The Waiting Is the Hardest Part: Reqesting ARCs instead.

Author’s note: After writing this post, I started obsessing about ARC decorum.  I’m new to book blogging  and fear that maybe I made a faux pas by directly contacting an author and agent for ARCs.  Perhaps my gauche move will single-handedly result in the collapse of the book blogging community…or invoke plagues…or swarms of locusts. 

Two of my favorite authors have new books coming out in the next few months.  I’ve being waiting for one–the fifth and final in a series–since August of 2007.  That’s an awful lot of waiting, if you ask me.  And patience never was one of my virtues. 

I learned that many people in book blogging circles obtain advanced reading copies (ARCs) of books from publishers.  No one really mentioned HOW to get ARCs and it seemed pretty cloak-and-dagger.  I decided to be direct; I contacted the author of the series and politely groveled for an ARC.  I told her about my new book blog and expressed my desire to read and review the book.  I also admitted I couldn’t wait a nanosecond longer to find out the ending. 

Imagine my surprise when she responded, saying she’d be happy to furnish me with a copy.  (I had a short email exchange with her a few years ago when the first book came out and I went out to a reading too, so it wasn’t like I was just a book grubber.) 

And so, spurred on by this saintly author’s kindness, I contacted an agent who represents another of my favorite authors, requesting a copy of her newest release.  I met the agent a few weeks ago when she taught a class I took in New York.  I was positively giddy this afternoon after receiving her affirmative response via email.

I can’t be the only reader to froth over ARCs, right?  What books have you been most excited to score?  Are there any books looming on the horizon that you just can’t wait to get your paws on?  Spill!!

14 Comments

  • At 2009.03.23 22:30, bybee said:

    I’m eager to read the new Anne Tyler novel.

    • At 2009.03.23 23:21, claire said:

      Oh lots. I’m itching for the new John Irving, the new AS Byatt, and the new Dave Eggers, to name a few. I’ve been wondering how other bloggers get ARCs and have googled, to no effect. And here you’re giving a tip.. ask directly, lol.

      • At 2009.03.24 00:31, J.C. Montgomery said:

        I have soaked numerous tableclothed sized hankies with my drool anticipating the next release by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, which is supposed to be the sequel to THE SHADOW OF THE WIND.

        I. Cannot. Wait.

        I am jonesing as bad as a junkie trying to go cold turkey in an opium den.

        Yeah. That bad.

        • At 2009.03.24 02:02, emma said:

          I didn’t even know this was possible without a lot of secret handshakes, etc. I’m excited for you. Unfortunately, I never hear about anything until it’s already out and I happen to walk by it in the book store. But having just read J.C.’s comment, I’m definitely starting to drool. I LOVED The Shadow of the Wind, and am fascinated to know what Zafon has written as a follow up.

          Also, can’t wait to learn what 2 books you snagged…

          • At 2009.03.24 07:43, Serena (Savvy Verse & Wit) said:

            I think that’s how most of us do it…just ask directly…the worst that could happen is that they say no

            • At 2009.03.24 09:26, Becky Workman said:

              I’m new to blogging too so I haven’t received many ARC’s yet. However, a friend of mine receives them all the time, so we pass them back and forth. The one I’m dying to read is Ted Dekker’s “Boneman’s Daughter.”

              • At 2009.03.24 17:43, Jessica said:

                I have no idea how to get them. And I am assuming that not many people do, so I think that your “Faux Pas” will go widely unnoticed!

                And who cares- as long as you get it right?

                • At 2009.03.24 18:46, Holley said:

                  I never hesitate to contact the publisher to request an ARC…it gets even easier if you receive one and get the comment card back to them in a timely fashion. They are that much more likely to send you another if you ask. I get an enewsletter called Shelf Awareness and there are ARC offers AlL tHe TiMe!

                  Never hesitate to ask, the worse thing they can tell you is “No” and then you are no worse off than when you started. Frustrated, perhaps, but no worse off 🙂

                  • At 2009.03.25 04:22, Biblibio said:

                    I only get advance reader copies from Amazon. And this after years and years of reviewing for them. I don’t get very many and I’m still not 100% sure about the moral implications, but I honestly think asking for them is a bit much. As nice as it is to get free books, if it’s something I’m really interested in, I’ll either buy it or check it out from the library. And if I like it, I’ll probably still buy it. Just my opinion…

                    • At 2009.03.25 17:42, Susan from WhelanFlynn said:

                      I review regularly for an online magazine (Suite101) and have just started adding more personal book reviews to my website.

                      For the past 9 months I have been regularly receiving new release updates from 8 – 9 publishers and simply request copies of the books that interest me. They often send additional books as well.

                      Not sure how it works elsewhere (I’m in Australia), but I simply contacted PR/media liaison through the publisher website, introduced myself and said where i would be able to publish reviews and what types of books I generally review, requested 1 – 2 from their current new release list on the website and gave them my delivery details. I also asked to be added to their media release contact list. Only one publisher didn’t get back to me.

                      As for needing ‘real’ copies – the books i received generally are identical to those that are sold. I occasionally receive uncorrected proof copies.

                      • At 2009.03.25 19:08, debbie said:

                        I’ve never known how people get the ARCs. Fascinating.

                        • At 2009.03.25 20:13, Stephanie said:

                          Sometimes I request them, other times the publishers contact me. You may find a post I wrote last year of interest http://thewrittenword.wordpress.com/2008/01/21/free-books/

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