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Question: Do You Read ARCs?


Digital galleys, often called advance reading copies, or ARCs, are distributed to professional readers (reviewers, media, journalists, bloggers, librarians, booksellers and educators) and help promote new and upcoming titles. —NetGalley

Whether you’re a newbie blogger or a seasoned pro, you’ve probably seen the term ARC thrown around quite a bit; some readers can’t get enough of them while as others prefer to hold-out for the finalized product for a number of reasons—the main one being the editing / formatting. For me, the perks are worth their weight in gold because I like to keep a buffer of blog posts, and receiving books months before their publication date plays a big role in that. The majority of the titles that I read are galleys while as audiobooks are mostly reserved for my someday pile, or kickass narrators. It should also be noted that I do occasionally receive advanced audios for review as well. So far in 2015, my ratio is listened: 19 (2 ARCs) & read: 26 (15 ARCs) which puts me at right around 38%.

Most publishers typically offer physical and digital galleys, but I seem to have more luck with the latter because there’s no shipping involved, distribution rights are more lax, and you can access them right away from anywhere. Over the years I’ve acquired a number of industry contacts, but NetGalley still remains my #1 source. They have the largest selection, their site is super user-friendly, and you’d be surprised by how many books aren’t listed in the public catalogue—that’s where networking comes in.

My second go-to hook-up is Edelweiss; you can browse upcoming release catalogues, follow your friends’ updates, and submit reviews for ANY title, although it does take a while to master their interface. Penguin Random House also has its own version in First to Read, however it works off a point system, so they make you work for it. Simon & Schuster offers a program called Pulse It, but it’s exclusively YA, their ARCs are only available for a period of 24 hours, and must be read online. Their adult version via XOXO After Dark is similar except you have 30 days.

Manic Readers is a great option for indie / small press lovers while also acting as an automation service for those of you with multiple reviewers. There are a number of tour organizers that feature a request section on their websites, and don’t require you to sign-up as a host including: Xpresso Book Tours, YA Bound Book Tours, Pure Textuality ARCs & And, although there aren’t many resources for audiobook listeners, Audiobook Jukebox and Audiobook Blast are good places to start. If all else fails, check the author’s FAQ section.

Do You Read ARCs?

Carmel Signature

Owner, designer and main blogger behind Rabid Reads. Avid book reader, snowboard bunny, video gamer and Supernatural fan. I love all things paranormal, werewolves especially. Oh, and I’m Canadian, eh!

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  1. I do read ARCs because I’m a very impatient person and sometimes I just NEED the next book in a series ASAP!! And many times I grab for the ARC when I already have the next book preordered and I end up re-reading that finished copy when it arrives!

    ARCs are also a great way to discover a new author or new series!

    I mainly used NetGalley too, because I don’t have a lot of luck with Edelweiss approvals myself!
    Pili recently posted…Interview with Holly Bodger author of 5 to 1!!!

  2. Ohh I didn’t know about Pulse It or Audiobook Blast, checking those out. This year I seem to be reading older books (started the Kate Daniels series via audiobooks), with the occasional ARC from NetGalley thrown in.

  3. I’ve backed off ARC reading this year in favor of reading from my print and ebook backlogs. I was bad about requesting ARCs on Netgalley and then never reading them. Those damn pretty covers get me every time. Now I only use Netgalley or Edelweiss for series I’ve already started. I avoid both sites unless I see bloggers peeps talking on Twitter or Goodreads about a book I want to read is on one of the sites.
    Jennifer recently posted…Witches with the Enemy by Barb Hendee

  4. I am such a Netgalley junkie and end up WAY behind in my reading as I get a little too trigger happy on the Request button. I haven’t listened to any audiobook ARC’s though. Audiobooks tend to be where I do my older book reading. Like right now I’m doing the Kate Daniels series on audio while I do my ARC reading on my kindle. Do you feel more obligated to finish an ARC when you would have DNF’ed it had it been a purchase?
    Tanya recently posted…Confessions of a Bookworm #7

  5. Yes, I do read ARCs. If I am super excited about some release I would go check Negalley or Edelweiss to see if they have early copy available for review. But I try not to request more than 1 or 2 ARCs per month because I am a moody reader and hate it when I need to review too many books with deadlines 🙂
    Lucia recently posted…EARLY REVIEW: 5 to 1 by Holly Bodger

