What is an ARC and How Do You Get Them? A (Very) Detailed Guide!


Ah, ARCs. It seems like everyone on every book platform gets them, but what even are they? And how do you even get one? 

I wouldn't consider myself an "ARC Expert." But these are some of my tips (and favorite companies to get ARCs from!) if you have no idea where to start!

What is an ARC Anyway?

ARC stands for Advanced Reader Copy. They're (usually e-book) copies that publishers or authors or companies will send out to readers in exchange for a review & sometimes promo (think posting on your Instagram account on release day!) Almost always, there is no monetary compensation for these reviews, and they are expecting an honest review. That means if you don't like the book, it's totally okay to say that!*

*But make sure you read the fine print - sometimes whoever sent you the ARC would want you to hold off on posting reviews lower than 3 stars until after release week.

How Do ARCS work?

When you get an ARC, whether it's through the author themselves, a publisher, or a company (which I will explain more in depth down below) they will give you some sort of "run-down" about what they expect. There will either be a Google Form or some other place to submit your review links*, and sometimes they may send you some Media/Press Kits to share on release day. If you sign up for an ARC through a PR company (or even an author!) they may send you teasers/things to share leading up to release. For things like that, when you sign up, you can choose whether you want to participate in those kinds of events (commonly called Release Blitz.) Some may even have Blog/Bookstagram Tours, where they may give you a date to post your review, so make sure you're aware of that!

*ARC reviews should be posted on Goodreads, and Amazon on release day. Be aware that Amazon sometimes takes a little while to let your reviews through, so I like to try & post mine there 1-2 days before release so it has time to be approved.

What About Physical Book Boxes? I always see X get one!

Honestly, I have no idea how you get picked for those. Those seem to be used more for promo than anything (but then again, I'm no promo expert!), and I'm pretty sure accounts with big numbers get those, as they usually have more reach.  PR boxes are super cool, and I'm gonna be honest - I've never gotten one of those. But some of the publishers/companies I mention down below will send you physical books!!

How Do I Get An ARC? 

 I'll tell you all the places I signed up to apply for ARCs or new releases. My favorite places are pink :)


  1. HarperCollins
    • Shelf Seekers : Honestly, I'm pretty new to this one, but it looks like a lot of fun!
    • Harper Books : I get most of my physical books from them! They send out a newsletter with books you can request, and there's so many fun ones!
  2. Penguin Random House
    • Influencer Database : I'm not gonna lie, I've had like, no luck with this one. But it doesn't hurt to sign up!
  3. Hachette Book Group
  4. Entangled Publishing
    • Influencer Program : I've gotten a couple ARCs from them, and their emails seem to go out periodically. 
PR Companies
  1. Good Girls PR: They have a few ARC opportunities! 
  2. Grey's Promo: I shared the link for the Master List shared with Valentine PR, but they always have their open sign-ups listed on their website! I get a lot of my ARCs from here.
  3. Literally Yours PR: Like Grey's Promo, they have open signups on their website, but signing up for their influencer list sends their signups right to your inbox! A lot of my ARCs come from here too. 
  4. Love Notes PR: This is a newer PR company, but signing up for the newsletter sends open sign-ups to your inbox!
  5. Social Butterfly PR:  They have lots of great books. I've attached their Master List signup!
  6. Valentine PR: This is the same Master List as Grey's Promo, but they have different books! Open sign-ups are also always on their site :)
  7. Wordsmith Publicity: This is by far my favorite company to work with, and is where I get most of my ARCs. They'll occasionally send a book in the mail, but most are e-arcs!! And their selection of books is so wonderful. I've found a lot of new favorite authors through Wordsmith Publicity. 
ARC Sites
  1. Netgalley: This is the most common site for digital ARCs. Lots of different publishers post their ARCs here, and you can comb through and request the ones that you want! You'll get an email if you get chosen for that ARC. 
  2. Booksirens: This is a site very similar to Netgalley, but has different books. I love this one too! All you have to do is sign up!
Now this is tricky. Most authors seem to go through a publisher or a PR company (like the ones I've listed above.) 

Some authors will post about ARC opportunities on their Instagram or Tiktok page, and you can sign up directly through a Google Form or however they created their signup (which is how I snagged ARCs like The Wedding Menu by Letizia Lorini, Replaying the Game by Emily Tudor & Lesson Learned by Katie Cawood). Additionally, some wonderful Bookstagrammers work directly with authors (like Ally, who has created a Promo team) and they'll post about signups on their own platform (that's how I got Grace Reilly's Stealing Home ARC!). 

And sometimes, although, rarely, authors will directly reach out to you and offer to send you an ARC of their book in exchange for an honest review and maybe some promo. This has happened to me literally twice - once, after I annoyingly commented on Hannah Bonam Young's post about how Win was like me, and she offered to send me an ARC - and then a second time, when Anna B Doe reached out to me directly to ask if I wanted to join her ARC team since she noticed I enjoy college romances. This is super cool when it happens, but in my experience, it is very rare. 

Also, it should be noted that if you submit review links for a book anywhere after you've been given an ARC, and you enjoyed it, they may invite you to review another book of the author's! (This happened to me after giving My Big Fake Wedding five stars on Netgalley. The publisher reached out & invited me to read Jessica's second book! Super cool!)

I signed up, Now What?
You wait! (Really.) Make sure you check your email, and if you're picked, you'll get an email with more information, and I find that the emails I receive always tell me what to do :) But basically, you read, and you review! Sometimes (although rarely) a book will just appear in your Kindle library, so make sure you check!

My Ending Thoughts & Tips

I've included everything in this guide based on my own experience as an ARC reader & reviewer. This is based on my smaller platform, so therefore I've left off publishers where I don't qualify for their influencer programs (ie: Berkley Romance, which need a minimum of 1k followers), but feel free to do your own research as well!!

Some helpful tips I want to include: 

  • It makes it a lot easier to have a simple kindle email address. Almost always, you have to provide this in your signups. Mine is the same as everything (readswithgab) so it's easy to remember. 
    • In order to check (and change) your Kindle email address, follow these steps:
      • Go to Manage Your Content and Devices.
      • From Preferences scroll down to Personal Document Settings.
      • Under Send to Kindle Email Settings, your Send to Kindle email address is listed for your compatible device or app.
      • To change this email address select Edit next to your device, enter a new email address, and then select Save to save your changes.
  • If you're an ownvoices reader (which basically means that you read books about characters from underrepresented/marginalized groups - for example, I'm an ownvoices reader for limb differences) include that somewhere! A lot of forms will leave room for you to write it, and you can also put it in your Netgalley profile bio. 
    • Speaking of Netgalley, if you have a bookish social media, include your stats in your bio too. Sometimes publishers look for that when deciding if they should give you an ARC.
      • For example, my Netgalley bio reads like this:
        • @reads.withgab on Instagram. 497 followers, 1.8K post reach, 977 engagement. I review books (both digital formats & physical formats) as often as possible. Lover of romance books. Ownvoices reader for limb differences.
  • Make sure you keep track of ARC deadlines!! This is so important. I find keeping track of mine on Notion helps tons, but even just putting them in your phone calendar could be super helpful. Last thing you want is to forget about it!
    • If there comes a point that you cannot review an ARC on time for whatever reason, be sure to let them know! I've found PR Companies to be very understanding when I've had to let them know I couldn't turn in a review on time. They just wanna know what's up!
I hope this has been some helpful info! If you have any more questions, I don't gatekeep! I'm always reachable by DMs on Instagram, or you could even send me an email at readswithgab@gmail.com. I check my email every day :) 

Until next time!
all my love,
gab <3