatically puts you in the running to receive an ARC, or advanced readers copy.

ARCs are “almost-complete” versions of books that publishers send to reviewers to promote the title and gain feedback. This practice isn’t only advantageous to the publishers as the book reviewers literally get FREE books to read (and review) ahead of everyone else. It’s certainly one way to set your book blog apart (although ARC reviews aren’t incredibly uncommon in the blogosphere).

Here’s where I retract my earlier wording. Being a book blogger doesn’t “automatically” put you in the running to receive an ARC. At least when you first start out, you have to put in the time and work to request the title from a publisher which can be done through multiple avenues.

While the idea of receiving a free book is certainly enticing, I still haven’t requested an ARC after three years of blogging for these reasons: 

𝙄’𝙢 𝙣𝙤𝙩 𝙨𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙨𝙛𝙞𝙚𝙙 𝙬𝙞𝙩𝙝 𝙬𝙝𝙚𝙧𝙚 𝙢𝙮 𝙗𝙡𝙤𝙜 𝙞𝙨 𝙖𝙩 𝙘𝙪𝙧𝙧𝙚𝙣𝙩𝙡𝙮.

From what I understand, requesting an ARC is also like sending publishers an invitation to scroll through your blog. This is because they need to determine from your content if you’ll do the book justice in your review. Not only that, it seems that blog statistics affect your chances of receiving an ARC as publishers would rather send a review copy to a blogger who has a larger, active following.

I’m not ready to put my blog out there yet (why does it sound like I’m trying to get into the dating scene and not just trying to get a review copy😂). I’ve only just been able to establish a consistent posting schedule after three years of blogging, and I’m still struggling to find my niche in terms of content. I also don’t think my stats are impressive enough to convince a publisher to send me a copy, so that’s also something I want to develop more first. Of course I’ll never know if unless I actually try to request an ARC, but I want to get my blog in order as much as possible before.

𝙄 𝙖𝙢 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙗𝙞𝙜𝙜𝙚𝙨𝙩 𝙢𝙤𝙤𝙙 𝙧𝙚𝙖𝙙𝙚𝙧.

I am always falling behind on my Goodreads reading goal of reading 50 books in 2019, or roughly one book per week. I can blame it on me being a slow reader (which I truly am), or I can attribute it to the fact the I am the biggest mood reader. 𝘐𝘧 𝘐 𝘥𝘰𝘯’𝘵 𝘧𝘦𝘦𝘭 𝘭𝘪𝘬𝘦 𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨, 𝘐 𝘸𝘰𝘯’𝘵. This trait helps me finish stories I actually enjoy, but also means I never get to a looot of books.

Related: Are You A Speed Reader?

Before I request an ARC, I have to be certain that I won’t just let it collect dust (or ✨eDust—digital ARCs are a thing too!). Sure, I shouldn’t force myself to read (~reading is just a hobby blah blah blah and all that jazz~), but I would feel bad not reviewing an ARC after a publisher selected me to receive one.

I haven’t got to the point where I’m ready to commit myself to a book, ARC or not. I’m comfortable with my current reading patterns and don’t feel the need to change them for a free book or early review.

𝙃𝙤𝙬 𝙬𝙞𝙡𝙡 𝙄 𝙠𝙣𝙤𝙬 𝙄 𝙬𝙞𝙡𝙡 𝙡𝙞𝙠𝙚 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙗𝙤𝙤𝙠?

This ties into the previous point. As I’m such a big mood reader, I base a good 80% of my reading choices off of book reviews. Reading a raving book review from a book blogger I trust usually makes me want to read the book instantly. I guess that makes me an impressionable person, but I’m also rarely disappointed! So,

ʜᴏᴡ ᴡɪʟʟ ɪ ᴋɴᴏᴡ ᴛᴏ ʀᴇᴀᴅ ᴀ ʙᴏᴏᴋ ɪғ ɪ ᴅᴏɴ’ᴛ ᴋɴᴏᴡ ɪ ᴡɪʟʟ ʟɪᴋᴇ ᴛʜᴇ ʙᴏᴏᴋ ʙᴇᴄᴀᴜsᴇ ᴛʜᴇʀᴇ ᴀʀᴇɴ’ᴛ ʀᴇᴠɪᴇᴡs ғᴏʀ ᴀ ʙᴏᴏᴋ ᴛʜᴀᴛ ʜᴀsɴ’ᴛ ʙᴇᴇɴ ᴘᴜʙʟɪsʜᴇᴅ ʏᴇᴛ?

I guess that’s where I come in—I become the book blogger writing an early review so that other readers can gauge how much they will like a book and if they should pick it up. Yet, I’m not ready to fulfill that role since I’m not prepared to take a chance on a book I may or may not like.

(Oof, I hated how dramatic that sounded. But, it all boils down to me not wanting to change my reading habits 😬).

𝙄 𝙙𝙤𝙣’𝙩 𝙬𝙖𝙣𝙩 𝙢𝙤𝙧𝙚 𝙥𝙝𝙮𝙨𝙞𝙘𝙖𝙡 𝙗𝙤𝙤𝙠𝙨.