  6. I do read ARC’s and know about most of those you listed. Netgalley, Edelweiss and Audiobook Jukebox is some that I use. I need to check out Manic Reader and Audiobook Blast. 🙂
    Stormi recently posted…Audiobook review of Murder in the Mystery Suite

  7. Yes, that is a good 2/3 of what I read. I too love NG and Edelweiss.

  8. I do get arcs mostly and from the same sources. The only thing that frustrates me is the spelling and typos. But, I try to remember, while reading it, this is what I asked for. LOL.

  9. Yup. When I first started blogging, it was probably like 90% ARCs, but I got tired of it. Now …it’s a lot less. I am so much more picky when it comes to them and read the ones I truly WANT to. And I’m all about the digital. I don’t like reading physical books, so NG and Edelweiss are my go-to sources.
    Christy recently posted…Fuel the Fire by Krista & Becca Ritchie

  10. I definitely read them, in fact, they make up a huge chunk of what I do read each year, although, that number is getting better as I have decided to focus more on my TBR pile than on ARCs.
    I do love that there are so many out there and readily available, more so than even two years ago.
    kindlemom1 recently posted…Review: Ghost Trapper by J.L. Bryan

  11. I used to read ARCs (like from Netgalley or book tours) but I don’t anymore. I did recently start to review books for Audiobook Blast though they’re not technically ARCs since they are already published on Audible.
    Julie recently posted…Guest Post: What makes a zombie fan? by Jessica Robinson

  12. I read quite a few ARCs, mostly from NetGalley but I’ve cut back significantly as they were dominating my reading. Now most of my eBook ARCs come directly from authors or publishers where I’ve established a relationship and am a fan of the author and/or a specific series. I’m also receiving audiobook ARCs from a few publishers. Again, I’m really discriminating these days because I don’t want my reading to feel like a chore. It was beginning to feel like that because I got real trigger happy in 2104 (shiny, new things). I’d say they now represent about 30% of my reading where in the past it was more like 80%.
    Jonetta (Ejaygirl) recently posted…Audio Review: Hooked by Tiffinie Helmer

  13. Thanks for the resources, I learned of a few new ones and I would also like to add Blogging for Books which is Random House/Crown Publishing’s platform. These days I still read a lot of ARCs, and I heavily rely on NetGalley as well even though publishers will also frequently send print ARCs in the mail.
    Mogsy recently posted…Tough Traveling: Moms

  14. Lately I’ve been reading more Indie so it’s a lot more digital galleys. I no longer request from big publishers, though I do fill out the seasonal form for Macmillan for the children’s books and sometimes a YA or two. I get a lot of ARC’s in the mail for ‘consideration’ and some finished copies as well. It’s slowed down a lot more recently and I think that they are being a little more careful with the mailing list. I know I can’t read even half of them they send but I share a picture on social media sites and share with friends and family who often review on Amazon. So maybe it’s still worth it for them.
    Since I’ve been blogging awhile now I’m not quite so eager and excited about ARC’s. It just seems like I always have far more to read than I can get to. But it’s still exciting to receive a book anyway. I mean, duh, books. Even if I don’t read it I’ll still sniff it and pet it.
    Candace recently posted…Review: Killer Insight by Victoria Laurie

  15. Nope, but this is very interesting info, Carmel. Thank you for an informative post!
    Ramona recently posted…Free Ebooks

  16. These are some great resources, thanks so much for posting this! I found some new places to look for ARCs.
    Charles recently posted…Release Day: Bai Tide by Erika Mitchell

  17. I used to read them a lot more than I do now. Those are great resources for those that like too. I kind of like reading at the same time as everyone else now LOL
    Felicia The Geeky Blogger recently posted…Audiobook Review: Cursed Moon by Jaye Wells

  18. I don’t get physical ARCs, but I do use Netgalley regularly and get approved for most of the titles that I want. But I do still read more finish copies, usually that I won or picked up at the library. Even though reading a book super early is exciting, I do prefer reading a finished copy.

