There are a ton of really great tips & tricks posts for how to request ARCs (Advanced Reading Copies) but I have found that a lot of them are American centric -- or just for international bloggers and not specifically for Canadians. This will hopefully fill the gap. Sometimes it feels like we Canadians are forgotten in the mix because we walk that fine line of being in North America but not being American (thank god tbh).
I have gotten numerous people who have asked me what I put in my emails to publishers and what email addresses I use to contact publishers both in Canada and the United States for my ARCs. While I won't give you my actual contacts, I am more than willing to give you an inside look at what I say and the publicity email I initially contacted. I'm also willing to read over your general emails to give you pointers so you can tweet me or email me about that :)
I would also recommend that you look at the posts I've linked below for the general How-To because that's not what this is. This is what I do, a handy email template, and a list of Canadian publishers you can contact. But the low down is, you should have about six months under your belt of blogging before requesting anything to show publishers you are committed to blogging. This will also allow you to grow your audience.
While there are no definite numbers that will unlock you getting an ARC, I will tell you that in my experience, the more you have, the more likely your chances. The first ARC I received, I had 10 blog followers, but over 800 Twitter followers. It's all about how you present yourself and your requests. Be overly professional rather than too lax. I also think have a specific email account just for your blog would be helpful (even just a Gmail account that is set up like: YOURBLOGNAME@gmail.com). It shows you are invested in your blog and the content that you are producing.
Here are some general tips & tricks posts that I used when I was initially writing up my request email:
- Katie's Book Blog: How To Get ARCs + What Not To Do
- Small Review: How to Get ARCs: A Step-by-Step Process
- A Reader Under The Sea: Requesting ARCs for International Bloggers
The Most Important Part Of This Process......is to know what book(s) you want to request, the publication date, and who is publishing it/them. This will help you schedule when you send the email -- and most importantly will ensure that you send the email to the right person. I have accidentally sent emails to the wrong publisher so don't worry if it happens to you too. I think EVERYONE has done it at least once.
Generally, I request a book about 4-6 months in advance of publication date, but some publishers will say if you should do it more or less than this. You should look around their website to see if there are specific rules or requests for this (but I would say most of the Canadian ones are pretty flexible with dates for the most part).
What I Put In My EmailsFirst of all, these emails are easy in one regard: I always know what my subject line will be. I put in "Review Request: Book Title by Author Name" in the subject line (obviously changing the book title and author to match what I am requesting).
I only request one to two titles at a time, especially if it is the first time I am working with the publisher. This is pretty much general etiquette for this type of thing and you should try not to request more than you can see yourself reading. While you have no obligation to read a book once you request and receive it, there is also no reason to request ARC upon ARC if you have no intention of reading them. (Unsolicited copies are a completely different ball game.)
I try to pick books that are releasing around the same time so that they can be mailed together. I then compose my email (which is a template I have ready for if/when I need to contact a new publisher) that reads similar to the following, which you can take and fill in to your different needs...
To whom it may concern,
My name is [NAME] and I am a book blogger at [BLOG TITLE] (BLOG LINK) where I review mostly [GENRES YOU REVIEW THE MOST]. I would like to formally request an Advanced Reader's Copy of:
- [BOOK TITLE] by [AUTHOR NAME], ISBN [ISBN NUMBER], that is expected to be published on [RELEASE DATE]
As of [DATE YOU ARE SENDINnjG THE EMAIL], I currently have:
- [NUMBER] Blog Followers
- [NUMBER] Email Subscribers
- [NUMBER] Bloglovin Subscribers (LINK TO BLOGLOVIN ACCOUNT)
- [NUMBER] Goodreads Friends & Followers (LINK TO GOODREADS ACCOUNT)
- [NUMBER] Twitter Followers (LINK TO TWITTER ACCOUNT)
- [NUMBER] [SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNT] (LINK TO OTHER SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS)
This creates a total of [NUMBER] followers. I have an average of [NUMBER] comments per week on my posts.
I accept both electronic ARCs and physical ARCs. If you consider me for this opportunity, my NetGalley email address is [EMAIL ADDRESS]; my mailing address is:
[MAILING ADDRESS AS IT SHOULD BE WRITTEN ON AN ENVELOPE]
Thank you for taking the time to read this email and consider me for this opportunity.
Optional Things To Add To The EmailFeel free to add in a paragraph about why you really want to read the novel if you choose. I typically don't unless it is a release I am super excited for.
You can also link to past reviews that you have done either for their publisher or for books in a similar genre. I try to link to similar genre unless I have the Holy Grail of similar genre and that same publisher, which is very rarely.
Make this email about you and your blog to showcase your strengths as a blogger and why your blog would be the best place to show case the novel(s) you are requesting. Every blog is unique and brings something different to the table so make sure you highlight that in this email.
Who To ContactNow is the tricky part, especially for us Canadians. There are some US based publishers that will send physical copies to Canada, but more often than not they will send eARCs to you. Basically, get used to having your Kindle jam-packed with releases. If you don't want to contact a publisher directly for a book, you can also use NetGalley or Edelweiss for requesting eARCs.
Below I have a list of some of the Canadian Publishers with their general publicity contact information. The best way to find out if an American publisher will send you a review copy is to email them and ask. I find that some will send out physicals and electronic copies, while others won't do either or will tell you to try through NetGalley. You can use those ARC Guides that I linked to above to see some of the US Publishers and find their information.
Canadian Publishers:Simon & Schuster Canada
Use THIS FORM to request a review copy