Tips and Tricks: A “How To” ARC Reference Guide 

January 30, 2016     erinthebooknut     Discussion, Feature, Tips an Tricks



Hi guys! This is something I’ve wanted to put together for a while. What is “this” you may ask? What is a How To ARC Reference Guide? Well, that’s easy. This guide is a helpful tool for newer bloggers/bookstagramers/booktubers to help them as they grow their following and start to request ARCs.

The first tip I want to give is this: don’t blog/bookstagram/booktube only for the purpose of getting ARCs. ARCs are for promotion, not for us to just get free stuff. Be a part of this because you love it, not to get stuff.

Now, as your following grows you’ll be able to have more opportunities. Publishers usually like you to have been blogging at least 6 months before you request ARCs. Until they you can review books you own, borrow, or get from a library. There’s nothing wrong with reviewing older books, trust me.

You will have to have an established following to request books. I’ve heard all different numbers. Some say at least 500 followers, others go as high as 1500 as a minimum. I’d say somewhere between 500-1000 as a rule before you start requesting regularly.

The next thing you’ll need is to figure out how to write your request. You can find many of the contact emails online, either in lists from other bloggers or on the publishers’ websites (usually under contact or publicity). I created a spreadsheet of all my contact emails as I found them. It’s a great way to keep them all together. Figure out which publisher the book you want is from and make sure you contact the right person.

Here’s a sample request letter that you can follow as you request. CLICK HERE

If you receive an ARC, great! If not, grow your following and try again later. You may not always get a response from the publisher, sometimes books will just show up, or they won’t. It can be frustrating but keep your head up.

Here are some other blogger’s ARC posts that you might want to look at. Sadly the one from the blog that I used to reference is now gone but there are plenty of other good ones out there:

Katie’s Book Blog

Nose Graze

Small Review

Some publishers have special programs for bloggers who want to review books. Each one is a little different and has a different set of requirements.

Blogging For Books (Crown)

BookLook Bloggers (Harper Christian Publishers: Thomas Nelson, Zondervan, etc)

First to Read (Penguin)

Many publishers also post e-ARCs for request on Netgalley and Edelweiss.


Other places to get ARCs: Giveaways on Librarything, Goodreads, Booklikes, authors, and publishers.

Remember, ARCs are not just free books. If you get one you really should review it, or pass it on to someone who will. Don’t request books just to do so, only request if you’ll actually read and review.


I hope this little guide can help both new and a couple of older reviewers in the community. Got tips of your own to add? Leave them in the comments.

From my shelf to yours,



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