Let’s Talk About ARCs/Galleys!

If you’ve frequented Jessicamap Reviews, then you’ll know that I do receive ARC (Advanced Reader’s Copy) and galley copies from some publishers to share with everyone. Whether it’s through Netgalley or directly from the publisher, these have made up a good portion of my books read for 2017 (and the start of 2018).

I’m incredibly thankful to all of the great publishers and authors out there for the copies! Because of this I discovered SO MANY talented writers and storytellers that I may have missed or overlooked when browsing the bookstores on my own.

Recently, I’ve seen some negative things being said about people receiving ARCs or requesting them. The main argument being that it’s hurting the authors and not helping them – because we should only be supporting them by buying the books not asking for free copies.

I definitely disagree with this. And I’m not just saying that because I receive these copies of books, but because I’ve seen the impact early reviews can have for books. So many debut authors in 2017 (and the first few weeks of 2018) – I’m sure you remember hearing all about some titles such as FINAL GIRLS, THE DRY, THE WIFE BETWEEN US, THE CHALK MAN, and many others. These all gained the massive hype and support because of early reviews and seeing them on Instagram, Twitter, blogs, Goodreads, Facebook, and anywhere else people can share their thoughts.

This doesn’t just help out debut authors, but it also helps introduce readers to new authors that have other previously released books. This has been a HUGE thing for me, personally. There are so many authors I’ve been introduced to because of receiving an ARC of their newest release and I instantly went back to find their backlist.

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All of these books are in my personal library because of new releases that I was approved for/sent by the same authors. This is just the tip of the iceberg – there are big authors that I never got around to reading (Karin Slaughter, Lisa Gardner, Dean Koontz, Tess Gerritsen, and others) but their books continue to find their way onto my shelves.

And don’t get me started on all of the copies I go out and buy on release day because I loved the ebook copies I received. That’ll have to be for another day! Needless to say, my Kindle library and my actual library slowly start to match as the year goes on!

Another point to be mentioned about the advanced copies that go out to reviewers – every book has a marketing budget. Something a lot of people don’t think about. A marketing blitz or having prolonged exposure over a few months can tremendously help a book on release day (or even with pre-orders). This is why blog tours, Instagram tours, Netgalley copies, media packets, and more are sent to reviewers – whether that’s big newspapers, other authors, or small reviewers.

I know I’m sounding repetitive in this, but it’s an important thing to keep in mind. Then there’s the whole other side to it with the guidelines and rules for receiving the galley copies (it does become somewhat of a contract for the reviewers). Upon receiving these copies, you enter into a legal agreement to follow their guidelines to clearly state this was a free copy provided to you. So there are specific rules such as hashtags to use, who to tag and thank in captions, and WHERE in the caption this should all be. This also goes for the 24 hour stories on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and wherever else! For those of you that don’t follow Kate (The Loud Library Lady), she has an incredible post about this on her blog (you can find that here!) where she discusses all of this at length. If anyone knows the rules and regulations, she’s the pro at it! (If you aren’t, you definitely need to follow her on Instagram here or on Twitter here!)

 

Well, I think I’ve ranted long enough for this topic. It’s something that everyone either needs a refresher on or something to help those just starting out with reviewing. If you have other questions on specifics, I’m happy to help answer those as best I can 🙂 Hopefully this helped and I’d love to hear any thoughts people have about seeing the early copies everywhere. Does it make you more interested and excited about an upcoming release? Have you discovered new authors this way?

–Jess

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