    So far this year, 23% of my books have been ARCs.
    Angie F. recently posted…Review: The Shadow Prince (Into the Dark, #1) by Bree Despain

  19. Read only online, ugh no.
    But yes I read ARCS, mostly my own books this year though
    blodeuedd recently posted…Before I go – Colleen Oakley

  20. Call me crazy but I haven’t been to netgalley or edelweiss in weeks. Haha. Maybe like once a month I’ll go through and make requests but I’m not as crazy about it as I used to be (of course there is that ONE ARC that everyone covets but that’s normal).

    I’ve been seeing a lot of audiobook ARCs going around, I think I would have more time for those over physical/digital (wahoo for listening to audiobooks while at work)
    Amber Elise recently posted…Book Review: Shutter

  21. I still read ARCs, but have reduced the number I accept as I’m trying to deal with my TBR piles. And NetGalley is one of my main weaknesses, so I try to stay off. I wind up requesting way too many books, then can’t read them all and my numbers go down. I need another couple of hours per day so I can read them all!
    Terri recently posted…Book Review of Rescue Me by Catherine Mann

  22. I read quite a few ARCs and its well over 50% of my reading. I utilize Net Galley, but the ARCs are sent by authors and publishers too.
    Sophia Rose recently posted…Deadly by Sylvia McDaniel #Review

  23. I used to think that getting ARCs from publishers and authors are a bad thing. I used to think that I will be pressured to give a book a glowing review if I’d gotten it for free. Now, I’ve kind of shed some of those hang-ups. Yes, I read ARCs. 😀
    Joy // Joyousreads recently posted…[521]: Three-Day Summer by Sarvenaz Tash

  24. I read quite a few ARC’s but sometimes I will choose to wait if its a book I would prefer to own. But it is good to do ARC’s for my blog…helps promote it a bit more.
    Renee (Lover of Romance) recently posted…Tasty Tours: Release Blast–Going Rogue by Jessica Jefferson

  25. I do read arc’s I usually go to Netgalley or Edelweiss since I find it more convenient then physical galleys, I have noticed that so far this year it has been about 50% of my reading and I plan on cutting back by requesting only the ones I really can’t wait to read.I really want to get to the physical books I own which I keep putting off because it seems like I always have an arc that needs to be read and reviewed.

  26. I read a lot of ARCs actually, and I’m very lucky to be able to get those e-galleys through Netgalley and Edelweiss as often as I do. One of the reasons I love ARCs is the same as you, I can schedule a review for a book that is released in two months… I can read it and write my review now, but still have the review publish during the release week. It definitely helps a lot that with being up to date and posting several reviews every week.
    In the past, when I co-blogged for another review site, I had an account with Manic Readers, but they don’t want me anymore now that I have my own blog only. That’s OK, though, I definitely have more than enough books.
    Lexxie recently posted…Review: Can’t Resist a Cowboy – Elizabeth Otto

  27. I read a few arcs, but not many. Right now, I’ve been doing a lot from the library and getting a bunch of my backlog done.

    I love that audiobooks are getting better about getting arcs to users. I’ve even been able to listen and get a review written before the book is released or on release day.
    Melanie recently posted…Audiobook Review: Kiss of a Demon King by Kresley Cole

  28. Omg, do I? Sometimes it feels like all I ever read is ARCs. There’s something about getting to read it before others that stimulates my reading, mwahahaha! Jk, jk!
    Seriously though, most of my reading is NetGalley-powered. I love it. Edelweiss is okay, but I don’t like their website for some reason, lol. So I rarely end up logging in.
    Early reviews of books just released or coming real soon are a real help to genre lovers, at least that’s what I think. If we have the means to, then we have a bookish moral obligation to raid those egalleys and spread the word about our findings, lol 😀 Right?
    Livia recently posted…A Counselor Among Wolves by Liv Olteano Excerpt & Giveaway

  29. I feel like I read more ARCs then anything sometimes. I love me my Netgalley and edelweiss. Couldn’t live without them.
    Jennifer Bielman recently posted…Stacking the Shelves #128: Chasing River

  30. I do! I read a mix of ARCs – from audio to galley. I got over the “pressure” of ARCs a long time ago, so I never feel obligated and I have been reading more borrowed books from the library.

