Blogging 101: Dealing with Publishers and Requesting ARC’s

Hi everyone, I hope you’re all well!

Today I am talking about publishers. This is something that Kristy and I have both been asked before, and there’s some definite dos and don’ts when it comes to approaching and interacting with publishers. I thought today I would talk a little bit about some things you should keep in mind when you’re emailing a publisher - especially for newer bloggers.

Tips for New Bloggers:

Don’t contact publishers for ARC’s within the first 6 months of blogging. This is the general time frame publishers will have expected you to be blogging for before they will even consider giving you ARC’s. This gives you time to establish your blog, develop a readership and time to review some books in this period.

Any requests you send to publishers should include the following information:

  • Introduce yourself and your blog. Include information like how long you have been blogging for
  • Unique visits and page views are important. And if you have been working hard in the first 6 months, this will have improved over that time
  • How many followers/subscribers you have, including Facebook, Twitter, Bloglovin, Goodreads
  • Where else do you post your reviews? Just your site? Or do you post on Goodreads also?
  • My requests have traditionally been to ask publishers if they could add me to their blogger database, and I don’t specifically ask for books upfront. Many publishers email a monthly catalogue and that is when I will ask for books I am interested in
  • Include your full name and mailing details in the chance you might be added to the database.

You can find email addresses on the majority of publishers websites for Publicity or Marketing, and these are the people you want to originally contact.

Okay, so you’ve been emailing a publisher. Important things to keep in mind:

Don’t forget - be professional. You might not be paid to be a blogger, but you’re representing your blog. And when talking to publishers, remember that this IS their job. This is what they’re paid to do, and your dealings with them should always be respectful, courteous and professional to them in turn.

You won’t always get what you want. Whether this is a request for an ARC you’d like to read, an interview or giveaway you’d like to arrange - sometimes the answer is no. And it’s in these times that the way you react is important. Try and be gracious in these moments. It’s definitely disappointing when we don’t get what we want, but publishers will remember you leave a lasting impression if you act bratty about it.

Share your reviews with them! Publishers after all give us these books, and they like to know that we do read and review the books we receive. Personally I will email the publishers my review directly (depending on the publisher), but on occasion we might tweet the link to them instead for them to check out.

If you’re lucky enough to have developed an existing relationship with publishers, I do not recommend sharing your contacts with others. I have been approached in the past by new up and coming bloggers asking if I could give them my contacts so they can ask for ARC’s. And as much as I love helping new bloggers out (and always will if I can), the answer to this question is no. Purely out of respect to the publishers that I have developed a rapport with.

Finally - patience is a virtue. I have been blogging for two and a half years with this site, and I would say it took a good 12 to 18 months for publishers and I to develop a really good working relationship. These things don’t happen overnight, but hard (and consistent) work pays off. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t have a positive outcome immediately. Keep at it, and remember to be polite and gracious in the times you don’t get approved for a book you’d like, and try again in the future. It’ll happen eventually!

I hope you find some of this information useful! If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments below and I’ll make sure I answer them for you (or point you in the right direction if I am not sure).

What do you think?

  • These are great tips! I don’t think I’ve followed every step in the beginning, so I think it’s very handy if you are a beginning blogger to use this :) Thanks for sharing.

  • Thanks for the info. I’m just coming up to my 6 months blogging in a few days and I’ve contacted a few publishers already with a little bit of luck. More for the odd book than being added to mailing lists. It’s definitely something you have to be patient with.

  • Very useful post, Melissa!
    Do the rules above applied to all bloggers or maybe you have some additional tips for international bloggers (those who live outside US, UK, Canada and Aussie)? Because I often read that its harder for them to receive ARCs or getting their request approved by publishers. Thank you! :)

    • Melissa says:

      Good question Tirta!

      Generally speaking these rules apply no matter where you live. But you’re right that it’s sometimes harder for international folk to be approved for ARC’s.

      In my experience, I speak to Australian publishers only (occasionally UK ones too), who I never have had any issues with.

      Where you may run into issue is more on places like Netgalley and Edelweiss as sometimes they will reject you if you’re not within the United States for instance. I have found this to be changing more and more lately though and I haven’t has as many issues.

      Hope this helps?
      Melissa recently posted…W..W..W.. WednesdaysMy Profile

  • Annie says:

    These are really great tips! I haven’t been contacting publishers at all but if and when I do, these are great tips to look back on!

  • So true! I love your tips, Melissa. The first time that I EVER requested a physical ARC copy was when my blog turned a year old which was July 2013. I was just intimidated by the publishers though I’ve been requesting from them through NetGalley. I agree that we have to be patient and that page views are VERY important.


    • Melissa says:

      Thanks Leigh! I think I was blogging for maybe around 7 or 8 months before I asked? I wanted to wait until I had a steady amount of visitors to the blog before I asked - and you’re right, that is VERY important. I think unique visitors is probably one of the most important parts.

      I was in the same boat! Used Netgalley because I was too shy to ask publishers - I felt like I was being too direct. But when I did email them, they were all really nice!
      Melissa recently posted…Cover Reveal: The One (The Selection #3) - Keira CassMy Profile

  • Thank you! This is very helpful. I’ve been blogging for over a year, and “reaching out to publishers” has been on my goals list for the past few months. It’s terrific to get some guidance on how to get started, and I like the approach you’ve recommended. Wish me luck! :)

  • […] Reviews/Ratings/ARCs - Abria @ Read.Write.Discuss. explains the cost of ARCs. - Emz @ Icy Cold Reads investigates Advanced Reader Copies. - Charlotte @ Thoughts and Pens discusses Mr. Webster and writing reviews. - Melissa @ Book Nerd Reviews talks about dealing with publishers and requesting ARCs. […]

  • Erika says:

    I’m a new blogger and these are some very helpful points for me to keep in mind when I’m contacting publishers! Thank you :)
    — Erika @ The Red Bookmark (

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