30 6 / 2012
Get free books like a badass
Someone asked my friends over at heyteenbookshey a question about how they get all their ARCs (AKA Advance Reader Copies, galleys, uncorrected proofs, books that haven’t been published yet). As the queen of swag, I thought I’d pass on some of the tips and tricks that I’ve learned over ten years in the library/blogging biz.
Make a case for why you deserve to read books early
Publishers want to SELL their books to people, not give them away for free. However, good word of mouth can bring buzz to a title and increase demand. Are you a librarian, an English teacher, a bookseller, reviewer of teen books for your library, a successful tumblr-er with a book-themed brand and thousands of followers? These are all things that make publishing folks nod their head. If you read something and like it, then tell three friends, then THEY tell three friends…well, you see where I’m going with this. I’ve been a book lover for life and didn’t get my hands on an ARC until I started my first library job.
Not there yet yourself? It’s okay, there’s still hope! Read on.
You don’t have to be a librarian to get free stuff (but it helps)
We don’t all have the money or the time to go to swag-heavy conferences. TEARS! You’re missing out, but I feel you. The good news is professional channels are full of opportunities to receive or request galleys - the yalsa-bk listserv, earlyword.com, SLJ’s Teen Book Buzz webcasts are just a few that have reliably provided me with books over the years. I particularly love the Book Buzz webcasts. Not only do they tease you with what’s coming next, they provide all the fun of attending a conference session without having to leave your desk.
But I’m a teen/teacher/grownup who likes teen books, not a librarian!
Make friends with your local teen librarian, they may know the secrets I described above and have books to share. Also talk to your area bookstores, especially if you’re lucky enough to live near an independent bookseller. (Nothing against you, B&N.) Bookstores are often willing to share copies of upcoming books in exchange for your reviews, and may even have a “preview for review” program in place.
Sounds good in theory, but I don’t like to leave the safety of my laptop
I’m assuming since you are reading this, you have a computer, eReader, or smartphone. You do? Lucky you! In the internet age, it’s easier than ever before to read books before they are published. Netgalley and Edelweiss are two fabulous sources for eGalleys, which can be read on the aforementioned computer, eReader, or smartphone. Create an account and send in a request justifying why you deserve to read this book in advance. Unlike paper books, the files typically expire after 60 days. However, unlike paper books, the publisher doesn’t have to spare the expense of printing and shipping them to you, devoted reader of teen books.
Since you’re so fantastic, can you get me a copy of Ally Condie’s Reached?
Ha! Some books are just so in demand you’ll never see them in ARC form. (See: HPs 4-7, Breaking Dawn, Mockingjay, etc.) That’s okay. Remember, you’ll be the one discovering that awesome new book or series that no one knows about yet, and then you’ll get to say you read it way back when.
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