    I agree that Edelweiss is hard to navigate sometimes.
    tonyalee recently posted…Audio Book Review | Worth the Wait by Jamie Beck

  31. I read mostly ARC’s. Out of those most come from BEA or a few publisher contacts I have (probably less than 20% from the latter). I’ve had Netgalley for years but just started using it more frequently now that I’ve cut way back on review request books. Usually 1-2 per month.

    I buy finished copies for books I’ve really enjoyed and if I get a request for an e-book that’s self/small pub and it’s already out – and it looks like I’ll enjoy it – I’ll just go ahead and buy it to support the author. Most are only.99 or 2.99 so it’s not that big a deal.

    Overall I’ve tried to cut back on ARC’s so there was less pressure and to read more for fun.

  32. Receiving an ARC is quite a compliment for me, so I do read them, but I have to admit that I prefer to wait for them in the paperback form. As an editor, it can be hard to switch off and actually READ a novel that hasn’t been properly proofread or typeset yet… Also, ebooks are NOT my first choice of reading material. The experience just isn’t as good, in my opinion!
    Beth x
    Beth recently posted…19 Thoughts When Reading: Shadow and Bone | Leigh Bardugo

  33. Yup, ARCs are most of what I read these days, although sometimes I just need to read some things that I want to read every once in a while, so I visit the library and buy books as well. Publishers in Australia are really generous with physical ARCs, so I mostly read those and NG rarely gets a second glance.
    Jeann recently posted…Indulgence Insider #27 – New Reviewer & Happy Mother’s Day!

  34. I’ve been reading more ARCs than finished copies lately, which is totally fine by me. Most are from NetGalley as well, because of the shipping and rights. My NG ratio is about 60-ish right now, which is pretty good. 🙂

    Thanks for the extra resources, Carmel!
    Aimee recently posted…Weekly Recap #3: Blogger Meet-ups and Unexpected Purchases

  35. I read almost all ARCs or eARCs. I don’t even buy books any more, really. I do love physical copies, so I do tours for peeps that offer those, like BookSparks and TLC Tours. It has become really hard to stay ahead with reading lately. I try to at least have the review up for the ARC the week it is released, but I fail more than not lately.
    I didn’t know about all those places for the audiobook reviews. I am going to check out the links even though I have plenty to keep me busy. Yea, I am a bit of an addict. Great topic!
    Karen Blue recently posted…The Sunday Post #34

  36. ARCs are perfect for finding what books to buy, because I could love some amazing new release, or I could hate it, and there would be no loss on my part. I had no idea you could get audiobooks for review, though, and I”ll be checking your links out! Thank you.
    Shannelle recently posted…The Summer Story of May 10, 2015

  37. I LOVE ARCS! They are a great way for those of us who like to pre-schedule reviews for soon-to-be-released books. I read both physical and eARCs though I tend to hard physical ARCs over eARCs. 🙂
    Sarah recently posted…Wolf Bride by Elizabeth Moss

  38. Of course I read arcs buy I find I prefer the final copies. I used to prefer print but now a days am leaning towards egalleys
    Tabitha (Not Yet Read) recently posted…I’m addicted, yeah baby I know it. – Libraries

  39. I absolutely read ARCs! I love to be able to read a wide range of books without having to pay for them. 😛 And it’s great to see things early and get the word out if I love it, before the release date. I’ve really enjoyed at least half to 2/3 of all of the ARCs I’ve read, so it’s a good deal for me. There are always some formatting issues but I’ve only run across a couple that really impacted my reading.
    Cayt recently posted…Challenge – Bout of Books #13 – Sunday

  40. Yes, I read ARCs, mostly from Edelweiss or NetGalley, though I get a few physical ones. I’ve only compared the ARC to the final in one case and found few differences. I figure that ARCs leading to blog posts are cheap publicity for books–kind of a you scratch my back (give me books) and I’ll scratch yours (publicize them).
    RAnn recently posted…The Sunday Post

  41. I mostly get my ARCs from NetGalley too – it’s just easier, though I have gotten more ARCs from Edelweiss since I was auto-approved for Harper Teen (a blessing and a curse!).
    Nicole recently posted…Burn by Allie Juliette Mousseau – Giveaway & Reviewish Type Thing