I know practically every blogger out there has gotten this question. I also know a lot of bloggers have already answered this question but just in case, here are my two cents regarding ARC requests.
Before I even get to the part about ARC requests, there are some things you should consider before even typing the email. First, how long have you been blogging? If you have been blogging for less than 6 months, I would suggest holding off on sending the request. I know some publishers will send books to newer bloggers but it looks a lot better on you and your blog if you have some experience under your belt first. Second, what kind of audience do you have? If your blog has under 100 followers/subscribers, I would suggest reviewing your own books and working on building up your audience. Truthfully a lot of publishers won’t consider you if you even have under 500. And yes I do say followers but stats also play a big part. Build up the traffic to your blog and that will help too. Finally, do you have time to review whatever book/books you are requesting? Whenever you request a book for review, make sure you are actually going to review it. ARCs are not cheap and you could be taking one from someone who actually has the time to read and review it.
Okay, now onto the actual review request part.
Some people say I come across as too professional in my review requests (in any email, really) but it’s better to be too professional than not professional enough. Start off by introducing yourself and your blog. Include a link to your blog (obviously.) Give background on your blog such as how long you’ve been running it, how many followers and email subscribers, and how many monthly pageviews you get. Make sure to include total pageviews and unique pageviews as well. I’ve also started to include Twitter followers in my review requests because I do tend to talk a lot about books on Twitter. It’s up to you whether or not you want to include this information. Last but not least, if you post your reviews anywhere else on the internet such as Amazon, Goodreads, B&N, include that as well.
Next, request your book/books. Always have a specific book in mind when you send a request. You can certainly request more than one book but keep it reasonable. If you want to, include a reason why you want the book. It’s always nice to have a little personality in your email.
Finally, include your mailing address, always! I have no idea how many review requests publishers get in a day but it can’t be a small number. Don’t make the publisher email you back to request your address. It’s a waste of their time. At first I thought it was kind of presumptuous to send my address but I quickly found out that that’s not the case at all. It’s very helpful to the publishers.
Also, don’t expect a response always. There are some publishers who will respond to say something like “the books are on their way” but once again, that’s very time consuming and they can’t do it with all requests. Just wait a few weeks and see if the book show up in your mailbox. If not, wait a while, build up your blog a little more and try again.
You should also always follow up your review requests. If you get the book for review, email the publisher a link to your review once it goes up on your blog. If you know the specific publicist for the book, email your review to them. If not, you can just send it to the publicity address. It just shows that you actually took the time to review the book and you are much more likely to get books from that publisher in the future.
Now, I’m sure you are all wondering where you send your review requests. I have compiled a list of all publicity emails so check them out! If there is an email missing, I may just have forgotten that pub so feel free to shoot me an email or comment below and I will look into it.
Random House: email@example.com
Penguin: Blogger request form
Harper Collins: Sandee.Roston@harpercollins.com
Little, Brown: firstname.lastname@example.org
Simon & Schuster: List of contacts by imprint
Disney Hyperion: email@example.com
Abrams (includes Amulet): firstname.lastname@example.org
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: email@example.com
Soho Teen: firstname.lastname@example.org
Also, I want to mention that you should never email an author for a review copy of their book. They get a very limited number of copies of their books and they aren’t meant for review purposes. If you are looking for review books, always email the publishers.
Edit: For further reading about ARCs and publishers, check out these posts!
A One-Stop Book Blogging Publicity Resource
Top Ten Tips for New Book Bloggers