The Beginner's Guide to Requesting ARCs from Publishers - Part 3: Indie Verses Big Five

Hi! Welcome to my beginner's guide to requesting ARCs! I will be doing this in parts as there are lots of different things to know, but don't let that scare you; it just means there are more opportunities for you to receive an ARC.


Let me share with you the methods that have worked best for me while I was getting started and beginning to build my relationships with publishing houses. I am still learning, and my account is still growing, but I want this guide to comprehensively cover all the different ways to receive an ARC. It's the guide I wish I had!

Today, I have a shorter article about the differences in publishers. This knowledge will help you when you are requesting ARCs and increasing your success. There are three different groups of publishing: the Big indie, Big Five, and self-publishing.


The Big Five

The Big Five consists of the biggest publishing houses in the country. Together, the Big Five have hundreds of imprints that run within their company. The chances are that you have heard of most, if not all, of them, is high.


In no particular order they are:

- Hachette Book Group

- Simon & Schuster

- Penguin Random House

- Macmillan Publishers

Their YA imprints are The Novl, Simon Teen, Penguin Teen, Fierce Reads, and Epic Reads. I bet that if you looked at your bookshelf, you would find a good portion of your books come from these five publishers. Typically, these houses have the most extensive blogger lists and publish some of the most popular books. Getting physical ARCs from one of the Big Five can be difficult when you are just starting. They have a lot of bloggers they typically use and know of which means that you won't necessarily get priority at first. The one exception I've found is towards ebooks. Publishers, in general, are more willing to give out e-ARCs to bloggers than physical ARCs because they don't cost as much.


Their YA imprints are The Novl, Simon Teen, Penguin Teen, Fierce Reads, and Epic Reads. I bet that if you looked at your bookshelf, you would find a good portion of your books come from these five publishers. Typically, these houses have the most extensive blogger lists and publish some of the most popular books. Getting physical ARCs from one of the Big Five can be difficult when you are just starting. They have a lot of bloggers they typically use and know of which means that you won't necessarily get priority at first. The one exception I've found is towards ebooks. Publishers, in general, are more willing to give out e-ARCs to bloggers than physical ARCs because they don't cost as much.


Indie Publishers

Indie publishers are publishing houses that are separate from the Big Five. Independent publishing houses still have the full staff, but the operations are often scaled back from those of the Big Five. Indie publishers are your second best bet for getting an ARC when you are new. They may not have as big of a following as other houses and could be more likely to grant your ARC request.


There are a lot of indie publishers and I couldn't possibly name all of them. But some of the ones I have worked with or heard of are:

- Source Books

- Skyhorse Publishing

- Parliament House

- Zondervan

- Quirk Books

- Candlewick Press

- Kids Can Press

- Month 9 Books


Some of these houses have specific reviewer's programs, such as Parliament House and Source Books. For some of the other ones, you may need to write to their publicity email to inquire about the books. The type of ARCs they send too vary. Most of the time, I have received physical ARCs but there are some houses that only send e-ARCs. I haven't found a pattern in finding e-ARCs versus physical ARCs. However, when you are just starting, you can't really be all that picky. Again, these houses are taking a risk on you and the risk is minimized if they can just send you the electronic version. If you are looking for indie houses to contact, I would type "indie publishing houses" into your search bar. There are a couple of blogs that have assembled an extensive list of houses.


Self-publishers

An option that some authors choose to follow is self-publishing. Sometimes they may create an imprint for themselves and try to get other authors to publish with them. Other times, the author just publishes the book themselves. They don't necessarily have the support publishing houses will give their authors. This can mean the authors have to find places to bind their book, create the cover, and create a publicity campaign. Generally, these authors are the most likely to send ARCs of their book because they want the publicity. There are Goodreads groups where reviewers and authors will offer their services or books to those in the group. I am a part of the Authors & Reviewers group. There are almost 5,000 members and books are being offered every day. The ARCs that are offered are mainly electronic, but I have seen the rare physical ARC here and there. Your best bet for finding and contacting these self-published authors are through groups. They aren't on NetGalley and just typing in "self-published authors" will present an overwhelming list.

These are the three main types of publishing houses and how each one is run! Next time I'll be talking all about NetGalley and Edelweiss. You can read the previous part here and read all of the parts here.

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