Bookworm Etiquette: How to Be Awesome At Review Copy Requests/Arcs

Bookworm Etiquette-How to Be awesome at review copy requests%2Farcs.png

Yes, this is late. Blame me for (stupidly) making the schedule for this series around finals week. By being SO ORGANIZED I made myself…well…unorganized. Because I had studying and whatnot, but my last final is on Monday and it’s on a relatively easy subject so I have the time to blog again!

And so I shall write this, the last in my etiquette series, several days late, because of my unorganized organization.


Wednesday, February 29th: How to be Awesome at Book Signings.

Friday, March 3rd: How to be Awesome at Bookstagram.

Wednesday, March 8th: How to Be Awesome at Negative Reviews

Friday, March 10th: How to be Awesome at Commenting.

Wednesday, March 14th: How to be Awesome at Review Copy Requests/ARCs

So, if you’ve been in the blogging world for any amount of time, you’ve probably heard about ARCs. Also known as galleys, ARCs (Advanced Reviewer/Reader Copy, depending on who you’re talking too) take the form of flimsy paperbacks. They’re sent out, to bookstores, to authors, to libraries, to bloggers, anywhere from 6-3 months before the book is released, and for one reason. Publicity.

That’s why it’s the big bloggers that get the most amount of ARCs. Because they’re the ones that have the most readers, and therefor can give the most publicity to the books. I get a decent amount of ARCs, but not because of my blog stats; I have a “job” (I say “job” because I don’t get paid to do it) writing the short little blurbs or reviews for a local bookstore. But, that’s not the way most people do it.

I’m not going to tell you exactly how to request the ARCs, I’d recommend reading posts like this, this, and this. I’m here to talk about what you do once you get an ARC.


  • I mean, it should go without saying, but don’t brag if you get an ARC or a large amount of ARCs or an ARC of a wildly anticipated book, or whatever. It’s perfectly fine to be excited! But make sure people understand it is EXCITED.
  • Always thank the publisher. These books cost money to produce, they cost money to ship, and they don’t get paid in return. If it’s an author who sent it to you, the same rules apply.
  • If you post a photo of the book, it’s also nice to tag the author and publisher/whoever sent it to you.
  • I’ve talked about it a little bit in the book signing post, but if you bring an ARC to a signing, make sure you either ALSO have a hardcopy of the book or at least three other books by the author. Because the publisher doesn’t get paid for the ARC. The author doesn’t get paid for the ARC. And if you only bring them an ARC to sign, I’m sure it’s disappointing.
  • REVIEW THE BOOK. Seriously, you were sent this book so you could review it. And, yes, if you work with publishers enough sometimes you’ll get unsolicited ARCs that you don’t want to read/don’t have time to read or review, but really. You want to review 99% of the ARCs you get.
  • And if you read the book, and really, really love the book…buy the book if you can. Because remember, publishers/authors don’t make money off of these books, they’re spending money to give it to you. But an actual, physical, real book supports the author, supports the publisher, supports the industry.
  • If you want an ARC, don’t ask for one after the publication date, because that tells whoever you’re asking that you want to read the book, but not enough to buy it or request it from the library.
  • Also, unless it explictly says somewhere on an author’s website that they’ll consider reader’s requests for their ARCs, don’t contact them asking for ARCs.
  • Don’t post any spoilers before the publication date. REALLY, DON’T.


  • It’s always better to ask the publisher/author’s permission before running a giveaway with an ARC before the publication date.

So, bloggings, as always, anything to add/take away from this list? Are you currently in the midst of finals week, or have you already finished? If you already finished, how’d it go? If you’re still in the middle of it, when does it end?

Happy Saturday,


10 thoughts on “Bookworm Etiquette: How to Be Awesome At Review Copy Requests/Arcs

  1. Very cool post! I really appreciate this series it is a really wonderful one! I have a few arcs that I got from giveaways a long time ago that I haven’t read yet and I feel bad about it because I really want to, but I have other arcs I have to read off netgalley, and I feel like I’m not properly following the right etiquette 😦
    But I will definitely work on it! This post was really helpful for me.


  2. Yas!! An excellent post!! I honestly think we bookworms/bloggers have to remember that ARCs are for publicity. Because I feel so bad when I get a coveted ARC and then feel like I really can’t talk about it…I’ve had tons of people rant at me about having like an ARC and like…I’m supposed to be promoting it??? I’m not bragging. I want to promote! So that’s the only awkward things I’ve found about ARCs. Also in Australia, I tend to get sent a lot more finished copies which is nice for photography reasons. ;D


  3. I don’t know that 99% is realistic, but yes, do try very much to write a review. If you can’t, then at least give it a shout-out in some sort of in a round up post or a giveaway or something. When you ask for an ARC, try to give the publicist a connection as to why you want to review it (I really liked this author’s earlier books, or, I like books that have multiple POVs).
    INCLUDE YOUR ADDRESS. Make it easy for the publicist (and the interns!) who have to pull the titles, package them up and send them off. If they have your mailing address easy to hand, you will be a favorite. 🙂
    Always follow up with publicist, even if you choose not to review the book, so they don’t think it’s going into a black hole.
    Don’t sell your ARCs. If you are not keeping it, donate to a Little Free Library or give it to a friend.


    1. These are all good! I might just edit the post to add the don’t sell your ARCs, thing, because I totally forgot about that. The idea that some people actually do that is so crazy to me (It’s kind of like selling people movies that haven’t been released yet)


  4. Loved that you mentioned buying the book or posting a review if you loved the ARC. A lot of people don’t realize, but it actually costs the publisher more money to produce an ARC than it does to produce a finished copy of the book. So those publishers are actuay putting a good bit of money out there in hopes of a review or shoutout!


    1. Exactly. And I get if you’re getting a lot of ARCs you’re not going to be able to buy every single book you loved, but it’s still something to keep in mind.


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