I have received a few ARCs. Most of them through Netgalley (eARCS), a few physical ARCs in Goodreads giveaways*, and a few from authors. I have not received physical ARCs from publishers (at least not with the obligation to review).
For me, reading is first and foremost a hobby, something I do for fun and most of all to relax. That’s why, to be honest, I am careful with ARCs. The point of ARCs is that, in return for receiving them, you write a review. They can feel like a chore if you’re not into the book or if the book is a let-down. No matter what, you still have to write something sensible about the book. Personally, I am a serious mood reader, so I make sure not to request too many ARCs, and to only request ARCs for books that I am genuinely interested in. I have no intention to get drowned in ARCs when my shelf is full of books that I desperately want to read as well. That’s why I’m 100% okay with not being on any publisher’s list for physical ARCs (my blog is too small anyway).
Don’t get me wrong, I do review ARCs, for a few reasons. For one, there are books out there that I am really looking forward to and receiving an ARC helps both me and the publisher 😉 But another reason is that I might simply want to promote the books. For example, I specifically request ARCs in the LGBT genre because I want to promote the genre as a whole. Same goes for Japanese literature.
My only technique for ARCs is: read them asap. In other words, read them when I’m still excited about them. If I don’t, they soon become this big thing that I keep procrastinating on XD
My tips for (new) bloggers
ARCs can feel a bit intimidating. I found it hard to start, personally. So here are some tips:
- My experience was that Netgalley is the best place to begin. It’s easy to navigate without getting overwhelmed, and very user-friendly.
- Make sure to have some content on your blog, reviews included, before you start requesting. The longer you have been active and producing (your own) content, and the more regularly you post, the better then chances are you will be approved for ARCs.
- Only request books you are truly interested in and that actually fit the theme of your blog.
- As I said before: Do not request too many books at once! Don’t get overwhelmed. Also make sure to request books you know you will actually read.
- Don’t get discouraged if you get denied for books. You’ll be accepted for a review copy eventually.
- Make sure to review the ARCs you receive in a timely manner and don’t forget to leave feedback through Netgalley as well, to improve your stats.
*) I don’t really count those ARCs I received in Goodreads giveaways, because there is no obligation to review. It helps if you review, but it’s not absolutely necessary.