While I heard that it’s quite hard to receive a physical ARC, it’s actually not something I’m interested in (not like I could even get one, got em!¿). I wrote a post called How To Be A Minimalist AND A Bookworm a while back, and in it I discussed how I want to downsize the items in my life, including books. Publishers send eARCs, so this really isn’t much of a reason not to request an ARC, but I thought that I would add it anyways.

I’m not sure if there’s an option when using bigger sites like NetGalley or Edelweiss where you can choose the type of format you would like to receive a book as. It seems silly that there wouldn’t, but please do share if you have a clue (please save me the Google search 😅).

Thanks for reading my jumble of thoughts! Have you requested an ARC before? Do you feel like you need to read and review ARCs as a book blogger? Let me know 🙂.

9 thoughts on “Why I Have Never Requested An ARC

  1. I love this post! And thanks for the shout out! My best advice is to ask for ARCs when YOU are ready to– or don’t if you don’t want to! Not every book blog has to be about frontlist titles! Also, you don’t have to start getting books that are read for review through publishers– you can use the other resources that are in my post. I started through Goodreads read and review programs. If you’re not ready to have publishers look at your blog yet, other avenues are a great way to start.

    For a lot of my ARCs I wait until close to publication to read and/or review them. (It seems a lot of publishers like your review to be published online close to the publication date.) By that time there tend to be a lot of early reviews from other bloggers and reviewers that also have ARCs, so I tend to read my ARCs (or request them) in order of how excited I am based on other reviews. I also request books by authors I love so I have a decent idea on if I will like the book or not. Some books will disappoint you and others will impress you.

    I also loved that you shared that about 80% of your reading choices are based on reviews. It is interesting to see that book blog reviews have such an impact on the community– I know that I trust the community that I follow! As for Netgalley and Edelweiss- they are sites for requesting ebooks and those can either come in kindle format or epub–non kindle– format.

    The best thing about ARCs is that the book blogging community has tons of how to articles written to help you out. If you don’t know what you’re doing or when to do it, there is probably an article out there to help you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! And no problem—your post is super informative! It’s good that you pointed out that there’s other resources I could use instead of requesting from publishers. I guess I used “publishers” as an umbrella term for anyone who would look at my blog when I put it out there to receive ARCs, whether they’re publishers, authors, or a moderator. A Goodreads Read and Review is something I would like to try in the future though!

      Also, that’s super helpful to know that you wait for other ARC reviews to come out before reading a lot of your ARCs. That would definitely influence the order I read them in like you. Despite raving reviews, there’s always the chance that a book will disappointing, so following the steps you mentioned in reading and requesting is a good way to curb that.

      Whether book bloggers realize it or not, trust in the book blogging community hugely influence book decisions—even in people who don’t read book blogs! Before I realized book blogs existed, I would peruse Goodreads book reviews before picking up a title, and a good chunk of Goodreads reviews are also posted up on someone’s blog. At the end of the day, books are products, and I think we all like knowing that we’re making a good investment with our time and money. I’m glad that you can trust the people you follow too!

      Your post is just one example of the many helpful articles out there for clueless readers like me! I know I’m going to be referencing it again when I feel like I’m ready for the ARC world (if ever lol). Thank you for your thoughtful comment 😁.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Read for review groups was a really good way for me to get started because I didn’t feel a ton of pressure.

        Also when I see an early review from a trusted book blog I will request an ARC just because I know that I might like it if they do. It’s amazing how much of an influence the book blogging community has. The early reviews really do seem to correlate with the success of a book! I love to have some trusted book blogger friends of mine who have similar opinions as I do. When they recommend a book I trust them.

        There are a lot of great posts out there to help you get into ARCs. I got into Netgalley without reading any posts and I didn’t know that the feedback ratio was important or that I really should review every book that I requested, so I have a huge backlog that I’m trying to catch up on. So I recommend reading about it all more from other book bloggers first.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I relate to so much of this! It took me a year to request an ARC and even now I’m nervous I won’t like the book, so I rarely do it (and usually only for authors I already know I like). Also I massively relate to the mood reader part. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you 🙂! I’m glad you can relate! There’s always that gamble that a book might be disappointing, but I guess the stakes are higher with ARCs because promoters expect reviews for them. ARCs really aren’t for everyone (especially for us mood readers haha).

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hey Belle!
    Love this post. I don’t routinely request ARCs either, for similar reasons that you’ve stated here. I am a huge mood reader, and also I am trying to buy mostly ebooks/audiobook as well 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, Sophie! It’s nice to know there’s other people hesitant to request ARCs. I think as mood readers, ebooks/audiobooks are especially good alternatives to physical books—we don’t have to see our neglected TBR piles in our house everyday 😅. Thanks for your comment 🙂!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha yes 🙂 I’ve been borrowing lots of ebooks and audiobooks from the library. If I don’t end up reading them, they will be returned automatically which is great haha 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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