A. A. Omer Year 1: The Quest for the ARC

The blog is a year old and I’m celebrating by giving unwarranted advice to new bloggers! But mostly talking about what I’ve learned this past year and quite possible my epic fails. 🙂

So today I’ll be talking about the following:

  • What is an ARC?
  • What’s the difference between a Galley & an ARC
  • How I can get one

First off, I knew NOTHING about ARCs when I first started.

Zero…

    …Zilch…

        …Nada.

I heard about them for the first time around this time last year when there was a debate regarding whether or not regular readers (non-bloggers) should be given ARCs during BEA (BookExpo of America). I googled it to find out what this “ARC” was and got a host of results that had nothing to do with books. I finally DID find out what it was: An ARC stands for Advanced Reader’s Copy and is normally given to people for review.

“Who are these people?” you might be wondering (cause  I did). Well, at first I thought they were reserved only for fancy book reviewers at traditional publications, other authors and really REALLY popular/big bloggers. I never thought in a million years that I’d get to see or touch an ARC let alone read one.

I did get an ARC eventually.

Yet, that wasn’t the only thing I had to learn because guess what? I had to figure out what a galley was and since I’m terrible at explaining what it is, I’ll post Skokiesam‘s explanation from Yahoo! Answers instead:

Book galleys are also called “bound galleys” … It is an author’s manuscript after it has been copyedited and typeset. It is usually (unless I have no time to do so) the already-proofread pass of the interior. The typeface and design are usually final (they have to be before the pages are run out), although the front matter (title page, half title page) may not be. It will not be the final copy of the book that is released in bookstores.

– From Skokiesam

An ARC is on the latter part of the stages in publication and it’s less likely to change on publication day (the cover is more likely to change but the stuff inside not so much unless it’s grammar/spelling mistakes that were missed before). What you need to realize is that ARCs/Galley’s aren’t for sale. They can be shared with others but you canNOT sell them to others. They are free. End of story.

The last thing I learned regarding ARCs is how to get access to them. If you’re just a reader with no blog or some way of publicizing your book reviews then you’re chances of getting accepted for ARCs/Galleys decreases greatly. I suggest Netgalley for you because you’re more likely to get accepted on that and can post feedback through that site straight to the publisher. It’s my number one go to site but it’s primarily eBooks so be sure to have a way to read them if you decide to go that route. It’s also great for new bloggers who don’t have that many followers or views on their blog.

There’s also Edelweiss which is like Netgalley except getting accepted for a particular book is HARD. I’ve seen big time bloggers get rejected for the titles that they want and I’ve only requested from it twice (rejected the same amount. It’s a humbling experience). It’s mostly for booksellers, librarians and some bloggers. Getting accepted as a blogger is basically like book roulette unless you’re lucky enough to be on auto approval.

Another avenue for getting ARCs/Galleys is through the publishers directly. It’s been suggested that you wait 6 months after starting your blog before you request books from a publisher. Different publishers have different ways of giving out ARCs like first come, first served model when there’s limited number of ARCs available and how often they send out books also varies.

As a new blogger, at first you want ALL OF THE ARCs. You want to swim in them and cackle in glee because you can spend your time reading books that have yet to come out and then tell people what you thought. It’s fun and I get it but what this year has taught me is that less is more. I’d rather be selective with the ARCs I receive so that I can spend time reading what I want and not books that I’ve requested on a whim.

So yeah…that’s my wisdom to new bloggers for today.

A. A. Omer

2 thoughts on “A. A. Omer Year 1: The Quest for the ARC

  1. Very insightful post. I know a lot of bloggers who start blogging just to get ARCs and that is the wrong way to go about it. I know bloggers who go to conventions like BEA just to get ARCs and to be able to say “Look what I got.”

    I will admit that when I see so many book haul posts from bloggers I get a twinge of jealousy, but I am in this to read amazing books and to tell the world about them, whether I buy them myself or get the privilege of reviewing them.

    The trick with Edelweiss is in the details. If you give a lot of detail about your follower counts, your social media reach, et cetera, you are more likely to be approved. I would be more than happy to help you tweak your Netgalley and Edelweiss profiles. I get approved more often then I am turned down, but I do get declined sometimes, too. My goal this summer is to not request any more from either source to get the reviews out of the way. I am sooo far behind.

    1. Awesome. Thanks for the offer but I think I’ll do what you’re doing and avoid requesting as well this summer. If I crack the code of Edelweiss then I’ll be tempted to request A LOT 😀

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